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This week I would like to update you on the status of LB 98, AM2191, which is an amendment I filed on LB822, and a meeting held in Cambridge regarding updates to Resource Management Plan. Also, a dangerous fire happened in McCook that was caused by high winds and dry conditions.
LB 98 was debated before the legislature last week, it was a bill I mentioned in last week’s article. LB 98 did not garner enough votes to invoke cloture, which means the bill is dead for this year. The bill would have extended the time a natural resources district’s authority can use a special three-cent levy in fiscal year 2025-2026. This levy was only available to NRD’s that are designated fully or overappropriated. The levy helps the NRDs meet their obligations under the state’s groundwater management laws by providing them with a tool to raise matching funds that are usually required for access to state funds.
The Natural Resources Committee held a public hearing on AM2191 which is an amendment that would allow public power in Nebraska to withhold competitive or proprietary information that would give an advantage to its business competitors. At the close of the hearing, I asked the public power and the media representatives to immediately come to my office. Once seated, I respectfully directed them to work out their differences, draft compromise language, and not leave my office until it was done. I’m pleased to report that it worked. The language that the committee adopted is something that everyone is comfortable with. The full Legislature will debate the amendment in the near future.
Last week the Bureau of Reclamation held a meeting in Cambridge and over 250 people showed up. Too many people who invested in these cabins were not informed of the upcoming mandate that they would need to move their cabins by 2020. According to one attendee, “It is fairly common that our Federal government creates a mandate that over-reaches the boundaries of good governance. They often times enact regulations that are neither practical nor beneficial for large portions of the population. When this happens, it should be the duty of every good citizen to stand in the way and halt this ill directed course. There are no neutral positions in this – you either allow big government overreach through your inaction, or you do not.”
Last week there was a grass fire on the northwest side of McCook that threatened parts of the city. The fire caused the elementary school to be evacuated and the students were relocated to the high school and YMCA. I would like to thank all of the firefighters, police, first responders, local farmers and volunteers for helping extinguish the fires and staying around to make sure there were no flare ups. We are thankful for all of their hard work in making sure the fires did not affect more people and cause more damage. Nineteen different fire departments responded to the call for mutual aid. In addition, I would like to thank those who provided water and food for all the volunteers. The whole region answered the call to help the McCook community. That’s just how we do things in Nebraska.