Sen. Galen Hadley of Kearney says he welcomes his new role as Speaker of the Legislature.
Hadley says it’s an honor to be elected Speaker, to represent the Unicameral to the residents of Nebraska.
He also will preside over the flow of this legislative session.
“I would like to have things run smoothly. I think we all do,” Hadley tells Nebraska Radio Network. “I want to make sure we have civility in the body; that we debate issues, not personalities. But, we try to do the things the way we should do as a deliberative body.”
State lawmakers face several major issues this session, including the two-year state budget.
Hadley lists matters with the Department of Correctional Services and the Department of Health and Human Services as top priorities for the legislative session, as well as property taxes and school funding.
Corrections has come under fire for ignoring state Supreme Court rulings, which led to the miscalculation of prison sentences and the premature release of hundreds of inmates. A string of state audits criticized how HHS handled finances. Many state lawmakers ran on a promise to cut property taxes, which is tied into how Nebraska school districts are funded.
Hadley says he’s eager to lead the legislature in tackling them.
“I’m ready. I’m ready,” Hadley says. “You know, when I put my name in in July, I was ready for the vote the next day and to get started and to get things moving.”
New faces abound at the state Capitol. Eighteen of the 49 state senators in the Unicameral are freshmen. Also, Gov. Pete Ricketts is a new face in the governor’s office that had been occupied for the past 10 years by Gov. Dave Heineman.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]