Our Constitution’s framers affirmed our right to bear arms through the Second Amendment for an important reason; to provide Americans with means of protection and self-defense. This week Democrats brought to the House floor two bills they claim would protect safety by restricting gun ownership. I will always be vigilant in protecting Nebraskans’ Second Amendment rights, and I opposed both bills because they would do far more to harm the rights of law-abiding Americans than to address any real problem.
This week, most standing Committees finished their public hearings for this legislative session. The Legislature will now begin full day debate of bills that have advanced out of the standing Committees. The Banking, Commerce, and Insurance Committee ended its public hearing schedule with a hearing on LB270 and LB375, both of which propose to further regulate Pharmacy Benefit Managers, more commonly called PBMs.
The backbone of our American republic is the guarantee of free and fair elections. Regardless of whether the candidate you supported won or lost last November, we should all be concerned when states deviate from election laws through judicial activism and executive overreach. After the Florida recount debacle in 2000, Congress came together to form a bipartisan consensus so states could fairly and accurately count every legally cast ballot. Unfortunately, this standard of bipartisan election reform was not considered in the House this week. I voted against H.R. 1, the socalled “For the People Act”, which would overrule the voting practices of every state, including Nebraska, in a way our Constitution’s framers never intended.
Greetings District 36. As all day public hearings continue, this week I’d like to highlight LB139, a bill I cosponsored with Senator Tom Briese of Albion, which was heard by the Judiciary Committee. The bill intends to minimize the concern about frivolous lawsuits related to exposure to COVID-19, thereby providing a measure of protection to businesses and organizations.
Defeating COVID-19 includes reconnecting unemployed Americans. Before the pandemic, America’s economy was thriving. Workers at the bottom of the income ladder were seeing the largest wage gains in recent history. Two principle achievements from the last 25 years - the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the 1996 Welfare Reform Act - ensured Americans benefitted from hard work.
Greetings District 36! While we continue to hold all day public hearings, the full Legislature met one morning this week to take up a number of bills that had advanced from committees. Among the bills debated were six bills I introduced as Chairman of the Banking, Commerce, and Insurance Committee. The bills were brought to me by the Department of Insurance, the Department of Banking and Finance, the Real Property Appraisers Board, and the Secretary of State to update statutes related to industries that are critical to our State’s economy. These agencies work closely with industry representatives to identify legislative changes necessary for Nebraska to maintain a competitive business environment.
Nebraska is a biofuels powerhouse - the second and third largest producer of ethanol and corn, respectively, in the country. With 25 active ethanol plants and a capacity of more than 2.5 billion gallons, the importance of biofuels to our state economy cannot be understated. Biodiesel production in Nebraska has seen exponential growth as well. Thanks to innovation and technological developments, biodiesel production has grown from 25 million gallons in 2004 to 2.9 billion gallons in 2019. Ethanol has an economic impact of $5 billion in Nebraska, and in turn the industry directly employs more than 1,400 Nebraskans.