A look at some of the tasks the legislature must face in 2019

The 2019 legislative session begins Wednesday.

It may be a new year, but many of the old issues await lawmakers.

Gov. Pete Ricketts continues to push for cutting property taxes and we’ll see if senators can get a plan through this year.

Sen. Matt Hansen of Lincoln said progress on that front is possible, but that anything to do with cutting taxes and balancing the budget must be done responsibly.

“I want to know up front where the impact is going to be,” Hansen said.  “If we’re going to make changes, we got to do them responsibly and we’ve got to know where it’s going to come from.”

On top of that, they’ll have to sort out how to pay for the voter-approved expansion of medicaid to 90,000 Nebraskans.

Ricketts opposed the expansion and said it’ll have a negative impact.

“There’s going to be less money for things like K–12 education, higher education, property tax relief, because everything’s got to fit within the budget,” Ricketts said in November.

Hansen, who supports the expansion, sounded more optimistic.

“I think a lot of senators see that as an obligation to kind of recognize the will of the people,” he said.  “So whatever we got to do to get it done, we’ll get it done.”

Another issue coming back to face senators is state corrections and the overcrowding.

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