By Kate Sullivan
District #41 State Senator
The First Session of the 102nd Legislature was gaveled into order by Lieutenant Governor Rick Sheehy at 10:00 a.m. on January 5, 2011. This is the first year of a two-year session so our first business of the day was to conduct elections for new committee chairs or other leadership posts. Once the leadership elections were completed and we adjourned for the day, the difficult tasks of assigning offices and determining committee assignments took most of the afternoon.
I will continue to serve on the Education Committee and the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.
My staff and I have moved to a new, much larger office space. You can find us in 1118 which is on the first floor in the southwest corridor of the State Capitol. The Legislature is in session through early June, so please stop by my office if you’re in Lincoln over the next five months.
The legislative session also triggers field trips to Lincoln for many students from our area. If you are a teacher and plan to bring your students to the Capitol, you must schedule your tours directly with the Capitol Tour Office at (402) 471-0448. Tours must be booked in advance. 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 advise you to call early and be flexible on your dates.
If you have questions about legislative bills, a toll-free hotline 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. If you call the hotline at night or on weekends, you will hear a recorded message with the next day’s legislative agenda.
The Nebraska Legislature has an award-winning website which is updated daily during the legislative session. Information about bills, amendments, fiscal notes, hearing schedules and other legislative business is easily accessible at www.nebraskalegislature.gov.
The Unicameral Update is published weekly during the legislative session. It contains hearing dates, summaries of floor debate and other legislative information. The publication is available online. You may also order a free printed subscription by calling the toll-free hotline at (800) 742-7456. The introduction of new bills runs through January 19. Public hearings on new bills will begin on January 18. We are tentatively scheduled to complete public hearings and move to full-day floor debate the third week of March.
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 email@example.com.
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.