State Sen. Steve Halloran of Hastings finished his last Coffee with the Senator event of the year with a recap of the first session of the 106th Legislature Saturday morning at the C3 Hotel and Convention Center.
Near the end of the event, Halloran announced that he will be running for re-election to his position as District 33 senator. His first term of office is scheduled to end in 2020. In Nebraska, senators are allowed to serve two consecutive terms.
The legislative session ended May 31, six days earlier than the allotted 90 days for this year’s session. Halloran said he voted to keep the session open in order to continue to address property tax.
“I and eight other senators voted to not sine die — not to quit the session — because we felt personally that we had not finished our business,” Halloran said. “Property tax relief was not addressed in this session.”
Halloran spent most of his time during the event discussing LB720, also called the ImagiNE Nebraska Act, and LB289, regarding tax and education funding reform.
Halloran said the ImagiNE Nebraska Act would have replaced the Nebraska Advantage Act and given businesses incentives to come to Nebraska to create jobs.
“I can’t say it was a raging success,” Halloran said of Nebraska Advantage.
The ImagiNE Act would have tightened up the rules and regulations and transparency of the Advantage Act. Halloran voted no to end the filibuster to the ImagiNE, saying they would have lost leverage to get the property tax bill passed.
“Over the summer, both the proponents of the ImagiNE Act, LB720, and proponents of LB289, the property tax relief bill, will be working together, to see if they can’t come to some kind of agreement between the two of them to get votes to go for both of those bills,” Halloran said.
Halloran said the budget bill, LB294, would have increased state spending by 3%, with no spending cuts to programs or agencies and $2 billion in state aid to primary and secondary education. Halloran said he voted no on the bill.
Halloran was joined at Saturday’s event by Sen. Dave Murman of Glenvil, who serves District 38. Murman voiced his support for property tax reform, alongside Halloran.
Halloran said he sponsored six bills. Of the six bills, two passed: LB61 was about changing an eliminating provisions relating to rabies, and LB693 was regarding neighbor phone spoofing.
Halloran said LB61 brought Nebraska more in line with federal regulations and LB693 lets phone carriers voluntarily block robocalls.
LB343 didn’t pass through the Judiciary Committee. Halloran said LB343 would have allowed local authorities to vet school employees to have a concealed carry weapon at the school, if they had a concealed carry permit.
“It wasn’t a bill designed to arm every teacher. I want to make that clear,” the senator said.
LB198 also was held in the Judiciary Committee. According to Halloran, the bill would have prohibited the use of a facsimile firearm to commit a felony.
“Currently, if someone uses one of those replicas in a crime, it’s not at the level of felony that it should be and that’s what this bill would have done,” Halloran said.
Halloran said proposed Legislative Resolution 7 was to have Nebraska in the convention of states for the purpose of proposing amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Amendments proposed would have included changing term limits for Congress, fiscal restraint on the federal government and limiting regulatory authority of the federal government. LR7 didn’t pass through in the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.
Halloran also sponsored LB451, which also was held up in the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. The bill would have limited the authority of delegates if a convention is called, he said.
Halloran participated in a special committee regarding state-licensed care facilities and participated in five interim studies in the Agricultural Committee.
Coffee with the Senator is sponsored by the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce and the Adams County Farm Bureau Federation.