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Julie Slama

Sen. Julie Slama

District 1

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Week of May 3
May 7th, 2021

This week, the Executive Board of the Legislature held a hearing on a resolution that I proudly co-sponsor, LR 107, introduced by Senator Groene that serves as a clear statement of our state Legislature’s grave concerns with the Biden administration’s actions against our First and Second Amendments, elections, property rights, and vaccine passports.

It is well-known that the Constitution of the United States says that Americans have the right to their own religion, and Nebraska’s State Constitution reflects the same values. Nebraskans have the explicit freedom to practice their religion according to the dictates of their consciences without interference from the government. However, we are seeing the federal government act in ways that seek to punish traditional religious beliefs about the sanctity of life and sexuality. LR 107 outlines the federal government’s infringement of Nebraskans’ rights to practice their religious beliefs as they see fit through attacks on pro-life movements to inappropriate sex education standards.

In early April, the Biden administration signed six Executive Orders to “reduce gun violence.” These measures include creating model “red flag” legislation for states. In reality, these Executive Orders will infringe Nebraskans’ right to bear arms, as granted in the Second Amendment. Luckily, 80 of our 93 counties have declared themselves Second Amendment Sanctuary Counties, and our Governor has declared Nebraska as a Second Amendment Sanctuary State. LR 107 states that Nebraska recognizes that the orders issued by the President of the United States are in opposition to the U.S. Constitution and the Constitution of Nebraska. 

LR 107 also states that our state is opposed to the federal government’s attempt to usurp the election process in our nation. The House of Representatives recently introduced H.R. 1, which would destroy protections on our elections such as voter identification requirements, periodic updates of voter files, and restrictions on fraud-prone ballot harvesting. This legislation would also take the right of redistricting from state legislatures. The Constitution states that election laws are left to state legislatures to decide, and LR 107 calls out the federal government for working to uproot that.

Senator Groene’s resolution also expresses Nebraska’s dissatisfaction with the federal government’s plan to restrict the private use of at least thirty percent of America’s lands and waters, coined the “30×30 Plan” by 2030. In our state, 97% of our land is privately owned. As a state, we can not, and will not allow the federal government to take property away from our citizens without due process. Doing so would be a direct violation of the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.

Finally, LR 107 addresses vaccines and vaccine passports. Nebraskans have a right to choose what vaccines they want to be injected into their bodies, and the federal government should not have the ability to force citizens of the United States to get a vaccine. Similarly, vaccine passports and mandates violate the Constitution in that it restrains a person’s right to peaceably assemble and restricts their freedom to travel or conduct commerce.

LR 107 is a timely resolution that addresses many of the issues which concern Nebraskans. Our Bill of Rights was created to protect our rights citizens. It is our duty as a state to place a check on the federal government when it steps outside of its authority and tries to take away our rights. I look forward to discussing this resolution on the floor and representing the values that Nebraskans hold dear.

As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln NE 68509-4604; telephone: 402-471-2733; email:

Week of April 26
May 3rd, 2021

As we enter the final twenty days of the long session, it only seems fitting that our legislative days would extend into the twilight of each day, as well. This week was a productive one, packed with late-night debate, a few filibusters, and some fireworks- both literal and figurative.

This past Friday morning, my bill to expand the sale of fireworks, LB 152, passed on Final Reading with a vote of 42-3. LB 152 passed with an emergency clause, which means that it will go into effect as soon as the governor signs the bill into law. This Fourth of July, Nebraskans will be able to purchase a far wider variety of fireworks.

Our state’s definition of consumer fireworks departed from the federal definition, which created restrictions that limited the fireworks available to Nebraskans, especially when analyzing our neighboring states, such as Missouri and South Dakota. This had an economic impact on our state. In 2019, fireworks sales in Missouri topped 51 million dollars, while Nebraska only made 6.6 million. That statistic means Missouri has per-capita firework sales nearly three times that of Nebraska. A significant reason for this is that Nebraskans were willing to travel out of state to get access to fireworks that they could not purchase at home. Now that LB 152 has passed, Nebraskans can buy their larger fireworks in-state, rather than by crossing the border. LB 152 will boost our economy by encouraging in-state purchases of fireworks, while still ensuring that the State Fire Marshal’s office has the tools necessary to maximize safety.

