Nebraska Cattlemen’s (NC) Board of Directors met last week in Lincoln for their annual legislative meeting. NC’s six policy committees brought attention to bills and resolutions recently introduced in the Nebraska Legislature that are of interest to Nebraska beef producers.
Under close review and in accordance with NC Policy, the Board of Directors considered and took positions on 62 pieces of legislation and choose three bills as priorities for the 2020 legislative session: LB 1200, LB 974, and LB 802.
After much discussion from membership and leadership on current Nebraska brand law, NC took a supportive stance and prioritized LB 1200. This legislation, brought forth by Senator Tom Brewer of Gordon, would adopt several recommendations from the Nebraska Brand Committee pertaining to mandatory brand inspection and other issues. NC is opposing LB 1165, introduced by Senator John Stinner of Gering, which would eliminate the Nebraska Brand Committee and transfer its duties to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.
NC’s Board of Directors again highlighted property tax relief as a top issue for the 2020 session, designating LB 974 as a priority bill. LB 974, introduced by the Legislature’s Revenue Committee, would lower valuations for the purpose of calculating K-12 property taxes while kickstarting school aid to rural school districts. NC policy supports these changes, as our members strongly believe the state must pursue a more balanced approach to school funding that relieves the burden on local property taxpayers.
Lastly, NC prioritized LB 802, introduced by Senator Dan Hughes of Venango. LB 802 provides that under Nebraska Law, an individual or entity must own the overlying land in order to use the accompanying groundwater. This legislation is in contrast to other states like Colorado, which allow water rights to be sold separately, similar to mineral rights. This system has caused considerable challenges for livestock producers in those states.
“Leadership diligently sifted through all legislation that pertains to Nebraska Cattlemen policy. Taking positions and making priorities helps give our leadership and staff direction and focus at the Capitol. The three pieces made priority are important matters to our members.” said Bill Rhea, Chairman of NC Legislative Committee.
For more information about a specific priority for Nebraska Cattlemen, please call the Nebraska Cattlemen office at 402.475.2333.