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State senators discuss next session

Tax reform, casino gambling and pandemic relief among top priorities
Published: Dec. 31, 2020 at 12:11 PM CST
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(KSNB) - The 107th legislative session begins Jan. 6 and district 33 State Senator Steve Halloran and district 35 State Senator Ray Aguilar each have a few things they’d like to prioritize.

As a budget and redistricting year the legislature is being asked to postpone bringing forward any bills that could be postponed a year to focus on those two items. Both Halloran and Aguilar believe there will be a handful of pandemic relief bills, which are necessary, but provide a problem with funding.

“We’ll see what we can do but the practical reality is it will cost something and how we pay for it is always going to be the issue,” Sen. Halloran said.

For Aguilar specifically, he’d like to change a standing law that says casinos are unable to go on property where a state fair takes place, which is a problem for Grand Island because the race track and state fair both take place at Fonner Park.

“There’s going to be a little opposition from the anti-gambling people but hopefully we can overcome that and get this accomplished,” Sen. Aguilar said.

For Halloran, he’d like to have a discussion on tax reform, creating a “compensation tax” that would replace property tax, income tax, sales and inheritance tax.

Halloran is also looking at getting a bill through quickly and without opposition that would require headlights be turned on whenever windshield wipers are necessary.

“Consequently, requiring the headlights on will help visibility and it should be a good safety precaution to save some lives,” Sen. Halloran said.

Both Halloran and Aguilar understand there are certain things that should, and will, take priority over other items and topics but hope they’re able to get done what they believe will benefit our state and help their constituents.

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