This column covers legislative days 55 through 58.
Greetings to all in District 16 and the surrounding region. I hope you’ve all had a meaningful and reflective Easter weekend. Easter is a time we come together as family, friends, and set aside time as individuals to reflect upon the gift of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. Celebrating the Easter holiday is a needed reminder that our hope is not in Washington D.C. or even in Lincoln, NE. Our hope comes from something far greater than we can ever imagine.
A bill that received a fair amount of publicity last week was LB 693 introduced by Sen. Halloran of Hastings. The bill gives the Nebraska Attorney General authority to pursue action against so-called “spoofers” who use fake phone numbers to make fraudulent calls. This is an issue that almost everyone in Nebraska with a cell phone has experienced. Scam telephone calls used to display on caller id with obvious fake or fishy phone numbers. Scammers have begun using phone numbers with Nebraska area codes to initiate the call, making it much more likely that people will answer the phone. Though this bill will not stop the calls from happening, it does allow criminal proceedings against those who make the calls. The federal government is the only place where changes can be made stopping the phone calls themselves.
The Revenue Committee announced a plan for property tax relief during a press conference last Wednesday. The proposal is reported to provide $540 million in property tax relief through a sales tax increase, changes in education aid, and elimination of some sales tax exemptions. A hearing on the plan is scheduled for Wednesday, April 24th and is open to the public. As I’ve said in past columns, property tax is the reason I ran for the legislature. I’m excited to review the Revenue Committee’s plan and hear feedback from both proponents and opponents of the bill before making a decision on it. Ag producers desperately need tax relief, and any measure that is brought before the legislature must be able to get enough votes for passage. We cannot afford to let property tax relief slip through our fingers another year, pushing it off to address in future legislative sessions. As senators, we must be thoughtful and intentional in our approach to tax relief bringing a solution that is substantive and meaningful but also being a good steward of taxpayer dollars. With roughly 30 days left in the session this year, we must have a sense of urgency in addressing this problem.
If you have questions or comments, please contact the District 16 office at (402)-471-2728 to speak with my Administrative Assistant, Ellie Stangl; or my Legislative Aide, Jacob Campbell. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. To follow along with the session please visit nebraskalegislature.gov or you may watch the live stream when available at netnebraska.org