10 Aug Seeking a grand bargain, senators approach the finish line
By Don Walton, Lincoln Journal Star —
The clock is ticking.
Calendar pages are flipping.
Suddenly, it’s August. And on Monday, this pandemic-interrupted legislative session will convene for the 54th day of a 60-day session.
Senators are down to a precious few.
A legislature interrupted, as it was three months ago by this deadly stranger in our midst, is difficult to resuscitate.
But negotiations on substantial property tax relief, enactment of a new business development tax incentive program and a commitment of state funding support for a blockbuster University of Nebraska Medical Center project continue to search for a grand bargain.
Speaker Jim Scheer appears to have the right people in the negotiating room:
Lou Ann Linehan, the hard-working, determined, never-give-up chairwoman of the Revenue Committee, who has led her committee to development of a proposal that would provide substantial local property tax relief by reducing property valuations and increasing state aid to schools.
Tom Briese, who has emerged as rural Nebraska’s driving force and key negotiator for substantial property tax relief.
Mark Kolterman, who is patiently trying to shepherd a new business development tax incentive program through the Legislature before the current Nebraska Advantage Act sunsets at the end of the year. He is also working to secure a vital state funding commitment for the UNMC project.