In other positive news, Senator McKinney’s LB 452 passed through to the second round of debate this past week. LB 452 would require Nebraska’s graduating seniors complete at least one half-credit’s worth of coursework in personal finance.

Now more than ever, financial literacy is critically important to our youth. According to the Federal Reserve, student loan debt in the United States is $1.71 trillion dollars, which is almost double our country’s total credit card debt. We’ve never had this kind of level of personal debt in our country, we’re sending young adults into the world and out to college with little idea how to balance a budget and scarce understanding that the thousands of dollars that they’re taking out in student loans to pay for college are the only kind of debt that doesn’t disappear with bankruptcy. After the implementation of LB 452, we will be giving our youth a basic understanding of their personal finances and securing them better access to a successful future. 

As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln NE 68509-4604; telephone: 402-471-2733; email:

Week of April 19
April 26th, 2021

Late night floor debate has kicked off in our Nebraska Legislature, marking the busiest time of session. We passed the state’s biennial budget on Wednesday, which will make strides in several areas. The budget allocates nearly $1 billion to property tax relief, millions of dollars to grow infrastructure in our rural communities, and places $725 million into our state’s Cash Reserve Funds to maximize Nebraska’s financial stability. Finally, the budget gives the Legislature over 200 million dollars that we can invest in additional tax relief and modernizing our tax codes. Many tax relief bills have reached the floor of the Legislature and will be considered in the next two weeks.

First, LB 64 would make Nebraska more welcoming to retirees. Senator Lindstron’s LB 64 would phase out the income tax on social security income. Currently, we are one of only 13 states that collects state income taxes on Social Security payments. This makes us an unattractive option to those that are looking for a place to retire and should be a priority of the Legislature to change. On its face, taxing Social Security income is indefensible double taxation. LB 64 has passed through the Revenue Committee and is waiting for its full debate. 

LB 387, introduced by Senator Brewer, would make Nebraska an attractive living option to those that have served in the military by exempting military retirement pay from state income taxes. 31 states currently do not tax military retirement, and Nebraska should be the next one to join them. Fortunately, LB 387 has passed through two rounds of debate, and will soon get its final vote before being signed into law.

Property tax relief has been another large discussion in the Legislature, especially over the past week. Property taxes are still the top issue that faces our state, especially in our rural areas.  

Senator Briese introduced LB 2, which would change the valuation of ag land for school bonds. Currently, this land is valued at 75% of its actual value for the purposes of property taxes from school bonds. This bill would change the value used to retire school bonded indebtedness to 50% percent of its actual value. LB 2 would fairly distribute the cost of school bonds in districts where residential property owners outnumber farmers and ranchers, who pay a larger portion of the bond debt due to higher land valuations. These ag landowners, who may not live in the school district and lack the ability to vote on the bonds, are left paying a disproportionately high proportion of the bond total. LB 2 passed the first round of debate on a vote of 38 to 3.

High taxes hurt our economic development as a state and hinders our small communities and towns in their growth. I hope that, through these tax relief bills, we can make a substantial change for the better in Nebraska.

As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln NE 68509-4604; telephone: 402-471-2733; email:

Week of April 12
April 19th, 2021

I hope you are having a lovely spring so far, District 1. Temperatures are warming up and planting season is in full swing. This week’s column will discuss the current situation with the Second Amendment in both our nation and our state.

On April 7, in response to the mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado, the Biden-Harris Administration announced several anti-gun measures. These actions include proposing rules to limit the sale of “ghost guns” and the publication of model red flag legislation for states among other gun control measures. There should be no excuse for any illicit action that takes an innocent life, but these actions should be seen for what they are– a gross violation of our Second Amendment rights. 

