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Articles written by Sen. Barry Dekay


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  • Budget, taxes dominate legislature last week

    Sen. Barry Dekay|Apr 3, 2024

    Last week, the Legislature gave final round approval to the two mid-biennium budget adjustment bills: LB1412 and LB1413. The two bills will increase the state budget by 2.7% in this two-year period, which is up from the 2.3% approved last year. The primary factor for this growth is due to an additional $94.1 million increase in state aid to schools, which accounts for actual education spending now that LB583 has taken effect. LB583 was passed last year as a revision to the TEEOSA school-funding...

  • Legislature entering final three weeks

    Sen. Barry Dekay|Mar 27, 2024

    This week, my personal priority bill, LB1301, was put before the Unicameral for the first stage of consideration. LB1301 would modernize our state’s existing laws relating to foreign land ownership. The bill would add greater oversight and tighten restrictions on so-called restricted entities or their agents, trustees or fiduciaries, referenced in two federal lists: the persons and entities designated by the Office of Foreign Assets Control and the six countries designated as foreign a...

  • Forecasting board adjusts outlook

    Sen. Barry Dekay|Mar 20, 2024

    The Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board met on Feb. 29, to review the forecast for the current fiscal year and the next fiscal year. The board increased the previous forecast for fiscal year 2023-2024 by $575 million and decreased the previous forecast for fiscal year 2024-2025 by $525 million, for a total net increase of $50 million over the two-year period. Most of the increase can be attributed to increased receipts from corporate income taxes relative to individual income taxes sinc...

  • Medical care funding discussed in session

    Sen. Barry Dekay|Mar 13, 2024

    We are now two-thirds of the way through the 60-day session and have completed public hearings for the year. Senators will now meet in full-day sessions for floor debate. Discussion will focus on bills that have been given priority status either by a senator, a committee, or the speaker. The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn April 18. LB1087 by Sen. Jacobson would adopt the Hospital Quality Assurance and Access Assessment Act. This bill would have Nebraska join 44 other states in obtaining...

  • Legislature hits halfway point, looks at priority bills

    Sen. Barry DeKay|Feb 28, 2024

    This week marked the halfway point of the 2024 legislative session, meaning the remaining time will be spent on senator, committee and speaker priority bills. Given the time left in the session, I will be focused on my priority bill for the year, LB1301. LB1301 would adopt the Foreign-owned Real Estate National Security Act, put guardrails and protections in place on foreign ownership of ag land and help safeguard sensitive military installations from threats posed by foreign adversaries. I...

  • Staying the course on broadband

    Sen. Barry Dekay|Feb 21, 2024

    Much of this week’s activity focused on broadband and the Nebraska Department of Transportation, along with some controversy relating to education policy. The Transportation and Telecommunications Committee heard three of my bills this week. LB1038 would make a small change to the membership requirement of the Nebraska Information Technology Commission, which develops and reviews our state’s information technology plans. The commission currently has nine voting members and one member from the...

  • DeKay designates LB1301 as priority bill

    Sen. Barry DeKay|Jan 31, 2024

    Chief Justice Michael Heavican delivered his annual State of the Judiciary address this past week. As part of a longtime tradition, I was selected to be a member of the committee to escort the Chief Justice into the legislative chamber; I felt it was a great honor and privilege to be able to serve as a member of his escort committee. In his address, Heavican noted that judiciary staffing has returned to a pre-pandemic level. He also said there was a 27% increase in problem-solving court...

  • Legislator assesses State of State address

    Sen. Barry DeKay|Jan 25, 2024

    On Thursday of this past week, Governor Pillen delivered his State of the State address. The governor began his speech by thanking members of law enforcement, first responders and road crews who have worked countless hours in recent days in the brutal winter weather conditions across the state. He next touched on his priorities for this year, which included property tax relief, reducing the regulatory burden of state government and protecting Nebraska from foreign adversaries. He lent support to...

