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Mike Hilgers

Sen. Mike Hilgers

Speaker of the Legislature

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As announced last week, we will be adjourning sine die prior to the ninetieth day scheduled for June 10. After the progress of the last two weeks, and monitoring the work remaining to be done for this session, my intent is to adjourn sine die on Thursday, May 27th.

I have made the commitment to ensure that senators have an opportunity to override any gubernatorial vetoes. For this to occur, select file for any bills which could potentially be vetoed need to be completed by the end of next Tuesday. Additionally, for these bills to be correctly engrossed they will need to be returned by the Revisor’s Office and placed on final reading prior to adjournment on Tuesday evening. Final reading on those bills then must take place no later than next Thursday.

Based on our progress and the work remaining I am confident that we will adjourn on Thursday, May 27th. However, if absolutely necessary, I am prepared to delay adjournment sine die to Friday, May 28th. Note that this is a currently scheduled recess day. In either case we will adjourn before Memorial Day weekend.

Regarding next week’s schedule, because of the necessity of completing select file of bills that may be vetoed on Tuesday, please be prepared for Tuesday to be a longer evening. We will convene at 9:00 a.m. instead of 10:00 a.m. and we will shorten the lunch recess by reconvening at 1:00 p.m. instead of 1:30 p.m. Please continue to hold the remaining days of the week as potential late nights. Note that I intend to have the Body’s work for the 107th Legislature, First Session, substantively complete by next Friday, May 21.

We are completing our second long week. As a reminder and as announced last night, we are adjourning earlier today before the short weekend to give members more time away.

Next week will be another long week. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were announced earlier as dates we could work into the evening. I would ask you to plan on working late those nights. As usual, the actual adjournment times will be dependent on the progress of each day’s agenda but I do anticipate working fairly late at least two of the three nights. Thursday will be a full day with an hour lunch break.

We will continue to begin at 10:00 a.m. on Monday. We completed our final general file consent calendar earlier this week

Next week I will be scheduling the following specific bill on an identified day:

On Wednesday, we will debate LB 474, Senator Wishart’s bill to adopt the Medicinal Cannabis Act.

Additionally, next week I will be scheduling select file debate of the taxation and spending bills which we have advanced from general file and other priority bills which may be advanced from committee.

We will be adjourning sine die earlier than the scheduled 90th day, but no specific date has been determined at this time.

Next week we will continue to work off of the list of taxation and spending bills announced last Thursday. For next week, I am adding three bills to that list:

LR 11CA (Erdman) Constitutional amendment to require enactment of a consumption tax and prohibit certain other forms of taxation
LB 241 (Vargas) Adopt the Meatpacking Employees COVID-19 Protection Act
LB 496 (Hilkemann) Require collection of DNA samples for persons arrested for crimes of violence

I have made some decisions regarding specific bills and want to share that with you today.

We will begin the week next Tuesday with our final consent calendar. On Tuesday, we will also debate LB 454, Senator Friesen’s bill to adopt the School Property Tax Stabilization Act and change the valuation of agricultural land.

On Wednesday, I will be scheduling LR11CA, Senator Erdman’s constitutional amendment to require enactment of a consumption tax and prohibit certain other forms of taxation.

On Thursday, I will be scheduling LB 241, Senator Vargas’ bill to adopt the Meatpacking Employees COVID-19 Protection Act.
Again, while my primary focus for next week is general file, I will be continuing to schedule select file and final reading bills during the course of the week.

A reminder that Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evening next week are potential late nights. Please be prepared to stay until we adjourn. The specific adjournment time will be dependent upon our progress for each day. Tuesday night of this week is a good example; we moved through several bills on Tuesday allowing us to adjourn prior to 7:00 p.m. while not sacrificing our productivity. At this point, I want to remind you to be prepared to work a full day next Friday with a 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. lunch recess, however, my hope is that our progress next week will allow a noon adjournment. At the end of next week, I will assess our productivity and the number of priority bills yet to be debated. After that assessment, I will be prepared to make decisions and an announcement regarding the schedule for the following two weeks.

