Governor Heineman reflects on this year's legislative session

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Updated: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 09:13:01 CST

59 days down and one more to go. Nebraska Lawmakers will wrap up this year's Legislative session on Thursday.

The Governor and Lawmakers haven't exactly been on the same page this session. But, the Governor said despite disagreements the two sides were able to come away with an answer to benefit Nebraskans.

One day remains in this year's Nebraska legislative session.

"We aren't likely to agree on everything and shouldn't," said Governor Heineman. 

It's been a rocky relationship at times between Governor Heineman and lawmakers.

"There has been vigorous and respectful debates on a variety of issues," said the Governor.

In his final legislative session, Heineman's number one priority was property tax relief.

"We've begun the process of exempting social security and military retirement income from taxation," said the Governor.

After a Governor veto of 65 million dollars in state budget line items. Lawmakers fired back and overrode heineman's veto. In the end, Heineman put pen to paper of 412 million dollars in tax cuts over the next 5 years.

"We've helped farmers and ranchers by eliminating the sales tax on repair parts for Ag machinery and equipment. We've expanded Nebraska's homestead exemption program so that more Nebraskans will qualify," said Governor Heineman.

"In 10 years Nebraskans will be paying 100 million dollars less in taxes than they are paying right now," said State Senator Galen Hadley.

Another major obstacle in this session has been prison reform. Too many prisoners. And, too little space. A 14.5 million dollar bill is sitting on the Governor's desk. The bill proposes increasing the use of supervised release from prison and adding job training and educational programs in an effort to reduce the number of inmates returning to prison once they're released.

"All of us are going to be working with the council and state governments to develop a long term prison strategy."

And, even as he exits the Governor's Mansion, Heineman says the prison reform discussion is far from over.

Now that the legislative session is coming to an end, Governor Heineman says he is looking at endorsing one of the candidates for governor possibly in April or early May.