2018 legislative session starts Wednesday

Wednesday kicks off day one of the 2018 legislative session.

At the top of the list of issues state lawmakers will address this year: the budget.  Nebraska is facing a nearly 200 million dollar revenue shortfall over the next two years.

"The budget will probably be the first and foremost of the battles," said Speaker of the Legislature Sen. Jim Scheer.

He said they will probably wait until February to debate the budget, after the forecasting board puts out an updated version on the state’s projected revenue.

Despite the looming financial hole, Speaker Scheer said it may not affect Gov. Ricketts’ ambitions to cut more taxes.

"What I have heard is that his tax proposal would be a phased in approach that would be triggered by economic growth," Scheer said.  "So to that extent it may not have any impact, because if it’s triggered by economic growth and excess revenues, it only goes into place when there’s funds available and not before.

Scheer said he thinks Sen. Ernie Chambers may reintroduce legislation repealing the death penalty.

Sen. John Murante said he’s continuing to push for putting voter ID on the ballot, so Nebraskans can decide whether voters should be required to show identification at the polls on election day.

"People genuinely believe that voter fraud exists and it’s one of the reasons why people are saying that they don’t even bother showing up, because they don’t think that their vote matters," Sen. Murante said.  "Putting in basic protections to ensure that no illegal voting happens in the state of Nebraska ought to be a priority for all of us."