Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 at 5:53pm

Senator Lydia Brasch Legislative Update!

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Weekly Session Update – January 26

On Monday, January 20, the Legislature was not in session to observe Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. Events were held across our district, state and country to pay tribute to Rev. Dr. King’s legacy of promoting peaceful unity among all people. The long weekend provided a welcome return home to the farm which blessed me with a refreshed feeling of the beauty of rural Nebraska and the good people I humbly serve.

Tuesday started off hectic. It marked Day 9 of only 10 possible days to introduce new bills. We introduced our final 4 bills. LB568 changes certain administrative license revocation provisions related to CDL operators. This bill concerns an issue between the Department of Motor Vehicles and the federal government regarding compliance of administrative procedures for CDL operators arrested for DUI. If the federal government determines the DMV is non-compliant, this bill would comply with federal law and secure highway safety construction funds. LB569 modifies grant funding related to the Business Innovations Act and supports the development of technology and innovation in rural and urban areas. LB570 grants authority to cities and counties regarding the usage of golf cart vehicles. Cities and counties could allow golf cart usage within their jurisdiction, subject to certain public safety requirements. LB571 provides authority to the Nebraska Tourism Commission to establish and promote tourism signage. In addition to introduced bills, we began public hearings. I attended Transportation and Telecommunications Committee on Tuesday and spent the rest of the week in the Revenue Committee.

On Wednesday, Day 10, the last day allowed for bill introduction, the total number of bills introduced was 663. Senator Watermeier and I also participated in a news media conference held by the Farm Bureau Federation to discuss four bills we introduced last week focusing on the need for lowering agricultural land values.

Before session began on Thursday, Day 11, the Appropriations and Revenue Committees attended a briefing by Governor Ricketts providing details of his State of the State Address. Governor Ricketts’ address confirmed his plan to lower taxes on agricultural land, but over a four-year period. On Friday, Day 12, we heard the first of many bills to be advanced to General File, as well as floor debate regarding our rules, tradition and committees.

Regarding last week’s update, the Clerk’s Office received a couple phone calls to correct the record about secret voting for committee chairmanships. From 1939-1972, chairmanship positions were assigned by the Committee on Committees. During the first few sessions of the Unicameral, the committees chose their own chair.

Please contact me, my administrative aide, Katie Wattermann, or my legislative aide, Tom Venzor, with questions or thoughts at (402)471-2728 or by email at lbrasch@leg.ne.gov; or stop by Room 1016 if you are at the Capitol. If you would like to follow the Legislature online visit http://www.netnebraska.org/basic-page/television/live-demand-state-government. Live broadcasting is also available on NET2.

Keeping the Good Life growing in Nebraska,

Senator Lydia Brasch, District 16

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