Nebraska Legislature convenes first session of two-year bienniem

The 106th Nebraska Legislature convened its first day of the 2019 session yesterday. Most of the day was marked by ceremonial procedures. Thirteen new senators plus re-elected senators were sworn into office by Nebraska Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Heavican, and Senator Jim Scheer was re-elected Speaker of the Legislature for the next two years.

Senators also elected chair positions for the 14 standing committees, the Committee on Committees and the Executive Board. Committee chairs elected were:

  • Education – Senator Mike Groene
  • Health and Human Services – Senator Sara Howard
  • Appropriations – Senator John Stinner
  • Executive Board – Senator Mike Hilgers
  • Executive Board Vice Chair – Senator Tony Vargas
  • Revenue – Senator Lou Ann Linehan
  • General Affairs – Senator Tom Briese
  • Agriculture – Senator Steve Halloran
  • Banking, Commerce and Insurance – Senator Matt Williams
  • Business and Labor – Senator Matt Hansen
  • Committee on Committees – Senator Bob Hilkemann
  • Government, Military and Veterans Affairs – Senator Tom Brewer
  • Judiciary – Senator Steve Lathrop
  • Natural Resources – Senator Dan Hughes
  • Nebraska Retirement Systems – Senator Mark Kolterman
  • Transportation and Telecommunications – Senator Curt Friesen
  • Urban Affairs – Senator Justin Wayne

Bill Summaries on Our Website
Senators have the first 10 days of each session, through January 23 this year, to introduce bills. As always, we will identify and provide summaries of all bills that could affect early childhood. You’ll find Legislation to Watch on our website’s Nebraska Legislation page and will be able to search other 2019 bills across 10 categories. We’ll update bill status and produce a printable report daily during the session.

Over the next few days, senators will be settling in to their new offices. Visit each senator’s web page on the Nebraska Legislature's website for office locations and other senator information. 

'Work Hard and Work Together'
Today, Governor Ricketts signed the official oath of office for his second term and delivered his Inaugural Address. After congratulating newly sworn-in senators and state officials, the Governor outlined four pillars he believes will grow Nebraska: connecting Nebraskans to great jobs, cutting red tape, controlling spending and providing tax relief, and promoting our state. “We are going to have to work hard and work together, roll up our sleeves and use a little Nebraska grit,” said the Governor, acknowledging the difficult economic decisions facing senators this session. Governor Ricketts will send his proposed budget to senators next week and deliver his State of the State Address to the Legislature January 15 at 10 a.m. It will be broadcast and streamed online on NET, where you'll also find daily floor legislative proceedings. 

First Five Nebraska looks forward to a successful 106th legislative session. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns regarding the session.

Posted January 10, 2019 in Legislation
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