Created: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 08:47:00 CST
Updated: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 09:07:19 CST
Session complete. Today, Nebraska lawmakers put an end to 103rd legislative session, but, not without a little bit of a hiccup.
State Senator Ernie Chambers of Omaha has a history of long speeches on the legislative session. Today was no different. Chambers made sure to use as much time as allowed to talk about mountain lions. He says that war is not over.
This final legislative session ended with a familiar topic, and, a familiar face on the legislative floor.
"Mountain lions will be back next year," said state senator Les Seiler.
"This is an issue that is near and dear to him so i expect until we don't have a hunting season and for as long as we do have a hunting season it will be an issue for him," said state senator Mike Gloor.
"Let's just say its gonna make it long it will not cripple it, but obviously it will make it long," said state senator Gailen Hadley.
State Senator Ernie Chambers added an amendment to every bill to talk about mountain lions. That made the day a little longer for lawmakers. But, despite the postponement Senators say plenty of work was completed in this shortened 60 day session.
"We squeeze an incredible amount of hours in various meetings consideration bills and meeting with constituents in addition to the actual debate and the meetings that we hold so Nebraska tax payers get their money's worth," said state senator Mike Gloor.
Throughout the 60 days, lawmakers came up with solutions to address the state's overcrowded prisons, rising property taxes, and, Medicaid expansion.
"We got the prisons pretty under control hopefully it will work out and will be down below the overcrowdedness," said state senator Les Seiler.
"I think we did a lot of things in the tax reduction area, it was very important. the water issues were very important and the prison issues. so i think for a short session we got a lot done this time," said state senator Gailen Hadley.
"I think we ended up with obviously some significant tax cuts for Nebraskans they'll see a considerable amount of dollars i think the number over a 5 6 year period is around 400 million," said state senator Mike Gloor.
This session will also be remembered for heated debates and disagreements among lawmakers.
"It was full of a lot of angst and anxiety and a lot of long long meetings in the committee as well as the legislature itself," said state senator Mike Gloor.
"There were too many filibusters a couple of them on bills that really didn't deserve the time they got," said state senator Les Seiler.
As the book closes on this session, legislators are ready to open a new chapter.
"Making sure we can keep our eyes 10-15 20 years down the road," said state senator Mike Gloor.
One top priority for Senators in the future will be dealing with the growing burden of high property taxes on Nebraskans. They also want to find a solution for the dwindling of medical professionals in the state.