2ND SESSION OF THE 107TH LEGISLATURE
It is hard to believe it is already the middle of January and well into the first month of 2022. In many ways it has been a refreshing launch into a New Year. My grandchildren are all healthy and happy after some illness over the Christmas season. My husband Mike and the guys are working hard to set up our farm and ranch operation for a new year of production and the Legislature is off and running with the introduction of numerous vital pieces of legislation that I look forward to being a part of advancing. I appreciate how many District 17 constituents are informed and involved in the Legislature. If you have not been as involved as you would have liked in the past, the Nebraska Legislature has a wonderful website which contains a wealth of information. Viewers can read the text of bills introduced, search statutes, find a Senator’s webpage, follow the progress of Legislation, read the Unicameral Update, and watch the Legislature live through video streaming.
A new tool has been added that allows interested individuals to submit their position statements online on pending legislation as soon as that bill is scheduled for a hearing. I think this is a wonderful tool that can be used by the Second House, the people of Nebraska, to weigh in on bills and resolutions as they move through the Legislative process. Simply enter a bill number in the search on the home page or click “Bills and Laws” to search for a particular bill. Once you are on the individual bill page, click “Submit Comments Online” to submit your position. For statements to be included in the official public hearing record as an exhibit, they must be submitted through the website prior to 12:00 p.m. CST on the last Legislative day prior to the public hearing. You can find all of the information you need on the homepage at nebraskalegislature.gov. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Jacki or Lisa in my office if you have any questions about the process.
As always in the first week of a new Session the Governor joined the State Legislators on the Floor to welcome us back to Lincoln and congratulate us on the commencement of the Second Session of the 107th Nebraska Legislature. I appreciated Governor Ricketts’ budget recommendations and priorities for the 2022 Legislative Session. Governor Ricketts outlined opportunities for state leaders to grow Nebraska during the upcoming year.
Here are the top 10 things you need to know about the Governor’s budget and legislative initiatives:
- Controls State Spending: The Governor’s budget adjustment controls spending by limiting the State’s budget growth to 2.9 percent over the biennium.
- Delivers Income Tax Relief: Makes Nebraska more competitive with other states by reducing income taxes and taxes on job creators over the next three years.
Accelerates the phase-in to fully exempt taxes on Social Security benefits within five years.
- Protects Property Tax Relief: Ensures the annual amount of property tax relief available through the Refundable Income Tax Credit remains at least $548 million per year.
- Strengthens Public Safety: Funds construction of a replacement for the deteriorating Nebraska State Penitentiary, invests in Corrections workforce pay increases, expands the Law Enforcement Training Center in Grand Island, and adds capacity at the State Crime Lab.
- Secures Nebraska’s Water Rights: Protects Nebraska’s water rights for generations to come by investing $500 million to construct a canal and reservoir system on the Nebraska-Colorado border along the South Platte River.
- Invests in Nebraska’s Water Resources: Recommends $200 million for projects presented by the Legislature’s STAR WARS Committee to grow the Good Life in tourism and recreation. Invests $23 million to repair the Ft. Laramie – Gering Irrigation Canal. Proposes $60 million to restore and protect drinking water systems in Nebraska communities.
- Improves Healthcare Capacity: Calls for $40 million to strengthen the state’s public health emergency response capabilities, $40 million to add healthcare facility capacity, $25 million for behavioral health and nursing assistance, and additional investments in health services.
- Develops Nebraska’s Workforce: Proposes $90 million to enhance workforce development programs at Nebraska’s community colleges and another $75 million to help communities build high quality and affordable workforce housing.
- Addresses Economic Impacts of the Pandemic: Proposes site and building development in regions adversely affected by the pandemic and investment in shovel-ready projects delayed by the pandemic.
- Addresses Educational Impacts of the Pandemic: Secures funding for parents of low-income children who have experienced learning loss during the pandemic. Governor Ricketts brings bold, consistent leadership to our state. His aggressive goals for Nebraska greatly benefit our people and help ensure that Nebraska remains what America is supposed to be! I always enjoy hearing from you. If you have any comments or concerns, please contact my office at 402-471-2716 or email me directly at email@example.com.