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Dan Hughes

Sen. Dan Hughes

District 44

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We are in the home stretch of wrapping up this first session of the 107th Legislature and it certainly has felt like an extra long session. The Speaker of the Legislature has announced that the last day will likely be May 27th.  There are still several bills yet to be addressed this session and we will continue to work on them until the end.  My colleagues and I will be back sometime this fall for a special session to address redistricting, but I think we are all ready for the lull in-between and I am certainly ready to get back home on the farm.

This session certainly has faced its challenges. Like everyone, we have had to make accommodations for COVID-19 restrictions for the senators, legislative staff, and the public. But, I am pleased to say that as the session winds down, we have been able to continue to do our work, without interruption.

Last week, LB 139 passed the first round of debate, it is a bill that was introduced by Senator Tom Briese of Albion that offers covid-19 liability protections.  The Judiciary Committee amendment, AM 1293, was also adopted.  The amendment combined portions of LB 139 and also LB 53, a bill introduced by Senator Steve Lathrop of Omaha.  Although we don’t know of any current Covid-19 related liability lawsuits in Nebraska at this time, this amended bill would provide protections and would give business owners and other entities the confidence to open up.

We spent 8 hours listening to debate on LB 474, the Adopt the Medicinal Cannabis Act, introduced by Senator Anna Wishart of Lincoln.  There was a lot of good debate from both sides but ultimately I listened to the constituents of district 44.  I have heard overwhelmingly from you that this is not something you want in our state.  This bill failed to get the 33 votes needed for a cloture vote so it was not advanced to the next round of debate.

LB 64, introduced by Senator Brett Lindstrom of Omaha, was advanced to the final round of debate last week.  The bill originally eliminated social security tax in increments and would eliminate it completely by the year 2030. However, an amendment introduced by Senator John Stinner of Gering, who is currently the Chair of the Appropriations Committee, put in a safety net that will phase-out social security income tax in increments to 50% by tax year 2025.  The reason for this change is so that future legislative bodies can review the state’s revenue capacity and make sure there is enough money in the state’s budget before eliminating the tax entirely.

 

Sen. Dan Hughes

District 44
Room 2108
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2805
Email: dhughes@leg.ne.gov
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