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Dan Hughes

Sen. Dan Hughes

District 44

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Bills I have introduced so far
January 19th, 2021

It has been a very busy week here at the Legislature.  My office holds many responsibilities that require my attention and input on. One of the issues on the forefront is the continuing presence of Covid and the fact that many things need to be tweaked this year to try and accommodate safety concerns and social distancing.

Some of these safeguards will involve how we conduct hearings.  As always, every bill that was introduced will have a public hearing, but to be more accommodating we will be holding all day committee hearings, the morning sessions will begin at 9:30 and afternoon sessions begin at 1:30.  The hearings are scheduled to begin on January 25th.  

I introduced a couple of bills last week.  LB 215 would create consistency across the counties for 911 surcharge.  Right now every county, except Douglas, can charge up to a $1.00 surcharge on landlines and $.70 on wireless users.  Douglas county was capped at $.50 for both, this bill allows the county the freedom to increase this if they need to.

LB 336 would allow for a limited permit granting access to all permit areas except Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area and Lake Ogallala State Recreation Area for nonresidents of Nebraska.  For a regular nonresident annual permit (access to all the Game and Parks areas including Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala) the fee would be up to $80.00 and the temporary regular permit for a nonresident motor vehicle will be up to $15.00.  No less than 95% of the additional funds from the nonresident permits will be designated to help defray operational, maintenance, and improvement costs at Lake McConaughy and Lake Ogallala.

LB 393 is what is referred to as a “shell bill”.  As Chair of the Executive Board there may be an issue that comes up after the 10 days of bill introduction that needs to be resolved and the shell bill is a vehicle to get an important issue addressed.

As some of you may have read, I introduced a rule change to close off the executive session of committee meetings to members of the media.  Thes executive sessions are already closed to the general public.  The reason I feel this is important is because people tend to talk more freely and we can discuss how to make changes to a bill before it hits the floor without fear of being quoted in the paper.  Making law is like making sausage; you may not want to see how it all happens.  We used to have a “gentlemen’s agreement” that the media would ask your permission before they quoted something you said during an executive session but that has gone by the wayside.  I would much rather talk freely to members of my committee when we’re all together than all the sidebar conversations we have individually, I think when we are able to collaborate we can create better legislation.

Sen. Dan Hughes

District 44
Room 2108
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2805
Email: dhughes@leg.ne.gov
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