  • Legislators contemplate rules

    Sen. Barry DeKay|Jan 18, 2024

    This past week, senators commenced floor debate on possibly amending the rules adopted by the Legislature last year. Following a public hearing, the Rules Committee considered 34 rules proposals and advanced 17 of them to the floor for deliberation. Several of the proposals are purely technical in nature and aim to improve the overall process within the body, such as changes to when bills involving judges’ salaries or transfers from the Cash Reserve Fund are scheduled. Other proposals aim to t...

  • DeKay begins second year in Legislature

    Sen. Barry DeKay, Senator|Jan 11, 2024

    Wednesday, Jan. 3 marked the first day of the 108th Legislature, Second Session. This session also marks the beginning of the second year that I am serving as the representative of the 40th Legislative District. The 40th District covers the counties of Antelope, Cedar, Dixon, Holt, Knox and Pierce. Legislative sessions in even-numbered years last for 60 days. During the short session, senators will make any necessary adjustments to the two-year budget that was developed during the 90-day session...

  • Future of energy will be considered in legislative session

    SEN. BARRY DEKAY|Dec 7, 2023

    As the harvest finishes and we enter the upcoming holiday season, senators remain hard at work preparing for the looming legislative session in January. One such topic I am investigating is the future of electrical generation in Nebraska. Currently, Nebraska Public Power District's energy generation resource mix consists of the following: 42.3% nuclear, 30.1% coal, 7.4% wind, 6.4% hydroelectric and 13.8% from all other sources, such as natural gas or purchase agreements. However, as market press...

  • DeKay continues working for district 40 constituents

    Sen. Barry DeKay|Aug 24, 2023

    The Legislature adjourned shortly after Memorial Day, but my duties as your representative continue at a fast pace. In the interim between the adjournment of the previous session and the convening of the next session, senators remain hard at work serving on special and select committees, studying subjects of local importance and addressing issues brought forward by constituents. During the session, I was appointed to serve on the LR178 Small Modular Nuclear Reactors Select Committee with six of...

  • Legislative session comes to an end

    Sen. Barry Dekay|Jun 8, 2023

    The 108th Legislature, First Session, has adjourned sine die. This past year, lawmakers passed some important bills and failed to agree on other critical issues. Excluding A bills, of the 820 bills and 274 resolutions introduced this year, only 33 bills and one resolution actually received a final vote. However, the bills passed included many expansive Christmas tree packages, meaning the Legislature actually passed 291 bills in total, including A bills. This figure is comparable to the last...

  • Prison overcrowding discussed by legislators

    Sen. Barry Dekay|Jun 1, 2023

    A legislative proposal to make various changes to Nebraska’s tax system received second-round approval this past week. LB 727 is a Revenue Committee omnibus package that contains provisions from nearly 30 bills. The bill includes several provisions that I support, including: • LB 577, which would prohibit home equity theft by requiring personal service to property owners that their taxes are delinquent, making sure they know they are at risk of losing their home or land via the purchase of a tax...

  • Legislative session enters final days

    Sen. Barry Dekay|May 25, 2023

    This week saw the Legislature continue to work late into the night to complete its business before adjourning in June. Although only a few bills have advanced thus far, a tremendous amount of work is going on behind the scenes by various legislative divisions such as the clerk’s office, transcribers, bill drafters, information technology, research, and committees to ensure bills are ready for the floor. With all the budget bills sitting on final reading, senators spent several days working to p...

  • Budget bills receive nod from Legislature

    Sen. Barry Dekay|May 18, 2023

    The Legislature gave second-round approval to the budget bills this past week. This effort will allow the budget to be read on Final Reading next week, meeting the requirement to have it pass by the 80th legislative day. The budget would provide money for capital construction projects such as the Perkins County Canal Project and a new prison facility. Additional funds are appropriated to cover salary increases recently negotiated with the state employee’s union and for staff at correctional f...

  • Education Future Fund included in governor's budget

    Sen. Barry Dekay|May 11, 2023

    This week saw the Legislature debate the mainline state budget. The latest projections from the Economic Forecasting Board lowered revenue projections for the current fiscal year by $80 million to $6.36 billion. The adjustment was based on anticipated decrease of $200 million in individual income, sales and use tax receipts, offset in part by projected increases of $120 million in corporate and miscellaneous tax receipts. Total projected revenue receipts for Fiscal Year 2023-24, however, were ra...

