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This week the committee I serve as chair of, Natural Resources, is hosting its first interim hearing of the fall. Committees hold interim hearings as a result of a legislative resolution that was passed during the previous session authorizing the committee to study an issue. I introduced LR 387 after several groups asked for an opportunity to have a broader platform to discuss this growing problem. This week I would like to update you a little on the process of an interim hearing as well as what we are discussing. The hearing on Eastern Red Cedar trees is next Friday, August 31, beginning at 1:00 p.m., in hearing room 1525 of the State Capitol.
For interim study hearings, testifiers speak on a topic in general, giving their perspective on an issue and how he or she believes the Legislature should address policy on the subject. There is no “proponent” and “opponent” testimony. The hearing is an opportunity for the committee to learn about the issues related to a certain topic.
Often when a committee holds interim hearings, it invites testifiers to speak to the committee on certain aspects of an issue on which such testifiers have expertise. Since the primary goal of LR 387 is to educate and update the Natural Resources Committee on Eastern Red Cedars, we have invited some subject matter experts. Invited testifiers will include a UNL professor of ecology, the Game and Parks Commission, the Nebraska Forest Service, and Nebraska Educational Lands and Funds. We will learn more about the benefits and problems associated with the use of Eastern Red Cedar trees, the management challenges, and if there is a role the Legislature should play to help.
If any college-aged students from the 44th district are coming to Lincoln to attend school and would like to be a page, please send a resume to my office before 5:00 pm on Thursday, September 14th so that I can write a letter of recommendation for you. Your application will be due in the clerk’s office by September 28th. This is a wonderful opportunity for young adults to see how the nation’s only unicameral works. It is a great way to get involved and learn more about your state government.
I always enjoy hearing from the Nebraskans I represent. Please feel free to contact my office with any questions or concerns that you might have. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and my phone number is (402) 471-2805. You can read more about bills and other work of the Legislature at www.nebraskalegislature.gov, and you can click on the Live Video Streaming NET logo to watch sessions, hearings, and other Capitol events.