By Russ Karpisek
The Legislature began a long and thorough discussion of a proposed amendment to the Nebraska Constitution that would allow citizens to vote on the legalization of historic horse racing kiosks at licensed race tracks. LR41CA was introduced by Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh and passed the General Affairs Committee, but faces a filibuster from opponents of expanded gambling.
I support the amendment because I believe the people should have an opportunity to vote on this. If passed and voted on favorably by voters, I believe it would provide much-needed revenue for the race tracks, which are struggling to maintain the declining horse racing industry in Nebraska. It is my hope that the Legislature and the people will vote to give the tracks this tool that would help them raise revenue and keep many jobs, both on and off the track.
I introduced LB621 in the Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee. This bill would clarify certain types of confidential information that would not be subject to the public records laws, such as documents affecting trade secrets, academic and scientific research and other proprietary or commercial information.
I also introduced LB292 in the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, which would increase the county population restriction for elections by mail, from ten thousand to twenty thousand residents.
On Wednesday, the Government Committee heard testimony on Sen. Charlie Janssen’s LB381, which would require voter identification at the polls. I do not support this measure because I believe it could impede the rights of some citizens to vote, particularly the poor and elderly.
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.