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POLICY WATCH

Legislature to Adjourn Next Week

Work is wrapping up at the Capitol as the legislative session is set to adjourn Wednesday, April 20. Several bills moved through Final Reading this week, with senators preserving the last day of the session for veto override votes and any other unfinished business.

This week marked a big victory for Nebraska taxpayers. Nebraska Farm Bureau President Mark McHargue, along with key senators and other stakeholders, joined Governor Ricketts at a ceremony where he signed the comprehensive tax relief package, LB 873 (Friesen) into law this week.

Some notable bills also made their way to the governor’s desk including:

  • LB 848 (Halloran) – Change provisions of the Animal Health and Disease Control Act relating to catastrophic livestock mortality.
  • LB 805 (Hughes) – Change provisions of the Black-Tailed Prairie Dog Management Act, the Nebraska Wheat Resources Act, and the Noxious Weed Control Act.
  • LB 925 (Gragert) – Adopt the Resilient Soils and Water Quality Act and state intent regarding appropriations.
  • LB 1015 (Hilgers) – Adopt the Perkins County Canal Project Act.
  • LB 1023 (Hilgers) – Adopt the Jobs and Economic Development Initiative Act and the Water Recreation Enhancement Act and change provisions relating to the Statewide Tourism And Recreational Water Access and Resource Sustainability (STARWARS) Special Committee of the Legislature.
  • LB 1144 (Friesen) – Change provisions relating to the Nebraska Broadband Bridge Act and the Nebraska Telecommunications Regulation Act, provide and change powers and duties of the Public Service Commission, and adopt the Precision Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Act.
  • LB 1261 (Murman) – Adopt the Nebraska Higher Blend Tax Credit Act and change provisions of the ImagiNE Nebraska Act, the Nebraska Advantage Rural Development Act, and the Urban Redevelopment Act. 

NEFB Welcomes Expansion of Biofuels Sale

Nebraska Farm Bureau President Mark McHargue commented this week on President Biden’s announcement to expand availability of biofuels through the summer.

“Nebraska Farm Bureau (NEFB) appreciates President Biden’s decision to expand the use of E-15 ethanol blends through the summer. As Nebraska families continue to pay substantially more to fill their tanks than even a few months ago, this decision will help bring down fuel costs for families and help us continue to produce more home-grown fuel.”

“NEFB has been a longtime supporter of our nation’s biofuels industry. We look forward to even more potential growth in an environmentally sustainable industry in order to ensure money is not being put into the pockets of some of the world’s most volatile and unfriendly countries. Now is the time for our nation to continue to advance energy policy that focuses on home-grown fuel sources that keeps America energy independent and provides an economic boost to rural communities.”

NEFB-PAC Endorses 13 Candidates for Election and Re-election to the Nebraska Legislature

The Nebraska Farm Bureau Political Action Committee (NEFB-PAC) has announced its slate of endorsements for candidates seeking election to the Nebraska Legislature. The NEFB-PAC endorsements are based on the candidate’s positions on agriculture and rural issues and recommendations from district evaluation committees made up of farmer and rancher members.

“We are pleased to announce our support for a number of candidates seeking both election and re-election to serve in the Nebraska Legislature. Given the important role farmers and ranchers play in helping produce our food and the prominent role agriculture plays in supporting our state’s broader economy, it’s important we elect leaders who have an appreciation for and understanding of both,” said Sherry Vinton of Whitman, chair of NEFB-PAC and first vice president of Nebraska Farm Bureau.

NEFB-PAC endorsed candidates seeking re-election to the Legislature:

  • District 2 – Robert Clements of Elmwood
  • District 16 – Ben Hansen of Blair
  • District 22 – Mike Moser of Columbus
  • District 30 – Myron Dorn of Adams
  • District 32 – Tom Brandt of Plymouth
  • District 38 – Dave Murman of Glenvil

NEFB-PAC endorsed candidates seeking election to the Legislature in open races:

  • District 4 – Brad von Gillern of Omaha
  • District 12 – Merv Riepe of Omaha
  • District 34 – Loren Lippincott of Central City
  • District 36 – Rick Holdcroft of Bellevue
  • District 40 – Mark Patefield of Laurel
  • District 44 – Teresa Ibach of Sumner
  • District 48 – Brian Hardin of Gering and Don Lease II of Bridgeport

“We look forward to supporting this slate of candidates in their election efforts. They all bring unique leadership styles and will work to balance Nebraska’s property tax burden, expand rural broadband, and grow rural economic development. Those running for re-election have a proven track record and have made valuable and positive contributions in the Legislature. We believe those seeking office in open races possess similar abilities to lead our state moving forward,” said Vinton.

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