Several Bills Introduced and Debated in Nebraska Legislature

By Senator Lydia Brasch

Week sixteen of the first biennium of the 105th Legislature consisted of days 66 through 69 of this 90-day session.

On Friday we began debate on LB 461, our Revenue Committee’s tax package. A significant portion of it is the Agricultural Valuation Fairness Act, LB 338, which I introduced at the request of the Governor. After much discussion and work, LB 461 contains LB 338 as AM 954 and 1095 – as well as many portions of LB 602 sponsored by Senator Steve Erdman – which utilizes an income potential approach for valuation of agricultural and horticultural land. This is an essential part of the complete tax reform package. Moving away from the market approach to an income potential approach will be fairer, more sustainable, and more predictable over the long term in valuing agricultural and horticultural land. LB 461 creates an Agricultural Valuation Fairness Committee that will develop income and expense estimates for all agricultural and horticultural land in Nebraska, as well as capitalization rates necessary to produce uniform and proportionate assessed valuations. LB 461 would also add an additional $30 – $40 million a year to the state aid formula for schools. Three hours of full debate took place and we adjourned for the weekend. LB 461 will return to the floor for the remaining three hours of debate before a vote is taken.

On Tuesday we debated LB 640. There were a lot of moving parts in this bill. First, it split the school districts’ budgets into two components. In one, only 55% of a school’s budget could come from property taxes. The other 45% was again split into two components. In one, 75% of the remaining 45% would come from state aid, and the other 25% of the remaining 45% could come from local property taxes, but only by a two-thirds vote of the local school board. The bill would have also lowered the assumed amount of a school district’s resources, which is used to determine how much state aid school districts receive via the TEEOSA formula. The bill also lowered the maximum levy rate for school districts from 1.05 to 1.00. The intent of this bill was to equalize a grossly unequal method of funding schools via state dollars. If LB 640 is passed, most property taxpayers in Nebraska would see their property tax burden significantly decrease, especially those in the unequalized districts. However, no action was taken on this bill as it did not have the 33 votes necessary to break a filibuster. The Legislature may debate it again in the future if a compromise can be reached. I support this bill.

We also debated LB 661. This bill protects the identity of any person or entity that manufactures or supplies compounds, medical supplies, or equipment, or prescribes the substance or substances utilized to carry out an execution. This is a necessary step in helping to ensure that capital punishment can and will be used in Nebraska. Senator Kuehn, who introduced the bill, persuasively made the point during floor debate that the reason a measure like this has become necessary is because extreme anti-death penalty activists harass, intimidate, and bully drug manufacturers and others involved in assisting the state in carrying out justice. Last November, the citizens of Nebraska had a chance to show the Legislature where they stood on the death penalty when they voted at the polls. The citizens of Nebraska showed – by an overwhelming majority – they want to keep the death penalty. It is now up to the Legislature to ensure that the death penalty can be utilized. Three hours of debate did not result in a vote, but it will return for a vote with three more hours of debate remaining. I will vote in favor of this bill.


Please contact me, or our staff with questions or concerns at (402) 471-2728 or by email at; or stop by Room 1022 if you are in the State Capitol. If you would like to follow the Legislature online please visit Live broadcasting is also available on NET2.

Alan L. Smith, 66, of Sioux City IA

Alan L. Smith, 66, of Sioux City, IA died at his home on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 in Sioux City, IA.  A memorial service for Alan will be held on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church near Concord, NE; Pastor William Bertrand will be officiating.  The visitation will begin on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. at the church.  Inurnment with military honors will be at the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the family for future designation.  Bressler – Munderloh – Smith Funeral Home of Wakefield, NE is in charge of the arrangements.

Alan was born October 26, 1950 in Wayne, NE to Desmond and Martha (Koch) Smith. He graduated from Allen High School in 1969. In 1970, Alan was drafted into the United States Marines and was stationed in Okinawa, Japan.  Alan married Sharleen Schuppan on July 6, 1973 in Elk Point, SD. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and golfing. He also enjoyed going to coffee and gardening his veggies and fruits. Most of all, Alan loved his kids, grandkids, and great grandkids.

