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Sen. Jim Scheer

Sen. Jim Scheer

Speaker of the Legislature

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Speaker Jim Scheer of Norfolk announced today that the 2020 legislative session will resume July 20.

Speaker Scheer suspended the session indefinitely in March due to public health concerns regarding the coronavirus pandemic. In his announcement, Scheer said the decision to resume the session was based on the belief that Nebraska will have reached the peak of COVID-19 cases by that time – and will not have experienced a resurgence in cases following the loosening of restrictions on businesses and social gatherings.

“Please keep in mind that I reserve the right to alter this 2020 Reconvening Session Calendar should it appear best to do so,” he said.

Lawmakers are scheduled to complete their work for the session on Aug. 13.

I have finalized the schedule for “late nights.” Please reserve the following dates for the body to work during the evening hours:

Wednesday, March 18;
Thursday, March 19;
Monday, March 23;
Tuesday, March 24;
Wednesday, March 25;
Tuesday, March 31;
Wednesday, April 1;
Thursday, April 2;
Monday, April 6;
Tuesday, April 7;
Wednesday, April 8;
Tuesday, April 14; and
Wednesday, April 15.

The adjournment time for a scheduled “late night” will be around 9:00 p.m. or later (potentially as late as 11:59 p.m.). The specific adjournment time each evening will be dependent upon the Body’s progress on that day’s agenda.

These dates are “reserved late nights” some of which I may cancel. I will provide the members with as much notice as possible of such a cancellation. However, a canceled “late night” may still mean working through the dinner hour and then adjourning sometime early evening.

For each scheduled late night, I will be recessing the Body for approximately 30-40 minutes sometime around 5:30 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. to allow members to eat dinner without the interruption of a Call of the House.

Speaker Duties
January 8th, 2020

The Speaker of the Legislature is elected by the membership every two years. Speaker responsibilities and privileges include:

  • setting the session calendar and daily agenda;
  • serving as the Legislature’s presiding officer in the absence of the Lieutenant Governor;
  • working with fellow legislators to overcome differences as legislation is considered;
  • selecting up to 25 bills or resolutions as his or her priorities. Priority bills are generally considered ahead of other bills. Other senators may select one priority bill per session, while committees may select two; and
  • designating up to five bills or resolutions each session as his or her major proposals with scheduling priority. Major proposals must already be designated as a senator’s priority bill and must be approved by two-thirds of the Executive Board.

January 8

  • Convene at 10:00 a.m.
  • Elect acting Chief Sergeant-at-Arms
  • Bill introduction
  • Adjourn around noon or when introduced bills have been processed by the Clerk’s office

January 9 and 10

• Convene at 10:00 a.m.
• Bill introduction
• Adjourn around 11:00 a.m. or when introduced bills have been processed by the Clerk’s office

January 13, 14, 15
• Convene at 9:00 a.m.
• Bill Introduction
• Debate of carry over legislation
• Recess at noon for lunch, reconvene at 1:30 p.m. and adjourn no later than 5:00 p.m.

January 15
• Governor Rickett’s State of the State Address – 10:00 a.m.

January 16
• Convene at 9:00 a.m.
• Bill Introduction
• Debate of carry over legislation
• Adjourn by noon

January 17
• Recess day
• (Tentative) Last day to submit bill requests to Revisor of Statutes/Bill Drafting Office

January 21
• Convene at 9:00 a.m.
• Bill introduction
• Debate of carry over legislation
• Adjourn by noon
• Public Hearings begin at 1:30 p.m.

January 22
• Convene at 9:00 a.m.
• Bill introduction
• Debate of carry over legislation
• Chief Justice Heavican’s State of the Judiciary Address-10:00 a.m.
• Adjourn by noon

January 23
• Convene at 9:00 a.m.
• Last day of bill introduction
• Debate of carry over legislation
• Adjourn by noon or when introduced bills have been processed by the Clerk’s office

February 19, Prior to Adjournment
• Deadline to submit a letter to the Speaker requesting designation of a bill as a 2020 speaker priority bill

February 21, Prior to Adjournment
• Deadline for designation of committee and senator priority bills

February 25
• Speaker priority bills announced prior to adjournment

February 27
• Date to complete committee public hearings on introduced bills

March 3
• Full-day floor debate begins

March 18th to April 8th
• Sometime during early-March a “late nights” schedule will be announced. Senators are requested to keep their session day evenings open beginning March 18th for extended floor debate.

Additionally, please note that this session we will convene at 9:00 a.m. every day including the first day of the work week unless otherwise announced. When we begin full day floor debate on March 3rd, my goal will be to adjourn by noon on the last day of the work week. On occasion, we may work through the lunch hour and adjourn early afternoon.

Sen. Jim Scheer

Speaker of the Legislature
Room #2103
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2929
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