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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE, May 21, 2017

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...

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE, May 14, 2017

Coalesce 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...

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE, May 7, 2017

Mother of All Bills LB 461, the grand tax reform MOAB, turned out to be a dud. Governor Ricketts and Revenue Committee chair, Jim Smith, were all over this one. But, when put to senators for a vote, their count was six noses short. Who didn't vote for MOAB?  All the...

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE, April 30, 2017

Budget "It's clearly a budget. It's got a lot of numbers in it." - George W Bush. Proponents of LB 337, the $8.9 billion main line budget bill, overcame a snarky filibuster and advanced the bill from General File to Select File. To be correct, the final budget is an...

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE, April 23, 2017

Tax Reform Anyone? LB 461 is a tax reform bill upon which Governor Ricketts and Revenue Committee chairman, Jim Smith, have expended some serious political capital. The bill cuts income and property taxes. Good thing, right? Well, it's not the tax panacea as...

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE, April 16, 2017

Making Soup Lawmaking is not supposed to be easy. Love the analogy about making soup. This 104th Legislature, 1st Session is contentious and far from easy.  Much like our nation's capitol. The Right holds the majority, the Left is in the minority, and a few senators...

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE, April 9, 2017

Must be April Three bills intended to restructure Nebraska's tax code have caused quite the hubbub. Without going into detail (you are welcome), the principle tax bill is LB 461. The bill would cut individual and corporate tax rates, value agriculture land on income...

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE, April 1, 2017

Kumbaya Jupiter aligned with Mars following the Legislature’s four-day recess. With committee hearings in the rearview mirror, the agenda moved to all-day floor debate. And just when no-one was looking, a 49-senator GROUP HUG broke out (followed by the checking of...