A new legislative session is underway, with a lot of old issues unresolved from last year.
The new session started today with the presentation of the colors, a call to order by Lt. Gov. Lavon Heidemann, and a prayer.
It was a rather uneventful day as legislators talked with each other, a few with family members by their side.
Speaker Greg Adams of York believes this session will be highlighted by debate on bills carried over from last session, especially taxes and Medicaid expansion.
State lawmakers balked at Gov. Dave Heineman’s proposal to eliminate the state income tax in exchange for the elimination for about half the sales tax exemptions the state grants. Instead, the Unicameral created the Tax Modernization Committee, which studied the issue, presented a report, and proposed no bill.
Medicaid expansion likely will return. Adams expects Sen. Kathy Campbell of Lincoln to introduce a new measure after her proposal last year was successfully blocked from coming to the floor for debate by a filibuster.
Debate on the two also could intersect.
“Knowing how things work around here, the issues of Medicaid expansion and taxes will constantly be folded together and torn apart and folded together and torn apart,” Adams tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Other issues which could become prominent this session are prison reform and water sustainability.
This is a 60-day session, scheduled to go through the mid-April.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:35]