If you are like most Americans, almost everything you have heard and read after Election Day has focused on the results of the Presidential Election.
As numerous as the implications from the outcome of the Presidential Election are, we will also see a drastically different state legislature making decisions that will affect all Nebraskan’s everyday life.
What to Expect in January
Come January, seventeen new state senators, an unusually high number, will be taking office. This includes five new senators who defeated incumbent senators seeking re-election, helping create a legislative body filled with fresh faces, different ideas and positions yet to be determined.
More Filibusters Than Last Year?
The new makeup of the officially nonpartisan legislature will consist of 32 Republicans, 15 Democrats (+3 from last session), 1 Independent, and 1 Libertarian, setting the stage for perhaps the most grid-locked session in recent memory.
It takes 33 votes to break a filibuster and force a vote on a bill. Last year the state legislature set a record for the number of filibusters in one session, and early speculation points to even more congestion next year.
Committee Appointments and New Leadership
If the abundance of new state senators weren’t enough change, the legislature must also elect a new Speaker to direct and control the body. Two Republicans, Senator Scheer of Norfolk and Senator Williams of Gothenburg, have both formally launched bids for Speaker.
Several important Legislative Committee Chairs will also be changing hands, including Judiciary, Education, Health and Human Services, Agriculture and Revenue.
In addition to addressing the re-instated death penalty and budget shortfall, our 49 state senators will be making key decisions on legislation affecting your right to live and work according to your faith, marriage, abortion, assisted suicide, education, human trafficking and expanded gambling.
The 2017 Nebraska Legislature will have 90 days to debate these issues and more. With all of the impending change and mounting number of issues facing our state, one constant at our state capitol will remain – NFA’s daily advocacy for family, freedom and life.