2014 legislative session wraps up

By: Lauren Fabrizi

Day 60 of the 2014 legislative session meant a number of things for Nebraska lawmakers Thursday.

For 17 senators, it was goodbye as they leave because of term limits.

For Gov. Dave Heineman, it's his last Sine Die speech.

And for Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha, it was his final chance this session to show he isn't giving up on his bill to ban mountain lion hunting.

“It's only fitting and proper that the spirit of those great cats that were slain should stomp through this chamber one last time,” Chambers said.

It was no surprise to the other 48 senators that Chambers would tack on his mountain lion bill as an amendment to every single bill up for debate on the floor Thursday.

He said he would act as an “avenger for the cougars” that have been killed by killing time. But other senators decided they wanted to get that time back by commemorating those 17 senators whose time serving has come to an end.

Among those honored were Senators Bill Avery and Amanda McGill of Lincoln.

“Senator Avery, we wish you all the best,” Sen. Jim Smith of Papillion said. “You've been a fantastic senator, you've served the state of Nebraska well, it's been a great pleasure. Thank you.”

“I feel great hope for the future when I see young politicians and citizens like Senator McGill involved in the process of making our state and our nation better,” Sen. Ken Haar of Malcolm said.

In addition to the bills that were voted on Thursday, outgoing senators had a chance to give final remarks, and the governor also addressed the legislature with a wrap up of this year's session.

We'll have more on Gov. Heineman's speech tonight at 10.