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Opinion - Opinion
 
At the Legislature: So long from Tom HansenTell North Platte what you think
 
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Tom Hansen

Well, we knew it was coming and now it is here. The 2014 Legislative Session has come to an end and with it 17 senators, including myself, have concluded eight years of service to the State of Nebraska.

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As the final day drew to a close, all 17 of us were honored with comments from our fellow senators. Every senator left bills on the table that never got to the legislative floor. We don’t always get what we want, but we can remember the bills we followed throughout the process.

It is the process that we all can be proud of – from a public hearing to an executive session to three rounds of debate and a signature from the Governor’s pen.

It has been a great honor to represent Lincoln County and the best people in the state! I have been known to introduce myself as being from: the French Riviera of the Sandhills, the home of Buffalo Bill, the home of the Union Pacific Railroad Classification Yard, the home of Fort McPherson National Cemetery, or the home of Rail Fest and the Spike Observation Tower. There are so many great things to see and do in Legislative District 42.

My best memories of the last eight years have certainly been the people I have met. Barb Lococo has been my Legislative Aide since day one. She has made me look good when I really wasn’t up to par. She has assisted me in writing these newsletters and she also helps those who contact me with questions about legislation or need help with other state issues.  

Pat Martin has been my Administrative Aide for the last two years and is a great asset to the district. She helps me get to the places I need to be and keeps me updated on news from home, when I’m busy with other responsibilities.

Some of the more significant issues I feel that were addressed one way or another during my term included: a state-wide smoking ban in public places, finding money to build a Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, exempting purchases of repair and replacement parts for ag equipment from sales tax, making our brand inspection laws work better, doing away with the state estate tax, small reductions this year on property taxes, and also adjusting the state income tax brackets. These were a few of my favorite things.

Unanswered prayers included fewer lengthy public hearings and filibusters that lasted hour upon hour.

Bills passed into law on this final day included:

• LB 254e – eliminates a termination date for insurance coverage for anticancer medication and provides insurance coverage for autism spectrum disorder and funding for amino acid-based elemental formulas.

• LB 276 – changes provisions of the Early Intervention Act, the Medical Assistance Act, the Tax Equity and Educational Opportunities Support Act, and the Special Education Act.

• LB 383 – provides for Military Honor Plates and changes certain license plate fee provisions.

• LB 390 – changes provisions relating to unlawful possession of a firearm at a school and Emergency Management Act provisions.

• LB 526 – changes provisions relating to use of pharmaceutical agents by optometrists.

• LB 811 – changes provisions relating to controlled substances, prescriptions, and certain assault provisions.

• LB 916 – eliminates integrated practice agreements and provides for transition-to-practice agreements for nurse practitioners.

• LB 923 – provides for the position of state school security director and requires training on school security, suicide awareness and prevention, and tornado preparedness for school personnel and provides for a concussion protocol.

A big heartfelt thanks to all of you for allowing me to represent your Legislative District 42.

My legislative office will be open throughout the summer and until the end of the year. If you have questions or if we can assist you regarding a state issue, please contact me at thansen@leg.ne.gov or you can call my office at 402-471-2729.

 


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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 4/18/2014
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