Jan 08, 2020 5:45 PM

New Nebraska session begins with focus on taxes, flooding

Posted Jan 08, 2020 5:45 PM

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska lawmakers kicked off their 2020 session Wednesday with an expected focus on property taxes, the state's flood recovery and a surplus of tax revenue after several years of tight budgets.

The new, 60-day session will put senators in a time crunch as they consider fresh proposals in addition to legislation carried over from last year's 90-day session.

The first proposals slated for debate include a tax exemption for military retirees and a bill that would allow teachers to physically restrain violent students in classrooms.

Senators in the one-house, nonpartisan Legislature will introduce new bills starting Wednesday.

Gov. Pete Ricketts is expected to deliver his annual State of the State message and present his proposed budget to lawmakers on Jan. 15.

After several recent years of tight budgets, lawmakers will have an estimated $126.3 million in excess revenue at their disposal for the current two-year budget cycle. Lawmakers will also have to make adjustments to the state budget to account for new requests for money.