Money and politics

More rumors on the street. When will senators return for the remaining 16 days in this legislative session? Last week was June 4. This week – late June, early July. Others prefer Octoberish when the economy settles down. Who knows? Mr. Speaker!
The Nebraska Department of Revenue reported April tax receipts were in the tank, primarily due to extending the April 15 income tax filing deadline to July 15. General Fund net receipts were $345 million, or 45.9% below the forecast of $637 million. Yikes!
On a positive note, Net General Fund receipts for this fiscal year (7/1/19 – 6/30/20) were $4.001 billion, slightly above the certified forecast of $3.997 billion. 
Legislative Elections
While this writer is no Michel de Nostredame, I did nail 21 of the 25 legislative races. For those unfamiliar with our nonpartisan process in Nebraska, all candidates in a legislative district appear on the same ballot. Party affiliation is not recognized, and by popular vote, the top two vote-getters advance to the General Election.
  • Worst Call – District 29. Jennifer Carter finished third in a five-way race. #2 pick Jacob Campbell ($61K), and Eliot Bostar ($113K) move on.
  • Complete Miss – District 49. Senator Andrew La Grone (47%) got thumped by newcomer Jen Day (53%).
  • So Close – District 45. Rita Sanders (49%) lost to Susan Hester (51%). Both Parties want this seat.
  • Crowded Field – District 11. From a field of seven, #2 pick Fred Conley bested #1 pick Terrell McKinney.
For a complete rundown, by district, of the candidates who advance to the General Election, including vote counts and finances, click here.
Federal Elections
  • Senator Sasse (R) will face Chris Janicek (D). Sasse received 213,806 votes or 64,638 more than all seven Democratic candidates combined.
  • District 1 Congressman Fortenberry (R) faces State Senator Kate Bolz. Fortenberry received 88,366 votes in the Primary, and Bolz had 78% of the 55,525 Democratic votes cast.
  • District 2 Congressman Bacon (R) will again have a challenging race with returning Kara Eastman (D). The total voter turnout for both parties was about the same.
  • District 2 Congressman Smith (R ) runs against Mark Elworth Jr. (D). Smith garnered 95,920 Primary votes, while unopposed Elworth Jr. came in with 26,695.
Tracking
GENERAL FILE
LB187 SUPPORT (Hilkeman)
  • Adds two new definitions to an eligible sports arena facility to the Sports Arena Facility Financing Assistance Act.
  • Any sports complex which includes concession areas, parking facilities and onsite administrative offices connected with operating the sports complex.
  • A multipurpose field meaning a rectangular field of grass or synthetic turf which is primarily used for competitive field sports, that may include soccer, football, flag football, lacrosse or rugby.
  • The bill repeals the occupancy requirement to receive a turn back of sales tax and replaces occupancy with project completion date.
LB1084 (Kolterman) MONITOR
  • The Nebraska Transformational Project Act would provide $300 million in state funding to the University of Nebraska Medical Center for their NExT Project. 
  • NExT Project has two components: a state of the art academic medical center facility and a federal all-hazard disaster response military and civilian partnership.
  • UNMC must show an economic impact to Nebraska of at least $2.7 billion during the planning and construction period and at least $4.9 billion over ten years.
FAILED TO ADVANCE
LB974 MONITOR (Linehan) REVENUE COMMITTEE PRIORITY BILL
  • This is a complex property tax and school funding bill. As amended by AM2433, the bill would reduce property taxes as a major source of funding for K-12 education.
  • Real property would be valued at 95% of actual value for tax year 2020.
  • In tax year 2021, real property would be valued at 91%of actual value.
  • In tax year 2022, and thereafter, real property would be valued at 86% of actual value.

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