Legislative session convenes

Senators returned to the State Capitol Jan. 8 to convene the second session of the 106th Nebraska Legislature.

Major proposals to reduce property taxes and create a new business tax incentive program are expected to dominate the session.

Lawmakers also likely will consider a bill that would allow individuals to exclude half of their military retirement benefit pay from state income tax and another that would authorize teachers and administrators to physically restrain violent students.

Other issues from last year’s agenda that senators may consider are prison reform, medical cannabis and workforce development.

Lawmakers elected Douglas Donscheski to serve as the Legislature’s chief sergeant-at-arms. The sergeants-at-arms maintain order in the legislative chamber, lobby and committee hearing rooms. He replaces Jim Doggett, who retired last year.

New bills will be introduced for the first 10 legislative days, or until Jan. 23. Senators will begin general file and select file consideration of bills carried over from 2019 on Jan. 13.

Live coverage of the legislative session is provided at www.NebraskaLegislature.gov, where citizens also may find information on bills, the legislative calendar and Nebraska state senators.

Gov. Pete Ricketts is scheduled to give his State of the State address Jan. 15, followed Jan. 22 by Nebraska Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Heavican’s State of the Judiciary address.

Committee hearings are scheduled to begin Jan. 21 and continue through late February.

The session will last 60 legislative days and is tentatively scheduled to adjourn April 23.

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