The standing committees of the Nebraska Legislature saw changes this week as 11 new members were sworn in and some new committee chairmen took the reins.
Committees hold public hearings on all bills introduced in a session, then decide whether they get forwarded to the full Legislature for debate.
So committees are a significant key to lawmaking in the one-house Legislature.
The preliminary list of committee members shows that Omaha Sen. Ernie Chambers will return to the Judiciary Committee and also join the Agriculture and Business and Labor committees. Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh will not rejoin the committee, but will go to the General Affairs; Urban Affairs; and Government, Military and Veterans Affairs committees.
Sen. Tom Hansen of North Platte, who fell one vote shy of the chairmanship of the Appropriations Committee, went to the Revenue Committee. Three new members joined Appropriations: Lincoln Sen. Kate Bolz, Sen. Bill Kintner of Papillion and Sen. Tyson Larson of O’Neill.
“It was the last place I thought I could ever end up,” Larson said Thursday. “It was a great opportunity not only for me to learn the ins and outs of the budget, but to keep a watchful eye on Nebraska’s spending, and work to make sure that my constituents in rural Nebraska are represented.”
Larson is from a town of about 3,800.
The Legislature is expected to finalize appointments Friday.
Agriculture (8) meets Tuesdays: Ken Schilz (chairman), Ogallala; Jerry Johnson, Wahoo; Ernie Chambers, Omaha; Norm Wallman, Cortland; Tom Hansen, North Platte; Steve Lathrop, Omaha; Dave Bloomfield, Hoskins; Burke Harr, Omaha.
Appropriations (9) meets daily: Heath Mello (chairman), Omaha; John Harms, Scottsbluff; Kate Bolz, Lincoln; John Nelson, Omaha; John Wightman, Lexington; Bill Kintner, Papillion; Jeremy Nordquist, Omaha; Tyson Larson, O’Neill; Danielle Conrad, Lincoln.
Banking, Commerce and Insurance (8) meets Mondays and Tuesdays: Mike Gloor (chairman), Grand Island; Paul Schumacher, Columbus; Pete Pirsch, Omaha; Mark Christensen, Imperial; Kathy Campbell, Lincoln; Sara Howard, Omaha; Tom Carlson, Holdrege; Sue Crawford, Bellevue.
Business and Labor (7) meets Mondays: Lathrop (chairman); Wallman; Amanda McGill, Lincoln; Chambers; Hansen; B. Harr; Brad Ashford, Omaha.
Education (8) meets Mondays and Tuesdays: Kate Sullivan (chairwoman), Cedar Rapids; Bill Avery, Lincoln; Tanya Cook, Omaha; Les Seiler, Hastings; Ken Haar, Malcolm; Rick Kolowski, Omaha; Al Davis, Hyannis; Jim Scheer, Norfolk.
General Affairs (8) meets Mondays: Russ Karpisek (chairman), Wilber; Colby Coash, Lincoln; Scott Lautenbaugh, Omaha; Bloomfield; Johnson; Bob Krist, Omaha; Schilz; John Murante, Gretna.
Government, Military and Veterans Affairs (8) meets Wednesdays: Avery (chairman); Murante; Karpisek; Scott Price, Bellevue; Lautenbaugh; Wallman; Scheer; Bloomfield.
Health and Human Services (7) meets Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays: Campbell (chairwoman); Krist; Gloor; Crawford; Cook; Dan Watermeier, Syracuse; Howard.
Judiciary (8) meets Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays: Ashford (chairman); Seiler; Coash; Lathrop; Christensen; McGill; Chambers; Davis.
Natural Resources (8) meets Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays: Carlson (chairman); K. Haar; Jim Smith, Papillion; Schilz; Lydia Brasch, Bancroft; Kolowski; Annette Dubas, Fullerton; Johnson.
Nebraska Retirement Systems (5 plus Appropriations chair): Nordquist (chairman); Karpisek; Conrad; Kolowski; Davis; Mello.
Revenue (8) meets Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays: Galen Hadley (chairman), Kearney; Schumacher; Pirsch; Hansen; Charlie Janssen, Fremont; B. Harr; Sullivan; Beau McCoy, Omaha.
Transportation and Telecommunications (8) meets Mondays and Tuesdays: Dubas (chairwoman); Brasch; Smith; Hadley; Price; McCoy; Watermeier; Janssen.
Urban Affairs (7) meets Tuesdays: McGill (chairwoman); Lautenbaugh; Karpisek; Coash; Ashford; Murante; Krist.