The 104th Nebraska Legislature, Second Session, convened at 10 a.m. Wednesday. This will be the shorter 60-day session of the two-year biennium. Because it’s the second session, senators will immediately commence floor debate on carry-over legislation from the first session of the 104th Legislature which adjourned last May.
In his opening address to senators, Speaker Galen Hadley said the Legislature will address every priority bill this session (senators can designate one priority bill, committees can designate two). In previous years, senators have run out of time and some priority bills were not heard by the entire legislative body.
Due to term limits, this year will be the final session for 11 senators, including Speaker Hadley; Education Committee chair Senator Kate Sullivan, Health and Human Services Committee chair Senator Kathy Campbell, Appropriations Committee chair Senator Health Mello, and senators Dave Bloomfield, Tanya Cook, Ken Haar, Colby Coash, Mike Gloor, Beau McCoy and Ken Schilz. The 11 open seats (including the seat held by Senator Nicole Fox, who was appointed when Jeremy Nordquist resigned to join Congressman Brad Ashford’s staff) leave the potential for 30 of the 49 senators to have two years’ experience or less. Twenty-five senators are up for election in November of this year.
Legislative committees will begin public hearings Tuesday, January 19. All committee hearings will begin at 1:30 p.m. and each bill introduced this session will have a hearing during which public testimony is taken.
Daily Updates on Our Website
After the 10-day bill introduction period, visit our website’s legislative page for a comprehensive list of bills related to early childhood and our priority bills for the session, plus testimony we’ve presented to the Legislature and the status of all early childhood bills from the 104th Legislature, including the 2015 and 2016 sessions. With each bill you’ll find a link to the Legislature’s website with more information on that bill, calendars for floor debate and committee hearings, contact information for individual senators and the rules of the Legislature. We update bill status daily during the session.
First Five Nebraska wishes senators and staffers at the Nebraska Legislature the very best for the 2016 session. We look forward to working with them to craft public policy to improve the lives of all children in Nebraska.
Important Legislative Dates
Wednesday, January 6: First Day of Session (Bill Introduction & Election of Retirement Chair)
Monday, January 11: Permanent Rules Debate/Debate begins
Tuesday, January 19: First Day of Public Hearings on introduced Legislation
Wednesday, January 20: Final day of bill introduction (10th Day)
Monday, January 25: First day of Senator and Committee Priority Bill designation
Wednesday, April 20: Tentative Final Day