Nebraska Legislature reconvenes after nearly four month layoff

Published: Jul. 20, 2020 at 7:19 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - For the first time since the end of March, Nebraska state senators were back on the Senate floor Monday. This comes after Speaker of the Legislature Jim Scheer postponed the session due to COVID-19.

The first day consisted of debate over several bills involving Nebraska’s Youth Rehab and Treatment Centers, but a group of state senators took today to tell people what they’ll prioritize the remaining 16 days. Gov. Ricketts said in a statement last Wednesday he hopes Legislators prioritize giving Nebraskans property tax relief. But, for Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh-Omaha, that isn’t the case.

“Taking care of Nebraskans and getting back to work in healthy and safety is my priority and I think others will share that sentiment,” Sen. Cavanaugh said.

One of the many reasons these Senators are prioritizing this is because their constituents have told them that’s what they want to see. Sen. John McCollister-Omaha is a part of the Revenue Committee and said it’s still looking for a bill that best gives Nebraskans relief.

“The pandemic has certainly changed some of the parameters we are working with,” Sen. McCollister said. “But I think we’ll get there and to add to the property tax relief, the $275 million is already in the budget.”

Sen. Megan Hunt-Omaha made her Pay-to-Play bill a priority bill this session but doesn’t see it as her priority.

“The world is different from when we adjourned,” Sen. Hunt said. “I don’t think we would be responsible to Nebraska if we didn’t acknowledge that because that’s what people are asking us to do.”

The Nebraska Legislature will convene every weekday until Aug. 13, excluding Aug. 7 and 10. Senators will need to approve the state’s budget before the end of the session.

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