Tina Biteghe Bi Ndong with the West Point Chamber recaps Thurday’s forum.
WEST POINT – Representatives from the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Inudstry held a legislative forum in West Point on Thursday, Sept. 28 at the Nielsen Center.
There was a rundown of various business-related bills that were passed in this year’s session, including:
LB203 – Unemployment Insurance reform.
LB271 – Regulatory reform to speed up transportation.
LB518 – Establishes new grant program to help address Nebraska’s workforce housing shortage.
LB641 – Creates matching grant program to attractmore bioscience startups to Nebraska.
Key topics of discussion included the state budget, tax reform and relief, economic growth incentives, workforce and housing.
It was noted that a key issue lawmakers will be watching is the state budget. Net General Fund receipts for this fiscal year are 2.6-percent below the certified forecast that was issued this spring. Legislators again anticipate starting the 2018 session with a budget shortfall, but that gives them an opportunity to improve the state’s tax structure.
An overview of the state legislature was also presented, as it will be a busy election year in 2018 with 24 of 49 seats up for election. Additionally, 16 seated senators face re-election, six senators term-limited, two are not running; one is running for treasurer and at least eight new senators will be elected.