  • Budget proposal includes 2.3% spending increase

    Sen. Barry Dekay|May 4, 2023

    The Appropriations Committee advanced its finalized recommendations for the Fiscal Year 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 biennial budget to the full Legislature. This proposal calls for an average increase of 2.3% in spending over the next two fiscal years. The main differences between the governor's proposal and the Appropriations Committee proposal are that lawmakers included an additional $80 million to increase both (A) the reimbursement rates for providers of Medicaid services by 3% this year and...

  • Legislature passes four bills

    Sen. Barry Dekay|Apr 27, 2023

    This week saw the Legislature pass the first four bills of the year. LB 376 would create a brand registration for the state Liquor Control Commission to accurately identify and track alcoholic products imported into Nebraska. LB 296 would both (a) create a framework for pet insurance and (b) require that the reimbursement rate for any telehealth service shall, at a minimum, be the same as a comparable in-person health care service in order to ensure there is no disincentive to health care...

  • Amendment added to Opportunity Scholarship Act

    Sen. Barry Dekay|Apr 20, 2023

    Many major issues were debated this past week in the Legislature, with LB 626 and LB 574 being the two most highly-contested bills considered by senators. LB 626 would adopt the Nebraska Heartbeat Act and restrict abortion to when a fetal heartbeat is first detected, thereby reducing the current 20-week abortion time window to about six weeks. This bill includes exceptions for rape, incest, sexual assault, medical emergencies (such as ectopic pregnancies and the removal of the remains of an...

  • Property taxes, school finance discussions held

    Sen. Barry Dekay|Apr 13, 2023

    This week saw the Legislature continue the discussion of the governor’s school finance and tax package. LB 243, as amended by the Revenue Committee, would make a series of changes aimed at easing the financial impact of increasing property tax valuations on Nebraska’s local property taxpayers. Among changes proposed, the measure would increase the minimum amount of relief granted under the Property Tax Credit Act to $388 million in tax year 2024 and $560 million by tax year 2029. This amo...

  • Income tax package advances to Select File

    Sen. Barry Dekay|Apr 6, 2023

    It is the last week of March and the Legislature has moved on to all-day debate. At this point in time in the prior 2021 90-day long session, the Legislature had passed 31 bills with 16 signed into law by the governor. This year, a grand total of zero bills have been passed into law and only one resolution - my resolution LR 13 - affirming the Legislature’s support for including the names of the Sage brothers and other 71 sailors of the USS Frank E. Evans on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial W...

  • Legislature passes the halfway mark

    Sen. Barry Dekay|Mar 30, 2023

    The Legislature has completed Day 50 of this 90-day legislative session and is in the middle of debate on bills that have been designated as a priority by senators, committees and the speaker. This past week, the Legislature gave initial first-round approval to LB 574 which would adopt the Let Them Grow Act and prohibit the performance of gender-altering procedures on minors. This legislation has been the focus of discussions and filibusters in the past few weeks as opponents of the bill raised...

  • Heavican calls for expanded resources for 24-hour provider access

    Sen. Barry Dekay|Mar 2, 2023

    We are now past the one-third mark of this 90-day legislative session but still have a great deal of work to do. The various standing committees are busy holding public hearings on the 820 bills and 22 substantive resolutions that were introduced in January. We have around four more weeks of hearings yet to go. Thus far, two of my bills have been presented before committees. The week began with Nebraska Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Heavican delivering the State of the Judiciary address...

  • Input heard on gender participation policy

    Sen. Barry Dekay|Feb 23, 2023

    This week saw the Legislature resume floor debate and consider several gubernatorial appointments and reappointments. The following people were confirmed this week: Jim Macy as director of the department of environment and energy, John Bolduc as the superintendent of the state patrol, John Hilgert as director of the department of veterans affairs, Jason Jackson as director of the department of administrative services and Sherry Vinton as director of the department of agriculture. Additionally, I...

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