Five legislative days remain until Speaker Jim Scheer adjourns this session sine die on May 23. Sine die is Latin for “Don’t let the door hit you in the dolium on your way out.”
After beginning the year with a $900,000 revenue shortfall, senators delivered a stripped-down $8.9 billion balanced budget to Governor Ricketts last week. Kudos to the Appropriations Committee led by chairman John Stinner.
With line item veto authority the Governor has already cut $11 million from a Capitol improvement project. We expect more vetoes on three additional budget bills. Veto is another Latin word for “I forbid you to be smarter than me.”
Senators have the last word on all gubernatorial vetoes. A veto override requires 30 (out of 49) votes. Count on conservative senators to coalesce behind the Governor. The Latin translation for coalesce is “et albus” loosely meaning “I’m running for reelection and can’t afford to have the Governor upset with me and tossing his support behind my opponent.” Sigh ne die.
Tracking Sheet Priority Bills:
- LB 44 (Watermeier) Failed to Advance Select File. Requires Internet sellers to collect and remit Nebraska sales tax.
- LB 144 (Friesen) Held in Committee. Change agricultural and horticultural adjusted valuations for calculating state aid to schools.
- LB 173 (Morfeld) General File. Prohibit discrimination based upon sexual orientation and gender identity. Strongly opposed. Not rescheduled.
- LB 276 (Albrecht) Select File. Change provisions relating to hybrid seed corn definition and labeling. Approved by the Governor.