|Review of priority bills debated last week|
|Written by Wauneta Breeze|
|Thursday, 20 March 2014 00:00|
Letter Back Home
By Sen. Mark Christensen
The Legislature finished the 43rd day of a 60-day session last week. We are almost three quarters of the way through the 2014 session.
This week in the letter back home, I would like to highlight some of the priority bills that were debated last week.
The first bill I wanted to touch on is LB1092, introduced by Sen. Dubas. With the committee amendment, it would allow for issuing $200 million worth of highway construction bonds for projects throughout the state. The Revenue committee amendment also limits the time that the bonds could be issued to two years, and requires the rates to be fixed and not exceeding 5 percent.
Even with these changes LB1092 was met with quite a bit of opposition, myself included. I don’t believe it is good policy to go into debt for our roads. I believe we should keep our pay as we go policy in Nebraska. Several other senators agree and Sen. Chambers has vowed to stop it. It remains on General File and has come off the agenda for now.
LB1087 advanced to Select File, the second round of debate, with not as much debate. This is a bill introduced by Sen. Pirsch from Omaha that would create a Homestead Exemption for disabled veterans, widows, and widowers.
If the disabled veteran was honorably discharged they would get a 100% property tax credit, even for a non-remarried widow or widower. This would also apply to widows and widowers whose spouse’s death was service connected while on active duty. This is expected to be a little over $400,000 per year starting 2015. I support this bill.
LB682, introduced by Sen. Scheer, which would provide the creation of allied school districts and mandate school districts under 650 students to join one, was bracketed until the last day of session. This basically kills the bill for the session. While I see some potential benefits for some schools, I don’t believe mandating certain schools to enter into these agreements is the right approach.
If you have any questions or comments, contact my office.