March 24, 2020 •

Nebraska Legislature Reconvened for Emergency Funding Session

Nebraska Capitol Building

The Nebraska Legislature temporarily reconvened on Monday, March 23 at 1:30 p.m. Speaker of the Legislature Jim Scheer announced March 20 that senators will meet to authorize emergency funding addressing needs arising from the spread of COVID-19. The emergency session […]

The Nebraska Legislature temporarily reconvened on Monday, March 23 at 1:30 p.m.

Speaker of the Legislature Jim Scheer announced March 20 that senators will meet to authorize emergency funding addressing needs arising from the spread of COVID-19.

The emergency session is scheduled to last three legislative days.

There is no set date for when the 2020 legislative session will officially resume.

This does not immediately affect lobbyist reporting.

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March 20, 2020 •

Nebraska Lawmakers Considering Brief Return to Approve Emergency Funding

Nebraska Capitol Building

Nebraska lawmakers are likely to return to the Capitol on March 23 to approve emergency aid for state agencies that are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaker of the Legislature Jim Scheer indicated he expects to decide whether to temporarily […]

Nebraska lawmakers are likely to return to the Capitol on March 23 to approve emergency aid for state agencies that are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaker of the Legislature Jim Scheer indicated he expects to decide whether to temporarily resume the session.

The speaker held a legislative briefing with the Governor’s Office in the afternoon on March 20.

If lawmakers convene on March 23, they would also need to check in on March 24 and March 25 to fulfill the procedural requirements to approve the funding.

The emergency funding would be the only item on the legislative agenda.

Once it is approved, lawmakers would suspend the session again until further notice.

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March 16, 2020 •

Nebraska Suspends Legislative Session

Nebraska Capitol Building

The Nebraska Legislature announced on March 16 that it will temporarily suspend its legislative session due to growing concerns about COVID-19. The Legislature will not meet as scheduled March 17 and will remain suspended until reconvened by the speaker’s office. […]

The Nebraska Legislature announced on March 16 that it will temporarily suspend its legislative session due to growing concerns about COVID-19.

The Legislature will not meet as scheduled March 17 and will remain suspended until reconvened by the speaker’s office.

This does not immediately affect lobbyist reporting.

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May 31, 2019 •

Nebraska Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

Nebraska Capitol Building

The Nebraska Legislature adjourned sine die on May 31. The legislative session ended on the 84th day, sooner than the scheduled 90-day session. During the session lawmakers passed a balanced budget, enacted legislation to assist military families, and increased the […]

The Nebraska Legislature adjourned sine die on May 31.

The legislative session ended on the 84th day, sooner than the scheduled 90-day session.

During the session lawmakers passed a balanced budget, enacted legislation to assist military families, and increased the maximum fine for violations of the Political Accountability and Disclosure Act.

The lobbyist statement of activity is due 45 days after the end of session on July 15.

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January 2, 2019 •

Gov. Ricketts Announces Appointments for Nebraska Legislature

Gov. Pete Ricketts announced the appointments of Julie Slama and Andrew La Grone to represent District 1 and District 49, respectively. Slama will fill the seat vacated by Sen. Dan Watermeier who was elected to the Nebraska Public Service Commission […]

Gov. Pete Ricketts announced the appointments of Julie Slama and Andrew La Grone to represent District 1 and District 49, respectively.

Slama will fill the seat vacated by Sen. Dan Watermeier who was elected to the Nebraska Public Service Commission and La Grone will replace Sen. John Murante who was elected state treasurer.

The appointments will complete the terms ending in January 2021 and will be eligible to run for election in November 2020.

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July 25, 2018 •

Nebraska Committee Decides Special Session Not Required for Tax Rates

The Legislature’s Tax Rate Review Committee decided no special session is needed to change the income and sales tax rates. The committee noted the state’s revenue growth for the fiscal year that ended June 30 was higher than projected, but […]

The Legislature’s Tax Rate Review Committee decided no special session is needed to change the income and sales tax rates.

The committee noted the state’s revenue growth for the fiscal year that ended June 30 was higher than projected, but sales tax revenue is lower than projected forecasts.

The committee is looking into the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows states to collect sales taxes from online purchases and to determine if legislation is required.

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April 19, 2018 •

Nebraska Legislature Adjourn Sine Die

The Nebraska Legislature adjourned sine die April 18. Lawmakers took no action on Legislative Bill 1099 to adopt the Legislative Ethics Act after Sen. Bill Kintner’s resignation last session for retweeting offensive comments and using a state-issued computer to engage […]

The Nebraska Legislature adjourned sine die April 18.

Lawmakers took no action on Legislative Bill 1099 to adopt the Legislative Ethics Act after Sen. Bill Kintner’s resignation last session for retweeting offensive comments and using a state-issued computer to engage in cybersex.

The bill would have created an ethics board to receive and investigate complaints against any member or employee of the Legislature.

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May 23, 2017 •

Nebraska Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

The Nebraska Legislature adjourned sine die today, May 23, 2017. Much of the session consisted of battles over the state budget and a plan to cut taxes. Gov. Pete Ricketts’ plan to cut income and property tax stalled in the […]

The Nebraska Legislature adjourned sine die today, May 23, 2017. Much of the session consisted of battles over the state budget and a plan to cut taxes.

Gov. Pete Ricketts’ plan to cut income and property tax stalled in the legislature, but he plans to continue garnering support in hopes of passing a package next year.