Alan is survived by his wife, Sharleen Smith of Sioux City, IA; son, Terry (Stephanie) Smith of Sioux City, IA; brothers, Desmond Smith, Jr. of Scribner, NE, Terry (Gayle) Smith of Colchester, VT, Dean (Marlene) Smith of Allen, NE, Bob Smith of Beatrice, NE, Doug (Susan) Smith of Martinsburg, NE, Lin (Mary Lou) Smith of Ponca, NE, Randy (Tonia) Smith of Delta Junction, AK, Dennis (Theresa) Smith of Yankton, SD, sisters; Chris (Bill) Micek of Columbus, NE, June (Bob) Grosvenor of Newcastle, NE, Shellee (Jeff) Heinemeyer of Yankton; five grandchildren, three great grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Alan is proceeded by his parents; daughter, Cheryl; brother, Richard; and sister, Marsha.

Alan Smith

Nancy Hampson, 63, of Emerson NE

Nancy Hampson, 63, of Emerson, NE, passed away Thursday, April 27, 2017 at Legacy Garden Rehabilitation and Living Center in Pender, NE.

Memorial services are pending with Munderloh-Smith Funeral Home in Emerson.

James F. Frahm, 83, of Lincoln, Formerly of Oakland NE

James F. Frahm, 83 years, of Lincoln, Nebraska, formerly of Oakland, Nebraska, passed away Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at Nebraska Methodist Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska.

Services are pending with Pelan Funeral Services Oakland.

Update: Now a Freeze Warning

Freezing and frost conditions are possible tonight...

Including the cities of Onawa, Mapleton, Creighton, Bloomfield, 
Crofton, Wausa, Verdigre, Niobrara, Hartington, Laurel, Randolph,
Coleridge, Pender, Macy, Walthill, Winnebago, Neligh, Elgin, 
Pierce, Plainview, Osmond, Wayne, Albion, St. Edward, Norfolk, 
Stanton, West Point, Wisner, Tekamah, Oakland, Lyons, and Decatur
833 AM CDT Wed Apr 26 2017


The National Weather Service in Omaha/Valley has issued a Freeze
Warning, which is in effect from midnight tonight to 9 AM CDT
Thursday. The Frost Advisory is no longer in effect. 

* TEMPERATURE...Widespread temperatures of 29 to 32 degrees are
expected, with colder temperatures possible in low-lying spots
and cold drainage areas.

* IMPACTS...Sensitive outdoor vegetation may be damaged or killed
if left unprotected. 

* UNCERTAINTY...Cloudier skies or winds remaining light instead of
calm would keep temperatures on the higher side of the
forecasted range, while calm and clear conditions for longer 
periods would allow the colder temperatures to occur.


A Freeze Warning means sub-freezing temperatures are imminent or
highly likely. These conditions will kill crops and other
sensitive vegetation.

Frost Advisory

Patchy to widespread frost possible tonight...

Including the cities of Onawa, Mapleton, Missouri Valley, 
Woodbine, Logan, Dunlap, Harlan, Council Bluffs, Glenwood, 
Red Oak, Sidney, Hamburg, Tabor, Farragut, Clarinda, Shenandoah, 
Creighton, Bloomfield, Crofton, Wausa, Verdigre, Niobrara, 
Hartington, Laurel, Randolph, Coleridge, Pender, Macy, Walthill, 
Winnebago, Neligh, Elgin, Pierce, Plainview, Osmond, Wayne, 
Albion, St. Edward, Norfolk, Stanton, West Point, Wisner, 
Tekamah, Oakland, Lyons, Decatur, Columbus, Schuyler, Fremont, 
Blair, David City, Wahoo, Ashland, Yutan, Omaha, Bellevue, 
Papillion, La Vista, Seward, Milford, Lincoln, Plattsmouth, 
Nebraska City, Crete, Wilber, Fairbury, Beatrice, Tecumseh, 
Sterling, Auburn, Pawnee City, Table Rock, and Falls City
354 AM CDT Wed Apr 26 2017


The National Weather Service in Omaha/Valley has issued a Frost
Advisory, which is in effect from midnight tonight to 9 AM CDT

* TEMPERATURES...Overnight lows are forecast between 29 and 35
degrees in most areas, with the warmer temperatures across
western Iowa and extreme southeast Nebraska. 

* IMPACTS...Sensitive outdoor vegetation may be damaged or killed
if left unprotected.

* UNCERTAINTY...The most likely areas for widespread frost is west
of a line from Seward to Fremont to Onawa, Iowa. Patchy frost 
is possible east of this line. Despite cold temperatures, winds 
may stay strong enough across western Iowa and extreme southeast
Nebraska to prevent much frost formation. 


A Frost Advisory means that widespread frost is expected.

