Hughes' Views: All-day debate starts next week

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Session is now more than halfway finished, and there is much work yet to be done. I think we will see the pace start to really pick up now that most of the committee hearings are finished and priority bills have been designated. We will begin all-day debate on April 2.

As I had hoped, the agriculture committee designated LB227, my bill which makes changes to the Nebraska Right to Farm Act, as their committee priority bill. 

This means LB227 is guaranteed to be debated on the floor during general file. Because the committee selected that as their priority, I selected LB268 as my priority bill. 

LB268’s intent is to make it easier for a customer of a telecommunications company to switch to a different company that offers better service in an adjoining exchange in Nebraska. 

I support this because I believe competition makes businesses more efficient and benefits consumers. With high speed broadband access and availability of other telecommunication such a hot button issue, this bill will help ensure our rural communities continue to grow and have access to the best possible service. 

The Natural Resources committee selected LB177 and LB700 as our priority bills. LB177 changes the bonding sunset date for the Papio NRD for flood control projects and LB700 is related to decommissioning and reclaiming land used in wind energy production. Both of these bills are very timely due to the recent flooding in eastern Nebraska and the continued push to build more wind turbines our state.

Land damage meetings

Game and Parks are holding meetings for Southwestern Nebraska landowners regarding property damage caused by wildlife. If you have experienced damage to crops, stored feed or stored grain due to deer and other game species, this is a meeting you need to attend. 

I have had discussions with G&P about this issue and the current G&P administration does not believe this is a problem. 

I hope everyone who has been frustrated with the damage caused by deer and other game species will attend one of these meetings and voice their concerns. I understand G&P has held meetings in the past and nothing has changed, but this time G&P knows there are several senators who think G&P should be paying for the damages caused by the game they are managing. 

G&P makes millions of dollars from marketing our game species to hunters, but is unwilling to help pay to raise them. The landowners of the state need to be reimbursed for feeding all of those animals. Show up and let your voice be heard.

All of the meetings will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. The schedule is:

April 2—Wauneta, Wauneta Senior Center, 231 N. Tecumseh St.

April 3—McCook, Red Willow County Fairgrounds 4-H building, 1412 W. 5th St.

April 4—Oxford, Fire Hall, 310 Odell St.

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