Smarts and Insurgents

Last week’s floor debate was mostly noise. Not to be critical of all noise. Just the chest-thumping, nose-twerking, bruised-ego kind of adult noise that entertains political wonks on public television and does little to move policy forward.

Think about it as a school bus of fourth graders. Speaker Scheer is a seasoned bus driver. Not much phases him and he is very good at keeping the bus (loaded with kids and bills) between the broken white line and the ditch.

Behind him are the Smarts. These are the kids who patiently sit in the front of the bus with their teachers. Hands folded, eyes wide, discussing their futures. Or, at least fifth grade. Smarts are apple-polishers! The Legislature has fourteen Standing Committee Smarts (Chairs) who have learned their craft and earned the right to manage the flow of bills from committees to the bus driver.

Now, look over your shoulder. Insurgents! Thirty-four of them. They have little to do, so they are bored and loud. They are disruptive. Those with beards have been there since 2013. Most aspire to be a Smart, and in 2021, a few will actually move to the front of the bus. Until then, they are Insurgents who turn up the noise, while pulling gum from their hair and licking the bus windows.

Eleven Insurgents are “News”. Nationwide, there are unwritten bus rules for News. 1) keep your mouth shut; 2) pay attention, 3) watch for flying objects. Several News missed that bulletin and simply pop up to tell us all about their feelings. Feelings! Like the bus driver, Smarts, Knuckleheads and other News care about feelings? These are Insurgents for life.

Anyway, last week was a dud. This week may be more of the same. Monday is Day 55. Rumor has it, Smart Lou Ann Linehan, chair of the Revenue Committee, will kick out her plan(s) for tax relief and funding the budget by April 15. Contrary to news reports and flyers in coffee shops, sales tax on food is not on her list.

The Appropriations Committee received good news. March tax receipts were up and preliminary costs for statewide disaster recovery may be less that first thought.

The Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board meets April 25 to stick their wet fingers in the air and predict state revenues for the next biennium. A week later, the Appropriations Committee will deliver their proposed budget to the body.

But, these are only rumors heard in the back of the bus.



  • LB57 Prohibits municipalities from adopting or enforcing ordinances/regulations that expressly or effectively prohibit the short-term rental of residential properties and restrict the ability of municipalities to regulate residential properties used as short-term rentals. The Tax Commissioner will enter into agreements with online hosting platforms and short-term rentals to permit the online housing platform to collect and remit applicable sales taxes on behalf of sellers or hotel operators otherwise required to collect such taxes for transactions consummated through the online hosting platform.
  • LB203 Amends the Music Licensing Act to add the owner of a multi-family dwelling to the definition of “proprietor.” Apartment common areas (lobby, clubhouse, fitness center) are included in the Act.