Speaker reflects on 2018 session

Debate in the legislature has stopped and the official end to the 2018 legislative session is approaching.

Speaker Jim Scheer sat down and gave his opinion of the session overall, saying it’s been a success.

"I don’t think success should be valued in the number of bills but the strength and the benefit those bills brought to the state of Nebraska," Scheer said.

A big bill they passed was over the budget, which included an amendment that cut Title X funding from clinics that provide and refer abortions.

"There was Title X language in there, but we can’t forget there was also a lot of changes in funding," Scheer said.  "Initially, higher education was going to lose another four percent the following year and other items were reduced dramatically as well."

This session will end with no action on property tax reform.  Sen. Tom Brewer of Gordon is pushing for a special session this summer for property tax legislation, but Scheer said that still wouldn’t give senators enough time with the way the system’s set up.

"That’s two weeks," he said.  "We haven’t been able to figure this thing out in the last three to four months that we’ve been down here.  We talked a lot about it last year and that was six months."

Scheer said issues that will be big in the next session include the Department of Corrections, education funding and tax relief.