The Nebraska Unicameral 2018 Session began Jan. 3.
Bill introduction has ended, but not before another 486 bills and resolutions were introduced. We are also debating many carry-over bills from the 2017 Session.
A $200 million reduction in revenue since last session will make budget adjustments the primary job of the session.
The administration has proposed across the board reductions of 2 percent for the 2018 budget and another 4 percent for 2019. Excluded from these reductions are K-12 spending, Corrections, and Medicaid provider rates.
The Appropriations Committee will be hearing from each agency in February to discuss adjustment requests.
It is my belief that we can make the budget adjustments without raising taxes, tightening the belt of government, just like taxpayers have to do with their budgets.
I attended a briefing by the Department of Revenue regarding the 2018 federal income tax changes and the options that the Legislature may use to adjust Nebraska’s tax code to stay revenue neutral.
Keeping Nebraska’s coordination with federal tax law as simple as possible is my goal, while not raising taxes. I am working closely with the Revenue Committee to achieve that goal.
This session I introduced three bills and one resolution.
LB 773 updates the current misdemeanor crime of intimidation by telephone. It would include intimidation done via email, text, or other electronic message. This will update state law to keep up with changes in technology.
A second bill of mine is LB1019, which would transfer Cass County from the Southeast planning and development region 6 to the Metro region 8. This was brought to me by Cass County officials who believe Cass has more common economic and development connections with the Sarpy and Douglas County Metro area than with the region to the south. Sarpy County officials have also expressed support for this change.
As always, I really appreciate hearing from you on important matters. Please do not hesitate to contact me or my staff for information on legislative bills or if I may be of assistance. Please reach me at: Sen. Rob Clements, 1523 State Capitol, Lincoln, NE 68509 (402-471-2613), or at my email: firstname.lastname@example.org.