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Legislative Up-date

By Russ Karpisek

Priority Bill this Session is Equal Parenting Time

This week was the deadline for selection of senator and committee priority bills.  A priority designation insures that a bill will be scheduled for first-round debate before the end of session.

I selected LB22 as my personal priority bill.  This bill was introduced by Sen. Galen Hadley, and would provide for the development of parenting plans with more equal parenting time for divorced parents, in cases where both are fit parents.  As a divorced parent with joint custody, I know how crucial it is for kids to have equal time with both parents, and I would like to see more equality in parenting plans.

Floor debate on LR41CA finally wrapped up this week, as we completed a full eight hours of debate and proceeded to vote for cloture.  The bill just got the 33 votes needed for cloture, then passed the vote to advance to second-round debate.  This constitutional amendment, if passed by the Legislature and approved by voters, would legalize historic horse racing kiosks at licensed horse racing tracks.

We ended the week beginning debate on LB613, which would create a committee to look at the Nebraska tax code and report back to the Legislature by the end of 2013 with suggestions of how to improve the code in terms of fairness and adequacy.  The bill looks to face yet another filibuster by Sen. Chambers next week.

A complete hearing schedule as well as other session information can be found on the Nebraska Legislature homepage: www.nebraskalegislature.gov. Please contact my office with any comments, concerns or questions, and feel free to stop by if you are visiting the Capitol.