The Legislature will not convene tomorrow in observance of MLK Day. Interestingly, two bills that would create new holidays are already on file. Juneteenth would replace Arbor Day as a state holiday, and May 19 would become El-Hajj Malik Shabazz, Malcolm X Day. Who wouldn’t enjoy another relaxing day off?
Governor Ricketts outlined several goals in his State of the State Address:
- Cap growth in state spending at 1.5 percent.
- Limit annual increases in local property taxes to 3 percent.
- Provide $1.36 billion in property tax relief from sales and income taxes.
- Increase funding for education by an additional $42.7 million.
- Exempt state income tax on military retirement income.
- Reciprocity for out-of-state health care workers and teachers.
- Begin funding a new $225 million prison to be completed by 2025.
- Expand broadband to 30,000 underserved homes.
- ……he said all this in 30 minutes.
Senators introduce bills only during the first ten days of the session. Day Ten is Wednesday. On Monday, the 25th, committees begin hearings for every single solitary piece of legislation. Four hundred eighty-six of the little gems and ten constitutional amendments are on the books so far.
Committee hearings will be different this year – duh. The Speaker will announce just how different next week. Simple things, like how many warm bodies will occupy each hearing room? Will online testimony be allowed? Heck, we don’t even know if the press will be allowed to eavesdrop on committees’ executive sessions.
Things we think we know: the Speaker intends to hold all-day hearings rather than the traditional morning floor debate and afternoon hearings. He wants to advance a budget sooner in the session rather than later. BTW, the schedule for redistricting is still anyone’s guess.
Bill introductions and review are still underway. Comprehensive tracking results will be delayed until next weekend. Click here for a complete list of bills introduced to date. Please call Mick at 402-658-6322 with questions.