Legislative Session Now Underway

By Kate Sullivan
District #41 State Senator
The Second Session of the 103rd Legislature was gaveled into order by Lieutenant Governor Lavon Heidemann at 10:00 a.m. on January 6, 2014. We’re in the second year of a two-year session so this 60-day session is tentatively scheduled to adjourn in mid-April.
I will continue to chair the Education Committee and serve on the Revenue  Committee, the Legislative Planning Committee, and chair the Nebraska’s Emerging Future Subcommittee.
My staff and I are located in room 1107 which is on the first floor in the west corridor of the State Capitol. Please stop by my office and say hello if you’re in Lincoln, especially over the next four months when the Legislature is in session.
As has been my practice the past five years, I write a biweekly newsletter during the legislative session.  Our local newspapers are kind enough to share the newsletter with you in print form.  The newsletter is also posted biweekly on my web page: http://news.legislature.ne.gov/dist41/
For those area teachers who may be planning student field trips to the Capitol while the Legislature is in session, please be advised that all tours must be scheduled in advance with the Capitol Tour Office at (402) 471-0448. Please call the tour office as soon as possible to reserve your preferred date and time. Tours can’t be booked through my office nor do I have any influence in changing the Capitol Tour Office’s schedule. I strongly encourage teachers to call early and be flexible on their dates.
A toll-free hot line is available from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday to answer questions about bill status and fill requests for publications. The number is (800) 742-7456. The service is also available to the hearing and/or speech impaired.
The Legislature’s website is updated daily when we’re in session. Information about bills, amendments, fiscal notes, hearing schedules and other legislative business is easily accessible at: www.nebraskalegislature.gov
The Unicameral Update is a free weekly publication containing hearing dates, in-depth stories, summaries of debate and other legislative information. The Update is available online.  A free printed subscription may be ordered by calling the toll-free hot line at (800) 742-7456. Subscriptions must be renewed every January.
Public hearings begin on January 21.  Introduction of new bills will continue through January 22.  In addition to new legislation, 2013 bills that weren’t indefinitely postponed or passed are still alive either in committee or on the legislative agenda. Floor debate on carryover legislation is scheduled to begin on January 13.
If you have questions regarding this newsletter, legislation or state issues, please call my legislative office at (402) 471-2631. There is Voicemail on my phone so if you get the recording, please leave a message and I’ll get back to you. You may also write to me c/o P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509 or email me at: ksullivan@leg.ne.gov. If you write or email, please include your full name and mailing address.
I look forward to hearing from you AND working hard for you and the betterment of rural Nebraska in our Nebraska Legislature.