Nebraska lawmakers will return to Lincoln to kick-off the 2019 legislative session, Wednesday, Jan. 9. This year marks the first session of the 106th Legislature. Lawmakers will work through a 90-day session slated to end the first week of June.
State senators will also be charged with electing leadership positions that will carry through the 2019 and 2020 sessions, including Speaker of the Legislature and committee chair positions. Eight committees are guaranteed to have new leadership, as the previous chairs are no longer serving in the legislature due to term-limits or legislative turnover. Those committees include the Agriculture; General Affairs; Government, Military and Veterans Affairs; Health and Human Services; Judiciary; and Revenue Committees.
In addition to new leadership, the body will also have several new faces. Thirteen of the 49-member legislature will be new, several of which received the Nebraska Farm Bureau – PAC, “Friend of Agriculture” designation in the general election. Among those are Myron Dorn of Adams in Dist. 30, Ben Hansen of Blair in Dist. 16, Tom Brandt of Plymouth in Dist. 32, Dave Murman of Glenvil in Dist. 38, and Tim Gragert of Creighton in Dist. 40.
Other new faces will include Machaela Cavanaugh of Omaha in Dist. 6, Megan Hunt of Omaha in Dist. 8, Wendy DeBoer of Bennington in Dist. 10, Steve Lathrop of Omaha in Dist. 12, John Arch of La Vista in Dist. 14, and Mike Moser of Columbus in Dist. 22.
The election of Dist. 1 Sen. Dan Watermeier to the Public Service Commission and Dist. 49 Sen. John Murante to Nebraska State Treasurer in the middle of their legislative terms will require replacements for those two seats. Gov. Pete Ricketts has appointed Julie Slama from Peru, to the Dist. 1 seat. Andrew La Grone, an attorney and small business owner from Gretna has been appointed to the Dist. 49 seat.