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Articles written by Sen Barry Dekay

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  • DeKay reflects on Legislative session

    Sen Barry DeKay|Apr 24, 2024

    On April 18, the Legislature completed its work for this 60-day legislative session. Although the last day is typically reserved for veto overrides and closing remarks, the Legislature also took action on 15 bills remaining on Final Reading. Notably, the governor’s proposed property tax package contained in LB388 stalled when it became clear that the bill did not have the votes to break a filibuster. LB388 was then passed over on the agenda at the request of the introducing senator, meaning t...

  • LB1402 draws debate, moves forward

    Sen Barry DeKay|Apr 17, 2024

    Although the Legislature was only in session for three days this week, senators were productive in moving legislation to Final Reading. This year, there was not enough time to take up every bill that was sitting on General File due to the time a bill must lay over for review by the Revisor’s Office. Much of the remaining time was spent on legislation that was on Select File or Final Reading. After the 59th day, the Legislature will be in recess for a few days to allow the governor to sign or v...

  • Legislature searches for property tax relief

    Sen Barry DeKay|Apr 10, 2024

    The beginning of April brings us closer to the end of this year’s legislative session. There are many bills still left to debate and little time to consider all of the priority bills brought forward this year. The week began with the resumption of debate on the governor’s proposed property tax relief package: LB388 and LB1331. LB388 initially proposed an up-to-1% increase of the sales tax, from the current rate of 5.5% to possibly as high as 6.5%, and raising taxes and eliminating tax exe...

  • Legislature holds public hearings on bills

    Sen Barry DeKay|Mar 6, 2024

    This week saw the Legislature in session for only three days to conclude public hearings on more than 600 bills and resolutions introduced this year. It is also at this point in the legislative session when only bills with priority status make the agenda. Every senator is authorized to designate one bill as his or her personal priority bill. Committees are allowed to select two bills, while the speaker of the Legislature can designate up to 25 bills as speaker priority bills. Since committees...

  • Foreign-owned land part of priority bill

    Sen Barry DeKay|Feb 14, 2024

    This week, I presented my priority bill for this year before members of the Agriculture Committee: LB1301. This bill would adopt the Foreign-owned Real Estate National Security Act and bring our antiquated foreign land ownership statutes up to date. Our statutes were first enacted in 1889 and many sections were last updated only in 1943. The bill would modernize these statutes by restricting federally-designated foreign adversaries from owning agricultural land, empowering the attorney general...

  • Hearings, debate underway in legislature

    Sen Barry DeKay|Feb 7, 2024

    We are now over a third of the way through this short session of the biennium. This week focused on hearings and debate on railroads, daylight saving time, kratom, hemp-derived THC and many other issues. The Legislature has spent its days engaged in debate and committee hearings as per usual, yet that does not mean we have avoided filibuster this session. LB31, put forward by Sen. Jacobson, would require railroads to have a minimum of two individuals on their crews. Three days of debate were...

  • State senators identify priority bills

    Sen Barry DeKay|Mar 16, 2023

    The Legislature is now past Day 40 and is almost halfway through the current Legislative session. In floor debate, only a couple of bills have been discussed in depth. LB 753 would adopt the Opportunity Scholarships Act and provide education scholarships to assist eligible students to attend a qualified, nonprofit, private elementary or secondary school. Under the act, individual and corporate taxpayers would qualify for a non-refundable tax credit equal to the amount the taxpayer contributed...

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