The 2018 Legislative Session is a 60-day session which begins Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018 and is tentatively scheduled to end April 18, 2018. Senators have through Thursday, Jan. 18 to introduce bills. Hearings on legislative proposals will begin the middle of January and continue through March. Here is a list of key issues Nebraska Farm Bureau will be monitoring in 2018.

Property Taxes

  • Farm Bureau will continue to work to reduce agriculture land valuations as it relates to taxation.
  • Continue backing “foundation aid” for schools, which is distributed from the state on a per pupil basis, meaning unequalized schools will receive some amount of aid from the state. For Farm Bureau to support, this approach would need to be accompanied by a corresponding reduction in property taxes.
  • Advocate for restoration of the Allocated Income Tax which returned 20 percent of income taxes collected in a school district back to the district when the state aid formula was created in 1990. For Farm Bureau to support, this approach would need to be accompanied by a corresponding reduction in property taxes.
  • Support legislation prohibiting public entities from entering into bond agreements without a vote of the people.

Broadband

  • Farm Bureau will work to secure funding for the NE Universal Service Fund and ensure dollars in the fund are utilized as intended.
  • Support public-private partnerships between public power and internet service providers to reduce cost and speed up broadband deployment in rural areas.

Regulations

  • Farm Bureau will continue to support a regulatory climate which will allow farmers and ranchers to operate efficiently and without undue burden.
  • Areas of focus include transportation, livestock permitting, and water law compliance.