On a rain-soaked Thursday morning, District #41 State Senator Kate Sullivan updated Elgin residents on developments at the Unicameral.
Her visit, sponsored by Great Plains Communications, was welcomed by more than 20 constituents who turned out at the Elgin Community Center to listen, ask questions and learn more about state government.
Sullivan, who earned her seat in the statehouse by defeating Paul Eurek back in 2008, was upbeat in her presentation. Admitting she didn’t know all the answers to the issues facing the state, she said she has relished every day the opportunity to serve the district.
“It’s an awesome responsibility,” she said. “Very few understand how unique the Unicameral is, how open it is and how effective it is. Nebraska is the only state which has a one-house state government. Its senators are non-partisan, meaning they don’t represent any political party.” When a bill is before the legislature, its ordinary citizens, she said, who weigh in with their opinions before committee hearings.
Turning her attention to the recently completed 60-day session, Sullivan said state senators were forced to operate with a lack of budget money. With a $675 million projected deficit in the state budget, there were no new money bills proposed by legislators. The state has been operating on a $6.8 billion two-year budget, she said the Nebraska Constitution requires a balanced budget. As a result, legislators will be working to manage the deficit when they reconvene in January 2010.
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