Pause your TV and turn your attention (or lack thereof) away from the claptrap of federal campaigns. Especially those polyethylene media big mouths who believe we can’t possibly understand what candidates tell us without their interpretation. Instead, let’s go local.
Nebraska filing deadlines for incumbent officeholders and non-incumbents have passed. Sixty candidates filed for 25 seats in the $1,000 per month Legislature. Which, by the way, has far more reason to tinker with your everyday taxes, rights, and freedoms than those bags o’ wind in the House and Senate…certainly our outstanding congressional delegation is excluded.
Four senators will be unopposed on the ballot: Justin Wayne – Omaha, Steve Halloran – Hastings, Tom Briese – Albion, and Steve Erdman – Bayard. Norfolk’s former state senator, Mike Flood, is running unopposed as well.
These are the marque (media interpretation – expensive) races:
- D1 – Governor Ricketts appointee from Peru, Senator Julie Slama (R) vs. Nebraska City realtor, Janet Palmtag (R), endorsed by former Governor Heineman and Congressman Fortenberry.
- D13 – Seven North Omaha candidates seek to replace term-limited Senator Chambers (I).
- D29 – Term-limited Senator Bolz’s seat in South-Central Lincoln has six candidates.
- D31 – Five candidates filed for the open Millard seat held by Senator Kolowski (D). Former state senator and current Omaha City Councilman, Rich Pahls (R), should face a well-funded teacher, Tim Royers (D), in the General Election.
- D35 – Grand Island senator, Dan Quick (D), is opposed by former Grand Island state senator Ray Aguilar (R).
- D43 – Gordon senator, Tom Brewer (R) vs. Valentine’s Tanya Storer (R), a Kay Orr endorsee.
- D45 – Retired Bellevue teacher Susan Hester (D) opposes former Bellevue Mayor, Rita Sanders (R), to replace term-limited Sue Crawford (D).
Senator Lou Ann Linehan announced that she does not have the required 33 votes to override a filibuster against the Revenue Committee’s property tax relief bill LB 974. K-12 administrators still hate it, so many urban senators follow that lead. Linehan continues to negotiate.
The ImagiNE Act (LB 720) provides incentives for businesses. The bill must wait patiently in line for LB 974 to swim or go down for the third time. Based on the outcome of LB 974, the incentives package may be short of 33 votes to override a filibuster.
LB803 (Hughes) MONITOR – SPEAKER PRIORITY BILL
- Creates a new promotional checkoff program for pulse crops, including dry peas, lentils, chickpeas or garbanzo beans, faba beans, and lupine. The bill also expands a waiver of a distance limitation for overweight/oversize vehicles transporting crops to include pulse crops.
LB974 (Linehan) MONITOR – REVENUE COMMITTEE PRIORITY BILL
- A complex property tax reduction and school funding bill. As amended by AM2433, the bill would reduce property taxes as a significant source of funding for K-12 education. Unless expressly exempt:
- Real property would be valued at 95% of actual value for the tax year 2020, 91% in the tax year 2021, and 86% in 2022 and after that.
- Agricultural and horticultural land would be valued at 65% of actual value in the tax year 2020, for purposes of taxes levied by a school district and 75% of actual value for taxes levied by other political subdivisions.
- Agricultural and horticultural land would be valued at 60% of actual value in the tax year 2021, for purposes of taxes levied by a school district and 75% of actual value for taxes levied by other political subdivisions.
- Agricultural and horticultural land would be valued at 55% of actual value in the tax year 2022, and each tax year after that, for purposes of taxes levied by a school district and 75% of actual value for taxes levied by other political subdivisions.
LB1159 (Stinner) SUPPORT
- Extends the initial training period for a noncertified pesticide applicator from 60 to 120 days prior to obtaining an initial commercial or noncommercial applicator license. The bill also authorizes unlimited exam attempts for the noncertified applicator during that training period.
Held In Committee
LB919 (Wayne / MONITOR)
- Hemp cultivator, processor-handler, and broker license and renewal applications shall only be denied if they are incomplete or deficient, including for nonpayment of the required application and registration fees, or if the applicant does not meet minimum qualifications.
LB946 (Briese / MONITOR)
- The bill lowers the sales tax rate and eliminates exemptions on services. Service includes all activities that are engaged in for other persons for a consideration and that involve predominantly the performance of a service as distinguished from selling or leasing tangible personal property.
LB1084 (Kolterman / MONITOR) THIS BILL WILL ADVANCE FROM COMMITTEE
- The Nebraska Transformational Project Act would provide $300 million in state funding to the University of Nebraska Medical Center for their NExT Project. Before receiving $300 million, UNMC must show the economic impact to Nebraska is at least $2.7 billion during the planning and construction period and at least $4.9 billion over ten years.
- NExT Project has two components: a state of the art academic medical center facility and a federal all-hazard disaster response military and civilian partnership.