All About The Calendar
Monday is Day 12 of the 60-day legislative session. Mornings (9am – noon) are spent in floor debate on carryover bills from last year. Bills introduced this session should start popping-up on the agenda soon. Afternoons (1:30pm – finish) are reserved for committee hearings on bills introduced this session.
In our Unicameral, there are 5 milestone dates for senators, staff, lobbyists and political nerds.
- 1/3/18 First Day. Exciting as the first day of 3rd Grade.
- 4/17/18 Adjourn Sine Die. Exciting as the last day of 3rd Grade.
- 1/18/18 Day 10. Bill introductions cease – to the benefit of all Nebraskans.
- TBD Committee hearings end. Needs no explanation.
- TBD Priority bills designated. Stabilizes the field at 108.
Last Thursday, the Chief Justice delivered the same State of the Judiciary speech that he did last year. Nebraska’s Judicial Branch is operating “on the cheap” because their budget requests are not nearly fully funded. Facing a $200 million state budget shortfall, the Governor proposed a 2% cut to the Judiciary’s upcoming budget. In fairness, he proposed cuts to almost every state department budget. We desperately need the Ag sector to recover!
Sen. Larson introduced two bills last week. LB469 would legalize fantasy “contests” and LR18CA would allow 18 year-olds to hold public office. Both were predictably and successfully filibustered by Sen. Chambers. It’s Groundhog Day.
One property tax hearing on Monday:
- LB829 (Erdman) This is a property tax relief bill. The bill would enable Nebraska property owners to get a credit or refund on their State income tax return equal to 50% of that portion of their property tax bill which goes to fund K-12 education. For most property owners LB 829 will result in a 30% reduction in their property taxes.
The language of the bill is very similar to the language of a ballot measure being circulate that would place the issue before voters on the 2018 General Election ballot.