LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska's state senators are halfway through the 2018 legislative cycle and lawmakers are beginning to feel the pressure to accomplish their goals before the session ends.
NET's Fred Knapp stopped by 10/11 to talk about the latest legislature news.
It's been a very complicated issue, but where do things stand right now with property taxes and taxes in general?
Knapp said the chairman of the revenue committee who is carrying Governor Ricketts' bill is trying to craft some sort of compromise that will satisfy both agriculture groups, which want property tax relief, and business groups, which want corporate and individual tax cuts. They think the current version of the bill is to heavily weighted towards property taxes.
In the coming week, the revenue forecast is scheduled to come out. Knapp said it's the process that shows how much the state is going to collect in revenue for this year and next, and therefore, it has important implications because it affects how much the budget is going to be cut or not.
The last two months, revenues have come in above projections, so there is some thinking that this could be the sign the board will raise the forecasts and the legislature won't have to cut as much from the budget as it had been anticipating, Knapp said.
However, there are also alternative schools of thought that say it's just based on federal income tax returns, so we'll have to wait and see what the official forecast board comes up with on Wednesday, Knapp said.
Toward the end of the day Friday, Knapp said he saw something he'd never seen before in many years of covering the state legislature.
After the speaker said on a voice vote that he thought senators had voted to adjourn on a bill that would restore the rights of people who have served time for crimes...a lot of people thought that voice vote had gone another way.
Senator Ernie Chambers went on an angry denunciation of the speaker for having made that ruling and the sponsor of the proposal that would have specified this doesn't apply to voting rights.
That's this week's legislative wrap-up.