Governor Ricketts has responded to this proposed infringement of the Second Amendment by making the State of Nebraska a Second Amendment sanctuary state. This means that, if the federal government creates laws that attack our right to bear arms, our state will not recognize or enforce them. This way, Nebraskans can practice their freedoms granted to them through the Second Amendment without fear of breaking the law. However, these orders will expire at the end of the Governor’s term.

To make a more permanent change, our state needs legislation that will continue to protect our right to bear arms. Several bills have been introduced this session to protect the Second Amendment for Nebraskans. This includes Senator Halloran’s LB 188 and my LB 300. LB 188 would adopt the Second Amendment Preservation Act, which, in simple terms, would put in statute what Governor Ricketts’s proclamation sets out to do. LB 300 would clarify the Castle Doctrine Statutes in our state. Currently, you can defend yourself in your home, and still be criminally charged by the courts. LB 300 would work to combat that and would give Nebraskans the opportunity to defend themselves in their homes, workplaces, or motor vehicles.

Both LB 188 and LB 300 had their public hearings are being held by split committees. For the full Legislature to debate these bills and pass them into law, they need to be voted on and advanced to the floor. LB 188 is being held by the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee and LB 300 is being held in the Judiciary Committee. You can do your part to get these bills passed by reaching out to the members of the committees and sharing your support. The committee list and contact information for senators can be found at

In our country, we have the unique ability to reach out to our public officials and share our opinion. This makes private citizens some of the most important protectors of our rights. I encourage you to reach out to your representatives, both on the state and federal level, to share your thoughts on preserving the Second Amendment.

As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln NE 68509-4604; telephone: 402-471-2733; email:

Week of April 5
April 15th, 2021

This week, the Legislature has been debating on the budget for the next biennium. The Appropriations Committee has worked hard to introduce a fiscally-responsible budget that benefits the entire state, including our own District 1.

First, our state colleges will benefit greatly from this budget. The Appropriations Committee has proposed a nearly $3 million dollar increase in funding to our Nebraska State Colleges for FY2021-22. This increases again by $3 million in FY2022-23. Peru State College is a fantastic asset to Southeast Nebraska, and I’m thrilled to see the state college system receive the support it needs to continue to thrive and provide quality education. 

The budget from the Appropriations Committee also addresses property tax relief. The proposal increased the transfer to the Property Tax Credit Fund by $25 million in FY21-22 and $38 million in FY22-23. The total estimated funding in the Property Tax Credit Fund would be over $300 million annually, in addition to the over $1 billion in relief passed in 2020’s LB 1107. Through this fund, we will be able to provide relief to Nebraskans across the state that are burdened with sky-high property taxes. 

The proposed budget by the Appropriations Committee found that, after the expenditures in the main budget, it would leave $211 million for the Legislature to allocate to other items. Senator Friesen introduced LB 388 that would create the Broadband Bridge Act. Over the next two years, the Legislature would appropriate over $40 million with the purpose of facilitating and funding the development of broadband networks in unserved and underserved areas of Nebraska. Broadband access is of utmost importance in keeping young people in our state along with modernizing our systems. $40 million dollars will go a long way to address this dire issue. There’s also funding available for additional tax cuts, better funding for our rural schools, and rural economic development.

The budget will be a direct benefit, not only to our state, but to our district. By funding additional property tax relief, broadband connectivity, and state colleges, we can create positive change in our state. I look forward to seeing these dollars in action for our area

As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln NE 68509-4604; telephone: 402-471-2733; email:

Week of March 29
April 6th, 2021

Happy Easter, District 1! This week’s column will cover recent bills that have passed or advanced in the Legislature

LB 22 was introduced by Senator Williams on behalf of the Department of Insurance. The legislation proposes to adopt the latest National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) amendments to the Nebraska Protection in Annuity Transactions Act. The NAIC is the United States’ standard-setting and regulatory support organization created and governed by chief insurance regulators and works for the best interest of consumers. The revisions in LB 22 would allow states to continue protecting consumers by requiring insurance producers to act in the best interest of the consumer when making a recommendation of an annuity and through requiring that insurers maintain a system of supervision so that the insurance needs and financial objectives of consumers are addressed. LB 22 passed on Final Reading with a vote of 41-0. It will now be presented to the Governor to sign into law.

