Kathy's Commentary: The good and not-so-good of the recent legislative session

Kathy's Commentary: The good and bad of the legislative sessionThe Nebraska Legislature adjourned on Day 59 of a 60-day session. When the 2015 Legislative Session began, it appeared it would be a more conservative legislature than in past years. As it turns out, the Freshman Class of 2015, consisting of 18 new state senators, had a different view than sitting senators of old. The 2015 Session brought repeal of the death penalty, a tax increase in the form of a fuel tax, and a chance for children of illegal immigrants to obtain a driver’s license – all issues that were heavily debated, vetoed by the Governor and then overridden by the legislative body.

Along with controversial bills that passed were some good pieces of legislation. Our state senators gave the citizens of Nebraska some property tax relief, with promises that they will continue to work on the tax issues we face. They also provided incentives for business, assistance for lower income earners when they are trying to leave assistance programs, updates to worker compensation, and a budget that will grow at just over 3 percent.

In 2016, Nebraska will hold a 60-day session which means that when they convene on Jan. 6, 2016, we hit the ground running, with bills left on General File this year seeing floor debate as senators drop in new bills and hold hearings on those new issues. The fun never ends!

During the interim we will continue to work on legislative issues along with programs that benefit the members of NGIA. If you have questions regarding any of our events, issues that impact your business, or general questions regarding the industry, please feel free to contact our office – we are here to provide assistance!

Kathy Siefken
Executive Director
Nebraska Grocery Industry Association


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Supported by the Nebraska Corn Board

The Nebraska Corn Board, on behalf of 23,000 corn farmers in Nebraska, invests in market development, research, promotion and education of corn and value-added products. The board aims to work closely with the farmer-to-consumer food chain, to educate everyone about the role corn has in our everyday healthy lives. The Nebraska Corn Board is proud to sponsor the Farmer Goes to Market program to help bring its mission of expanding demand and value of Nebraska corn to the consumer, through the strongest touch point in that chain: the Nebraska retail grocer.

Supported by the Nebraska Farm Bureau

The farm and ranch families represented by Nebraska Farm Bureau are proud sponsors of the Farmer Goes to Market program. We take great pride in supporting Nebraska's agricultural foundation. A key part of that effort is to make sure we produce safe and affordable food. This newsletter is an important part of our effort to connect the two most important parts of the food chain -- the farmer and the grocer -- with the goal of increasing consumer awareness and information about how their food is raised in Nebraska.

In patnership with the Nebraska Grocery Industry Association

The Nebraska Grocery Industry Association was formed in 1903 by a group of Omaha grocery store owners, wholesalers and vendors to allow them to promote independent food merchants and members of the food industry, and to promote education and cooperation among its membership. NGIA continues to represent grocery store owners and operators, along with wholesalers and vendors located throughout Nebraska, by promoting their success through proactive government relations, innovative solutions and quality services. NGIA offers efficient and economical programs. NGIA also lobbies on both a state and national level, ensuring that the voice of the food industry in Nebraska is heard by our representatives.