Over but the Shoutin’
Next Wednesday is Day 60 of this Second Session of the 107th Nebraska Legislature. Senators convene at 10 am to consider overriding gubernatorial vetos of legislation they sent to his desk this week.
If you tune in, be prepared for the obligatory “love you man” speeches by thirteen state senators who are term-limited or chose not to return: Hilkemann, Lathrop, Lindstrom, and McCollister (Omaha), Hansen, Pansing Brooks, and Morfeld. (Lincoln), Kolterman (Seward), Friesen (Henderson), Williams (Gothenburg), Gragert (Creighton), Hughes (Venango), and Stinner (Scottsbluff).
This Legislature spent almost one billion dollars in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. Why? Because it was there. North and South Omaha took first prize, followed closely by pork spread throughout the state, especially for water recreation projects. Thank your grandchildren for these funds.
The State Cash Reserve Fund is in great shape, with more than one billion dollars set aside for the next economic downturn or for another brilliant idea in which the state can improve your quality of life.
Breaking news! The Charles W. Herbster campaign for governor took one between the eyes today. Eight (presumably Republican) women, including a Republican state senator, claim they were groped or improperly touched by Charles W. His denial was immediate and strongly worded. However, within hours, every female state senator signed a letter stating that Charles W. is unfit to serve as Governor of Nebraska.
With the May 10 Primary Election looming, Herbster’s lead in the polls will take a hit. This story will not go away, begging the question, “does The Donald back away, or does he double down and make a stop in Nebraska?”
Approved by the Governor
- LB873 (Friesen Priority) A multi-level tax cut bill.
- Estimated $886 million in property tax relief for property taxes paid to K-12 schools, property, and community colleges.
- Corporate income tax rate reduction from 7.1 percent to 5.84 percent over five years.
- Individual income tax rate reduction from 6.84 percent to 5.84 percent over five years.
- Eliminates income tax on Social Security benefits over four years.
- LB1014 (Speaker Hilgers at the Request of the Governor) Appropriations Committee Priority. The Governor’s recommendation to appropriate federal funds in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”). The State and Local Fiscal Recovery Program (“SLFRP”) allocated funding to state and local governmental entities. The State of Nebraska, 93 counties, four metro cities, and 525 localities identified as “non-entitlement units of government” were eligible for a total award of $1.7 billion. The State of Nebraska received $520 million. An additional $520 million is expected by May 2022.
- Support Public Health Response for COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
- Negative Economic Impacts on workers, families, small businesses and non-profits, etc.
- Replace Revenue Loss for government services in general fund revenue reductions.
- Premium Pay for Essential Workers – Support for workers who bear significant health risks.
- Water, Sewer, and Broadband Infrastructure for clean drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure; provide new and expanded broadband access.
Presented to the Governor
- LB91 (Brandt) Monitor – Expands the date after germination or viability testing that native flower and grass seeds may continue to be sold or offered for sale without retesting and allowing seed viability testing instead of germination rate testing for certain seeds. Defines native and nonnative plant species, seed germination, storage, testing, viability, and sales.
- LB805 (Hughes) (Agriculture Committee Priority) Changes provisions relating to the Noxious Weed Control Act and management of black-tailed prairie dogs.
- LB925 (Gragert Priority) Resilient Soils and Water Quality Act to accelerate the use of best management practices for healthy soil. Appropriates $250,000 per year for five years.
- LB1023 (Hilgers) McDonnell Priority STARWARS Lower Platte River Lake Development: construction of a combined reservoir within the floodplain that will create a 4,000-acre lake to provide new development, recreation, and flood control, and water quality. Lewis and Clark State Recreation Area: marina projects to expand water access and recreational opportunities. Lake McConaughy: marina projects to expand water access and recreation. Niobrara State Park: A new event center and lodge.