Lawmakers react to Governor's State of the State

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Updated: Fri, 17 Jan 2014 09:43:14 CST

Thursday is only day seven of the legislative session and with the same issues being brought up over and over, the halls of the Capitol are already sounding like a broken record.

Taxes, Medicaid expansion and prison reform. Three important talking points for both the Governor and many state senators. But how they should act on those issues, is where they fail to see eye to eye.

"The Governor's rhetoric on middle class tax relief really rings hollow," said State Senator Jeremy Nordquist, District 7.

Senator Nordquist agrees taxes are too high for the state's middle class families, but he says the Governor's proposed tax cuts benefit the wealthy and not those middle class families.

And then there's his concern of spending 500 million dollars on relief over the next three years.

"I think over the next few years, I think probably closer to 50 million dollars a year I think would be an amount that at least for now we can absorb," said Senator Nordquist.

And in his State of the State, the Governor came down on Medicaid Expansion.  But Senator Kathy Campbell says he's just repeating the same points he's said for years.  

With a new, revised Nebraska plan, Senator Campbell is hopeful her colleagues will look at expansion with an open mind.

"There are going to be people who say, here are some questions I have and there will be a very robust debate on the floor of the legislature but I believe that WIN answers a lot of questions and is very good for the people of Nebraska," said State Senator Kathy Campbell, District 25. 

When it comes to prison reform, Senator Brad Ashford has already proposed his bill.  And while several of his ideas are in line with Governor Heineman, he's taking issue with Governor's approach.

"He is suggesting somehow that the legislature by not falling all over his proposal, is not tough on crime and nothing could be further from the truth. And that kind of politics, downgrades his office quite frankly," said State Senator Brad Ashford, District 20.

When it comes to specific bills on these issues, the senators have the first ten days of the session to get those hammered out.  And with seven days down, time is running out.