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John Arch

Sen. John Arch

Speaker of the Legislature

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For the next two weeks, January30-February 10, committees will hold public hearings both morning and afternoon following a 9:00 a.m. check-in on the floor. For the first couple of days of our all-day hearings, I know some committees have scheduled their public hearing to begin at 9:00 a.m. If you serve on one of those committees, I ask that you come to the floor and check-in prior to going to the public hearing. We will need a quorum to convene each morning. For the next two weeks, time on the floor will be minimal once we convene.

Next Monday, we begin committee public hearings at 1:30 p.m. A reminder that during the week of January 23, hearings will only take place in the afternoon. The following two weeks, January 30-February 10, committees will hold public hearings both morning and afternoon following a 9:00 a.m. check-in on the floor.

Monday and Tuesday of next week (January 23 and 24) also will be check-in days with a 10:00 a.m. start time. Wednesday, January 25, we will convene at 9:30 a.m. and at 10:00 a.m. Governor Pillen will deliver his State of the State address. The start time for Thursday and Friday will be 9:00 a.m. unless otherwise announced next week. Adjournment times for Thursday and Friday will be contingent upon any legislative business we may have to address (i.e. committee confirmation reports, motions to withdraw, etc.).

A few notes this morning regarding our schedule for next week.

At the beginning of the session, I announced my intention that we would begin the debate on the motion to adopt permanent rules on Tuesday. That will not be happening.

The Rules Committee’s public hearing ended yesterday around 10:30 p.m. on 58 proposed rule changes. The committee members need more time to consider the proposals before holding an executive session. Senator Erdman, chair of our Rules Committee, has scheduled the executive session for Tuesday afternoon. It is my expectation that the committee will be able to file their rules report with the Clerk on Wednesday morning and provide a copy to all members that morning.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, we will convene at 10:00 a.m. for bill introduction. A reminder that Wednesday is the tenth and final day for bill introduction.

Thursday morning we will begin the debate on the motion to adopt permanent rules. Thursday we will convene at 9:00 a.m., recess for lunch, and continue debate in the afternoon. If necessary, we will continue debate into the evening. My goal is to adopt permanent rules before we leave on Friday. On day one, we adopted temporary rules through the twelfth day, Friday.

Additionally, I want to share with the entire Body that our public hearings this year will include an ADA Accommodation of Written Testimony. ADA Qualified individuals can submit written testimony online in a format similar to our online comments portal. The qualified individual submitting testimony in this manner will have their testimony included in the hearing transcript as public hearing testimony. The individual’s name will also appear on the Committee Statement with a notation that the person submitted ADA Accommodation Written Testimony.

With the number of new committee chairs this session, I wanted to preview the new system with them before announcing this new process to all members. I shared the policy with the Chairs on Wednesday of this week. We have several new chairs this year, and I wanted to be sure they understood the new system first since they and their committee staff will be responsible for implementation.

Next Wednesday, January 18, at 9:00 a.m., I will hold a briefing and demonstration to familiarize all members and their staff with the ADA Written Testimony process and procedures.

The briefing and demonstration will include the Legislature’s Online Comments process. During the 2021 session, the Legislature tested a new system allowing the public to submit comments on every bill. Last session, the Legislature expanded the online public comments process to include the option for individuals to submit comments for the public hearing record on a bill.

This briefing will allow new members to learn about the Legislature’s submission of online comments process and serve as a refresher course for the senators and staff here last year. The online comments are searchable by date, bill, and district. It is a great resource allowing members to know the views of their constituents on all measures before the Legislature.

Sen. John Arch

Speaker of the Legislature
Room 2103
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2730
Email: jarch@leg.ne.gov
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