Priority Bills Pass Final Reading, Sent to Governor
On Wednesday, two of the bills I introduced this session, LB 429 and LB 368, gained final approval from the Legislature. The bills then went to the Governor for his signature, at which point they become law.
LB 429 brings greater transparency to state contracts which are paid for with taxpayer money. State law already requires all state expenditures to be publicly available and searchable online
through www.NebraskaSpending.gov. LB 429 requires contracts to be posted and searchable on a sister site. LB 429 passed on a 43-0 vote.
LB 368 creates a subsidized employment program that creates new job opportunities for low-income Nebraskans and allows small businesses to expand and grow their businesses.The pilot program will operate for 4 years and will provide job experience for approximately 150 people each year. Similar programs have proven successful in other states, including neighboring Iowa, Missouri, Colorado and Kansas. LB 368 passed 34-7.
Taken last week during floor debate on LB 368 (Source: Nebraska Unicameral Information Office)
Other Bills Heading to the Governor
Several other bills that we have featured in previous weekly updates also advanced on Wednesday and await Governor Heineman’s signature to become law, which will likely happen early next week. These bills include Senator Amanda McGill’s LB 216 which provides services for former foster care youth as they age out of the foster care system, Senator Schumacher’s bill to repeal of the alternative minimum tax (LB 308), and Senator McCoy’s bill to update Nebraska’s controlled substances statutes to include new pharmaceutical substances (LB 298). I was happy to vote for these bills again on Wednesday, as I had during previous rounds of debate.
Veteran Photo ID Bill Passes, Awaits Governor’s Approval
This week, I, along with my colleagues, voted to advance LB 93, a bill introduced by Senator Annette Dubas. LB 93 will allow veterans the option to obtain a veteran designation on their Nebraska driver’s license or state identification card. It will also create an online database operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs that will allow the state to better serve our Nebraskan veterans. LB 93 advanced on a 47-0 vote.
What Happens on June 5th? What Does “Adjournment Sine Die” Mean?
Wednesday, June 5 marks day 90 of this session, which means the end of the session and Sine Die. As I mentioned in an earlier update, the length of legislative sessions vary based on the year. By legislative rule, the Legislature must adjourn no later than Day 60 during sessions in even numbered years and must adjourn no later than Day 90 in odd numbered years. When the Legislature adjourns at the end of the session, we adjourn “sine die” (Latin for “without day.”) Adjournment sine die means that the Legislative body is adjourning with a future meeting date uncertain. At a minimum, the Legislature will meet again in January. However, the Legislature could meet for a special session before that. twenty-five other state Legislatures have adjourned sine die this year and three states are currently in special session (Washington, Texas and California).
While the Legislative body will adjourn on Wednesday, the work of the Legislature will continue throughout the interim. During this time, Senators will research policy ideas for next year, meet with constituents and other stakeholders in their districts, attend interim committee hearings and prepare for next year’s session. The interim also allows Senators to work at their other jobs and spend time with their families.
On Thursday, I joined several Senators in “Seersucker Thursday” to celebrate the final days of session. Pictured (from left to right) are Senators Brad Ashford, Tanya Cook, me, Amanda McGill and Burke Harr.
Later this morning, I will be visiting the third annual benefit for the Bellevue Police Department’s K-9 unit hosted by Karray’s Cafe and owner Karen Stockton. During the event all tips at Karray’s will be donated to the K-9 program. Residents are welcome to come and meet the K-9 officers and dogs, see the police accident trailer, service motorcycles and K-9 vehicles. The benefit will also host ‘Penelope the Clown’, and include balloons and fingerprinting for children. The benefit runs from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
If you have any questions contact Karray’s Cafe, 3512 Samson Way, Bellevue, at (402) 884-9722. I encourage you to come out and support the Bellevue Police Department’s K-9 program and I hope to see many of you there!