Debate Transcripts

Final Reading

LB 1175 (1998)

April 14, 1998


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  LB 1174A passes with the emergency clause attached.  LB 1175.


CLERK:  Madam President, 1175 on Final Reading, priority motion, Senator Bohlke would move to return the bill, I'm sorry, recommit the bill to the Education Committee.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  The Chair recognizes Senator Bohlke to open on her motion.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Yes, Madam President and members, I filed this motion to allow for some time for an explanation.  We had a meeting this morning.  Everyone was not able to attend that meeting.  I thought it was wise to point out to you the things




that are contained in this bill, the changes that do, that are affected by Senator Wickersham's amendment.  I plan to give him some of my time and we will have at least an opportunity to clear up any misunderstandings that we may have.  First of all, just a quick review of those items that do appear in 1175.  The first is the August I date for the Class I budget deadlines.  There is a truancy.  We discuss, we address the truancy.  That came from Senator Thompson and Senator Suttle.  We exclude special grant funds from the Class I budget determinations.  That wan an issue that the Class Is wish to have addressed.  We include state ward receipts and special education allowance.  That was Senator Maurstad's.  We have an extreme remoteness factor that was an issue Senator Matzke brought forward for the very sparse districts.  And also another for very sparse cost grouping from Senator Pederson.  From Senator Schrock, no high school attendance center if there are no students.  Senator Wickersham's amendment, there is the lop off consideration of negative prior year adjustments and then the payments to districts for clerical errors and greenbelting brought by Senator Robinson and Coordsen.  In addition to that, you've heard a great deal about the special ed funding that appears in this bill.  With discussions with a number of people in the last day or two, we have determined that the money that schools have spent this year would be allowed, that money would be allowed to go out.  The question is next year, next September when school begins until we would come into session, if we would not pass this, we would not have a special ed formula in place.  Therefore, schools would not know what the state will be reimbursing them for special ed costs.  That obviously would cause a great deal of confusion not only to schools as they try to determine which services they should offer, but more importantly to students in those special education programs and certainly to the parents of those students in those special education programs.  And I would say to you the people in the smaller communities this would, for those students and parents where it would he very apparent oftentimes if it's a very small community, as to who the students are enrolled in those programs, would put them in a very uncomfortable position because if they did not know if they were going to get funding, if the schools then had to go to their general funds, certainly everyone probably in the community would know who may be causing those costs to come from general funds.  I've never thought that




that was a procedure or actually a pressure that we wanted to put onto those people.  The essence, and then I'll let Senator Wickersham talk about it and we'll answer your questions, is really one of procedure.  And under LB 806 by an amendment from Senator Withem, the appropriation was made by the fiscal analyst.  What the Wickersham amendment does is really make it a mathematical calculation and I would suggest I think is a better procedure.  That's for all of you to determine, for all of you who followed that discussion on the floor.  I think that's what we did determine.  And so it's really would be my recommendation if you thought you preferred the Withem amendment on 806, you could come back next year and we could address it again.  I think that would be a more appropriate time rather than, as I pointed out to you all the things that are contained in the bill, most especially the special ed funding that would cause real chaos and confusion across the state, and so I think you have that opportunity next session if that's the approach you would prefer.  I really think that the procedure that the Wickersham amendment put in place is a better procedure than what was prior to the Wickersham amendment.  And with that, I will let Senator Wickersham address any of the details for you that are contained in his amendment.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Wickersham, there are five minutes remaining.


SENATOR WICKERSHAM:  Thank you, Madam President.  One of...  occasionally you can be surprised in the legislative process and, quite frankly, I'm a little bit surprised now about the controversy surrounding AM4207 that was adopted to this bill on Select File.  I've heard this amendment characterized as a new spending issue.  It is not a new spending issue.  If you will examine the existing law, I believe that the spending that is at issue for those people who characterize this as new spending was always before us and it was always anticipated.  And in fact, I can recall just this year that it's been discussed several times.  It was discussed in the context of 806.  It was discussed in the context of LB 401 last year.  What is being characterized now as new spending is the potential for additional state aid when the levy limitations go from $1.10 to $1.  That is nothing new.  It has been before us time and time again.  And if it was not in the forefront of your




consciousness at least I am glad that the controversy now surrounding 4207 has perhaps brought it to the front of your consciousness because it is something we need to be aware of.  It is something that we need to plan for.  It is something in my opinion that we need to provide for because it will happen.  I will not vote to raise the levy limitations.  And I will not vote to deprive schools of the resources that they need to provide an adequate education for students in this state.  Now there have been arguments about the amendment based on policy.  I think we made the policy decision that is in AM4207 last year when we adopted the Witham amendment to 806.  And if you want to go back and review the transcripts of that debate, I've got copies of them here.  I'll be happy to give them to you.  But essentially what that debate about was the failure of the Legislature to ever meet its promises made when we adopted 1059.  Now that was before most of us were in the body, but a few members were here.  I was not.  At that time, we expressed an intention to fund school spending by 45 percent of state dollars and 55 percent local dollars.  We never quite met that objective.  And there was a recognition in the body that we'd never recognize that objective and we needed a stronger language, we needed a stronger process to assure that we kept our promise under LB 806 and the combination of 806 with 1114; i.e., that the calculation of the needs made under 806 would be funded by the, fully funded by the combination of local property taxes or local resources and state aid.  The difficulty that we're confronted with now is that we have capped access to that local resource.  We are telling school districts that you cannot now access more than $1.10 of that local resource and in a couple of years we're going to tell them it's $1.  Well, if their resources, that combination of property taxes and state aid, don't equal the needs that we've calculated under 806, what are we telling them?  We'll be telling them that we know how much you should spend to fund your system, but there's no way that we're going to provide it to you, neither from the local resources or state aid.  I think as a pure matter of policy we cannot put ourselves in that position.




SENATOR WICKERSHAM:  And the Withem amendment didn't cause us to be in that position.  It was attempting to address that




position.  But it addressed it in a way that I think is inappropriate in terms of both our process and the appropriations process.  Senator Withem's amendment addressed that issue through a three-step process.  One, the fiscal analyst would estimate the amount of money that was necessary to fully fund 806 then give that number to the Department of Education.  The Department of Education prior to that number was given between November 1 and December 1.  The Department of Education then certified to school districts the amount of money that they would receive based on the number that they had received from the fiscal analyst.  That certification goes out by December 1.  We come back the following January and submit a budget that funds the amount that was certified by the Department of Education.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Time.  Thank you, Senator.  Mr. Clerk, a priority motion.


CLERK:  Senator Chambers would move to bracket the bill until 4:30 p.m.  April 14.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  The Chair recognizes Senator Chambers to open on his motion to bracket.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Madam President, members of the Legislature, I think it's kind of appropriate on the last day that we end it the way we started with discussions or manipulation under the rules.  This is a priority motion which gives me my opportunity to speak and then leave the field to others.  When this bill first came before us for discussion, I was the one who said Christmas treeing is not a good practice and I objected to a number of bills being added to this one, 13 1 believe was the number.  Some people grumbled and they were upset first of all that I had obliterated the consent calendar.  Then some were offended that I would pick a bill such as this which was presented to us as a cleanup bill and object to the number of baubles added to the Christmas tree.  I did my job.  Then at a later point in the session when others who had been mentored and .served notice ought to have had their eyes and ears open, closed their eyes, stopped their ears and an amendment was attached in the ordinary course of legislative business.  If people did not know what that amendment contained, it was not the fault of the




person who offered it.  We have a responsibility to be here and to pay attention.  Sometimes we are inattentive.  We are not always of a mind to pay attention to every amendment because we get snowed under.  However, this is very instructive because it's something that has thrown the Legislature, the Governor and others into turmoil; and I had nothing whatsoever to do with it.  But in order to give us a way to deal with the matter if my colleagues feel it is sufficiently serious, I have a motion on the desk and it requires 40 votes; but it would allow us to extend the session until Friday.  That would give us the opportunity if some of you all are very nervous to strike the Wickersham amendment and some of you along the way may want to strike the wizard himself, but I don't recommend doing that, and have the bill sent up to E & R, redone.  It could lay over for one day on Final Reading then we could pass it without the Wickersham amendment.  But regardless of whether we do that or not, the world is not going to come to an end.  The Legislature is not going to crumble.  The Governor as a lame duck will waddle on off into the sunset and be forgotten.  We'll come back next session and argue over this proposition.  But if you are of a mind to do something this session, we don't have to leave it to the Governor to veto it and then perhaps summon us into special session.  That motion is up there; and having made those comments, I will not discuss the matter further this morning and I will withdraw that motion.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  The motion is withdrawn.  Senator Stuhr announces that the following guests are visiting the Legislature.  There are 50 fourth grade students here from York Elementary in York, Nebraska, with their teachers.  They are all seated in the north balcony.  Will you stand and be recognized, please.  Welcome to the Legislature.  And Senator Suttle announces that the following guests are here, Arlene and John Lauren Steier and Kate and Lauren Steier are here from Omaha.  They are seated under the north balcony.  Will you also stand and be recognized, please.  Welcome to the Legislature.  Senator Bohlke, your light is first.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Yes, Madam President.  As just more information that I want to take this opportunity to clear up.  If a number of you read an editorial in the statewide paper on Sunday that said that this did not have a public hearing, that clearly is




not true.  That's an error in the editorial.  This did have a public hearing.  It Was a bill introduced to the Education Committee.  Not only did it have a public hearing, but certainly I think as Senator Wickersham has explained and I have talked about, the amendments last year from Senator Withem that the philosophy of it was discussed last year.  And certainly Senator Wickersham and I believe it also appeared in a bill from Senator Warner, that that discussion has taken place.  Senator Wickersham had a procedure that he thought was better than the procedure that was adopted by Senator Withem last year.  And so not only did it have a public hearing this year, but last year during 803 there was quite a bit of discussion as to which would be the best procedure.  The other thing that I wanted to point out was the fact that it does have an emergency clause and so for those, some of those issues that I addressed that was brought to our attention from certain senators.  It does need the emergency clause in order to address those issues in their districts.  So with that, I will give any remaining time to Senator Wickersham.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Wickersham, there are three and a half minutes remaining.


SENATOR WICKERSHAM:  Thank you, Madam President.  And I want to pick up if I can where I left off before in describing the process that is used currently for the appropriation of state aid to schools.  The fiscal analyst between November 1 and December 1 estimates a number necessary to fully fund LB 806.  That number is given to the Department of Education.  That number is used by the Department of Education to certify state aid to schools by December 1.  The following January, we come back and that amount of money is ...  there's mandatory language already in the statutes that says that amount of money will be included in the state budget.  It's going to be included by the Appropriations Committee.  Now the difference that is created in that process by the amendment is that we substitute a mathematical calculation for the fiscal analyst estimate and that we simply have a certification of the number as a result of that mathematical calculation.  That amount is certified as state aid.  That amount is given to the Legislature for appropriation by this body.  Essentially the change is that we no longer have placed all the responsibility on a fiscal analyst




to estimate the amount of money that's necessary to fund 806.  1 don't think quite frankly that's something that we ask our staff to do.  That decision is made, and I'm not saying that is something, and I'm not going to make these remarks as a criticism of any one of the fiscal staff.  I respect them.  I trust them.  I believe that they will do exactly what they believe we want them to do.  But to place the responsibility on a fiscal analyst to determine the amount of state aid without discussion, without calculation, without additional guidance I don't think is appropriate.  They can do it, but I don't think it's appropriate.  And again, it's not any misgivings about their integrity, their honesty, their ability to do it.  But what I've substituted in this ...




SENATOR WICKERSHAM:  ...  amendment is a simple mathematical calculation that will then determine the amount of state aid that's going to be certified by December 1 and keeps in place the obligation that is currently in statute for the Legislature to appropriate the amount of money that is necessary to fund the certification.  It's as simple as that.  And if it has somehow seemed more complicated, more confusing than that, I think it is perhaps something that is inherent in all of our discussions about state aid to schools.  Somehow it always becomes so complex that we don't quite seem to understand what happens or how it happens or why it happens or why it should happen.  But again for me, the larger policy issue here is whether or not we do indeed intend to fund within the context of LB 806 the difference between needs...


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Time.  Senator, your light is next.  You may continue.


