August 17, 2020 •

Nebraska Legislative Session Adjourned

Nebraska Capitol Building

Nebraska Capitol Building

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 […]

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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July 20, 2020 •

Nebraska Legislature Resumes Session

Nebraska Capitol Building

Nebraska Capitol Building

Lawmakers reconvened at the Capitol July 20 to complete the second session of the 106th Nebraska Legislature. Speaker Jim Scheer of Norfolk suspended the session in March due to public health concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Senators returned to a […]

Lawmakers reconvened at the Capitol July 20 to complete the second session of the 106th Nebraska Legislature.

Speaker Jim Scheer of Norfolk suspended the session in March due to public health concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senators returned to a changed physical environment. Changes included limitations on staff access to the legislative chamber and plexiglass barriers between members. Additionally, there was no public access to the balconies.

Among the major proposals remaining on the agenda are a property tax measure, a new business tax incentive program and passage of the state budget.

The 2020 session is scheduled to adjourn on August 13.

The revised session dates affect lobbyist reporting. Special monthly reports must be filed by lobbyists and principals if they receive or spend more than $5,000 for lobbying during any calendar month in which the Legislature is in session.

Special monthly reports are due within 15 days after the end of such calendar month.

Additionally, the lobbyist statement of activity report will be due 45 days after adjournment sine die of the session on September 27.

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March 24, 2020 •

Nebraska Legislature Reconvened for Emergency Funding Session

Nebraska Capitol Building

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 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

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

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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