LB 338 was introduced by Senator Bostelman and is intended to grow rural broadband access. It passed through General File on a unanimous vote of 40-0. The Public Service Commission adopted rules in 2018 to withhold support from telecommunications carriers that do not offer broadband services. Instead, they redirected that funding to eligible carriers who could provide broadband in the same exchange area. LB 338 would authorize a second method to redirect funds known as a rural-based plan. LB 338 would allow the Public Service Commission to consider a rural-based plan that has been created with the input of local residents. This way, local communities can decide which provider would be best for their needs. LB 338 is a great step towards providing our rural communities with the broadband networking they need.

Senator Gragert’s LB 78 passed General File on a unanimous vote of 45-0. This bill would create new requirements for individuals seeking certain armed services license plates. LB 78 would require an individual to register first with the Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs before being issued a license plate designating a Gold Star Family, Ex-Prisoner of War, Disabled American Veteran, or Purple Heart/Combat Wounded. This is an important bill because the Nebraska Veteran’s Council has received complaints that individuals have received military honor license plates when they were not qualified to receive. We should only be issuing this honor to those that deserve it, and LB 78 would ensure that happens.

Finally, my bill, LB 152 passed through General File this week. This bill would change our fireworks definitions to match federal definitions and would broaden the definition of consumer fireworks. We see, especially in our district, thousands of Nebraska residents drive to Missouri to buy their fireworks since there is a greater selection across the border. In fact, in 2019, the state of Missouri made $51 million in revenue due to fireworks sales, while our state only made $6.6 million. By changing the definition of consumer fireworks, we can make Nebraska more competitive in this industry.

As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln NE 68509-4604; telephone: 402-471-2733; email:

Week of March 22
April 6th, 2021

As we sped past the halfway point of session this week, several bills were debated that are relevant to District 1. These topics range from education standards and access to higher education to helping military families with finding employment in our state. This column will highlight a few of the bills that would be a great benefit to our state.


Senator Albrecht introduced LB 281, which would require schools to adopt a child sexual abuse prevention program beginning with the 2022-23 school year for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. The goal of this bill is to curb child sexual abuse by providing students with the knowledge and tools necessary to communicate incidents of potential and actual sexual abuse. There was an amendment from the Education Committee that would extend the program through twelfth grade and specify that the curriculum be evidence-based. LB 281 advanced to Select File on a vote of 32-1.


Senator Clements’s LB 92 addresses higher education and in-state tuition for home school students. Currently, students are considered residents for tuition purposes if they reside with their parent or guardian while attending a public or private high school in Nebraska and graduate from a public or private Nebraska high school. LB 92 would allow students to be considered residents if they complete the program of instruction offered by a home school. It would also prohibit publicly funded colleges or universities from discriminating against students on the basis of having been homeschooled. This bill also advanced from General File with a vote of 35-0.


LB 389 was introduced by Senator Sanders and was passed on Final Reading with a vote of 46-0. This bill would help Nebraska welcome and support military families by establishing a streamlined path for military spouses to receive a teaching certificate or permit in Nebraska if the applicant holds a valid certificate or permit in another state. Our state ranks behind several other states that have enacted more military-friendly reciprocity statutes related to teacher certification. LB 389 will now allow Nebraska to grant teaching permits to our military families and welcome them to our state.


As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln NE 68509-4604; telephone: 402-471-2733; email:

Sen. Julie Slama

District 1
Room 11th Floor
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2733
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