SENATOR WICKERSHAM:  ...  the difference between the needs that are calculated in 806 and the amount of local resources that a school district can access without a levy override to fund those needs.  I cannot imagine this Legislature declaring to schools that we're going to tell you exactly how much we think you ought to spend in order to offer a quality education or an adequate educational opportunity to your kids and then somehow deny them the resources, the resources to accomplish that




objective.  I can't imagine that.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator Wickersham.  Senator Wesely.


SENATOR WESELY:  Madam President, members, I think that the discussion is very important this morning; and I don't think there's a lot of lights on and I don't know what that indicates.  But I, for one, plan to vote against LB 1175.  1 appreciate and respect Senator Wickersham and Senator Bohlke.  I respect those who are expressing the need to go forward with LB 1175, but I do think that this proposal, which is a lock-in, an entitlement, is not what I understood to be the status of funding for state aid to education when we passed LB 806.  We, I thought, had flexibility.  I thought we stated intent, I thought we charted a direction on how we were going to reduce the property tax level, but I did not think that we were locked in to an entitlement to fund into the future any state aid needs that our schools have under whatever formula was established.  I did not understand that to be the situation.  I do appreciate that Senator Wickersham, Senator Bohlke and others seem to have felt that that was the situation, but I do not believe in my own mind that that.  was what we did.  Now where the rest of you are, I don't know.  Each of us has to decide for ourselves what our vote meant and what our feelings were about that, but let me tell you that there's more at stake here than just that particular issue because I do think that it can be addressed next year, but my reason for standing up besides in opposition to 1175, isn't just because I think *that that amendment was a mistake in terms of a commitment that I didn't think we'd made, but I think we also make a mistake by passing this bill today because I see this as the spark that drives, a petition effort to place in the constitution a severe limitation on state and local spending.  Now I think there are a group of people who are very determined to move forward on this, and are looking for a reason, looking for an excuse to do something that I consider extreme in dealing with the problem that they've identified.  And that excuse may very well be this bill that we're about to vote on, and that amendment that we are discussing.  And I don't want to give them that excuse.  I think Senator Chambers talked about the possibility of returning this bill and striking the Wickersham amendment and then going extra days and passing the bill with




the necessary parts of it.  I don't think that's unreasonable.  I don't expect that to happen.  I understand that most of you are most likely going to just vote for the bill, but I think, personally, it's a mistake because later today there'll be a discussion and tomorrow you'll probably hear announced an effort to move forward on a petition drive, and this editorial was just the start, and they will bang a drum of $70 million entitlement and beyond into the future that will be a spending spree that they will give as an excuse to passing this petition effort.  Now I think that's false.  I don't agree with that.  I don't think this $70 million commitment puts us over the top.  I don't think that this effort is the reason they should be doing that, but they're looking for an excuse to whip up the public and get them concerned, and this is that excuse.  So I'm suggesting that we not give them that.  I'm suggesting that we take the step of returning the bill and striking -the amendment and then passing what needs to remain.  And I'd love to talk a bit about what that petition drive will accomplish.  I hope at some point later on when we talk about the tax cuts we can do *that.  But clearly, we're faced with a very serious situation here, with a very serious issue, and I'm just expressing what I think is the right course of action, and how you feel will all depend on your own perceptions, but it worries me greatly that we are giving a reason to do something that would be wrong for the state of Nebraska, and I would rather not give them that.  So I will rise in opposition to the bill and suggest we look at other alternatives to dealing with this.  Thank you.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator Wesely.  Senator Brown.


SENATOR BROWN:  Madam President and members of the Legislature, I have pending an amendment which strikes the provisions of the Wickersham amendment from 1175, and I entered this, fully understanding the critical nature of the funding reauthorization for special education, and did not proceed in this lightly.  I have concerns on many levels, and I would share some of the things that Senator Wesely just talked about.  I have a real concern about the integrity of our process, and whether we had adequate discussion of an issue that I think was pretty ...  had a great deal of enormity, and I remember the discussion on the amendment to LB 806, the Withem amendment to LB 806, which took place prior to us having determined the amount of appropriation




that was going to be in LB 806A.  And I think that we probably did not even have adequate discussion at the point in time that we adopted the Withem amendment as to the implications, but the Withem amendment was much more intent language than what the Wickersham amendment is.  And I disagree with Senator Chambers that you cannot blame the proposer of an amendment for the way that it is handled because I do believe that there is some obligation on the part of those people who are ...  who are pressing for something to be adopted, that ...  that they do everything that is necessary to make sure that the body understands what's happening, and I don't believe that that happened with this particular amendment.  So the process part of it, I think, is important but I would like to move on to some discussion about what the amendment actually does because Senator Wickersham says he can't imagine that we would not fully fund, and he uses the phrase "fully fund," the difference between the needs of a school and the levy limit ...  the amount generated by the levy limit.  But it was always my understanding, and it is an issue that has been totally lost this year in our state aid discussion, that a part of what we were doing with the levy limits was the stick part of it was to encourage efficiencies on the part of local entities.  And so, when we originally started talking about the aggregate effects of 1114, the aggregate effects of 1114 were something over $300 million, and there was an assumption that a portion of that would be dealt with by efficiencies on the local level, and the rest of it would be dealt with through increased state aid.  Now, it is my understanding that because of revaluations, that figure is down substantially and is in the $1.60 million-$170 million range.  We have increased aid to local subdivisions by $175 million.  So we have...




SENATOR BROWN:  ...  very possibly already overfunded the aggregate effects of the levy limits.  We left no room for efficiencies, and now we have another process so that when we go from the $1.10 to the $1.00, we still are going to probably be overfunding the effects of the levy limits and not doing anything to have the stick for local efficiencies.  Now the stick may be too big.  I'm not saying that, you know, that we want to do something that is going to totally unravel any of our




school systems or create problems for children.  But I think we need to see that, and see whether there is the potential or.  the local level for sharing Of services and efficiencies.  And we have taken away totally, in an aggregate sense...




SENATOR BROWN:  that ...  that stick.  Thank you.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator Brown.  Senator Kristensen.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Thank you, Madam President and members.  It's the end of session and we find ourselves in an uncomfortable position, and perhaps that's part of our problem with the process, that we all try to get along as best we can.  When things move on the floor of the Legislature, we want to continue to help them move, and we find ourselves here every year in some predicament or another over a vote.  And this is not uncommon, it's not a travesty.  It's the mere fact that it is our responsibility that what we do is extremely serious here.  And a vote that can happen quickly with perhaps not enough explanation can have extremely important ramifications, but the issue is today, what do we do, and where do we go from here?  And to do this, you've got to have some history in placing what Senator Wickersham was talking about, and it ties in a little with what Senator Wesely was.  When 1059 was passed, the 45 cents was not a promise ...  or 45 percent Of state funding.  That's not a promise, it was a target.  It was never a promise, it was intent, it was placed here on the floor.  We never got to that.  Why?  We didn't have enough money to get to that point.  We couldn't generate that enough and there were several attempts.  And over the years, that's what generated a change in the philosophy.  When property taxes became so important to us that we shifted our focus away from state aid, we shifted that focus over to levy limitations.  And when those levy limitations put in, we had schools all over this state with high levies.  And so we focused them down to $1.10.  That was extremely hard on those school districts.  For some it was easier, but for all...for many that's a hard thing to do.  So what did we do?  We did it with (LB) 806 and we put money in there to help get everybody to $1.10.  But we knew full well in Revenue what was going to happen.  The real levy was $1.00, but we couldn't get




there.  And so what's going to happen here in a couple of years is when we move from $1.10 to $1.00, you're going to affect a lot of schools, and they're going to come in here and we have three choices.  You can either break the levy limit and say property taxes aren't that much problem, lot's vote to keep it at a $1.10.  and that's what Senator Wickersham talks about, I'm not going to vote to break the levy limit.  You realize that a lot of people in this Legislature, there were a lot of speeches made that we were going to break that levy limit before this year even happened.  This Legislature stood strong on that.  Despite all the criticism that we had, we stood strong on those levy limitations at $1.10.  The other option we're going to have at that point in time is to make them eat it.  It's to say it's a local problem, it's local property tax, you don't have to worry about that.  You figure out what to do with it.  You go and do consolidations.  You go do more efficiencies.  My guess is that's not going to be very popular.  The third option.  Fund it.  What is the difference?  How much money do you need between $1.10 and $1.00?  Nobody knows.  Nobody knows.  We've used that figure, we used the figure in Revenue Committee.  We estimated it at $70 million a couple of years ago.  The key is nobody knows what that figure is and how do you make those expenditures now to fund that difference.  The move from $1.10 to $1.00 is hard for us.  The move to make the initial levy to $1.10 was hard for the school districts, the burden is back on us.  What the Wickersham amendment has done is make your job harder.  The good part of that is it's put it on your radar screens and so when you get this blue sheet, you're going to see that we're going to have a figure plugged in here that you're going to have ,to deal with next year when you do that biennium budget.




SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  The Business Summit has already made their choice.  They've made their decision.  They're going to run a petition.  What you're going to do today is not going to have any impact on to it.  They'll use it for an excuse, but you know that's not true.  It's just that, it's an excuse.  The decision has been made to go.  Now the key is, what are we going to do, and what are we going to have to deal with in the upcoming years?  Extending the session only leads to wore opportunities for problems.  It really does.  There's time next year to fix




this.  I don't know if ...  I don't know what the fix is.  I'd sure like to know how to determine that gap.  That's going to be the struggle and the challenge we have, to do that.  Our job is not going to get any easier.  When that levy limitation goes to $1.00, you've not seen the pressure.  And the bottom line here really is that we have the problem of late amendments in a session when we're trying to do the right things, and things happen that we don't anticipate.  That's the reason that every time you push that button red or green, it may get to be pretty routine.  It's so serious and it's so important.  What I would suggest we do, learn to deal with this amendment that needs to be changed, come change it next year.  Extending the session, I'm afraid, leads to all sorts of other problems that we're not prepared to deal with.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Time.  Thank you, Senator Kristensen.  Senator Cudaback.


SENATOR CUDABACK:  Madam President and members , that's a hard act to follow there, with Senator Kristensen.  But we're elected here not only to micromanage but look at the big picture.  I guess for many of us, that big picture is different, from the Governor on down, and we do talk about property tax relief, from the Governor on down to the smallest village, whether it's five people, or ten people, or 200 people, but we discuss property tax.  This is part of the big picture.  I think we addressed it here with Senator Wickersham did his best.  He did what he thought was right, the body passed it.  Let's go ahead and pass ...  vote this on and, as Senator Kristensen said, next year we can address it.  If there is severe problems, there's always next year, or the next year or the next year.  As Senator Coordsen once told me, remember, Cudaback, you can do anything with 25 votes.  Thank you.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you Senator Cudaback.  Senator Wehrbein.


