She persevered, even when it appeared as though a special legislative session would flounder.
Sen. Annette Dubas of Fullerton says her feelings changed dramatically during the special session.
“Coming into the special session, I felt like I rolling a ten-ton boulder uphill,” Dubas says with a chuckle.
The version of LB1 sponsored by Dubas that passed the special session was much different than the bill Dubas introduced. At first, her proposal to let the Public Service Commission have authority over the regulation of oil pipelines in Nebraska competed with another sponsored by the chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, which would have given the authority to the governor. A reluctant committee approved sending the latter version to the full floor for debate.
But things changed.
Speaker of the Legislature Mike Flood of Norfolk shocked state senators when he announced on the floor that TransCanada had agreed to voluntarily move the proposed Keystone XL pipeline route away from the Sand Hills. Flood then used the chairman’s bill as the vehicle to carry the Keystone agreement, freeing Dubas’ bill to apply only to future pipeline and, more importantly, freeing her bill from nagging constitutional questions.
Through the ups and downs of the special session, Dubas says just kept focused on the task at hand to keep from getting discouraged.
“I just tried to stay in the moment. I had to stay very focused on what my bill was, what the questions were. Were those going to be questions I could answer with a degree of satisfaction to my colleagues?” Dubas stated. “So, I never looked past that. I just tried to stay very focused on what I needed to do.”
In the end, Dubas says she’s just very pleased with the outcome of the special session.