Sprint to the Finish

The Nebraska Legislature is nearing the end of the 108th Legislature, 1st Regular Session. With a ceasefire in the ongoing filibuster, the Legislature is able to both move forward by passing legislation and procedural duties, such as Legislative confirmations! I would like to highlight some of the bills passed either by the Legislature or signed by the Governor last week.

Senator Briese’s LB 243 passed the final round of debate by the Legislature. Over the next six years, LB 243 will reduce property taxes by more than $3 billion. LB 243 increases the Property Tax Credit Fund’s financing from $275 million to $700 million and requires the fund to increase in proportion to the rise in the state’s assessed value of real estate. Many other provisions included in LB 243, such as those found in LB 242, the Property Tax Incentive Credit, would eliminate a limit on the amount of income tax credits available for paying property taxes. The credits, which are claimed on yearly income tax forms, had a 5% annual growth cap last year. Nebraskans will receive more much-needed property tax relief.

Senator Linehan’s 753 also passed the final round of debate by the Legislature. The “Opportunity Scholarships Act” will be established under this legislation, enabling taxpayers to be eligible for a tax credit equal to the amount of their contributions to organizations that offer scholarships. The organization that awards scholarships would fund students’ educations so they may enroll in a nonprofit, private elementary or secondary school. 48 other states have some form of school choice, and Nebraska will be #49.

Last but certainly not least, Senator Sanders’ LB 583 passed the final round of debate by the Legislature. This legislation would allocate $1,500 per-student foundational aid within the Tax Equity and Educational Opportunities Support Act (TEEOSA) formula, which is the current school finance formula for Nebraska public schools. This expands funding for special education by “filling the gap” between existing federal and state support and 80% of a district’s anticipated cost for special education.

Senator Kauth’s LB 574 was signed into law by the Governor. This legislation prohibits gender-altering surgeries for individuals kids the age of 19. LB 574 also included provisions that will further protect children, specifically babies, through a ban on abortions in Nebraska at 12 weeks. I am proud to have supported this legislation all year.

We have continued to work hard to deliver results for the people of Nebraska! As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln NE 68509-4604; telephone: 402-471-2733; email: jslama@leg.ne.gov.

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