SENATOR WEHRBEIN:  Madam Speaker and members.  Senator Kristensen said many of the things that I was going to comment on.  I, too, think that we can come back and fix it next year, and I will remind you, I'm going to have a handout here before we leave today that'll explain not quite as briefly as I'd hope.  I'd hope to have it in two pages, it's going to be about a half




a dozen pages, but everything in that will tell exactly what we did this session, what the reasons were for the...  are for the increases, and so forth.  I, too, had some calls about this over the weekend and I ...  I guess we're going to have to decide what our commitment to education is, what we will and what the state of Nebraska has.  Many comment about property taxes, others want good, strong education.  To me, this was a commitment.  I think we can fix it next year if we want to.  I'm not even convinced that we ought to change our commitment to education in Nebraska if that's what you have.  I've been frustrated since LB 1059 was in because we made a commitment there, like Senator Kristensen said...not a commitment but an intent to go to 45 percent.  And guess what, we never made it.  Our history of commitment is not very good in this body.  I think we're probably, prior to (LB) 806, we were going to, be down to about 39 percent or 40 percent instead of the 45 percent that was our intent.  So I'm not so sure it's so bad, two years hence, July 1, 2001, that we make a commitment to do that, if you really believe in education in Nebraska.  That's if you do.  And I notice...  I don't...  I'm guessing the state's almost divided 50-50 as to whether we're adequately funding education or whether we're not.  Everyone I talk to says...  or has an opinion that we're doing too much in ed ...  we're spending too much money, or we don't have adequate education.  It's interesting, many have not served on school boards don't recognize, perhaps, the difficulty of that.  It's easy to sit on the outside and say we're not doing enough, just as it is easy to sit out on the outside and tell us we're not doing our ...  we're doing too much, we're spending too much money.  But if you go down the line, no one wants to take out what we've put in, and it appears to me that's the nature of serving in this body.  For a hundred years, I ears, we've been beat upon.  It's looks like to me, for a hundred years hence, we're going to be beat upon again, because we're 49 different ideas come together, we don't have to have a singular purpose like a governor can do, like the governor candidates are doing.  All they do is beat up on us.  That's seems to be the nature of it, and I've come to accept that.  It's not a popular place to be sometimes.  This is just one of those decisions, and the reason I thought I'd talk about it today because I, too, am getting tired of getting beat on, but still I think we have to make our commitments, at least 25 of us, to do what we think is right, and move forward from that.  So I think we don't have to change




this this year.  We can come back and, if...  if there is a change to be made, let it be.  And if there's going to be a drive to limit state spending...  I wasn't going to say this publicly, but I guess I am...  if that's going to be, then we'll put that burden on all the state, to cut spending and not just on us to say 2.5 percent, because that's going to be severe.  It is not going to be easy, in spite of what I think is being said in the campaigns.  Those kind of cuts are going to be extra severe, and they're going to fall hardest on higher education because that's one of the few areas we have left to really have much emphasis on or much change in, is higher education in the state.  it's 20 percent of our budget, and if we're going to be tough on crime, if we're going to have prisons, if we're going to do our part for mental health and dis ...  developmental disabilities, and all those other areas, then something has to give.  Higher education is going to be the one to give, if we have...  if we have restrictions on our spending in the future, if we no longer look at it as an investment that's certainly something we have to spend money on.  So I hope...




SENATOR WEHRBEIN:  ...  all of these things will be ...  did you say time or one minute?


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  One minute, Senator.


SENATOR WEHRBEIN:  ...  will be considered if this goes state wide, and I guess this is the last chance we'll have to...  opportunity to speak on it between now and November, but if this does, there's going to be an impact, and I think it'll be on all citizens of Nebraska to understand if they put that in the constitution, is going to...  is going to be severe.  And I can only, I think, tell it as how I see it will be, and go from there.  But to get back to this immediate issue, I think if there needs...if there is a need ...  desire to fix it, it can be done next session.  Otherwise, it's a good alert, it'll show up ...  when the Forecast Board meets this fall, it'll start showing up on the sheets, so when we come back in January, that second year out...  third year out, actually, will start showing up on the forecasts.  So it really won't show up until we get into the next biennium or the second year of this biennium,




which is the fall forecast, will show up on the $70 million as a potential out there.






PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator Wehrbein.  Senator Bohlke.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Yes, Madam President and members.  I think we're having a good discussion.  Before when I've come to the microphone and I've talked, trying to provide information.  This time it's really in response to what Senator Wesely said.  I would be-disappointed would be a mild word that I would use as to how I would feel if we would react to what Senator Wesely said.  If, in fact, we would change any vote on any bill because of a threat from the Business Summit is something that I cannot imagine this body would do, especially if what appears to be the truth, that they have been planning for a long time to go out on the petition drive.  I found...  find it very interesting that if they go forward with the petition drive, it's going to be about taxes.  This is the same group that uses quality education in Nebraska as a recruiting factor, to bring new business to this state.  When we talk about property tax relief, or when people talk about the amount of the A bill on (LB) 806, what very often they neglect to mention is that was a shift off of property tax.  For those of you who voted for 1114, with the full intent of meeting those limits in 1114 and realizing that we would be doing a s-hi-f-t off of property tax to sales and income, I think a large majority of the senators on the floor recognized that and it was their full intention at that time to shift it off of property tax to sales and income.  To react to almost a threat that we're going to give someone added fire to pass a petition certainly, I think, is not about why we are here, why we are here as state senators, why we are here adopting policies and procedures that I think that Senator Wickersham and others have pointed out.  Senator Brown said she wanted a discussion on the procedure.  I think we've had that.  The procedure is not complicated.  All that we've done is remove the fiscal analyst from the procedure, and given it to a mathematical formula in the Department of Education.  It's that simple.  That's the procedure shift that we did and so I, too, feel that we would be




making ...  personally, I think we've been making a terrible mistake to react this session to questions raised by certain individuals or, certainly, to a group of business leaders who are threatening a petition drive.  I just can't imagine us changing a vote on a major policy issue, and a major bill that would, for the reasons I've pointed out, especially the funding for special education, put that in jeopardy and put kids who are in special education programs and their parents in a state of chaos and uncertainty.  I don't think that that's very good statesmanship.  And I'll give the remained of my time to Senator Coordsen.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Coordsen, there's a minute and a half remaining


SENATOR COORDSEN:  Thank you, Senator Bohlke.  I also have my light on in case the question is not called.  But this is an argument, quite frankly, I am puzzled as to why we're having, this morning.  Each and every member of this body has been here for a full legislative session and understand, I think, far better than anyone could describe what our role and responsibility in a representative democracy is.  We've made our decisions, we've looked prospectively.  That's all in the world the Wickersham amendment does, is look prospectively at what it would take to make what we ...  the System we've put...




SENATOR COORDSEN:  ...  in place work more effectively in the future, if ...  if, and I do not believe that there are...  if there are weaknesses with this amendment, we certainly have all of the time in the world to make those changes yet in another legislative session.  I hope people listened to some of the more experienced members of the body, Senator Kristensen, Senator Wickersham and Senator Wehrbein and others, who have talked about how our system works and why this bill needs to be passed today and needs to be passed in its entirety.  We do not need to extend the session.  To do so would be the most foolish thing, I think, that we could possibly do, and maybe I could even find stronger words than that.  This is what we're about, to do what needs to be done today and to make plans for the future, and that is all that the Wickersham amendment that we've adopted...






SENATOR COORDSEN:  ...  to 1175 does.  Thank you, Madam President.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator Coordsen.  Senator Brown.


SENATOR BROWN:  Madam President and members of the Legislature, I share concerns about getting this bill passed today.  I ...  I share concerns about making sure that we have a system in place for the special education allocations.  I do not share the confidence that some of the other people have voiced in the way we ended up with this amendment, and in the amount of time that we took, and the amount of time that the sponsor of the amendment started out by Baying it was complicated and, by the end, was talking about how simple it was.  We took all of maybe three minutes, four minutes, to deal with this ...  this situation.  So I'm still not comfortable with the process part of it.  Am I uncomfortable enough to jeopardize the very important aspects of this bill?  Probably not.  And I do understand that we can come back, but I don't think that we have dealt with this in the way that we should have, and I think that having this discussion today that there's absolutely nothing wrong with it.  I mean, it seems like people are so put off, and maybe it's because there's been suggestions about extending the session and some other things, that are pretty ...  pretty strong measures, but I don't ...  I actually don't think it's being reactive.  I ...  I really feel that we have ...  we have found out more information, certainly in my estimation, some of that information is slightly different than what I felt I heard in the limited discussion that we had on this amendment when it came about.  And I find some of the people who have spoken, it's sort of interesting.  I remember the first year I was on Appropriations, there was an attempt to fully fund LB 1059, and it wasn't even taken seriously in the committee.  And yet, I hear people talking about how this was an obligation.  To me, there are two issues and I did ...  you know, I've spent a lot of time talking about 1059 and trying to understand where we were on that obligation on state aid to schools.  There are two reasons that we ended up on 1059, never meeting that 45 percent threshold.  One was that we never increased the base amount that we started out with, that has been the state's contribution to state aid prior to




1059, prior to the increase in the income tax and sales tax, so that it was about $180 million.  That base amount never increased, and that was part of why 1059 never met the 45.  The other part about why 1059 never met the 45 percent, I think is more illustrative and I think it's illustrative about this whole discussion, because no one that has spoken in favor Of Just passing 1175 and in favor of the Wickersham amendment has addressed the aspect of efficiencies.  And that is that the cost of education over the period of years rose at a far greater rate than the rate of inflation.




SENATOR BROWN:  And, in fact, had we been funding 1059 at the rate of inflation, we ...  the amount that we had was $25 million last year over what was necessary.  And so that was ...  I mean, some of these things are a part of what our discussion about 1114 was, that we seem to have lost track of, as we have gotten into this, we must make up the total gap.  I never understood that we were making up the total gap.  The other -thing that ...  that ...  you know, this has been construed as an entitlement.  I would like to know what ...  who it's an entitlement for.  Is it an entitlement for the students, is it an entitlement for the children, or is it an entitlement for the schools the way they exist right now?  And I think that those are important questions and...


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Time.  Thank you, Senator Brown.  Senator Witek announces that the following guests are visiting the Legislature.  There are 66 forth graders here from Rockwell Elementary in Omaha with their teachers.  (Introduced teachers.) They are seated in the north balcony.  Will you all stand and be recognized, please.  Welcome to the Legislature.  Senator Coordsen.  Senator Wickersham.


SENATOR WICKERSHAM:  Madam President, I'm going to try to be brief.  Senator Brown, at various moments, has raised a couple of things that I think need to be responded to.  I find it a little bit difficult to be challenged on the floor in terms of adequate discussion of an amendment when the person that is challenging me on that basis was the only person to ask me any questions about the amendment.  And if any individual member of




this body has any questions about an amendment that I'm offering, they want to know what it does, they want to know bow it works, they want to know why it does what I think it does, please ask me.  I'd be happy to try to respond.  I do agree that at the time I was introducing the amendment that I explained that there was both a complex explanation to the amendment and there was a simple explanation to the amendment.  I thought I'd try to simple one out first, and I did, and that seemed to be enough.  I think we're having a little bit of the more complex explanation this morning, and I think that's good for us.  Senator Brown made some references to LB 1059 never having been fully funded, and she's right, and we could do that then.  We could do that before the levy limitations of 1114 were in place because when we did that, we knew that whatever school district boards, and the patrons, thought they needed to support an adequate or a quality education in their school district they could get simply by going home and levying it.  But after 1114, that isn't their option.  That's what's changed, that's what's different.  We have made a decision not to fund education as heavily from property taxes as we did in the past.  Those decisions have been made and, in my opinion, they're irrevocable.  Now, Senator Brown also mentioned something about a gap, and there are two gaps.  I think the gap that she was referring to was the gap between school spending as it existed prior to 1114, and the levy limitations.  That gap has not been filled.  That gap is probably somewhere near $SO million.  That gap has not been filled.  The gap that we have filled, and the gap that I believe we have an obligation to fill, is the gap between the calculated needs, the calculated needs, not what they want to spend, the calculated needs of (LB) 806 and what we allow them to levy under the levy limitations of 1114.  That's the gap that we have filled, that's the gap that is called for to be filled by the provisions of 806, that's the gap that's called for to be filled by the amendment, 4207.  And that's the gap that I very firmly believe is our responsibility.  And I would yield the rest of my time to Senator Bohlke.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Bohlke, there's a minute and a half remaining.


SENATOR BOHLKE:  Yes, Madam President.  I pull the amendment.




PRESIDENT ROBAK:  The motion is withdrawn.


CLERK:  Senator Brown would move to return the bill.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  The Chair recognizes Senator Brown to open on her motion.


SENATOR BROWN:  Madam President, members of the Legislature, I will yield my time to Senator Brashear.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  The Chair recognizes Senator Brashear to open.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Madam President, members of the body, drawn as our attention has been to the Wickersham amendment and Senator Wickersham, I'd like to just make inquiry of you later, after I've briefly prefaced this, since we are "on trial" and I think none unduly care about that, we're trying to do our job and do it well, but I would like to have it ...  the record reflect that we have discussed an issue which I have developed in studying this, as everybody else has.  In 1996, in the case entitled, State of Nebraska ex rel.  Don Stenberg v.  Scott Moore, the Nebraska Supreme Court held that one Legislature cannot tie the hands ...  citing authority from other states, one Legislature cannot tie the hands of its successor or impose upon them conditions, and went on to state that in Nebraska the proposition that one Legislature cannot bind a succeeding Legislature is derived from the constitutional power of the Legislature to legislate.  Absent a constitutional restriction on legislative power, one Legislature cannot restrict or limit the right of a succeeding Legislature to exercise the power of legislation.  As I analyze the Wickersham amendment more carefully, and I will inquire of the senator, we are at 79-1031.01, saying the Legislature shall provide sufficient appropriations to the Tax Equity and Educational Opportunities Fund to fully fund the amounts certified under Section 79-1022.  The Appropriations Committee of the Legislature shall annually include such amounts in its recommendations to the Legislature.  Well I recognize, Senator Wickersham, that we could...  that a future Legislature can repeal this statutory section and then do as it will.  If we adopt the bill, 1175 with the Wickersham amendment, it would be my thought, and I'm only one, that we have on the books and records of the state of Nebraska at that




time until repealed an act which does obligate a future Legislature to do a defined precise duty, and we don't have that have that power, that act's unconstitutional.  I ...  maybe we save 1175 by a severability clause but, Madam President, I would yield time to Senator Wickersham in order to develop the issue.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Wickersham.


