Gov. Dave Heineman will enter his last legislative session. Four state senators want his job. But, the governor doesn’t see politics playing any more of a role than usual next year.
The Unicameral re-convenes for its 60-day legislative session in January. It approved a nearly $8 billion two-year state budget during the 90-day session this year, among other legislation.
Heineman wants the legislature to concentrate on cutting taxes during his last year as governor. He dismisses any suggestions that his lame-duck status will undermine his influence during the session, saying the governor will always play an important role in a legislative session.
Will politics play a role in the upcoming legislative session?
“You think politics doesn’t play a role in the other session?”
The response from Gov. Heineman prompts an adjustment.
Will politics play more of a role than normal?
“I hope not and I think not,” Heineman tells reporters. “I can’t imagine the four candidates running for governor aren’t going to be for lower taxes, reforming the good-time system; making Nebraska a better place to live.”
The Unicameral is officially non-partisan. Next year, though, is the partisan season.
Three state senators will compete in the Republican primary for governor: Sen. Charlie Janssen of Fremont, Sen. Beau McCoy of Omaha, and Sen. Tom Carlson of Holdrege.
One state senator, Sen. Annette Dubas of Fullerton, is running in the Democratic primary for governor.
Heineman says politics simply cannot be removed from a legislative session.
“It’ll be there. I think we all know that, but I think we’ll get our job done.”
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:35]