As announced, I will be scheduling for general file debate the bills identified in yesterday’s announcement during the next two weeks. Most days, I will be developing the next day’s agenda based upon our progress that day. Thus, you will want to familiarize yourself with the bills outlined yesterday. I have made some decisions regarding specific bills and want to share that with you today.

We will begin the week next Monday with another consent calendar. There will be one more consent calendar on Tuesday, May 4. I have identified the bills for our final two consent calendars and both lists are attached to today’s printed agenda.

The two Revenue Committee priority bills, LB 432, addressing income taxes, and LB 595, addressing sales taxes, will be heard early next week. Both bills contains several bills in their respective committee amendments.

On Wednesday I will be scheduling LB 364, Senator Linehan’s priority bill to adopt the Opportunity Scholarships Act and provide tax credits.

As promised last week, I am providing notice of the taxation and spending bills which I will be scheduling during the next two weeks. These bills include:

LB 18 (Kolterman) Change provisions relating to equivalent employees and qualified locations under the ImagiNE Nebraska Act
LB 26 (Wayne) Provide a sales tax exemption for residential water service
LB 64 (Lindstrom) Change provisions relating to the taxation of social security benefits
LB 84 (Bostelman) Redefine terms relating to tax incentive performance audits and the ImagiNE
Nebraska Act
LB 103 (Dorn) Appropriate funds to aid counties to pay certain federal judgments
LB 132 (DeBoer) Create the School Financing Review Commission
LB 185 (Brewer) Appropriate funds to the Department of Health and Human Services for public health aid
LB 306 (Brandt) Provide eligibility requirements for the low-income home energy assistance program
LB 336 (Hughes) Provide for regular and limited annual and temporary state park entry permits
LB 366 (Briese) Change the Nebraska Advantage Microenterprise Tax Credit Act
LB 364 (Linehan) Adopt the Opportunity Scholarships Act and provide tax credits
LB 388 (Friesen, at the request of the Governor) Adopt the Nebraska Broadband Bridge Act
LB 396 (Brandt) Adopt the Nebraska Farm-to-School Program Act
LB 406 (McDonnell) Create the Lower Platte River Infrastructure Task Force and provide funding
LB 432 (Revenue Committee) Change income tax rates
LB 454 (Friesen) Adopt the School Property Tax Stabilization Act and change the valuation of
agricultural land
LB 542 (Walz) Authorize the issuance of highway bonds under the Nebraska Highway Bond Act
LB 566 (McDonnell) Adopt the Shovel-Ready Capital Recovery and Investment Act
LB 568 (Pansing Brooks) Change provisions relating to truancy, juvenile courts, the Community-based Juvenile Services Aid Program, the Commission Grant Program, and compulsory education
LB 579 (Moser) Change provisions relating to Department of Transportation reports regarding highway construction and state intent regarding appropriations
LB 595 (Albrecht) Provide a sales tax exemption for certain products used in the process of
manufacturing ethyl alcohol
LB 630 (Bostar) Provide for a study of the efficacy of commercial air filters in classrooms
LB 682 (Linehan) Change the New Markets Job Growth Investment Act

My goal is to address each of these bills on general file during the next two weeks. I anticipate several of these bills will take considerable floor time for debate. Thus, I want to give the body notice that for the next two weeks I am revising the “early evening schedule” to be a “late night schedule”. The dates identified for an early evening adjournment for the weeks of April 26 and May 4 will be extended to a “late night” with adjournment 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 and there may be some days we will adjourn by 7:00 p.m.

For the scheduled late nights, I will be recessing the Body for approximately 30 minutes sometime around 7:00 p.m. to allow members to eat dinner without the interruption of a Call of the House.

If a scheduled late night during these two weeks is modified to an early evening adjournment (around 7-7:30), I will provide as much notice as possible.

Additionally, it is my intention to make the last day of the work week for these two weeks a full work day. On Thursday, April 29, and Friday, May 7, we will recess at noon for lunch and reconvene at 1:00 for a full afternoon session.

In addition, while the primary goal of the next two weeks will be to get through general file debate, my intent is to be able to continue to schedule select file and final reading bills during the course of the week in order to continue those stages of debate. The amount and extent of those bills will depend on the progress of general file debate for the listed bills.