SENATOR WICKERSHAM:  Well, thank you, Madam President.  That is an interesting theory, but I would submit to you that if that theory is correct, that the current language is also unconstitutional because it says that the Appropriations Committee of the Legislature shall annually include such amount, referring to an amount that is calculated by the fiscal analyst and certified to the Department of Education, for the distribution of aid on the prior December 1.  The Appropriations Committee of the Legislature shall annually include such amounts in its recommendation to the Legislature to carry out the requirements of this section.  If what's ...  if Senator Brashear is correct, the current language is also unconstitutional.  Now whether or not it is unconstitutional, based on the case that he's citing, and that was an interesting case.  It had to do with funding for prisons, and what it had to...  it was a bill that Senator Warner had passed.  And what Senator Warner's bill said was that if we pass a bill making...  or lengthening criminal sentences or creating new crimes that would cause potentially, persons to be incarcerated in the state prisons, that we would make an appropriation that funded the prisons.  And the ...  that...  Senator Brashear is correct, that that was the decision.  But the fact of the matter is that the Legislatures, of course, are never bound by prior Legislatures, that it is always 25 votes in this body, and the Governor's signature, that make the decisions, and that absent some contractual obligation, which my amendment certainly does not create, that we can change our minds.  The issue is always whether or not we should, and we are still free to do that under the amendment that was adopted to 1175.  At least in my view, we're still free to do that.  if someone can point out to me some way in which we would not be free to change our minds, I would be happy to be instructed.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator Wickersham.  Senator Witek.




SENATOR WITEK:  Thank you, Madam President, members of the Legislature.  In talking to some of the senators who have some...  some concern about whether or not to vote for this piece of legislation at this time, and they are telling me that we can take it off next year or we can do something next year, I think that's probably going to be extremely difficult once this passes, because what this does is something that's happening across the entire country, and that's providing this type of funding for schools.  And this mechanism is usually determined in a court case, but it has been determined in a lot of court cases to have this type of funding for schools across the country to go ahead and determine how much it it will cost and then go ahead and talk to the Legislature, mandate the Legislature to appropriate that money.  So this not a new funding mechanism across the country.  This is something that has held up in court, in Wyoming in particular, a similar discussion going on there.  The court ordered them to pay for the cost of the schools completely, and so this financing of education is not ...  is not a discussion that we just had that night.  It's a discussion that's been ongoing.  It happened with (LB) 411 and (LB) 412, a lot of that discussion last year.  So I think that once this is passed, this is the determinant of how funding will happen in the future in the state of Nebraska, and that you will not have an opportunity to vote on this again because it will be very, very difficult due to the pressure, I think, from your schools across this state, to change this once this occurs.  So the idea that we can go ahead and let this go now and change it next year is really not something that I think you should hang on to.  If you're going to vote for this, you should determine that you're going vote for this and do it now.  And if you don't want to vote for this for those reasons, then this is the time to make that decision.  I would yield the remainder of my time to Senator Brown.  Thank you.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Brown, there are three minutes remaining.


SENATOR BROWN:  Thank you, Senator Witek.  I need to take some exceptions with some of the things that Senator Witek has said because though I did believe and do believe that we needed to have some discussion today, I do not believe that we have any




limitation in terms of our ability to deal with this next year.  I certainly expect to be back here and intend to continue this discussion, and I think that we always have the opportunity to reexamine our ...  the policies that we have put in place, in different lights.  I personally believe that, as we look at revaluations, and where the schools stand, it's going to influence our decision about how we deal with the...  our state aid in filling the gap.  And so I...I have no problem in saying that we can do this today, and we can make changes, all the changes that we want on another day.  That's the prerogative of this body and that's the power of this body.  And so I would say that ...  that I appreciate that we've had some discussion at this point.  I think it sets the stage for us to further that discussion in the future and, at this point, I would ask to have the amendment withdrawn.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  The motion is withdrawn.


CLERK:  Madam President, Senator Chambers would move, this under Rule 7, section 1(a) to suspend the 60-day limitation and vote on extending the 95th Legislature, Second Session, to and including April 17, 1998, for the purposes of furthering considering LB 1175.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  The Chair recognizes Senator Chambers to open on his motion.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Madam President and members of the Legislature, this is a serious issue, not only because of the content of Senator Wickersham's amendment, but it goes to the process by which the Legislature accomplishes things.  At the beginning of the session, I had talked in general terms about the way we do things, how everything that needed to be done this Session would be done, that there would be the Christmas treeing effect, and it always happens.  And invariably something is hung on the tree that people look at later and say it probably should not have been done.  So there was forewarning, not only from what I said at the beginning of this session, but everything session preceding this one at which any senator who now is present had attended.  So what I am offering us the opportunity to decide today is whether we will roll the dice and leave things as they are in this bill, or do what might be considered




a wise thing.  How did we wind up with Senator Wickersham is amendment?  He took some language that Senator Withem had gotten into a bill last year which even Senator Withem described as weaker than what Senator Wickersham's amendment consisted of.  But based on that weaker language, Senator Wickersham could say his amendment merely effectuated state policy as already declared in the law.  So if that weaker language of Senator Withem can bring us to the language of Senator Wickersham, Senator Vickersham's language next year and any succeeding year would be used by anybody who favors it, to say that that strong language creates a moral, if not a legal, obligation on the Legislature to carry through.  Wasn't that the argument to justify adoption of his language?  It would be unwise for anybody who is pushing a particular point of view not to use every argument, every fact and factor which would have a bearing on persuading people to adopt that particular point of view.  If we stayed here until Friday, it's not that long a period of time.  It would take 40 votes to do this.  I'm not aware of its ever having been done before.  I'm not aware of such a motion having been made before.  But by the same token, I'm not aware of the Legislature having been faced with a situation such as this before.  So what we need to do, as a legislative body, is to look at the alternatives which present themselves to us.  If a majority of the members are comfortable with what 25 of our colleagues voted to do on that fateful Friday or whenever it was, then no additional action will be taken by the Legislature this session.  If there is concern about it, obviously that concern would have to be overwhelming to garner 40 votes to extend the session.  If the session is extended, what is gained and what is lost, the thing that is lost is time, time away from this building which people would have if we were to adjourn sine die today.  There is nothing else that would be lost through extending the session.  If the session is not extended and things remain as they are, what is gained and what is lost.  Unless a person is truly a wizard, a sorcerer or some other practitioner of the magical arts who can read the future with precision, there is no way to answer that question with precision.  But if you look at what we have done in the past as a Legislature, this kind of language in the law would be a very strong argument for saying that constitutes a promise that the Legislature made.  It had the opportunity -to change this, and it chose not to.  The public has been led to believe that this is




the course the Legislature will follow, and if they read the statutes, they would see it.  So now to change it would be to break faith with the public, to indicate that the Legislature is not going to keep its word.  Now, none of that means anything to me personally, none whatsoever.  To say that the Legislature has broken faith with the public has very little meaning because the public, by and large, is unaware of what we're doing.  The public, by and large, is unaware of, with all due respect, to the Wizard of Harrison.  the public at large of Senator Wickersham's amendment.  They might have read the headline of a newspaper and said, hmm, something is not going on like it should in the Legislature, but what's new?  The article was so long, a person would have to be aware of and knowledgeable about so many other things to make sense of it, that Most people wouldn't even read it.  So it's not going to affect the way any of your constituents will vote for you.  It's not going to affect the way people will vote on any proposed constitutional amendment.  All it's going to have any impact on is how we do business internally.  If a colleague presents an amendment and is able to lull us into a feeling of security, there's nothing wrong with that .  That is what we all do when we present an amendment.  Some of us are just a bit more bombastic confrontational and forthright than others.  But the ultimate goal is always the same, to get enough votes to have that position adopted.  So I am doing this to give Us an opportunity, while we are in session, to do what it is we are allowed to do under the law, to deal with this situation.  To adjourn sine die would mean either the Governor would call us into special session or twothirds of us would sign some kind of petition and deliver it to the Secretary of State's office, and there's as much chance of that as my getting Senator Tyson, my mentee, to repeat word for word everything that I've said this morning, which translates to impossibility.  I'm not going to withdraw this motion.  I'm going to carry it to a vote, and others may have wanted to speak on this subject but did not have the opportunity to do so because other motions had been withdrawn prior to their being able to speak.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator Chambers.  Senator Landis.


SENATOR LANDIS:  Madam President, I move that we recess until 1:45.




PRESIDENT ROBAK:  The motion before you is the motion to recess until 1:45.  All those in favor say aye.  All those opposed nay.  We are recessed until 1:45.






SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Good afternoon, and welcome to the George W.  Norris Legislative Chamber.  Senators, would you please check in so we can begin this afternoon's business.  Roll call.  Please record, Mr. Clerk.


CLERK:  I have a quorum present, Mr. President.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Thank you, Mr. Clerk.  Items for the record.


CLERK:  Mr. President, bills read on Final Reading this morning and constitutional amendment read on Final Reading, earlier this morning, have been presented to the Governor (re LB 218, LB 303, LB 309, LB 309A, and LR 303).  That's all that I have at this time, Mr. President.  (See page 1953 of the Legislative Journal.)


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Mr. Clerk, corrections to the Journal?


CLERK:  No corrections, Mr. President.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Before we move on and continue this afternoon's business, Senator Coordsen announces he has the following guests visiting the Legislature, they are Reinhart Quast, from Germany, Sven Ewigleben, from Germany, Maria Bergmann, also from Germany, and Susan and Lorna Elting, from Davenport and Hebron, Nebraska.  They're under the north balcony.  Would you please stand and be recognized by the Nebraska Legislature.  We now resume debate on LB 1175e,




Senator Chambers?  motion to extend the session.  Senator Abboud.  Senator Beutler.  Senator Elmer.


SENATOR ELMER:  Thank you, Mr. President.  Thinking about watching our Siegfried, Chambers and Roy, Wickersham, last night, we need to have a magic trick this afternoon.  And I think the magic trick is for us all to recognize that this is prospective, it doesn't impact for two more years, and the future legislatures Will take care of it.  But I want to talk about a more basic thing, and that is the thing that I've been here talking about since I was elected, and that's the inordinately high property tax that we have compared to other states in the region.  And it seems incongruous to me that the sector that needs the property tax reductions in the most way, which is the majority of our state citizens, for their homes and their businesses, are disregarded.  The property tax to the people that have the money to force these political issues to us, upon us, or whatever you want to call it, are the high-income people.  Property tax today was a minor portion of their expense, it's deductible from the federal income tax.  They don't need that property tax relief because they have a lot of money anyway.  They just want to keep more of it by lowering income tax.  And the rest of us then are left to pay the burden of the tax, through our property, to support local entities.  And I know documentation can show, furnished either by the Revenue Committee or the Appropriations Committee, that will show that we are cutting taxes for the citizens of the state of Nebraska where it counts the most, in the millions and millions of dollars category over the next how ever many years, we're able to keep the property tax caps on.  It's very significant.  I've talked about property tax and the need for property tax reduction through letters to the editors, offering other points of view to the various newspapers across the state, some have printed them, but not the Omaha World-Herald.  They will not print those articles that show how much tax money we're actually cutting on property tax.  And I would challenge any of you here to put together the documents that show how much tax we're actually cutting from property and submit it to our statewide newspaper, the World-Herald, and see if they will actually print it.  I doubt it.  Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  Senator Abboud.  Senator Abboud.  Senator






SENATOR ROBINSON:  Call the question.


