Legislative Up-date

Legislature will look at alternatives to Governor’s tax plan

By Russ Karpisek

By far, the legislative issue that I have heard the most concern about from my constituents and other Nebraska citizens this year has been the Governor’s tax reform plan put forward in LB405 and LB406.  These bills targeted sales tax exemptions and the income tax as an attempt to increase revenue to the state and draw job-creating businesses to the state.  The bills were vigorously opposed from their introduction, and many Nebraskans from various sectors testified against them at their public hearing.  Over the weekend, the Governor requested that the chair of the Revenue Committee kill the bills.  Tax reform remains a very important discussion that we must have, and we will work to address the issue by a different means this session.

Floor debate at the Legislature moved slow this week, due to a long filibuster by Sen. Ernie Chambers, followed by the winter storm.  The first few days of the week, a bill regarding the work ethic camp in McCook was staunchly opposed by Sen. Chambers, and with the arrival of the snowstorm on Thursday, floor debate was shortened during the last few days of the week.  Committee hearings for Thursday afternoon were postponed, in order to keep senators, staff and testifiers off the roads as much as possible.

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.

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