NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

The official site of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Natural Resources Committee

Welcome
January 4th, 2017

The Natural Resources Committee is responsible for processing legislation involving the following subject areas:

  • Water
    • ground and surface water
    • water rights
    • water wells
    • irrigation
    • flood control
    • drainage
    • Department of Natural Resources
  • Public Power
    • public power districts
    • Nebraska Power Review Board
    • other utilities; electric co-ops
    • oil and gas; pipelines; ethanol
  • Natural Resources Districts; Natural Resources Commission
  • Environment
    • hazardous waste; underground storage; oils and fuels; combustibles
    • litter reduction; recycling; drink containers
    • Department of Environmental Quality; Environmental Quality Council
    • pollution; Environmental Protection Act; chemigation
    • air pollution
  • Energy
    • Nebraska Energy Office
    • wind energy
  • Recreation
    • hunting; fishing; trapping; game farming
    • Game and Parks Commission
    • parks, recreation areas; recreation roads
    • endangered species; wildlife damage
    • boating

During session, the Natural Resources Committee meets on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays in Room 1525 on the 1st Floor of the Capitol.

Written Testimony
January 25th, 2021

Explanation on How to Prepare Written Testimony In Lieu of In-Person Testimony  for Public Hearings held during the 2021 Nebraska Legislative Session 

This document provides an explanation of the “how to” for preparation of written testimony in  lieu of in-person testimony for public hearings held during the 2021 Session. The six  requirements which an individual must follow for their submission to be treated as written  testimony—with the testifier listed on the committee statement and the testimony scanned so as  to be included as part of the hearing transcript—are outlined on the Nebraska Legislature’s  website at https://nebraskalegislature.gov/committees/public-input.php

While most of the requirements are self-explanatory, requirement number five has presented  some confusion which this document is intended to clarify. This requirement reads: 

  1. Only the written testimony from the person delivering the testimony will be accepted. No handouts, testimony, or letters from other individuals may be included outside of an individual’s written testimony.” [emphasis added]

Since the written testimony will be included as part of the hearing transcript (and will not be  treated as an exhibit), the written testimony you submit needs to be a written statement that if  read at the public hearing would fit within the standard protocols of oral testimony. In other words, when your written testimony is scanned into the public hearing transcript, someone  reading the finalized transcript should not be able to tell from your testimony that you were not  at the hearing in person unless you mention in your testimony you are providing it via the written  format. (Note, however, that the Committee Statement will identify the written submitted  testimony so as to communicate that the testifier was not present to respond to questions at the  hearing.) 

Your written testimony should start with a greeting to the committee chair and members and then  introduce who you are, just like each oral testifier at a public hearing must do. Second you will  want to identify if you are representing yourself or a principal(s). And then you will state your  argument in support of or opposition to the measure. No handouts or exhibits will be accepted  with written testimony. Maps, charts, letters and similar handouts are classified as exhibits and  not included as part of the hearing transcript when shared with the committee during oral  testimony. For written testimony, nothing considered an exhibit will be accepted except as  described below. (Please keep in mind that you may always deliver exhibits directly to a senator  in addition to submitting written testimony.)  

Letters from a principal will be accepted as part of written testimony, if an individual  incorporates the letter into the text of their testimony and the total length of written  comments and the letter fit within the requirement of no more than 2 single-spaced, typed  pages or 4 double-spaced, typed pages (a letter will count as a full page if submitted on  letterhead). You may choose to incorporate statements from your principals rather than an  actual letter. Please note, this practice of allowing a letter as part of your testimony only applies  to written testimony. This does not mean you may now read a letter from a principal during in person testimony. In-person testimony guidelines are decided by each committee chair. 

For an example, I want to share with you testimony provided to the Business and Labor  Committee last year by a lobbyist on behalf of two principals in opposition to LB 963 (2020), a  bill to change workers’ compensation provisions for injuries to first responders and frontline state  employees. The lobbyist’s in-person testimony from last year reads:

Chairman Hansen, members of the committee, for the record, my 

name is [FIRST NAME LAST NAME]. It’s spelled F-i-r-s-t N-a-m-e L-a-s-t N-a m-e. I’m appearing today as a registered lobbyist on behalf of the American Property Casualty Insurers Association [SIC] and Nebraskans for Workers’  Compensation Equity and Fairness in opposition to LB963. There are two primary concerns with the legislation, some of which [previous testifier] dealt with.  Number one is the broad list of providers that may not have the requisite 

education or experience to treat or diagnose PTSD. As you heard from the  proponents themselves, that the number of practitioners who can help people  with PTSD is rather limited, even in areas like Lincoln and Omaha. Our second concern is the clear causation between the injury, the mental health injury and the  job. We feel that it would be a departure from existing workers’ compensation law  to allow for, for a presumption. I want to give you an aside. . . 

If the testifier presented this testimony as “written testimony,” the spelling of her name would  not be needed, however she would still have an introduction and greeting to the committee  members. Additionally, since she would not know the proponents’ comments shared at the  hearing, she might, however, want to address some of the “for” arguments that she believes will  come up during the hearing. And she could include a letter from one of the two principals she is  representing by stating something along the lines of, “additional concerns that Nebraskans for  Workers’ Compensation Equity and Fairness have with LB 963, are best articulated in a letter  from their president.” With this introduction and reference to the letter in her written testimony,  the testifier could now include a letter from that principal as part of her written testimony as long  as the length of the testimony with the letter does not exceed the maximum page length. 

Additionally, the committee statement would reflect that the testifying lobbyist provided written  testimony, representing both of the principals she mentions in the testimony. You will need to  indicate who you are representing on the Written Testimony Testifier’s Sign-In Sheet you fill out  when submitting your written testimony. 

Individuals who testify in-person are allowed to testify only once in the proponent or opponent  category. Similarly, written testimony may be submitted only once for a bill. If you are  representing multiple principals, you will be identified as representing more than one principal as  long as you identify them on the Written Testimony Testifier’s Sign-In Sheet which you will fill  out when you submit your written testimony.

Committee Members
  • Sen. Bruce Bostelman, Chairperson
  • Sen. Raymond Aguilar
  • Sen. John Cavanaugh
  • Sen. Tim Gragert
  • Sen. Mike Groene
  • Sen. Dan Hughes
  • Sen. Mike Moser
  • Sen. Justin Wayne
Search Committee Page For:
Archives
Search Current Bills
Search Laws
Live Video Streaming
Find Your Senator
?>