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As 2017 draws to a close, I sit by the fire with pen and paper in hand, reflecting on all that has transpired since I first took office back in January 2017. It has truly been an honor and a privilege to represent the good people of District 47 in the Nebraska Legislature. So, I thank you for providing me with this very exciting and wonderful adventure in Nebraska politics.
Nebraska really is the good life. So, I went to Lincoln with the understanding that my job is to somehow make the good life even better. This is no easy task when State revenues have been in decline. Nevertheless, I have communicated my vision for how to accomplish this task every week through these newspaper articles I write. I trust you have enjoyed reading therm.
The most important factor in shaping my vision for Nebraska’s future is you. I appreciate the way so many of you have shared your thoughts, your concerns, and your ideas with me this past year. I hope our conversations will continue. It amazes me to see how deeply so many folks living in the Panhandle care about what happens 400 miles away in a Capitol City far, far away.
This past year, I fought vigorously in the Legislature to provide all Nebraskans with agricultural land valuation reform. LB 602 was the most important bill I introduced this year, and this was strongly reflected by the positive support I received in the public hearing. So, I will continue to fight for the kind of agricultural land valuation reform which makes good sense for our farmers and ranchers.
Going forward, I plan to take up a new cause. I will fight for property tax relief. As I have stated so many times before, I will introduce a bill to give property owners back half of what they pay in property taxes for education. If I cannot successfully push the 50/50 plan through the Legislature, a citizen led initiative should ensure that the measure gets placed on the ballot for a public vote in November 2018.
In many ways, this is the calm before the storm. These days I am busily getting ready for the next legislative session, which will begin on January 3, 2018. For this reason, I will not submit a newspaper article for next week’s newspaper. Nevertheless, I will pick up right where I left off as soon as the New Year arrives. Thank you for reading my articles, and may God bless your plans for the year ahead.
Now we must pause, for we are about to enter one of the holiest times of the year. In a few days, we will celebrate the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ. The baby who was born so long ago in a manger, came only to die as a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. This is the true meaning of Christmas, and I invite you to join me in celebrating this most precious and joyous event in human history. Merry Christmas!