Today is the 38th day of the Legislature’s 60-day session. Last week was the final week of regularly scheduled committee hearings. Full day floor debate commenced yesterday.

Senators have been advancing a fair number of bills during morning debate. The Governor has approved 15 measures, and 36 more await a final vote by senators. This has ranged from the quick and relatively noncontroversial to a filibuster or two.

Moving forward, the Legislature has completed the selection of priority bills—one per senator, two per each committee, and 25 from the Speaker. This presents a roadmap of sorts. As time dwindles, a priority designation is needed for a proposal to merit floor debate time. That notwithstanding, there is also the consent calendar, under which bills that are considered noncontroversial—and had no opposition in committee hearings—get their shot. Fifteen minutes of debate time, and it advances or not. In previous years, this has provided a path for numerous legislative proposals. There is no guarantee as to the number of consent calendar day, or even if there will be any at all. This will depend on how debate progresses on priority bills.

This is certainly not crunch time or a race to the finish, though that will come soon enough.

Taxes, Budgets, and the Calendar 

There has been lengthy debate on matters such as scaling back and repealing the county inheritance tax, criminal justice reform, and workforce issues such as childcare. Looming over these are the impending state budget adjustments, proposals to limit local budgeting growth, and the continuing tension between state and local revenue sources. That is, state sales and income taxes versus local property taxes.

We await a final budget proposal from the Appropriations Committee and will see how that might square with the Governor’s proposal. We await a tax proposal from the Revenue Committee and will see how this might align with the Governor’s proposal to replace local revenues with state resources in order to reduce the property tax burden.

For our part, Chamber Public Policy is there each and every day with the mission of lessening the overall tax burden, protecting programs that have improved Nebraska’s economic climate and increased our competitiveness as we attract new employment and investment, and assisting our members in pressing areas such as workforce development.

As always, we thank the Chamber members and staff who have provided essential support to our efforts on their behalf through testimony and vital backing information. It is highly appreciated and highly effective.

For more information, visit our Public Policy page or contact Jennifer Creager at 402.474.4960.

You can read the Legislature’s Update to learn more about the happenings in Lincoln.