This is the End
Can’t get that Jim Morrison song out of my mind.
An $8.9 billion state budget for 2017-18 / 2018-19 was finalized last week, and yes there was partisan drama. Again. Generally, conservatives won the budget tussle and cut spending. Progressives believe conservatives are despicable human beings.
Speaker Jim Smith receives a gold star for reducing this 90-day session to 86 days. Tuesday, the Legislature adjourns “sine die” and will convene again January 3, 2018 at 10 a.m. Bills that are not passed, withdrawn or indefinitely postponed remain on the worksheet and available for debate next session.
Winners this session:
- Residents of Legislative District 2: Sleazy Bill Kintner resigned.
- Helmet supporters: Motorcyclists must still ’em.
- Judges: Supreme Court salaries increase to $173,693 (7-1-17) and $176,299 (1-1-19).
- Veterans: Department of Veterans’ Affairs takes over administration of veterans’ homes from the Department of Health and Human Services.
Losers this session
- Property taxpayers: Taxes remain unchanged and way too high.
- Income taxpayers: Ditto
- Felons: Must still wait two years after serving a sentence to vote.
- Whiteclay liquor stores: While not a legislative matter, the Liquor Control Commission shut them down. The court may have a different opinion.
- Bill Kintner
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.