Hughes' Views: Final bill goes before committee this week

This week has been a busy one, with the highlight being meeting with the McCook Senior Leadership class. 

Interacting with them gives me hope, knowing that those intelligent, respectful young men and women will be our future community leaders. 

I introduced LB144 to the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee Feb. 27 and LB632 to the Natural Resources Committee Feb. 28.

LB144 is a bill to make county elections nonpartisan on the primary ballot in counties with less than 15,000 residents. There are only 19 counties which have greater than 15,000 residents. 

LB632 is the Natural Resources Committees shell bill which I introduce in case of emergencies or if unexpected issues come up that need to be addressed before the end of the session. 

Many of you have been following LB155, Senator Brewer’s eminent domain bill. That bill was a few votes short and did not pass general file.

LB227, my Right to Farm bill, is still in committee and we’re currently considering adding an amendment to it. I am considering making this bill my priority bill, but have other important bills I am considering which are of great importance as well. 

Moving ahead to this week, I started Monday in Grant at the Perkins County Government Day luncheon. 

It’s always a joy and an honor to speak with people from the district about the importance of our government and the need to be engaged. 

Tuesday, I introduced LB228 to committee. This is known as the Living Donor Protection Act. An example of a living donor is someone who donates a kidney to another person.

Specifically, it would make it unlawful to: decline or limit coverage for life, disability or long-term care insurance; preclude a person from donating all or part of an organ as a condition of receiving life, disability or long-term care insurance; and consider the status of a person as a living organ donor in determining rates for coverage and otherwise discriminate against a person under any life, disability, or long-term care insurance policy due to the status of such person as a living organ donor.

In short, this bill protects Nebraskans who have the heart and ability to save another’s life from unfair treatment as a result of doing so. 

I am introducing LB367, my final bill this week, to the Natural Resources committee. 

The bill makes small changes to the Nebraska Litter Reduction and Recycling Act. It extends the deadline of the act to September 2025, and eliminates a sentence in statute which allowed transfers from this fund to the general fund. 

As I am sure you have heard by now, the State Forecasting Board has lowered its projected revenue amounts for the current fiscal year ending June 30. It has also lowered the projected revenue for each of the next two fiscal years.

This means the state will have less money to work with than we thought. However, our economy is still growing, and the state will collect more money than it did last year.

Our budget will be larger than last year, just not as large as predicted last October. 

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