SPEAKER KRISTENSEN:  I don't believe there's been sufficient debate.  Senator Chambers.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Mr. Speaker and members of the Legislature I don't know why our numbers or so few, but I have an idea.  However, I want to discuss what it is that I'm looking at in this matter because a reporter had asked me some questions, and maybe I hadn't thoroughly explained why it is that I'm doing what I'm proposing this afternoon.  In politics, the state is supreme, and I mean that entity known as Nebraska, now, because we know the U.S.  government is supreme over all of the country.  When the state in statute writes what, in effect, is a blank check, the state is giving up part of its sovereignty.  It is putting others in a position to dictate to the state what it is going to do and what it must do with the money which the state derives from the citizens.  The state should never put itself in that position.  If, by way of an appropriation, and the statutes define what constitutes an appropriation, the constitution tells us how this is done, from year to year the state does this based on facts and information which is presented preceding that particular appropriation.  But to write a blank check which allows people at a future time, who are not members of the Legislature, to dictate what the state is going to spend is not wise at all.  This is not the first time this session that I have raised this issue.  LB 512, which Senator Will brought to us, had a provision that said the state would pay 50 percent of whatever a county expended for certain juvenile services.  I had a number of reasons for opposing that, but the major one was that the county was going to be able to dictate to the state without limitation what the state was going to have to spend.  The state must retain its sovereignty, its supremacy, and to delegate or turn that authority and that power over to anybody or any collection of bodies is not the appropriate thing to do.  If this motion is adopted, we would not have to stay here until Friday.  Senator Wickersham's amendment could be removed.  That bill could go upstairs today and come back down today if we chose to work it that way.  It would lay over tomorrow, which is Wednesday, and a vote could be taken on what remained Thursday.




The date that I put in that motion simply was the cutoff date.  We could not meet beyond that period of time.  The only way we can extend the session is by adopting a motion which would garner 40 votes, and in the motion would be a statement of the limitation which would then be imposed as a result of that vote.  It is not open-ended.  It does not extend into the summer.  it does not extend beyond this week.  It need not extend even until Friday.  But if the Legislature chooses to disregard what has been done, then nobody on this floor, after today, will be able to say there was nothing that we could do.  We made a mistake, we were inattentive, and there was no way to correct it.  Had we adjourned sine die,...






SENATOR CHAMBERS:  ...  that argument, perhaps, could be made.  But there is a provision under the law in our rules whereby that which is perceived to have been unwise can be addressed, and we can do it and it would not keep us in Lincoln that much more time.  And once done, the problem or problems generated by adopting Senator Wickersham's amendment, problems real or imagined, could be rectified and solved.  So I'm presenting this motion in all seriousness.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator Chambers.  Senator, your light is on next.  You may continue.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Madam President and members of the Legislature, we are on the last day of the session.  This is probably one of the most highly charged political issues that we have dealt with this session or will deal with.  I don't see anything else on the horizon that will rival it.  I know that we can bump this matter to the Governor if we choose to do so, and the Governor can veto it and then summon us back into special session to pass those parts of the bill which many people have indicated are essential to be enacted.  Would we be operating in a responsible manner as a legislature if we don't address this issue?  It doesn't matter what Senator DeCamp wrote.  Senator DeCamp has a way Of stirring the pot.  He's very entertaining in the way he expresses his ideas, but because he is entertaining




and sometimes a bit elaborate and extravagant in his choice of words, does not mean he always misses the mark.  He just shoots all over the mark, the target, so at some point he's going to hit the target.  It's like this young guy who had a very steady hand, Senator Bohlke, and he went out to shoot this squirrel with a long rifle and he aimed and he squeezed the trigger, but he flinched and he missed it.  Then this old guy went out there and ...  well, Senator Coordsen, you don't mind me bringing in because you're a good sport, he was just shaking like a leaf on a tree.  And finally, he tried to get the squirrel in sight the best he could and he pulled the trigger and hit the squirrel.  And when he was bragging about how much better he was than the young man, the young man said, well, you should have hit him.  You aimed everywhere on the tree that you could aim.  Well, the Legislature does not have to do that.  We don't have to legislate in a scatter gun fashion.  If this is a serious matter, and I think that it is, we should address it this session.  We can extend it very easily.  If this language stays in the law, it is not intent language.  it is operative language.  If that stays in the law, and the date is reached which triggers its operation, it will take effect.  And if that language that Senator Withem put into the law brought us to this point, how many of you think if we're unwilling to deal with it now that the Legislature is going to deal with it next session?  I say again, as far as I'm concerned personally, the Legislature's fortunes are determined by others than myself.  So I present the motion to you and I think you ought to consider it very seriously and know what it is that we're doing, because from this moment on, everybody knows what is in Senator Wickersham's amendment; everybody knows what we can do to address it.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator Chambers.  While the Legislature is in session and capable of transacting business, I propose to sign and do hereby sign LR 481, (LR) 482, and LB 341, (LB) 341A, (LB) 532, (LB) 532A, (LB) 752A, (LB) 1219, (LB) 1219A, (LB) 1035, (LB) 1129, (LB) 1158, (LB) 1174, (LB) 1174A.  Senator Vrtiska, your light is next.


SENATOR VRTISKA:  Thank you, Madam President, members of the body.  On this last day of the session, I had intended to get up and speak at length about this particular issue, but after




reviewing all of the people who have already spoken, Senator Wickersham, Senator Kristensen, Senator Wehrbein, Senator Coordsen, and Senator Bohlke, and they've pretty much covered all of the points.  There's only one issue that I think I have to address that would be of interest or would hopefully be of interest.  First of all, I have to tell you that I'm not going to vote for Senator Chambers' motion to...  extend the session.  I think we can deal with this issue today, and has been indicated earlier, if we can't take care of it...  if it doesn't come out like we expect it to, there's always next year and we can work on that issue in the coming session.  But I do think there's one issue that I need to address just for a moment.  That has to do with efficiency.  We've heard the word "efficiency" all over the floor, and I agree efficiency is a good thing.  But you know, there's a point of efficiency that you reach that you just can't go any further.  I think I know as much about efficiency as anybody here being involved in agriculture all my life.  We have to be efficient in those years when you don't have the money to do what we need to do.  But you know, if you become so efficient that you fail to go out and buy seed corn, you're not going to grow a crop.  And if we're going to be so efficient that we strangle our kids, then they're not going to get the education that we think that they deserve and we should, in fact, provide for them as a state.  How do you provide it?  Well, there are a number of ways, and obviously we've gone through those ways.  We've gone through sales, income, and property tax.  I think, at this point, it's been indicated by many of us that has been speaking that property tax has been carrying an unfair share of the burden.  But I think that it's time we sit down and look at this very seriously and determine what is the proper balance that needs to be made in this issue.  Again, let's don't strangle the kids because we've become so efficient that they're not able to get what we intended for them as a state to get, and that's a quality education in the schools in this state.  As many of you know, many of the smaller schools are at the point of strangulation.  They're suffering deeply, and some of these are very, very good schools who have turned out excellent students, and they've...  their scores, their ability, and their life after school has been of an exemplary manner and I think we need to recognize that.  So, again, as I said before, if we want to become so efficient that we don't want to buy the seed, we can't plant a crop.  We can't grow any ...  we won't grow any




crops.  So I think that's something we have to understand.  And so I would suggest that we move ahead with this vote, we adopt the LB 117S today for the purpose of education, and move on with our work that's before us.  Thank you.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator Vrtiska.  Senator Wesely.


SENATOR WESELY:  Thank you, Madam President, members.  I rise in support of the Chambers motion.  And I know that it's going to be difficult to get votes to do this.  This would be a first for this legislature, but I urge you to think about it carefully.  I know there's a lot of support for the bill, there's a lot of objection to what the Business Summit is talking about, but there are a number of reasons why this would be a course of action you should at least consider.  And I heard Senator Coordsen talk about, listen to the senior members who have been talking, and I'm not going to try and play that card, but Senator Chambers and I, along with Senator Landis, are first and second in seniority.  We are concerned about the institution.  We are concerned about the impact, long-term, of what this issue is.  It's not a short-term, singular issue.  This is in the context of a very important progression of events that this decision today could be very, very important in determining a course into the future.  And the reason I suggest that, again, is that we have elements of our business community, the leadership of our business community, that wants to go forward with the petition drive.  They are looking for an excuse.  They are looking for a reason to go forward, and I think this is not them that reason, hand them that weapon to hit us over the head and the people of this state over the head with a petition drive that I think is a mistake for the state of Nebraska.  Now, I want to also reiterate that it's not just because of that that I'm rising.  I think the Senator Wickersham amendment, on its face, is a mistake.  The entitlement of state aid is a mistake, and we ought not to take that step without very careful consideration, which we have not, I think, fully given to this matter.  But I'm going to put that aside because that debate, I think, can be taken next year.  We can put that off to next year, but the issue that's before us today is a question of, do we want to take a step that will ultimately lead to the sort of progression of events that I think will be harmful, long-term, to the state of Nebraska by a




restrictive constitutional amendment when there are better alternatives to deal with the problem that they are raising.  Now we have tried ...  we talked earlier ...  Senator Chambers and I and others stood up in this Legislature, stood tall and fought against the proposal on Caterpillar to try to send the message back that we were not going to be intimidated by the Business Summit.  I am not suggesting that you be intimidated by the Business Summit, but I am suggesting that you be realistic.  When Senator Bohlke talked about, let's not change the vote because of them, I'm not asking you to change the vote because of them, but it is a fact that when we passed 1114, we were anticipating a very horrid constitutional amendment being proposed that had us concerned and which we tried to provide a better alternative to and we succeeded.  We were able to head off two years ago a petition drive that would have been horrendous for the state of Nebraska.  We took steps, we took leadership, we did the right thing, and I'm suggesting we do the same thing here.  It's not to say we're going to buckle under, that we're not going to stand up tall for what we believe in, but I'm going to suggest that the better course for this state and this Legislature is to offer a reasonable alternative to what is going to be offered if this petition drive goes forward by the Business Summit.  There's a problem.  There's a concern.  It can be addressed in the multitude of ways.  There's not just one solution to it.  And if we go forward and do not take this step and extend the session and take the Wickersham amendment off, you'll hand to them the weapon that will be used against us for the next few months as they go forward on this petition drive.  My suggestion is that we reach out with an olive branch to say, we are concerned, we are willing to work with people; we have an olive branch in our hands and let them be the ones to knock it out of our hand.  Let them be the ones to say, we don't want to work with the Legislature.  We don't want to work cooperative to address this issue.  We have our solution.  We have our answer.  We don't care what anybody else thinks.  Now, if that's the approach they're going to take, I think they're going to have a great difficulty in succeeding in that.  But if we hand them this issue with this amendment, if we don't take the steps Senator Chambers is talking about, I think we will regret it later as the progression of events goes forward.  So, I'm not here as a ...






SENATOR WESELY:  ...  defender of the Business Summit; I'm not carrying water for them.  I don't agree with what they're trying to do.  In fact, I'm opposed to what they're trying to do, and I'm trying to suggest a way to respond to it, a way to provide a different course that will provide us a better solution to the problems that- they have and to appeal to the public that the Legislature, once again, will provide the leadership to work our way through this, this issue.  So, I rise in support of the Chambers amendment, difficult as it may be, and ask you to do the same.  Thank you.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator Wesely.  Senator Abboud.


SENATOR ABBOUD:  Thank you, Madam President, members.  When I left home today, I told my wife this would be my last day in the Legislature and she asked me if I was looking forward to it, and I said, well, I was.  I got a little bit taste of...  a little taste of freedom yesterday and I thought, well, I've got to go back one more day.  It's been 16 long years, and even though my term doesn't run out until January, I felt that this was going to be a nice day to end it.  I had a bad feeling when I saw the Sunday paper and I saw that front page story and I thought, you know, this just isn't going to be a nice, warm, fuzzy ending to the legislative session.  I knew it would probably be somewhat of a rancorous session...  ending to our session.  So, it's with a great deal of anguish and trepidation that I decide to come out in support of Senator Chambers' motion to extend the session.  I would be perfectly content to make today my swan song, Senator Kristensen.  I know your...




