Creating Solutions Together


US Rep. Jeff Fortenberry resigned from Congress yesterday. Read about it everywhere else.

State Senator Lou Ann Linehan is in her fourth year as chair of the Legislature’s powerful Revenue Committee. She’s tough, intelligent, and strategic. She is the leading advocate for reducing the tax burden. You like her when you meet her. But, you also know you want her in your corner when all hell breaks loose.

Linehan was US Senator Chuck Hagel’s Chief of Staff for eight years. She then served as deputy assistant secretary for legislative affairs at the State Department under Colin Powell. Lou Ann took an assignment to Provincial Reconstruction Team Baghdad as part of President Bush’s Iraq surge under Ambassador Ryan Crocker and General David Petraeus. She worked in Iraq and at the State Department until 2012. Her final deployment was Basra overseeing 1500 personnel. Think she’s qualified?

Unfortunately, all hell did break loose several times last week. Her LB 939 would cut Nebraska’s top income tax rate for corporations and individuals to 5.84%. Even after this tax rate reduction, Nebraska would be higher than surrounding states: South Dakota (ZERO), Iowa (3.9%), Colorado (4.5%), Kansas (5.7%). True to our state slogan: “Nebraska: Honestly, it’s not for Everyone!”

LB 939 was already on Select File, but Tuesday, it could not reach the 33 vote threshold to overcome a filibuster by liberals and was passed over. Linehan amended her LB 939 language into Brett Lindstrom’s LB 825 on Select File to keep her tax cut bill alive. His bill would accelerate the elimination of income taxes on Social Security benefits.

LB 825 came up Friday and immediately faced a filibuster. Liberals once again prevailed as the vote to cease debate was defeated by one vote, generally along party lines. Democrats McDonnell and Wayne supported cloture, while liberal Republican John McCollister opposed the override.

Lou Ann may be down with only eleven days remaining in this session, but never count Senator Linehan out!


Final Reading

  • 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.

Select File

  • 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.
  • LB939 (Linehan) Amended into LB825 (Revenue Committee Priority) – Income tax cuts:
    • Corporate income tax: 5.58% under $100,000. Above $100,000: 7.5% in 2022, 7.0% in 2023, 6.5% in 2024, 6.14% in 2025, 5.84% in 2026.
    • Personal income tax: Above the top rate of $58,000 (married filing jointly): 6.84% in 2022, 6.34 in 2023, 6.14 in 2024, and 5.84% in 2025.
  • 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 both 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 has received $520 million. An additional $520 million is expected by May 2022.
    • Support Public Health Response for COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
    • Negative Economic Impacts to 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 the most significant health risks.
    • Water, Sewer, and Broadband Infrastructure for clean drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure; provide new and expanded broadband access.
  • 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, 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.

 General File 

  • LB290 (M. Cavanaugh) Oppose – Adopts the Paid Family & Medical Leave Insurance Act.
  • LB543 (Brandt Priority) Support – Agricultural Equipment Right-To-Repair-Act. See AM1800.
  • LB730 (Lindstrom) Revenue Committee Priority See AM2087 An employer who employs a qualified apprentice or trainee for at least seven months of a taxable year is allowed a $1,000 nonrefundable credit against the income tax paid.
  • LB806 (Bostelman) Provisions relating to land drainage by a landowner. See AM1979landowner shall not drain such landowner’s land using any pump or powered system if such drainage system would cause injury or harm to any other person.”
  • LB986 (Briese Priority) Failed to Advance Limits the property tax request for a school district by its property tax request authority. The limit does not apply to the tax request required to retire bonded indebtedness.
  • LR264CA (Erdman Priority) Constitutional amendment prohibits the imposition of taxes other than retail consumption taxes and excise taxes.

 Held In Committee 

  • LB52 (Lathrop) Monitor – Immunity for injury or death from COVID-19 exposure.
  • LB79 (Briese) Monitor – Changes the minimum amount of relief provided in the Property Tax Credit Act.
  • LB329 (Wayne) Monitor – The minimum average wholesale gasoline price would be $2.44.
    • AM411 Employer tax incentives for hiring felons, including those on parole or probation.
  • LB422 (Briese) Monitor – Reduces state sales tax from 5.5 cents to 5 cents and eliminates several sales tax exemptions.
  • LB483 (J Cavanaugh) Monitor – Creates a $250,000 climate change study and plan.
  • LB622 (Friesen) Monitor – Limits growth in property valuations and provides adjustments to assessed values.
  • LB694 (Blood) Provides a statute of limitations for exposure to hazardous or toxic chemicals, prescription drugs, or medical devices.
  • LB761 (Dorn) The Precision Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Act provides $10 million for agricultural producers to lead the nation in precision ag connectivity, sustainability, traceability, and autonomy. In addition, to provide high-speed internet service to high-cost and remote areas.
  • LB941 (Slama) Sales and use tax exemption for net wrap.
  • LB987 (Briese) Prohibits school districts from raising property taxes beyond 3% growth.
  • LB1030 (Friesen) Exempts all tangible personal property from property tax.