Sensitive outdoor plants may be killed if left uncovered.

Max Elliot Morgan, 84, of Walthill NE

Max Elliot Morgan was born October 10, 1932 to Floyd “Jack” and Eva (Newill) Morgan on a farm near Decatur, Nebraska. He went home, from his residence in rural Walthill, Nebraska on April 21, 2017, at the age of 84 years.

Max attended McCauley School and graduated from Macy Public School with honors. Max served in the Army during the Korean Conflict in Europe. He was united in blissful marriage to Peggy Ann Butts on April 21, 1956 in the Dutch Reform Church in beautiful Macy, Nebraska.

Max did road construction and then farmed in the Decatur and Walthill areas. He enjoyed playing baseball, football, hunting, his dogs and horses. He also loved spending time talking, laughing and joking with his family and friends.

He will join in paradise, his parents; wife, Peggy; two brothers, Jim and Rex; two sisters, Dorothy and Iva.

He is tearfully survived by his sons, Rick Morgan of Walthill, Kenneth (Brylle) Morgan of Oberlin, KS; brothers, Ralph (Ima) Morgan of Nevada, IA, Jackie (Betty) Morgan of Onawa, IA, Jary (Jean) Morgan of Omaha, NE; sisters, Verna Vogt of Livermore, CA, Jean Thomas of Oakland, NE, Elva Barnett of Pocahontas, IA.


Thursday April 27
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Faith United Presbyterian Church – Walthill301 Farrington Avenue
Walthill, Nebraska 68067


Thursday April 27
11:00 AM
Faith United Presbyterian Church – Walthill301 Farrington Avenue
Walthill, Nebraska 68067

Military Honors will be held at Hillcrest Cemetery.

Cemetery Details


Hillcrest Cemetery

Decatur, Nebraska 68020

Memorial Contribution


Pelan Funeral Services is in charge of arrangements.

Max Morgan

News From Bancroft Senior Center

Bancroft Senior Center News by Connie Bargmann  

*If you are 60+ and need information on programs designed to help keep you stay in your home longer or if you need legal help, contact Connie at 402-648-3387 or in the evening at 402-648-7648. There are no membership fees or attendance requirements and new faces are always welcome.

* We have the following medical equipment to loan out on an as need basis, wheel chair, bath seats, toilet seat riser and portable toilet chair, crutches or walkers. Call 402-648-3387 during office hours.

Meals on Wheels

*Would you like to get Meals on Wheels? Anyone over the age of 60 years and lives within the city limits are eligible for these meals. You may sign up anytime for the Meals on Wheels program; you can get the meals delivered however many times you want them each week. You must call 402-687-2332 before 8:30 a.m. if you want a meal that day. The suggested donation for the meal is $4.00.


Weekly Activities:

Wed. April 26: Chime practice at 9:00 a.m. Coffee times at 10:00 a.m. Fitness chair exercises at 1:00 p.m. Come and play Skip-Bo at 1:45 p.m.

Thurs. April 27: Tai Chi Class at 9:30 a.m. Free coffee, sweet rolls and cookies, all day, for Volunteer Appreciation week. Come and play hand & foot, pitch or pinochle at 1:30 p.m.

Fri. April 28: Stop in for coffee. Make your appointment for the foot clinic starting at 9:00 a.m. Sign up to play in the pitch tournament at 1:30 p.m.

Mon. May 1:  Stop in and have coffee. Bring a covered dish for the noon potluck dinner; cards will be played after lunch.

Tues. May 2: Tai Chi class at 9:30 a.m. Coffee time at 10:00 a.m.  Cards will be played at 1:30 p.m.

Wed. May 3: Chime practice at 9:00 a.m. Coffee time is at 10:00 a.m. Fitness Chair Ex. at 1:00 p.m. Come and play Skip-Bo at 1:45 p.m.

Jessica Tate (Hempel) Anderson, 43, of Ainsworth NE

Jessica Tate (Hempel) Anderson, age 43 of Ainsworth, Nebraska, passed away April 20, 2017, at Faith Regional Health Services in

Norfolk, Nebraska. She was born April 3, 1974, in Ainsworth, Nebraska, to Richard and Anita Hempel.

