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Nebraska Legislature Wraps Up


By Senator Lydia Brasch

Day 60, the final day of this short session, is Wednesday, April 20. It will be used for – among other legislative business – any motions made by members of the Legislature to override gubernatorial vetoes; but is also used to present awards and to say farewell to those legislators who are term-limited.

During the two days the Legislature was in session last week, there were numerous bills that easily passed Final Reading and only a few which caused extended debate.

A few of the bills that passed Final Reading were the following:

  • LB958, LB959, and LB1067, were the trio of bills dealing with property taxes, education, and the learning community, respectively. All three bills underwent significant debate and transformation since the time they were introduced to the time they passed Final Reading. In their final forms: LB958 added $20 million to the Property Tax Credit Cash Fund, LB959 eliminated the minimum levy requirement for state aid purposes and the levy requirements for the averaging adjustment, and LB1067 eliminated the common levy for the Learning Community, while adding a component to the state aid formula for schools with 40% of their students in poverty, and it also adds the option for educational service units and learning communities to create community achievement plans for state aid purposes. I voted in support of all three bills.
  • LB1106 adds another component of transparency to government throughout Nebraska. The bill requires that in order for law enforcement to seize property from an individual, the individual must at least be charged with a crime. If law enforcement do seize property from an individual, the law enforcement entity must report any and all property seized to the Auditor of Public Accounts, along with the value of the property seized. Also, the bill provides a way for innocent property owners to reclaim their property if it was involved in the seizure. I voted in support of this bill.
  • LB960 creates the Transportation Infrastructure Bank, which was my priority bill. The bill initially started off by transferring $150 million from the Cash Reserve Fund through 2023, but was lessened to $50 million by an amendment. The intent of the bill is to speed up the pace of construction for Nebraska’s expressway system by making more funds available and to provide a way for counties to repair their bridges through the County Bridge Match Program. I voted in favor of this bill.

One bill that passed Final Reading with extended debate was LB824. This bill eliminates some regulatory barriers for private wind energy developers that will make Nebraska a more wind-friendly state. The opponents of LB824 presented their concerns about the potentially negative impact that privately developed wind farms may have on our public power system in this state. However, the regulations related to building wind farms that LB824 left in place, are still stricter than several neighboring states. This legislation would not preempt any existing local ordinances or zoning laws that regulate the building of wind farms; and will also require consultation with Game and Parks 30 days prior to the start of a project. While there were very compelling arguments on both sides of this issue, I believe the evidence in favor of the bill outweighed the concerns presented by the opponents of it. I voted for the bill.

Please contact me; my administrative aide, Katie Wattermann; or my legislative aide, Brett Waite, with questions or concerns at (402) 471-2728 or by email at lbrasch@leg.ne.gov; or stop by Room 1016 in the Capitol. You can follow the Legislature online at http://netnebraska.org/basic-page/television/live-demand-state-government. Live broadcasting is also available on NET2.

Senator Lydia Brasch

Senator Lydia Brasch

 

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About katcountryhub
I am a graduate of Northeast Community College with a degree in journalism. I am married to Jeff Gilliland. We have two grown children, Justin and Whitney and four grandchildren, Grayce, Grayhm, Charli and Penelope. I will be covering Lyons, Decatur, Bancroft and Rosalie and am hoping to expand my horizons as time progresses!

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