Straight Talk From Steve…
It has been a pleasure to represent everyone living in district 47 in the Nebraska Legislature. The first 30 days has been very busy; I introduced ten bills within the first ten days of the legislative session. As I’ve listened to the people of district 47, I have set as my highest priorities property tax relief and reforming how agricultural land is valuated. LB431, LB432 and LB601 are all aimed at property tax relief, while LB602 will fundamentally change the way agricultural land is valuated.
This week public hearings were held on three of my bills. The first bill heard was LB342, which is the Nurse Licensure Compact bill. This bill streamlines the licensure process for military spouses, and it ensures that Nebraska remains in the Nurse Licensure Compact. The compact allows nurses to move across state lines without paying unnecessary fees and without having to duplicate regulatory processes. LB342 will encourage more nurses to move into our state.
LB237 is a clean-up bill. The bill changes the location where school district treasury bonds are kept. Currently these bonds are filed in the County Treasurer’s office. LB237 will move them to the school district office. The intent is to move the bonds closer to the officials who are bonded.
LB382 is another clean-up bill. This bill removes highway allocation funds and incentive payments from the restricted funds category in county budgets. The reason for removing these funds from the restricted funds category is that whenever highway allocation funds and incentive payments go up, they decrease the funds available to counties for other functions.
LB601 is a property tax relief bill. This bill is contingent upon either LB44 or LB564 becoming law. These two bills, introduced by other Senators, would tax Internet sales. My bill, however, would redirect the revenue collected from an Internet sales tax to the Property Tax Credit Cash Fund, therefore lowering property taxes for everyone.
The Legislature has been in a standoff over the rules for the past 30 days. The standoff centers on the number of votes it takes to override a filibuster. Last year certain progressives in the legislature filibustered two dozen bills introduced by conservatives. Consequently, this year the conservatives would like to lower the number of votes it takes to override a filibuster. This is necessary so we can get on with the business of the state.