Greetings from Senator Williams

Greetings District 36! There has been a great deal of discussion lately regarding the proposed health education standards from the Nebraska Department of Education. I want to make my position on this issue clear. I have fully reviewed the draft standards and the rationale behind the draft, and I have serious reservations about the appropriateness of the draft standards. I believe the health standards are not age or content appropriate, and infringe on parental rights.

Expressing Trade Priorities to USTR

When I speak with the farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and other businesses in the Third District, a common theme is the importance of trade to our state’s economic success. This week, the Ways and Means Committee held our annual hearing on the administration’s trade policy agenda, where members of the committee had their first opportunity to hear from and question Ambassador Katherine Tai, our recently confirmed United States Trade Representative (USTR). I appreciated the opportunity to urge the Biden Administration to enforce existing trade agreements and reiterate the necessity of renewing Trade Promotional Authority and completing pending free trade agreements that would not only benefit Nebraska, but our nation as a whole.

Troubles Warming Up To Stepfather

Q: After years of being a single parent, I recently married a wonderful man. He’s kind but firm with my three children and plans to adopt them. But my preschool-age son has had a hard time warming up to his new stepfather. Help!

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Greetings District 36. This week, the Legislature continued to work on a list of taxation and spending bills. I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight two bills and a resolution that garnered attention in the Legislature.

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Many parts of the economy in our great state of Nebraska are thriving. However, the new slate of tax increase proposals coming from the Biden Administration will undermine the success of Nebraska, and states like it, by removing capital from family farms and small businesses at a time when we need to be encouraging economic growth.

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Greetings District 36. There has been a great deal of media coverage recently over the Legislature’s efforts to reduce the property tax burden. A bill we debated last week, LB408, was touted as a major property tax relief proposal. In fact, LB408 would not direct one cent toward direct property tax relief. The premise of LB408 argues local boards are overspending, which is a false narrative in District 36. LB408 proposed to impose additional levy limits on locally elected boards, even though there is undisputed evidence that those boards are staying within existing limits. Further, I believe it is offensive to make a general assumption that school boards, city councils, and counties are overspending. I am reminded that the same people that elect the local officials in District 36 also elected me.

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This week President Biden delivered his first address to a joint session of Congress. He began by acknowledging the success of the COVID-19 vaccine development under the previous administration while touting its rollout under his own. Getting as many Americans as possible vaccinated is a key to reopening and rebuilding the economy across our country, and we should rightfully be proud of how quickly American ingenuity led to this lifesaving development. Unfortunately, President Biden’s remarks then moved on to his so-called American Jobs Plan, his wide-ranging proposal which is being sold as an effort to rebuild our infrastructure and get Americans back to work. While I have broad concerns about the size and scope of the President’s spending plans, I am most concerned that he is working rapidly to unwind many of the accomplishments, like regulatory and tax relief, which had our economy at record highs prior to COVID-19.

Habits Irritate Spouse

Q: My spouse has a few irritating habits that haven’t bothered me too much in the past. But this past year, being shut up together so much... I’m about ready to snap. Help! Jim: Nobody can change

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I very recently saw an opinion by Nebraska Governor Ricketts that something like 20 Nebraska Senators had refused to vote on a Property Tax reduction being supported by the Governor.