SENATOR ABBOUD:  So would you, I know.  (Laughter.) But my...  I know you're kidding.  But the point is, it probably would have been a little bit easier to just walk away and end the session at this time.  And I'm not going to get into the middle of whether or not this is, in fact, an entitlement or whether it's good or it's bad, because certainly my school districts would benefit.  Some of them would certainly benefit by the additional money, and our constituents, I believe, would benefit by the




additional state aid.  But my concern focuses in on the Business Summit.  We had a meeting in the Omaha area, I believe we had six or seven senators at a meeting with the Business Summit members from the Omaha area, and we talked about their proposal.  And we talked specifically about what was going to be in that proposal, and then we talked specifically when that proposal was going to be coming up in front of the voters.  And it's my belief, from that conversation, that we will be facing a petition drive that will be started soon after we adjourn to limit the amount of state spending we have.  Senator Wesely is right.  You're giving them an issue to kick off their campaign, and you're actually giving them an issue to help them win in their 30second ad campaign that will be running in September and October and November of this year that will focus in on state spending.  It's maybe unfortunate that we've had front page stories here the last three to four days over this issue, but the reality is that we have and it makes the Legislature appear that we haven't done that good of a job in controlling cur spending.  Whether we have or we haven't, perception is reality.  And for that reason, I think we ought to take that language out, we ought to take the additional days and extend our session, and remove the language.  One of the people that I served with, and most of us served with him, was Jerry Warner.  And Jerry Warner and I never agreed on everything, but the one thing that I respected and admired about Jerry Warner was his ability to seize the moment.  He would get in front of an issue or he'd see an issue out there that needed to be done, and he would configure the issue and work the issue in a manner that would get that bill enacted, whether he was working with the Governor or the committees.  He was involved in major issues because he saw the realities of getting legislation enacted when it needed to be enacted.  And certainly, LB 1114, a couple of years ago, was something that he saw as something that needed to be done because of the constitutional amendment.  Now, whether it's a mistake on the part of the Legislature that we have not done anything to deal with this Business Summit petition drive that will be coming down the pike, or not, is ...




SENATOR ABBOUD:  ...  something, I guess, that will be discovered in November.  And maybe it will be in the form of ...  maybe we'll




be coming back into special session here, sometime, to deal with this Business Summit proposal.  But the facts remain that we have not done anything to deal with the pending petition drive and pending vote in November.  And I cannot see being a party to this group by enacting LB 1175.  1 certainly support everything else in the bill, but this is not the time to be doing it.  Come back in January, add it into a bill, it'd be fine.  But this is not the time to do it, so I'm going to be supporting Senator Chambers' motion to extend the session and remove this portion of the language out of 1175.  Thank you.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator Abboud.  Senator Beutler.


SENATOR BEUTLER:  Madam Lieutenant Governor, members of the Legislature, there are so many aspects to this problem, I'm not sure that I can speak with the clarity that I would hope to be able to, but it seems to me that we should take our course steady as she goes.  I think that everything that has been done in 1175 is reasonable.  You may recall, a year or two ago when we passed the basic levy limit bill, I did not vote for it not because I didn't think there should be a levy limit, but because at that point in time, you may recall, I tried to encourage you to make an absolute commitment to replacement funds.  And at that point in time, the Legislature would not make absolute commitments to replacement funds.  And at that time, I identified to you, probably not anything you didn't recognize, but I identified for you the difference between the Chamber of Commerce position and all those people who were saying, yes, let's put the levy cap on but didn't really believe in replacement funds, and those who did believe in replacement funds but who didn't think that that timing was quite right to address that subject.  And so, essentially, we've gone through a year and we've done a balancing act and we've provided some replacement funds, but we've also put a lot of pressure on a lot of schools, and I think that we have made a substantial number of demands for efficiency, and those demands are still out there and will be out there regardless of the provisions of 1175.  What we are coming to is unchanged by anything that's in 1175, and what we are coming to is a decision, a societal decision, that may be brought to a head by the petition drive that will be forthcoming shortly.  But that decision is, essentially, a referendum on how well we've been doing in terms of both




providing quality education in this state and demanding efficiencies.  And if the people of this state believe that the answer to this very intricate problem is to slap a lid on state government so we can no longer transfer funds to the local political subdivisions to maintain our schools or to do the other things that have been identified in the past as good government in this state, government that's been desired by the people.  If the people of the state think that that simplistic approach is what is called for, well, then so be it.  But I don't think that we can avoid the question.  I don't think that we should avoid the question.  I think we should take the question on and engage it and fight back and explain what we've been doing and don't give up and don't sit back and be apologetic for anything.  We haven't made bad decisions in here.  We've made good decisions, and if we stick together and explain, each one of us, in our district what we have done, we need not be floundering around like this and worrying about this and that.  I think we're solid.  I think we should act like we're solid, and I think it is all defensible.  If this petition drive is put upon the Legislature, we will be wrapped up like a mummy, incapable of acting with flexibility to meet the needs of the people of the state.  And I think, in the end, if we engage the people of the state in that debate, that they will recognize that, and that they will not come down in favor of those who would...




SENATOR BEUTLER:  ...  put such a straitjacket on the representatives of the people and that they will come back and say, yes, it's a tough act, but you have done the appropriate balancing.  You have worked at it.  You have found the in-between that we have been looking for also.  So, my recommendation would be to go ahead forward, as we have been, with the same kind of balancing that we have been doing because I think it's been good, it's been appropriate, it's been fair, and it's been forward-looking.  Thank you.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Mr. Clerk, there's an amendment.


CLERK:  Senators Chambers and Bromm would move to amend.  (FA754 appears on page 1954 of the Legislative Journal.)




PRESIDENT ROBAK:  The Chair recognizes Senator Chambers to open on his motion to amend the motion to extend the session.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Madam President and members of the Legislature, I was approached by more than one senator on this issue, so some words would be added to that motion.  The words would be "and whatever legislative business arises" because during the time we would be here, should we extend the session, there may be some other things that we would want to address in addition to LB 1175, notably vetoes that could come down.  Senator Beutler expresses great confidence in the ability of the Legislature to persuade the public about anything, and I don't share in his confidence in that regard.  If worse comes to worst, what would happen if the Legislature were put into a straitjacket, the very forces that want Senator Wickersham's amendment, the education establishment, is certainly going to be cut off at the knees.  And there are other areas where funding will not be available.  It is easy on this last day for people to say that this petition drive by these business people will go nowhere.  They have access to much money, and they can spend a lot of money hiring petition circulators.  How many states do you know of, starting with California, where the public votes against restricting the amount of money that the state can spend?  Who is going to vote against it?  The legislators themselves have been talking about the property taxes being too high.  And the level of property taxes has always been linked to excessive spending.  The Governor has said that, members of this body have said it, those running for governor now will say it over and over and over.  So it is, I think, a pipe dream to think that the Legislature, as an institution, or legislators individually are somehow going to be able to counteract ad blitzes on television and the newspaper.  What will Senator Beutler do ...  how many times will he be allowed to write a letter to the Lincoln Journal in opposition to something that appears in a published ad in the newspaper or something on the radio or on television?  How many times can he write to the WorldHerald, and if he does, will a letter to the editor have that much consequence?  Is he going to travel all over the state to tell these people, here I am personally.  I believe so much in the need for the government to be able to raise the money and spend that which is necessary to meet the obligations of government




that I'm here to tell you, don't vote for this ...  don't sign the petition, first of all.  Then, if enough people sign it to put it on the ballot, don't vote for it.  I don't think that is reasonable at all.  Now, what do you have confronting us?  You have language which, as long as it stays in the law, can pose a problem.  Those who support it say its effectiveness will be put off for two or three years.  Then why leave that in the law to provide cannon fodder for the enemy, if the people circulating that petition are, indeed, the enemy?  If you're going to argue about something in the next two years, why not let it be an argument over whether you should put something into the law that is going to take effect instead of allowing something to lie there dormant, not taking effect as far as law, but as far as the public's perception of it and the use that can be made of it?  It is detrimental.  Why leave it there when it does not have to be there?  Why put a stick in your enemy's hand to bust you upside the head with when you didn't have to do it?  it wouldn't even be a different matter if this language were to take effect immediately.  Then the battle could be on whether or not you agree with the policy and if it ought to be put in place now.  We're getting all kinds of letters on other subjects, and some would fit this, but I don't think I'll read it at this point because I have a chance on another issue, and by then it may not look as juicy as it does right now in the context of this discussion.  But if the language that Senator Wickersham put into the law, this bill that will become law, represents an error of judgment, why will we not correct the error?  Why leave it there to do all of the mischief that it can do without its being able to do any good?  The only good it can do is to serve as an argument in the future for keeping it.  But if the damage is done and if, to use Senator Beutler's colorful language, the Legislature is wrapped up like a mummy, that language may not make any difference because the state is going to be so restricted in what it can do anyway, this that is so significant now will be rendered an irrelevancy.  If you take it out, you haven't hurt what Senator Wickersham is talking about doing in the future.  The world may come to an end by then.  Maybe every knee shall bow and every eye shall behold and every throat cry "Hosanna" as you see the Lord coming back for the second coming, and none of this will make any difference then, so maybe it will be taken care of, Senator..."Baron Tyson." But on the chance that that doesn't happen, it is not going to have any legal




effect in the interim between now when it would become law or in July and when it takes effect down the line.  If you leave it there, it does damage.  It's like one of those diseases undetected, but which grows, which becomes more and more malignant, which becomes more and more capable of fighting off anything brought against it.  So if you detect it at this stage, remove it at this stage.  What will you hurt, Senator...  I won't call people by name asking questions because they may think I require an answer, which I don't.  Senators A through Z, what will be hurt if we remove this language?  Nothing.  Nothing at all.  We will have behaved in a responsible manner.  You will have taken a club out of your enemy's hand, and we will not have to be here that long a time.  But what this amendment to my motion would do is allow matters in addition to LB 1175 to be addressed since we're here anyway.  Maybe there are bills that you all have looked at which are over there reposing on the Governor's desk, and he might be required to do something one way or the other if we remain in session.  So, it was in responding to a point that was brought to me by other senators that Senator Bromm and I cosponsored this amendment to my motion.  I know obtaining 40 votes for anything is extremely difficult, but the difficulty of an enterprise is no argument against undertaking it when undertaking it is the appropriate thing to do.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator Chambers.  Senator Maurstad, to speak to the Chambers amendment.  Senator Robinson, to speak to the Chambers amendment.


SENATOR ROBINSON:  Call the question.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator, this is a brand new amendment up, and I rule that it's out of order.  Senator...  Senator.


SENATOR ROBINSON:  I can have my time, then?


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  I'm sorry, Senator, I couldn't hear you.


SENATOR ROBINSON:  Can I have my time, then?


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  No, Senator, you may not.  I've ruled your request out of order and you made...




SENATOR ROBINSON:  Can I ...  I make a request to overrule the Chair.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  The request is to overrule the Chair.  You may speak to that, Senator.


SENATOR ROBINSON:  Well, I can put it very frankly.  I have some things to say and I would like to say them.  So, that's the reason I request to overrule the Chair.  Thank you.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Robinson, the question before the body is the motion to overrule the Chair.  The Chair ruled that we had not had ample debate on the motion to amend the motion to extend the session.  So is there any discussion on the motion to overrule the Chair?  Senator Bromm, do you wish to speak to the motion to overrule the Chair?  Senator Wickersham, do you wish to speak to the motion to overrule the Chair?  Senator Brown, on the motion to overrule the Chair?  Senator Brashear, on the motion to overrule the Chair?  Senator Tyson, on the motion to overrule the Chair?  Senator Chambers, on the motion to overrule the Chair.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Madam President, members of the Legislature, I'd like to know what I'm voting "no" on.  Precisely what is the ruling of the Chair that is before us?


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Chambers, I ruled that there had not been ample debate on your amendment to the motion to extend the session.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  You're absolutely right.  (Laughter.)


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Robinson.


SENATOR ROBINSON:  I thought you said that I couldn't speak.  That's what I want to overrule the Chair on that you said that I could not speak.  Now that's what I want to overrule the Chair on.  Can I do that?


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator, you want to challenge...




