August 17, 2020 •
Nebraska Legislative Session Adjourned
The second session of the 106th Nebraska Legislature adjourned sine die on August 13 after 60 legislative days of a session interrupted by COVID-19.
Speaker Jim Scheer suspended the session in mid-March in response to growing safety concerns regarding the global pandemic. After calling lawmakers back into session for three days in late March for the limited purpose of approving emergency funding to combat the pandemic, he suspended the session again.
Senators reconvened July 20 and finished the final 17 days of session in a changed physical environment of plastic barriers and physical distancing guidelines to limit contact between senators, staff, and the media.
The delaying of the session affected lobbyist reporting due dates. Any lobbyists or principals who received or expended more than $5,000 for lobbying purposes during the session must file special reports on September 15, 2020. Additionally, the lobbyist statement of activity is due on September 27, which signifies 45 days after adjournment sine die of the session.
Lawmakers passed 285 bills during the session, including measures to expand access to broadband Internet in rural areas, improve oversight of the state’s Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Centers and provide a tax exclusion for military retirement benefit pay.
Scheer is among six senators who are leaving the Legislature due to term limits. The others are Lincoln Sen. Kate Bolz, Omaha Sen. Ernie Chambers, Bellevue Sen. Sue Crawford, Omaha Sen. Sara Howard and Omaha Sen. Rick Kolowski.
Chambers, whose legislative career will stand as the longest in state history, was first elected to the Legislature in 1970. He left office in 2008 due to term limits but returned in 2012.
The first session of the 107th Legislature is scheduled to convene on January 6, 2021.
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