Legislative Update - LB305 & LB202 Advance to the Full Legislature for Debate
The Agriculture Committee voted to advance LB305, which I introduced and which creates a state meat inspection agency. This issue is very important to the state of Nebraska, and I am pleased that the bill will soon be debated on the floor of the Legislature.
In addition, the Judiciary Committee held hearings on very important bills relating to firearms. LB618, introduced by Senator Burke Harr, and LB516, introduced by Senator Mark Christensen, both address firearms at schools. LB618 allows a school district to permit peace officers or law enforcement officers to possess a firearm when contracted to provide school security or school event control services. LB516 allows all governing bodies of educational institution in Nebraska the option to create a security policy that enables either their security guards, administrators, teaching staff, or a combination of all three to carry a concealed handgun in or on school property. Safety concerns at schools in Nebraska have prompted a discussion on this topic, and while I am supportive of the concealed carry law, I believe security personnel are better suited to provide this type of protection in a school setting.
The Legislature debated several bills relating to budget concerns, including LB333, which implements the recommendations of the Education Committee to lower expenditures on Early Childhood Education Grants, high ability learner grants, an integrated information system, and the Center for Student Leadership and Extended Learning. The Appropriations Committee also released its preliminary report for the biennial budget, which can be accessed on the Unicameral’s website (www.nebraskalegislature.gov). In this report, the Committee finds that spending growth will be approximately 1.2% in fiscal year 2011-2012 and 3.4% in fiscal year 2012-2013. The Committee also estimates that $256 million in Cash Reserve funds will be required for the upcoming biennial budget, and that revenue growth is expected to be 5.8% in fiscal year 2010-2011, 2.6% in fiscal year 2011-2012 and 3.9% in fiscal year 2012-2013. This preliminary budget varies only slightly from the Governor’s proposed budget.
Please feel free to contact my office with your questions and comments at (402) 471-2801 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senator Tyson Larson