Blog for Rural America

The Center for Rural Affairs, a private, non-profit organization, is working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities. Permission to reprint items from this web log is hereby granted, on the condition that clear credit is given to the original source of the material. If the blog provides information for a story, please let us know by sending an email to johnc@cfra.org.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Nebraska Unicameral Adjourns

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

April 17, 2006

Legislature Adjourns

The Legislature concluded its 2006 session and adjourned at 5:54 pm on April 13. This also represented the end of public service in the Legislature for 20 Senators due to term limits.

Big Issues Update

The Legislature spent most of its last week debating LB 1024, the Omaha school bill. On its last day, the Legislature approved LB 1024 on Final Reading by a 31-16 vote. The Governor signed the bill into law.

The provision of LB 1024 that received most attention was the division of the Omaha Public School district into three separate districts based on current attendance patterns. The bill also includes a state aid stabilization factor for school districts with declining enrollments that have property tax levies at or below 99 cents; this will apply primarily to rural schools, and is estimated to provide an additional $2 million in state aid to rural schools in its first year of implementation.

Most provisions of LB 1024 do not take effect until 2008. Several Senators asserted this will force OPS and its neighbors to discuss the issues with a deadline facing them, thus allowing them to resolve the issues before LB 1024 takes effect and then allowing the Legislature to change LB 1024. It’s important to recognize, however, that any agreement reached by OPS and the neighboring school districts must now also meet the approval of the Legislature.

The Legislature also voted on April 12 to impeach University of Nebraska regent David Hergert. The vote to impeach was 25-22. The Nebraska Supreme Court will now try the matter similar to a civil trial. Two-thirds of the justices must vote to convict Hergert for him to be removed from office. Upon the vote of the Legislature to impeach, Hergert was suspended from his duties as Regent until the Supreme Court acts.

Bills Update

All pending bills not disposed of by becoming law were Indefinitely Postponed (killed) on April 13 just before the final motion to adjourn. One bill on our weekly list did receive action in the last week of the session.

Agriculture/Livestock

LB 990P (Wehrbein and others) – Created tax credits for livestock modernization projects under the Nebraska Advantage Rural Development Act and amended the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Act. On April 11, the Governor signed the bill into law.

Next Week

Legislative action and news does not end with adjournment of the session. Next week we will provide news on important and relevant Interim Study Resolutions introduced in the final days of the session and a list of candidates for legislative seats in the May 9 primary.

3 Comments:

  • At 10:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    David Hergert is the Richard Nixon of Nebraska. I'm glad the legislature impeached him.

    Thanks to the Center for Rural Affairs for keeping us posted on happenings at the Unicameral.

     
  • At 10:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hergert needs to resign. Hasn't his arrogance cost Nebraska enough? He should resign before the Supreme Court impeachment trial.

     
  • At 11:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    please tell me that they killed that stupid bill to make the world safe for genetically modified crops?

     

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