The first seven days of this session consisted of senators “dropping” bills to begin the hearing process and floor debate on carryover bills.
Two priority bills were debated. LB153 will provide an exemption of 50% of military retired pay from Nebraska income tax. This is an important bill as it will help attract and retain veterans to Nebraska who play an integral role in our communities. The bill advanced to Select File in a unanimous 46-0 vote.
The second bill LB582 would strengthen the laws regarding the sale or possession of a stolen firearm. Currently, Nebraska Statutes require a person to have direct knowledge that the firearm they possessed was stolen in order to be convicted of a crime. LB582 adds the ability to obtain a conviction for the possession of a stolen firearm if the person who received the weapon should have known, or had reasonable cause to believe, that the gun was stolen. The bill advanced to select file.
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On Tuesday the 15th, Gov. Pete Ricketts delivered his State of the State address to the Legislature. Gov. Ricketts once again reiterated that property tax reform was his top priority for 2020 by recommending $500 million in property tax relief over the next three years. Flood relief was another major focus in this year’s address. Gov. Ricketts asked the Legislature to appropriate a further $50 million toward disaster relief projects as well as $9.2 million for the counties most impacted by the floods.
On Jan. 11th, I joined Gov. Ricketts, Attorney General Peterson, fellow senators, members of the Nebraska Human Trafficking Task Force, and nonprofit organizations at a proclamation signing ceremony to recognize Jan. 11th as Human Trafficking Awareness Day and January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month.
According to the Human Trafficking Initiative at Creighton University every month, about 900 people are sold for sex in the state of Nebraska. Some signs that a person is being trafficked include excess cash, extra hotel keys, disoriented, lack of eye contact, hyper-submissiveness or agitation. Should you see something suspicious, please contact law enforcement or report concerns of trafficking to the Human Trafficking Hotline (1-888-373-7888).
Finally, should you want an in-depth look on what is happening in the Legislature, the Unicameral Update Newsletter provides sections and information for every bill heard on the floor of the legislature each day as well as information on each bill heard in committee. This newsletter is a useful tool to gain additional knowledge about the introducer, sponsors, intent and language of the bills proposed and debated. Should you wish to receive a print edition of the newsletter call 402-471-2788 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Unicameral Update is also published online at update.legislature.ne.gov.
I appreciate hearing from constituents on issues affecting District 23 and encourage you to contact my office on legislation at 402-471-2719 or email@example.com.
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