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Legislative session will end early this year

Legislative session will end early this year

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The Nebraska Legislature will finish up its work early this session and adjourn sine die on May 31, Speaker Jim Scheer announced Thursday morning. 

That would be Day 86 in a 90-day session, four days early. 

In addition, the two days after Memorial Day will be recess days. Then May 30, senators will be required only to check in and register their presence. 

Next week, senators will debate the last number of priority bills on first and second reading, Scheer said, with the possibility of Tuesday and Wednesday being days senators may meet later into the evening. The final reading for the state budget also will be debated next week. 

Scheer said senators have done a lot of hard work this year. "And you have done a great job," he told them. 

He said he wanted the new senators, especially, to realize that next year is a short session, with only 60 days to do what was accomplished in 86 days this session. 

"The short session is a completely different session," he said. "Be prepared for a number, if not an extensive number, of late nights in order to facilitate all the priority bills. …" 

At least one senator, Omaha Sen. Justin Wayne, questioned whether the early end to the session would mean leaving bills for Gov. Pete Ricketts' signature without an opportunity to override any vetoes that are handed down. That happened last year with three such bills, he said. 

He has a couple of bills, he said, he is concerned about not getting passed in time to avoid such a veto: LB657, the Nebraska Hemp Act, which would permit the growth and cultivation of industrial hemp in Nebraska, on final reading; and LB492, the Regional Metropolitan Transit Authority Act, which would allow creation of a regional metropolitan transit authority, on second reading.

Both of those bills, he said, will take a little more debate to pass. 

"I don't know if we can get both of those done by next Friday, with everybody else's bills," he said. 

Wayne said the state also has a workforce crisis and a property tax crisis.

"What's the harm of spending seven days trying to come up with a solution?" he asked. 

Reach the writer at 402-473-7228 or

On Twitter @LJSLegislature.


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