Legislative work not always easy

Greetings District 36. The 104th legislative session adjourned sine die on Wednesday, April 20.

I would like to sincerely thank the 11 senators whose terms are completed at the end of this year. Each one of them has worked extremely hard to benefit our state.

This group of senators has provided significant leadership all the way from Speaker of the Legislature to committee chairs. It is imperative that those senators remaining in the body step up and accept the responsibility of providing leadership for the future.

The work of the Legislature is not easy and often times the road to success is filled with many potholes.

On a personal level I enjoyed a great deal of success during this session. All seven of the bills that I introduced were passed and signed into law.

Two of these bills will have significant impact on the future of our state.

LB 1009 creates a new mechanism and new tools for law enforcement in their fight against synthetic drugs. LB 919 creates the format for the expanded use of problem-solving courts in our state. I thank the other senators for voting in favor of these bills and to the governor for signing them into law.

During this session, we made incremental changes in taxes and school funding. Changing philosophy and direction takes a great deal of effort and time.

I believe the Legislature is committed to doing more in the future and finding solutions to our ever growing tax issues.

We also should be reminded that our state is in sound financial shape. State spending increased by a modest 3.6% over the biennium. Even though we tapped into the “rainy day” fund for some key investments, it still remains at a healthy level. Adequate reserves are necessary to carry us through economic downturns.

In the next few weeks I plan to write a review of the 60-day session. This will highlight the accomplishments of the session and also point out those issues that were defeated. Often times, it’s what we do not do that is as important as what we do.

I’m looking forward to spending more time in the district now that the session is over. If you have an event that you would like me to attend, please feel free to extend an invitation.

I look forward to visiting with everyone concerning issues that face our state. Thanks again for all your input during the session. It clearly makes a difference.