|General file debate began last week, will continue through mid-March|
|Written by Wauneta Breeze|
|Thursday, 29 January 2015 17:49|
By Dan Hughes
Nebraska State Senator - 44th District
A total of 663 bills and nine legislative resolutions were introduced during the first 10 days of the 104th First Legislative Session. We started the public hearings on January 20 and began general file debate on January 23. We are starting to get into the groove of session. We will have debate in the mornings and committee hearings in the afternoon, this will last into mid-March. I have introduced one bill, LB 269. I co-signed 12 bills, as of today.
I was elected Chairman of the Building and Maintenance Committee. This committee has oversight of the deferred and preventive maintenance activities required in the Deferred Building Renewal Act. I look forward to touring and inspecting some of the different state owned buildings across Nebraska, this summer.
One of the bills that I co-sponsored is LB 273 introduced by Senator Kate Sullivan of Cedar Rapids. It would allow voters to change the election of county officers from partisan to nonpartisan, in counties with populations less than 20,000. This can be done two ways; the county board may adopt a resolution requiring submission of the question to the voters or the registered voters may file a petition to put it on the ballot. This bill has been offered five times over the past 15 years. Each year minor changes have been made. This is an issue that was brought to my attention by some constituents while I was out on the campaign trail.
There are too many cases where all of the people running for a county office are registered to the same political party. Therefore, the election is decided during the primary in May, instead of the general election in November.
overnor Ricketts gave his State of the State Address on January 22. He spoke about his four main priorities to grow Nebraska: reducing taxes-especially property taxes, easing regulatory burdens, strengthening our economy and expanding educational opportunities. I agree with Governor Ricketts that we must fund our priorities in a way that is sustainable. I support his plan to keep spending growth at 3 percent over the biennium. If we continue at our annual five percent revenue growth rate, this would give taxpayers more money to spend on goods and services, which in turn will help the economy.