Jessica grew up with an older sister (Julie) and younger brother (Jared) in Long Pine, Nebraska, where she attended grade school

and junior high. She had a very active small town childhood, hiking, tubing the creek, playing basketball, and hosting the famous

Hempel slumber parties. She attended Ainsworth High School graduating with the class of 1993. While in high school, Jessica was

active in FHA and choir. She had the voice of an angel and loved to sing. As an adult one of her favorite things to do was sing

karaoke. Throughout her life she sang for many events and enjoyed gathering around the piano with family for Christmas carols.

On March 23, 2002, Jessica married Kevin Anderson. They lived in Bancroft, Nebraska, and were blessed with two children, Seth Tate

and Alex Anita. In 2008, Jessica returned to Ainsworth with the children. She kept busy with friends, family, school activities

and work. Most recently she worked at the D&B Cafe in Ainsworth. Her coworkers were an extended family for her.

Jessica loved fishing and camping her whole life. Her family has many wonderful memories of time spent at the lake with the whole

family, Grandma and Grandad included. She also enjoyed going out to bingo with her friends. She was a collector of many things

including, cobalt blue glass, tigers, and kitties.

Jessica was preceded in death by her grandparents Philip and Marie Hempel and Perry and Phyllis Campbell. She is survived by

children Seth and Alex Anderson of Ainsworth; parents Richard and Anita Hempel of Ainsworth; sister Julie (Todd) Taylor of Long

Pine; brother Jared Hempel of Ainsworth; friend Derrik Grupe and family of Ainsworth; 2 nieces, 1 great niece and numerous aunts,

uncles and cousins.

Memorial Service

Thursday, April 27
11:00 AM   

Church of the Nazarene
253 N. Elm St.
Ainsworth, NE 69210
(402) 387-2012

Hoch Funeral Homes, Inc. in Ainsworth is in charge of arrangements.

Jessica Tate Anderson

Velma Jean (Smith) Cooper, 96, of Tekamah NE

Velma Jean (Smith) Cooper was born December 16, 1920 to Orrin and Jennie (Hampton) Smith at their farm home northeast of Craig, Nebraska. She passed away April 21, 2017 at Memorial Community Hospital in Blair, Nebraska, at the age of 96 years.

Velma attended the Prairie View rural school, and then graduated from Craig High School. After one year at Dana College, she began teaching in rural schools.

On June 29, 1941 Velma married Phillip Cooper. They lived on a farm near Tekamah, then near Oakland, and later moved to a place near Decatur. After selling their farm, Phillip and Velma moved to Tekamah in 1991.

Their children Lee, Carol, Mike and Wayne were born during the years that she was an at-home mother. When all of the kids were old enough to attend school, she returned to teaching and to college classes; she graduated from Dana College in 1968. After several years teaching in rural schools, she taught in Bancroft; Whiting, Iowa and in Lyons. She taught for a total of 21 years.

Velma was a Sunday school teacher and helped with the music there. She volunteered in church, 4H and the county fair. She was a charter member and officer of the Northeastern Nebraska Genealogical Society and the Nebraska State Genealogical Society, and has helped hundreds of people with their family histories. In 1975 her interest in local history led to her ongoing work with the Burt County Museum. She walked cemeteries in Decatur and Craig to record and publish needed information for family histories and was instrumental in making that kind of book for Tekamah’s cemetery. She produced a history of the Prairie View neighborhood and helped to publish a history of the Lyons area and a Lyons cemetery book. Her other interests were flowers, crafts, music, painting, and in earlier years she and Phillip enjoyed dancing, especially square dancing.

She loved her family and they were her greatest interest.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Phillip; older brother, William O. Smith.

She is survived by her sons, Lee (Linda) Cooper of Council Bluffs, IA, Mike (Debra) Cooper of Pipestone, MN, Wayne (Karen) Cooper of Lipezk, Russia; daughter Carol (John) Kuhfahl of Blair, NE; 12 grandchildren; 24 great grandchildren; sisters, Marjorie (Smith) Johnson of Fremont, NE, Opal (Smith) Lofdahl of Tekamah, NE; brother, Dan (Elaine) Smith of Lyons.


Tuesday April 25th
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Pelan Funeral Services Tekamah1103 J Street
Tekamah, NE 68061

Family will receive friends 5-7 pm. Visitation will also be held one hour prior to service at the church.


Wednesday April 26th
11:00 AM
United Methodist Church, Tekamah1408 L Street
Tekamah, NE 68061

Cemetery Details


Herman Cemetery

Herman, Nebraska 68029

Memorial Contribution


319 N 13th Street
Tekamah, NE 68061

Velma Cooper

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