Inside the Rotunda

Inside the Rotunda, Week 16

Big Issues Await The Nebraska Legislature is more than two-thirds of the way through session and senators continue to roll through a number of bills that have a strong consensus of support in the body, but some of the largest questions await. A number of senators are happy with the

Read More »

Inside the Rotunda, Week 15

The Temperature of the Capitol The temperature in the Nebraska Capitol can often seem a metaphor for what is happening on the floor. At the beginning of last week, fans were brought out in the Chamber to cool senators down. By the end of the week, we needed heaters in

Read More »

Inside the Rotunda, Week 14

Tensions Carry Over After a period of tense floor battles, senators were more eager for compromise and conciliation last week. Thus is the ebb and flow of session. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing last week. The Legislature did advance several priority bills with a consensus of the body, including

Read More »

Inside the Rotunda, Week 13

The Week That Went Haywire Last week started off innocently enough. Legislators were passing bills to tackle the school-to-prison pipeline, help the Legislature plan for revenue volatility and long-term program needs and create sales tax exemptions for public power facilities owned by political subdivisions.  But the week hurtled off course from there and many legislators

Read More »

Inside the Rotunda, Week 11

Working Moms The Nebraska Legislature is currently spending a considerable amount of time debating issues related to job protections and economic security for working Nebraskans. Thus far, the results have been mixed. LB400 (Hunt) would have raised the minimum wage for tipped workers, but it hit the three-hour limit for debate and the Speaker removed

Read More »

Inside the Rotunda, Week 10

The Standards for Full and Fair Debate Those watching last week’s passionate floor debate on LB627(Pansing Brooks) were likely confused by how the debate ended – and what the vote even meant. The end of the debate was as much about legislative procedure as it was the underlying issue of LGBTQ employment nondiscrimination. 

Read More »

Inside the Rotunda, Week 9

Women Flexing Muscles After doing more shoveling this Sunday morning, and once again muttering under my breath about the groundhog, Your Capitol Fly on the Wall sat down in front of the fireplace and enjoyed a nice front-page story in The Lincoln Journal Star about the record number of women serving in

Read More »

Inside the Rotunda, Week 8

Aversion to Conflict This year’s Nebraska Legislature has thus far been defined largely by aversion to conflict. However, the desire to work across political ideologies to reach consensus often produces breaking points. The current debate on LB399 (Slama) has produced such a breaking point for members of the body. Senator Slama’s proposal

Read More »

Inside the Rotunda, Week 7

In legislative parlance, the term “friendly amendment” is often used as a way to describe an amendment to a bill that is perceived by all parties as an enhancement to the original motion, or as a clarification of intent. The phrase found its way into the debate on LB224 (Albrecht) last week

Read More »

Inside the Rotunda, Week 6

Bills on the Move Two years ago at this time, during the first session of the two-year biennium, state senators were still mired in gridlock over the Legislature’s rules. There was little progress on the floor during those heated and tense days. It’s quite the contrast to this year as

Read More »