The legislative schedule now has senators debating issues in the George Norris Chamber, mornings, 9am-noon. Lunch is noon-1:30pm. Committee hearings begin at 1:30pm and wrap-up whenever the gas seeps out of the room.

Little can be written that would make last week’s legislative floor debate interesting. You can cut debate and votes with a partisan blade. Lunches are going well.

Bill introductions are finis at 667 plus five constitutional amendments. Yes, the vast majority of them will rightly be shredded.  After the bills are divvied-up among 14 standing committees and a handful of special committees, the bulk of workload is owned by the Judiciary, Revenue and Appropriations Committees. Not that other committees is easy.  Take the Health and Human Services Committee.  Their issues are tough because they are personal and emotional. Yes there is crying.

Beyond all the process, all the hearings and all the debate, there is one big Lebowski lying squarely on the budget table. Depending on who you believe, the Lebowski is a revenue shortfall for the next biennial budget (2017/18 2018/19) of $600M to $900M.  So, when you hear of a senator fighting for a plan for all “hard-working Nebraskans” just remember, if the plan has a cost, it is DOA until the Lebowski is wiped off the table.

Click here for senators’ contact information.
Click here for standing committees and their members.
Click here for live streaming of floor debate and committee hearings.

What’s up?

Last Friday, the Judiciary Committee held hearings on wage garnishment bills: LB37, LB136 and LB229.  Look for one of the bills to be amended and advanced to General File.

Committee hearings on LB97 and LB222 are not yet scheduled.

Bills of interest

LB37    Adopt the Uniform Wage Garnishment Act
LB77    Change access to sales and use tax information by cities
LB97    Adopt the Riverfront Development District Act
LB115  Transfers $85K from the State Visitors Promotion Cash Fund to Omaha for music festivals
LB136  Change garnishment proceedings
LB222  Change membership and eliminate powers and duties of Nebraska Tourism Commission
LB229  Changes provisions relating to garnishment
LB312  Eliminates certain state sales tax exemptions for personal services
LB313  Increases state sales tax from 5½ cents to 6½ cents
LB420  Prohibit employers and employment agencies from asking for criminal history
LB452  Eliminates certain state sales tax exemptions for personal services
LB628  Cities cannot prohibit the short-term use of property (Airb&b)

Click here for all introduced legislation.