The session was also marred by the resignation of Sen. Bill Kintner after retweeting offensive comments and using a state-issued computer to engage in cybersex.

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February 3, 2017 •

Nebraska Senator Renews Effort to Ban Lobbyist-Provided Meals in the Capitol

Reviving his concern from last year’s legislative session, Sen. Ernie Chambers introduced a bill to prevent lawmakers from accepting meals from lobbyists in the Capitol. Legislative Bill 445 is similar to a proposal Sen. Chambers sponsored last year, but it […]

Nebraska-StateSealReviving his concern from last year’s legislative session, Sen. Ernie Chambers introduced a bill to prevent lawmakers from accepting meals from lobbyists in the Capitol. Legislative Bill 445 is similar to a proposal Sen. Chambers sponsored last year, but it never made it to a vote. The bill specifically aims to prohibit meals served to lawmakers at the end of the session, when last minute decisions are made.

Lobbyists typically pool their money and provide large, buffet-style meals for legislators as they work into the night. Sen. Chambers said he is concerned the meals create the appearance improper influence.

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January 25, 2017 •

Nebraska Senator, Facing Expulsion, Resigns from Legislature

After months of scandal, state Sen. Bill Kintner resigned from the Nebraska Legislature today. Kintner’s announcement comes just hours before a resolution to expel him was expected to be brought to the floor. Problems for Kintner began last year when […]

Bill KintnerAfter months of scandal, state Sen. Bill Kintner resigned from the Nebraska Legislature today. Kintner’s announcement comes just hours before a resolution to expel him was expected to be brought to the floor.

Problems for Kintner began last year when it was discovered he used his state-provided laptop to engage in cybersex. He evaded pressure to step down only to face further criticism this week for retweeting a post implying participants at the Women’s March were too unattractive to be sexually assaulted.

Kintner’s resignation is effective January 30 and a special election to fill his seat has yet to be announced.

Photo of Sen. Bill Kintner courtesy of the Nebraska Legislature website.

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August 19, 2016 •

Nebraska Speaker in Favor of Calling Special Session

Speaker Galen Hadley is in favor of calling the Nebraska Legislature into a special session to address the issue of Sen. Bill Kintner. Kintner was recently fined $1,000 for using his state-issued laptop to engage in cybersex. Both Hadley and […]

Nebraska-StateSealSpeaker Galen Hadley is in favor of calling the Nebraska Legislature into a special session to address the issue of Sen. Bill Kintner. Kintner was recently fined $1,000 for using his state-issued laptop to engage in cybersex. Both Hadley and Gov. Pete Ricketts have called for Kintner to resign, though Kintner appears unwilling to do so.

The Legislature’s Executive Board meets today and can recommend impeachment, expulsion, or censure of Kintner, but such action would have to be taken with lawmakers in session. If Kintner resigns before September 8, he could place his name on the ballot in November and allow the voters to decide if he should continue his work as a senator.

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April 21, 2016 •

Nebraska Legislature Adjourns 2016 Session

The Nebraska Legislature adjourned its 2016 legislative session sine die on Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Despite almost doubling the number of filibusters from last year, lawmakers passed 216 bills, including a new state budget and increased funding for road projects. […]

Capitol of Nebraska, LincolnThe Nebraska Legislature adjourned its 2016 legislative session sine die on Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Despite almost doubling the number of filibusters from last year, lawmakers passed 216 bills, including a new state budget and increased funding for road projects.

Opponents were successful, however, in blocking a Medicaid expansion proposal and a bill to create a winner-take-all system for presidential Electoral College votes.

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January 20, 2016 •

Nebraska Senator Seeks to End Lobbyist-Paid Lunches During Session

State Sen. Ernie Chambers introduced a resolution to prevent lobbyist-provided meals from influencing legislators. The resolution, Legislative Resolution 414, prohibits lobbyists from providing meals to legislators inside the Capitol while the legislature is in session. Last year, catering bills, paid […]

Nebraska-StateSealState Sen. Ernie Chambers introduced a resolution to prevent lobbyist-provided meals from influencing legislators. The resolution, Legislative Resolution 414, prohibits lobbyists from providing meals to legislators inside the Capitol while the legislature is in session. Last year, catering bills, paid for by lobbyists, exceeded $10,000.

Nebraska law currently limits gifts from lobbyists at $50 per month to senators and their immediate families, but meals and beverages do not count toward the limit when the lobbyist is present at the event.

Defending the tradition of a serving line during the final weeks of the session, Speaker Galen Hadley dismisses the idea of food influencing how a senator votes. Sen. Chambers believes the practice creates the appearance of impropriety and should be ended.

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January 15, 2016 •

Nebraska Legislature Introduces Bill to Prevent Misuse of Campaign Contributions

State lawmakers have introduced legislation to make it harder for candidates to misuse campaign contributions. So far, thirty senators have backed a measure allowing the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission to cross-check campaign finance reports with year-end balances of campaign […]

Capitol of Nebraska, LincolnState lawmakers have introduced legislation to make it harder for candidates to misuse campaign contributions. So far, thirty senators have backed a measure allowing the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission to cross-check campaign finance reports with year-end balances of campaign committees to ensure the proper use of campaign funds.

The bill also prohibits loaning campaign funds and increases penalties for violations of the law. A similar bill was introduced last year but died before reaching the floor.

Sen. John Murante, the committee chair of the Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee, where the bill is being held, said he will bring the bill up for discussion in the coming weeks.

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