I will provide the schedule for next week tomorrow morning.

The budget bills are scheduled for final reading on Tuesday, April 20. I am not accepting additional consent calendar request letters, however, I do plan to have two more consent calendars yet this session.

Bills I plan to schedule for general file debate next week include:

LB 2 (Briese) Change the valuation of agricultural land and horticultural land for certain school district taxes
LB 39 (Lindstrom) Change the Sports Arena Facility Financing Assistance Act
LB 51 (Lathrop) Change and provide qualifications for and duties relating to certification of law
enforcement officers, require accreditation of law enforcement agencies, prohibit chokeholds in
law enforcement, and require policies on excessive force
LB 408 (Briese) Adopt the Property Tax Request Act
LB 485 (DeBoer) Change provisions relating to child care assistance

Thursday, April 22, I will be scheduling LB 408 for the beginning of that day. Friday, April 23, I will be scheduling LB 131, and LB 147. LB 131, a bill to change provisions relating to the enactment of ordinances, is one of the Urban Affairs committee’s priority bills and includes the provisions of six additional bills in the committee amendment. Additionally, next Friday I intend to schedule Senator Halloran’s motion to place LR14 on general file pursuant to Rule 3, Section 20(b).

The next three weeks will be a significant push from the body to get through our work. I want to remind the body of the scheduled late nights and to be prepared on these nights to potentially go beyond 7 if warranted. In addition, I want to give the body notice that depending on the progress made during the week I reserve the right to make the last day of the week a full working day (with a lunch break) rather than a half-day.

Last, as a reminder, we will start the taxation and spending measures the week of April 26.

This year I plan to alter the long-standing tradition of working late into the night at the end of the session. Rather than work late into the night, I intend to schedule “early evening sessions” with an adjournment time somewhere between 7:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., although a few evenings may be a little later. The specific adjournment time each evening will be dependent upon the Body’s progress on that day’s agenda.

For each scheduled evening, we will work throughout the afternoon and evening without a dinner break .

Please reserve the following dates for the Legislature to work during the early evening hours:

Tuesday, April 13;
Tuesday, April 20;
Thursday, April 22;
Monday, April 26;
Tuesday, April 27;
Wednesday, April 28;
Tuesday, May 4;
Wednesday, May 5;
Thursday, May 6;
Monday, May 10;
Tuesday, May 11;
Wednesday, May 12;
Tuesday, May 18;
Wednesday, May 19;
Thursday, May 20;
Monday, May 24;
Tuesday, May 25;
Wednesday, May 26;
Tuesday, June 1.

I expect to cancel some of these “reserved evening sessions.” The deciding factor for working beyond 5:30 will be dependent upon our workload for that day/week. I will provide you with as much notice as possible of such a cancellation, although I expect it to be sometime each afternoon.

If I find that our progress necessitates a few late nights, I will be revising this schedule to include late nights for some of the days scheduled for an early evening adjournment.

As we move into the final two months of the session, I want to provide you with a big picture schedule for the next few weeks.

Next Thursday, we will begin debate of the budget bills on general file. I hope to complete the budget with final reading by the following Thursday. My priority for the next two weeks will be the finalization of the state’s biennial budget, our only constitutional responsibility as a Legislature.

Following the adoption of the budget, I will be scheduling taxation and spending measures. This will be the focus for the two weeks following the final reading of the budget.

We will be building on our weekly scheduling rhythms that we have implemented this session. Specifically, on the first day of the week, we will continue our 10:00 am starts with a short consent calendar. After consent calendar we will debate speaker priority bills. The speaker priorities generally were selected in a way as to not include controversial bills, and the combination of consent calendar and speaker priorities will allow us to make for a productive start to our week. The last day of the week will continue to be final reading and Christmas tree bills. The middle of the week I will work to schedule what I anticipate will be the more difficult or intense debates.

My scheduling philosophy has been to try to make consistent progress throughout the session and not to force a large volume of work into the last working days of the session. As part of this effort I am preparing for a different evening schedule than in years past. Rather than a number of very late nights at the end of session—in which it is less likely that we are doing our best work—I intend to have later evenings earlier in session. Accompanying this announcement I have prepared a separate memorandum announcing a schedule for days we may work through the early evening hours and adjourn sometime before 7:45 p.m. 

