Nebraska Legislature Begins New, Two-Year Session

Date: January 08, 2021

NFIB lists its priorities for the 2021 session

State Director Bob Hallstrom reports from Lincoln on the legislative and political week ending January 8

The 107th session of the Nebraska Legislature convened on Wednesday, January 6, at 10 a.m., with the initial day of the session featuring the election of committee chairs and appointment of individual members to legislative committees. Sen. Mike Hilgers (Lincoln) was elected to the position of Speaker of the Legislature. The following new committee chairs were also elected by their colleagues:

  • Agriculture, Sen. Steve Halloran (Hastings)
  • Appropriations, Sen. John Stinner (Gering)
  • Banking, Commerce & Insurance, Sen. Matt Williams (Gothenburg)
  • Business & Labor, Sen. Ben Hansen (Blair)
  • Education, Sen. Lynne Walz (Fremont)
  • Executive Board, Sen. Dan Hughes (Venango)
  • General Affairs, Sen. Tom Briese (Albion)
  • Government, Military & Veteran Affairs, Sen. Tom Brewer (Gordon)
  • Health & Human Services, Sen. John Arch (Omaha)
  • Judiciary, Sen. Steve Lathrop (Omaha)
  • Natural Resources, Sen. Bruce Bostelman (Brainard)
  • Nebraska Retirement Systems, Sen. Mark Kolterman (Seward)
  • Revenue, Sen. Lou Ann Linehan (Elkhorn)
  • Rules, Sen. Rob Clements (Elmwood)
  • Transportation, Sen. Curt Friesen (Henderson)
  • Urban Affairs, Sen. Justin Wayne (Omaha)

Since most business-related legislation will be referred to the Business and Labor Committee, appointment of members to this committee was of great interest to Nebraskans for Workers’ Compensation Equity and Fairness. Along with the election of Sen. Ben Hansen as chair of the Business and Labor Committee, the following members were appointed to serve on the Business and Labor Committee:

  • Sen. Carol Blood (Bellevue)
  • Sen. Steve Halloran (Hastings)
  • Sen. Matt Hansen (Lincoln)
  • Sen. Megan Hunt (Omaha)
  • Sen. Steve Lathrop (Omaha)
  • Sen. Julie Slama (Peru)

There are eight new senators this year, including three former state senators, who were sworn in on the opening day of the session. The newly elected and appointed senators are as follows:

  • Sen. John Cavanaugh (District 9, Omaha)
  • Sen. Terrell McKinney (District 11, Omaha)
  • Sen. Mike Flood (District 19, Norfolk)
  • Sen. Eliot Bostar (District 29, Lincoln)
  • Sen. Rich Pahls (District 31, Omaha)
  • Sen. Ray Aguilar (District 35, Grand Island)
  • Sen. Rita Sanders (District 45, Bellevue)
  • Sen. Jen Day (District 49, Omaha)

The first 10 working days of the session will be devoted to new bill introductions and the adoption of permanent rules. Committee hearings are tentatively scheduled to commence on Monday, January 25. It is anticipated that the following major issues will dominate the session: the state budget, tax relief, prison reform, and redistricting.

2021 Legislative Priorities

NFIB is optimistic that a number of business-friendly measures will receive favorable consideration this session. Among the issues to be promoted by NFIB are:

  • business liability protections against COVID-19 claims
  • property tax and income tax relief
  • workers compensation reform
  • holding the line on state spending.

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