SENATOR ROBINSON:  That's right.  I want to challenge...  when you said I couldn't speak, I want to challenge that.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator, you may challenge my ruling that I ...  I ruled that you had taken your time to call the question, and that when you call the question you have taken your time to speak.  And that is my ruling.  If that's the ruling that you would like to challenge, you may challenge that ruling.


SENATOR ROBINSON:  Yes, I'd like to challenge it.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Is there any discussion on that ruling?  Seeing none, Senator Robinson, do you wish to close on your motion to overrule the Chair?


SENATOR ROBINSON:  No.  I already stated why I wanted to do it.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Seeing no discussion, the question before you is the motion to overrule the Chair on her decision that once you have called the question that you may not speak.  All those in favor of overruling the Chair vote aye; all those opposed vote nay.  Have you all voted?  There needs to be 24 votes to overrule the Chair.  Have you all voted?  Please record.


CLERK:  6 ayes, 12 nays to overrule the Chair.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  The Chair is not overruled.  Senator Wickersham, you may speak on the motion to amend the motion to extend the session.


SENATOR WICKERSHAM:  All right.  Madam President, Senator Robinson, if ...  Madam President, I would yield the initial part of my time to Senator Robinson so he may make his remarks, if the Senator will agree to yield his time back.  (Laughter.)


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Robinson.


SENATOR ROBINSON:  Thank you, Senator Wickersham.  I think this is a lot of talking about nothing, and I certainly support what Senator Beutler said.  You know, it's sort of ...  we talk about the people in Omaha that I don't evidently ...  they're very important people.  They've been very successful, and I admire




them for being successful.  But I wonder if that article hadn't been in the newspaper over the weekend, I wonder if we would be discussing this.  My guess is we probably wouldn't.  We'd have probably passed the bill on and so forth; wouldn't have had all this discussion.  Now, I think we...  too many of us live in fear.  We're scared of everything that's in Omaha.  There's a lot more to Nebraska than Omaha.  There's a lot more to Nebraska than Omaha, and I don't know, I have two grandchildren.  One is out of K-12 school, one will be a senior next year.  So this will not impact her at all, but it certainly could impact the grandchildren and the children of the people in this Legislature and all the other children in Nebraska.  And we can change it next year.  Why don't we change it...  and Senator Witek talks, boy, no one would change their vote.  Boy, I'll tell you, I haven't noticed that in the eight years that I've been in the Legislature.  I think we're going to take care of the school children of Nebraska, whether they're out west or up north, down south, or wherever they're at.  But I think we ought to have some courage to stand up to the people in Omaha.  That's what it's all about, folks.  That's what it's all about.  Have the courage to stand up to them.  You know where they make their money.  They make their money off the little people.  That's where they make their money.  I've been pro-economic development since I've been in this Legislature.  I voted for the half cent sales tax.  I've supported the income tax, and I would have voted for two more cents of ...  two more cents to cut the income tax.  They can say anything they want about me, I don't care.  But I think it's a mistake to extend this session, and I don't...  I'm not sure you...  I don't think you're going to get the 40 votes either.  Thank you.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator Robinson.  Senator Robinson, your light is next.  Oh, excuse me.  You're yielding back the two minutes to...  Senator Wickersham, there's two minutes remaining.


SENATOR WICKERSHAM:  Thank you, Senator Robinson.  (Laughing.) I have...  I'm continuing to hear remarks from my colleagues on the floor to the extent that somehow the amendment that I offered and was adopted on Select File will cause new spending on the part of the Legislature, and that's simply not accurate.  I know that was printed in the newspaper, but you can't believe




everything you read in the newspaper.  I don't know how else to say it.  And, in fact, you can't believe everything that you read in the editorials in the newspaper.  They indicated in the editorial that the issue that was at hand in the amendment had never had...




SENATOR WICKERSHAM:  ...  a public hearing, and that was completely inaccurate.  Now, this proposal does not cause any new spending on the part of the Legislature.  It simply changes the process by which we determine the appropriation for state aid to schools; the equalization formula.  It takes the guesswork out of the hands of our fiscal analysts, gives them a defined number, and allows the process to go forward with the certification of aid on December I and the subsequent appropriations by the Legislature to fund that certification, decisions that were made in LB 806.  And I ...  if the Business Summit or some other group wants to hold over our head that the Legislature has made a commitment to K-12 education....


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Time.  Thank you, Senator Wickersham.  Senator Robinson, your light is next.


SENATOR ROBINSON:  I give my time to Senator Bromm.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Bromm.


SENATOR BROMM:  Thank you, Madam President.  Senator Robinson, I have my light on now.  Would it be all right if I would yield this to Senator Wickersham?  Is that all right?  I yield Senator Robinson's time to Senator Wickersham.  (Laughter.)


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Wickersham.


SENATOR WICKERSHAM:  Madam President, members of the body, if the Business Summit or any other group wants to hold over our heads our support, our commitment to K-12 education in this state, I can't imagine that we can't respond.  And if their argument, if their argument is, as Senator Bohlke has suggested, that we cannot shift ...  that word...  shift the funding or a portion of the funding of K-12 education from property tax so,




in fact, we do provide property tax relief, to the sales and income tax, then that has to be discussed.  And I think we're perfectly capable of doing that.  But I think they're going to be hard-pressed, especially in a year when the Legislature has reduced the sales tax rate by a half a cent for one year, when we have continued indefinitely an income tax reduction that will reduce state revenues by approximately $155 million in the next biennium.  On what basis can a legitimate complaint be brought?  Can they complain that we've not provided property tax relief?  We're anticipating that next year property taxes will be reduced somewhere in the neighborhood of $160 million or maybe more.  Those are the tax statements that people are going to be receiving on December 1.  Sales tax reduced $92 million.  Income tax, as I've noted, reduced 155 million over the next biennium.  Now, I suppose there's always room to complain, and people always will complain about taxes, but how can they complain about educational opportunities for their children, their grandchildren, their nieces, their nephews ...  how can they complain, literally, about the future of this state when the schools in this state have, on a per capita basis, very low spending when compared with the rest of the schools in the nation, and while having that low spending are at the same time producing kids who score amongst the highest in the nation?  We've done something right in this state with education so far.  How can anyone legitimately argue that we should jeopardize that?  I think that would be almost ...  it is unimaginable to me that that record, that that argument can be made in any persuasive fashion.  I do understand that the attempt can be made to characterize what we're doing as something new.  I've seen it in the newspaper.  We'll see more of it in the newspaper, but that doesn't mean that it's right, and I think that the citizens, the voters of this state can see through the subterfuges.  They can see through the false arguments.  They will be able to see what has been done for them and for their families, and I don't think they'll respond to the siren song of those who wish to destroy it.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator Wickersham.  Senator Chambers.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Madam President, members of the Legislature, I cannot say that the people on the other side have not argued




well for their position.  That's not even what my contention is.  I'm just saying that however good what they said sounds, it doesn't make sense and it is not wise.  You all know what the sword of Damocles is.  It's a sword that's suspended by a thread and you don't know when it's going to fall, and you have to stay underneath that sword.  So this is like a sword of Damocles.  You cannot take that sword and use it to fight off the enemy, but as long as you sit under it, anything might come along that will cut the thread, and you know what will happen when the sword falls on you.  Now, if this proposition that Senator Wickersham wants to put in the law stays there, it does no good for anybody because no transfers of money or anything else will take place in the immediate future, two years or three years, whatever the amount of time is.  If it stays there and it's used by these people to show the incompetency and ineptness of the Legislature, then it's hurtful.  How will it show incompetency and ineptness?  Too many senators have said they were unaware of what was in this amendment and what the significance of it was.  That is a matter of record now.  So, in addition to the spendthrift spending, they can make their argument that the Legislature indeed is inept and does make tremendous obligations against the state treasury without even being aware that they've done it.  So the only way to guard against that is to change the constitution and put them in the mummy wrap that Senator Beutler described.  If you take it out...oh, and if you leave it in and they get their constitutional amendment and wrap the Legislature like a mummy, then this language that is in the statute will mean nothing anyway.  That will all be erased.  It will never take effect.  So if you give them a stick to hit you with that will help them get their goal, you will help them defeat the very thing you're fighting to hold onto.  The success of their effort will put in the constitution such strictures that this language will never be allowed to take effect.  Then those education and other people who want to keep this in here are the first ones who will be screaming because they are the ones who will be struck first if you put these strictures in the constitution.  So if you take it out, is that any assurance these people won't go forth with their effort?  Not at all, but you take away one of the sticks that they can hit you with.  When the Legislature became aware of the fact that through inadvertence, something was put before the Legislature for the purpose of putting it into the law, the Legislature rectified




it the Legislature is responsible; the Legislature is receptive to information which informs the Legislature that it made an error in judgment.  Take it out, and you will not have hurt anything.  You will not have hurt anything.  If they are unsuccessful in their petition effort, then you can argue next year to put it in, and if the support is there, it will be put back in.  If you leave it in, you simply strengthen the hand of those who want to put their hands around the throat of the Legislature and throttle it.  We are dealing in a political environment.




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  We are not dealing with a public which is going to read all of our legislative debate or even follow it because it's on one of those issues which does not hold their interest.  All they are concerned about is the bottom line, as it's called.  Does the Legislature do things that will require people to pay more taxes?  With this open-ended, unlimited ability to draw on the state treasury, yes, that argument can be made.  The Legislature doesn't care, and even when it was brought to the Legislature's attention in a devil-may-care gesture, they said, forget it.  The Legislature will behave irresponsibly anyway.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator Chambers.  Senator Maurstad.


SENATOR MAURSTAD:  Thank you, Madam President.  I'd yield my time to Senator Brashear.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Brashear.


SENATOR BRASHEAR:  Madam President, members of the body, I've been...  it's literally fun to have a debate that you want to hear what everybody has to say in order to make a thoughtful decision.  As I think about this, I really can't believe that maybe...  and I'm not committed to it, but I can't believe we wouldn't consider extending the session if you stop and think about it.  We have an amendment which, however adopted, under whatever circumstances, with whatever record vote or lack thereof is being utilized to characterize us in one way or




another, and I think most of us as a body, as a unit, don't like the characterization.  That amendment is not immediately effective and is not immediately necessary, and I will represent to you, I believe very sincerely, is constitutionally suspect.  And we are preparing in a political environment, as Senator Chambers says, to gird up our loins and begin a battle.  And the battle will be about the job which this body can or cannot do for and on behalf of the people.  And it's an important battle.  And as I process through this, I'm really...  except for the Chambers amendment to extend the session, the one where he wants to make it for any and all subjects, I have to tell you I think each step of this process, in my opinion, is about credibility.  And the way we have credibility, as we go forward representing ourselves as one body before the people, is to say, we will extend this session for one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to address unintended consequences of a particular act and not so that we can continue any and all other kinds and forms of what the people might call "mischief" by extending the session.  I think we ought to extend for one per...I'm presently of this moment of the mind, we ought to extend for one reason and one reason only, and that's to withdraw the Wickersham amendment, which isn't effective, isn't needed, is not immediately effective, is not needed, is constitutionally suspect, and does bind the future of the Legislature.  And if it is nothing...  if it's constitutionally suspect and is ...  ultimately ruled void ab initio, you know what we've done?  We've taken an absolutely unnecessary, meaningless piece of legislation and made it into a club and put it into the hands of those who would do us great damage.  Why would we do that?  Why would we not want to posture for the way that we responsibly are dealing with all of these issues and posture ourselves to say to the people, you can trust us?  Trust us, you don't need the constitutional amendment that's going to be proposed to you backed by millions of dollars.  Stick with us.  We're responsible.  I would urge that we not adopt the Chambers amendment, but that we carefully consider, and I'm presently inclined to think in terms of extending the session, taking out the Wickersham amendment which he can live to bring us another day, and posture ourselves for the interim.  Thank you.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator.  Senator Tyson.