My hope is that this will even out our work. If our progress necessitates a few late nights, I will be revising the schedule to include late nights for some of the days scheduled for an early evening adjournment.

And finally, I want to continue my practice of providing early notice to the body of the bills which will be debated the following week to allow senators time to prepare. A reminder that this list is not necessarily inclusive of all the bills which may be scheduled as more bills may be added if time available warrants the need for additional scheduling. Also, as a reminder, being listed on the agenda for next week is no guarantee that the bill will be taken up on the floor next week.

These bills are listed in numerical order and do not indicate the order they will appear on the agenda or which day of the week each bill will first appear:

LB 2 (Briese) Change the valuation of agricultural land and horticultural land for certain school
district taxes
LB 17 (Kolterman) Change actuarial valuation and amortization provisions for certain state retirement systems
LB 81 (Hilkemann) Provide authority for sanitary and improvement districts to own, construct, and
maintain public parking facilities
LB 108 (McCollister) Change provisions relating to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
LB 307 (Pansing Brooks) Change provisions relating to appointment of counsel for juveniles
LB 423 (Lathrop) Require registration of home inspectors
LB 497 (DeBoer) Provide for compensation under the Nebraska Crime Victim’s Reparations Act for health care providers examining or treating victims of sexual assault or domestic assault
LB 527 (Walz) Change provisions relating to transition services for students with a developmental
disability
LB 664 (Groene) Change distributions from the Mutual Finance Assistance Fund

My current intent is to schedule LB 17 for Wednesday morning, depending on our progress.

On Monday we will begin convening on the first day of our work week at 10:00 a.m. Of the 58 bills that have been designated as either a senator or committee priority bill, 35 bills are still in committee. By the end of this morning when all priority bills will have been designated, that number could significantly increase. Given the number of designated priority bills which are still in committee, I plan to adjust the schedule on Monday to provide time in the afternoon for committees to hold an executive session. We will adjourn on Monday after our morning session. In order to accommodate some executive session time for all committees, I am asking two-day committees to utilize the time between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. for holding any needed executive session so that the three-day committees may hold an executive session beginning at 2:15 p.m.

On Monday morning we will pick up with the bills left at the end of Thursday. Added to Monday’s agenda will be Senator Aguilar’s priority bill, LB 371, which would allow games of chance under the Nebraska Racetrack Gaming Act at state, district, and county fair locations, and one of the Agriculture’s Committee priority bills, LB 324. LB 324 was introduced by Senator Brandt and changes provisions of the Meat and Poultry Inspection Law.

On Tuesday I intend to continue with priority bills left unfinished from Monday’s agenda, and add LB 88, Senator Morfeld’s priority bill relating to free speech rights of student journalists and student media advisers. On Wednesday, I plan to schedule LB 561, a General Affairs Committee priority bill that changes provisions of the State Racing Commission and the Nebraska Racetrack Gaming Act. The committee amendment to the bill includes an amended version of LB 560, the enabling legislation for the law created by Initiative Law 2020, No. 430 and 431.

Thursday, I intend to schedule time for the “Christmas Trees” that have been reported out of committee. I plan to schedule LB 320 and LB 507. LB 320, Senator John Cavanaugh’s priority bill, changes provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act. In addition to the underlying bill, the committee amendment includes portions of six other bills. LB 507, one of the Natural Resources’ Committee priority bills, includes the provisions of four other bills in addition to the underlying bill which prohibits the use of treated seed corn in the production of agricultural ethyl alcohol in certain circumstances. My hope is that the extra notice allows the body time to review the bills that are included within the carrying bill and to avoid surprises when those bills are debated.

The deadline for the designation of committee and senator priority bills has been extended from Thursday to Friday, March 12, prior to adjournment.

The deadline for submission of a speaker priority request letter continues to be tomorrow, Wednesday, March 10, prior to adjournment.

Sen. Mike Hilgers

Speaker of the Legislature
Room 2103
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2673
Email: mhilgers@leg.ne.gov
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