Friday, September 21, 2018
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Tasks ahead not easy for state’s senators

Greetings District 36.

On Jan. 6, the Legislature began its first day of business for the 2016 legislative session. I was very proud to be asked to open the session by giving the morning prayer. As part of my morning prayer I recognized that our legislators come from different geographies and different backgrounds and often times different philosophies. However, we all come with the universal goal of improving the lives of all the residents of our state.

I also pointed out that as legislators, we face difficult and important decisions. We don’t make these decisions because they are easy or because they are cheap or because they are popular. We make decisions because they are right.

During the first days of the legislative session, it has become clear that the primary topics of discussion will be property tax relief and school funding. It is impossible to separate these two topics. At the present time, nearly 60% of the revenue generated from property taxes goes to school funding.

There will be many proposed solutions for these issues, including a comprehensive proposal from Gov. Pete Ricketts. I try to remind everyone to manage their expectations. The issue of rising real estate taxes did not happen overnight. It will not be corrected with one silver bullet.

I remain committed to facilitating a solution that will in the long run benefit our state’s No. 1 industry—agriculture.

During the first few days of the legislative session, over 300 new bills have been introduced. This will make for a very busy and complicated session. With the assistance of my legislative assistant Jeremiah Blake and my administrative assistant Natalie Schunk, we will work hard to analyze and evaluate these proposals.

Your input is deeply appreciated. You can contact my office anytime by phone at (402) 471-2642 or email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

I wish each of you a blessed and happy New Year. We have been blessed with many gifts and talents, and our goal is to use these talents and opportunities to create possibilities for all Nebraskans.

I thank you again for the trust you have placed in me. My promise and commitment remains to work hard to ensure a strong future for our state.