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Meatpacker bill opens rare divide among rural Nebraska lawmakers (AUDIO)

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Debate on the bill lifting Nebraska’s ban on meatpackers owning hogs causes a rare split among the Unicameral’s rural delegation. Normally united to promote rural interests, the hog packer bill divided rural legislators. “Well, I hope my urban colleagues are enjoying the split among us rural, ag senators,” Sen. Curt Friesen of Henderson remarked during […]

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Last packer hog ownership ban falls; Nebraska joins other states

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A last-minute filibuster cannot stop a measure that lifts the ban on meatpackers owning hogs in Nebraska from passing in the legislature. LB 176 clears the Unicameral easily on a 34-to-14 vote. But, not until supporters overcame a rare, final-reading filibuster against the bill. Opponents of the measure held up the vote for two hours […]

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Lawmakers hear pros and cons of cutting property taxes (AUDIO)

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A legislative committee has heard the governor’s plan to cut property taxes, but also hears some complaints about the plan as well. Gov. Pete Ricketts personally lobbies for the bill that would limit local governmental spending and cap growth of agricultural land assessments at three percent. “It’s a balanced approach. It’s an incremental approach. It’s […]

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Governor’s first property tax relief bill reaches legislature

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The first of two bills targeting property tax relief is scheduled to be heard today in the Unicameral. Governor Pete Ricketts’ proposals are being carried by Senators Kate Sullivan of Cedar Rapids and Mike Gloor of Grand Island. Senator Sullivan says the measure, LB 958, has a few primary areas of focus. “It controls growth […]

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President signs Sen. Fischer’s GONE Act into law (AUDIO)

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President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill co-sponsored by Senator Deb Fischer designed to save money by closing some worthless accounts. It’s called the GONE Act, which stands for The Grants Oversight and New Efficiency Act. It’s rather simple. The act calls for federal agencies to close grants 90 days after they expire. […]

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State lawmakers mull bill to boost wind power projects

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A wind energy bill proposed by Senator John McCollister of Omaha is being introduced in the Unicameral. The bill, LB-824, would deregulate development of private wind energy and remove barriers that discourage investment in Nebraska wind projects. Robert Byrnes, president of Nebraska Renewable Energy Systems in Lyons, is skeptical about the measure accomplishing anything. “This […]

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Filibuster of gun rights bill holds…by one vote (AUDIO)

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Supporters of a bill that would have prohibited cities from adopting gun laws stricter than state law failed to overcome a filibuster, by one vote. Talks failed to reach a compromise, then supporters fail to end a filibuster, falling a single vote short of stopping debate and forcing a vote. Sen. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln […]

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Filibuster kills bill to require students get meningitis vaccine

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Supporters of a bill to require seventh grade students to be vaccinated against bacterial meningitis cannot overcome a filibuster in the Unicameral. LB 18 appears dead for the session. The bill would have required that students entering the seventh grade be vaccinated against bacterial meningitis. The students would have had to receive a booster when […]

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Nebraska’s cigarette tax would more than double under proposed bill

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A Nebraska lawmaker wants to raise the state’s tax on cigarettes by $1.50 per pack. State Senator Mike Gloor of Grand Island says the increase would mean $90 million in property tax relief with half that amount going to homeowners. “And then there’s a personal property tax, which is really directed towards small businesses, ag […]

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Gambling with the Good Life opposed poker gambling bill

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Nebraska lawmaker’s will likely vote on LB 619, a bill that would expand gambling in the state. State Senator Tyson Larson introduced the bill that would allow poker rooms in locations that already have a liquor license. Gambling with the Good Life Executive Director Pat Loontjer says they oppose this bill or any that would […]

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