SENATOR TYSON:  Thank you, Madam President, members of the body.  This has been a very educational three or four hours.  In opening on her motion to return to committee, Senator Bohlke was very, very careful to enunciate clearly the names of every senator that had a bit of ...  that would receive, not that had, but would receive a bit of pork in 1175.  To emphasize the point, the Department of Education has delivered a piece of paper here, issues relating to 1175, and again they reiterate what's in it for everybody.  The thing that's in it for the people of Nebraska is not clearly stated.  But I would submit to this body that the school system will not perish in the interim, it will not perish in those days of the oncoming session where remedial action can be taken.  I'm not going to go into a lot of detail, but.  among the education given this morning or this afternoon rather was Senator Wesely's description of the threat that brought about 1114.  And the threats have been mentioned by other people that brought about 806, correcting the shortcomings of 1114.  And now we are receiving the threats of 1175 and the threat of a petition drive, and a petition drive is the right of anyone in the state of Nebraska.  I would urge the members of this body to disregard the threats and bring this to a close by voting no on the Chambers amendment to the Chambers amendment to open it to other matters, no to extending the session, and no to 1175.  And then perhaps, in January of next year, we can approach the subject, perhaps with more trepidation, more caution, more deliberation than we have to date.  I yield the rest of my time back to the Chair, ma'am.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator Tyson.  Senator Brown.


SENATOR BROWN:  Madam President, members of the Legislature, I have been listening very closely to try to determine what the best answer is to the dilemma we find ourselves in.  And I am very compelled by Senator Brashear's arguments.  What I've been trying to figure out is if we're okay to wait and allow this to be dealt with next year, and assuming that the worst that we have bought ourselves in some of the decisions that we've made, I think a little bit hastily, was some political problems.  But I am compelled by Senator Brashearls arguments that it may be more than just political arguments.  And even if it is just political arguments, I think that when we have to spend a great deal of time explaining our actions, justifying our actions,




explaining how those actions benefit somebody, and on the other side we have a figure that someone can hold their ...  hang their hat on, of $70 million, that discussion becomes very difficult when one side is into justification, and the other side is just talking about $70 million.  I want to know how we can resolve this in the best way possible, how we can give ourselves the time to make the kind of judgment that we need to make in light of the constitutional issues that have been raised by Senator Brashear, in light of the policy change that I think that was not adequately discussed or adequately explained to us, and I just want to hear what the easiest solution is.  But I have come...  and my initial response was the easiest solution was to just deal with it next year, that we had ample opportunity to deal with it next year.  I am becoming less sure that that is the answer, and I do not want to jeopardize the other parts of LB 1175 that I think are critical, that I think will be jeopardized, because I think that many people will adopt Senator Tyson's approach, which is just to vote it down.  So, you know, I would be interested in the kind of motion that Senator Brashear talked about that would allow us to deal with just this specific topic, and then I might be willing to look at an extension of the session, if that is the only way that we can deal with this.  Thank you.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator Brown.  Senator Witek.




PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Question has been called.  Do I see five hands?  I see five hands.  The question before you is, shall debate cease?  All those in favor vote aye; all those opposed vote nay.  Please record.


CLERK:  26 ayes, 0 nays to cease debate.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Debate ceases.  The Chair recognizes Senator Chambers to close on the amendment to the Chambers amendment.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Madam President and members of the Legislature, this amendment is not crucial, so I will not take my full five minutes to speak about that amendment.  But I will take a few minutes to speak about the underlying issue.  If the




other motion to which this amendment would be attached is not adopted, I would recommend that we not vote in favor of advancing LB 1175, and then let the Governor call us into Special Session.  It's going to be on one branch or the other.  Is the Governor going to seize the initiative by dealing with the irresponsible Legislature in the only way that a responsible executive can, that is to veto this bill and then call the Legislature into Special Session?  That may not happen either.  I'm speculating, but that's what all of us are doing.  So you look at what is the worst thing that can happen, what course of action will allow you to gain the most, which will cause you to lose the most, or which will cause you to lose the least.  if you can't win, you talk about cutting losses.  Even in one of his stories, Jesus talked about this guy who had an enemy that was going to come against him.  And he said, will not a wise general sit down to determine if he, with his 5,000, can overcome an enemy with 15,000.  And if he determines that he cannot, would he not go out and try to negotiate or bargain with the enemy who has the 15,000?  The enemy has enough to win, period.  Maybe you cannot prevail on the enemy to show any mercy, but maybe you can.  And if that's the only thing open to you, don't leave that stone unturned.  Whether you adopt this amendment that's before you now or not is inconsequential, but what we do with 1175 is.  I'm able to lift myself out of this last day and the anxiety people have about what's going to happen here, what's going to happen there, or their eagerness to go home.  I can lift myself out of today and look a week from now, a month from now, six months from now, a year from now.  I can do it, and that's why I function and I don't burn out or wear out, but many of my colleagues cannot.  So today is all of life, this room is the whole universe.  And what happens here is the be all and end all.  So what I would suggest is that if it is that to you, we do that which is beneficial to the Legislature, and that would be to correct an error of judgment.  Leaving that language in cannot help the Legislature or any of these entities which are to benefit from it, but it can put a stick into the hands of your enemy, and that never is wise.  Thank you, Madam President.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator Chambers.  The question before the body is the adoption of the Chambers amendment to the motion to extend the session.  All those in favor vote aye; all




those opposed vote nay.  Have you all voted?  Senator Chambers requested a record vote.  Please record.


CLERK:  (Read record vote as found on pages 1954-55 of the Legislative Journal.) 18 ayes, 28 nays, Madam President.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  The Chambers amendment is not adopted.  We return to a discussion of the motion to extend the session.  Senator Maurstad.


SENATOR MAURSTAD:  Thank you, Madam President.  If I could ask Senator Wickersham a question.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator Wickersham, will you respond?


SENATOR MAURSTAD:  Senator, hopefully, you haven't answered this recently.  But could you share where the $70 million figure comes from?


SENATOR WICKERSHAM:  That's simply an estimate, it's based on projections of school spending and projections of valuations.  It's completely a result of projections.


SENATOR MAURSTAD:  So ...  but it does account for some growth in state...  in spending at the local level for education, and does account for some growth in valuation at the local level?


SENATOR WICKERSHAM:  Yes, that's my understanding, Senator.


SENATOR MAURSTAD:  okay.  My point, relative to the fiscal aspect of this, is that the 70 million is just that, a projected number that may or may not come about.  If school spending is less than what the projected increase in school spending would be, or if valuation increases faster than what the projection could be, that $70 million figure could be far more or far greater than what it is.  And so, without knowing exactly what those growth estimates are for three years away, both ...  on either side, it's hard for me to determine the validity of the $70 million number.  And I think it would be awful difficult for anyone else to determine the validity of the $70 million number.  And so I think it needs to be emphasized over and over again that the potential loss that we're talking about making up here




may not be $70 million.  In fact I think you could create a scenario where,, if valuations increased at a far faster pace statewide than what we think right now, this provision could possibly turn out to be a reduction in state aid to schools that no one, I think, has thought about to this point in time.  Now, I also have to deal with the pork comment from my friend from northeast Nebraska, and specifically address the issue of the inclusion of wards of the state within the definition of special education allowance.  Now, I want to make it clear that is not pork, that is public policy change, that is in fact making public policy in our statutes consistent with what the intent of the legislation is, and that's that the state pick up the educational costs associated with wards of the state.  So, at least in that instance, in that aspect of the underlying bill, we're not talking about pork, quite frankly I think that strays from the main issue here.  I think at this point in time we need to look very closely at the motion ahead Of Us.  I'm sure people would recognize that I am probably as anxious to have this session end as anyone would be.  But I also agree that there are times when we can't let things just move on.  And so I'm going to continue to listen very closely to the balance of the debate on the motion to extend.  I think that it has been accurately portrayed that there is not going to be a right answer with this decision, that there certainly are going to be adverse consequences associated with either decision that we make, but that's not unusual for us.




SENATOR MAURSTAD:  We generally have to make decisions to which there's not a complete, sure-fire, this is the direction to go answer.  So, with that, Madam President, I wanted to make those two points relative to the estimate of potential state aid that might have to be made up by the state and the pork issue, and then also that in essence what we're dealing with here is the lesser of two evils.  Thank you.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Thank you, Senator Maurstad.  Senator Landis.




PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Question has been called.  Do I see five




hands?  There are five hands.  The question before you is, shall debate cease on the motion to extend the session?  All those in favor vote aye; all those opposed vote nay.  Please record.


CLERK:  28 ayes, 2 nays to cease debate.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Debate ceases.  The Chair recognizes Senator Chambers to close on his motion to extend the session.


SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Madam President and members of the Legislature, here is what I would envision happening, we have before us LB 1175.  If we voted to extend the session, LB 1175 could be amended today and sent upstairs while we go through these other bills.  It could come back to us today.  The Speaker sets the agenda.  We could come back tomorrow to make that one legislative day which the bill has to lay over, and the Speaker would not put anything of substance on the agenda.  We meet and then adjourn, and that constitutes a legislative day.  That is the layover day, but the bill would have to be back to us tonight.  If it were not, then it would be back tomorrow, and then Thursday would be the layover day.  But, if everything went smoothly in the Legislature, the bill would come back today, we would have a very brief layover day tomorrow, and then when Thursday comes this would be the only bill on the agenda.  The Speaker sets the agenda, we would have Final Reading.  The bill would be read and however long it took to read the bill, or, if there was a vote to suspend the reading, because there are quite a few pages and that would likely happen, in less than a half hour it would all be over.  And I'm going to emphasize a couple of points, because it would be the last time I have to speak on this.  We are not in the driver's seat this time.  We are giving to the World-Herald what it would need to editorialize again, and again, and again.  Without this, they could not accuse us of the incompetency, they could not accuse us of doing something in the eleventh hour because we were inattentive, which too many senators have already acknowledged they didn't understand.  If all of the senators stood four-square behind that action and said, we knew what was going on, it was the policy to adopt, and we meant it then, we mean it now, that was not done.  The Legislature, through several of its members, on record as having not understood what had happened, we have a responsibility to know what happens, but nevertheless, that is in the public




domain.  We cannot counteract the editorials.  Who's going to listen to us or read what we say anyway?  When the media blitz is undertaken, we'd have no way to respond, and everybody on this floor knows that.  We couldn't even get a salary increase without the media and a lot of other organizations going to bat for us and putting things on television, radio, and in the newspapers.  The Legislature is impotent when it comes to fighting back as an institution.  The only way we can do anything that would approximate fighting back is to prevent something from happening that will give our enemy another stick to hit us with.  And to do that is not going to inconvenience us that much.  We will be here a relatively short amount of time.  We can rectify what our own members have said is an error in judgment.  And even those who support Senator Wickersham's amendment cannot deny that it is not due to take effect for a couple of years.  So, you put something out there which can do untold harm, not only to the Legislature as an institution, that vague amorphous, whatever it is, but to the process itself, the way we do things, the inattentiveness, the lack of knowledge, then the unwillingness to correct an error that we made.




SENATOR CHAMBERS:  Will we behave judiciously, or as a deliberative body by not doing that which under the rules we can do?  Why are we allowed under the constitution to extend the session?  Because things will arise that were not foreseen, and more time is necessary for a responsible Legislature to do its job in a responsible manner; and I think this is one of those times.  So, I've offered this motion.  Madam President, I would ask for a call of the house and a roll call vote.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Senator, we are on Final Reading, so if senators would please check in.  Senator Jensen, will you check in.  Thank you.  Senator Robinson.  Senator Will.  We're waiting for Senator Will.  Senator Chambers requested a roll call vote.  The question before you is the motion to extend the session.  Mr. Clerk, please proceed.


CLERK:  (Roll call vote taken.  See page 1955 of the Legislative Journal.) 17 ayes, 31 nays on the motion.




PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Motion to extend the session fails.  Is there anything further on the bill?


CLERK:  I have nothing further on the bill, Madam President.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  The first vote before you is the vote to dispense with the at-large reading.  All those in favor vote aye; all those opposed vote nay.  Please record.


CLERK:  40 ayes, 4 nays to dispense with Final Reading.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  Final Reading is dispensed with.  LB 1175e.


CLERK:  (Read title of LB 1175.)


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  All provisions of law relative to procedure having been complied with, the question is, shall LB 1175 pass with the emergency clause attached?  Senator Chambers has requested a roll call vote.  The question before you is the passage of LB 11751.  Mr. Clerk, please proceed ...  with the emergency clause attached.


CLERK:  (Roll call vote taken.  See page 1957 of the Legislative Journal.) 34 ayes, 8 nays, 7 present and not voting on final passage, Madam President.


PRESIDENT ROBAK:  LB 1175 passes with the emergency clause attached.  LB 1259.