The State Chamber of Commerce is visiting local chambers to talk with business and community leaders about the next legislative session. They say many of the issues they'll be watching closely center around tax changes.
State Senator Galen Hadley says property taxes seem to be a bigger concern in western Nebraska, while people on the east side of the state are talking about sales and income tax.
"We're a large, diverse state and it seems like the part of the state you're in determines where your concern is with taxes," says Hadley.
Hadley is hearing from Nebraskans at the Tax Modernization Committee meetings being held around the state, but he also got the chance to talk with people from his own district at the State Chamber of Commerce's legislative forum in Kearney.
State Chamber leaders are pushing for some lower taxes and to keep business incentive programs, and say Nebraska could attract more workers if they did things like make military retirement pay income-tax exempt.
"We have a great business friendly environment free of a lot of regulations like you see in a lot of other states, but we also struggle in the area of taxation which impacts the overall cost of doing business, and we also struggle right now with finding available labor force," says Richard Baier, Executive Vice President of the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce.
Leaders say those are all issues sure to be addressed when the legislative session starts up, but say it's too soon to tell which might be pushed to the front.
"This is Governor Heineman's last session, you have 17 term-limited senators, and a large group that's running for the governor's role, so it is going to be an interesting dynamic," says Baier.
Hadley says other bills will be fighting for time on the floor during the short 60-day session too.
"A lot of these are funding issues - what do we do with the water problem, how much is that going to cost? The prisons - what are we going to do with prisons, and how much is that going to cost? So we have some big spending ticket items that we have to deal with in this next session," says Hadley.
The Legislature convenes on January 8.