In a time where the social and political climate is littered with riots, burning homes and businesses, and slander; now, more than ever, our legislators had an opportune time to be professional, work toward a common goal, not cause any unnecessary conflict, and come out of recess unified. Instead, it seems to be even more divided than before the Legislature was suspended in March. We at the Chamber advocate on behalf of our members and place our representatives on a higher pedestal. We have expectations that our state senators will ease the burden of stress that we are all feeling by holding themselves to a higher standard and not partaking in any of the aforementioned activities. However, this is not what we have seen. This is our call to action. This is our stance. Take this opportunity to remember your constituents and what they are seeing. There is chaos all around. Do what is best for Nebraska and make the changes in our laws to represent your people. We expect better.
Moving on to the bills that we are supporting, senators debating property tax relief for three hours highlighted the first week back. Last week also revealed the revised revenue forecast for Nebraska and it was good news. The state’s revenue forecasting board lowered projections of state tax revenues by about $50 million for the current fiscal year. Proving the that Nebraska’s economy is strong even in the midst of a pandemic, the revised forecast would keep the state’s budget in the black, while leaving nearly $90 million for tax measures and other priorities in the year ending June 30th. This $90 million could be key for bills like property tax relief and business tax incentives. No matter where you stand on LB1106, Nebraska cannot be the only state in the nation to not have a business tax incentives as the Nebraska Advantage Act expires in December. The Nebraska Legislature need to get LB720 passed. Maybe to solidify enough support to make the two bills filibuster-proof, senators could package the property tax relief bill with the business tax incentives, like the Governor suggested on Friday. If we can keep our Senators playing nicely for the good of Nebraska, we will accomplish and implement a progressive future for our state. We will continue to encourage our representatives to pass those bills which will in turn keep Nebraska competitive.