Positive Outlook for 2020 Legislative Session
The 2020 Legislative Session is now in full swing and once again, there’s a tremendous amount of interest and importance surrounding bills introduced to legislators this year. We are prepared for a busy next few months, protecting and advancing Lincoln business interests at the State Capitol. The 60-day session will be a “short” session but there will be a lot of important issues to stay on top of.
We are fully committed to updating state business tax incentives; proposals that support talent retention and attraction; proposals that support improving the state tax and regulatory climate; supporting equitable and balanced property tax relief; looking at ways to improve our statewide infrastructure; and, how to make housing more affordable in Lincoln and across the state.
The Lincoln Chamber and our Military Affairs Committee remain steadfast in our support of LB 153, which would provide needed tax relief for veterans’ retirement. The bill from Senator Tom Brewer was advanced from the Revenue Committee in the final two weeks during the 2019 Legislative Session but remains on General File as a priority bill from Senator John Lowe. Passage of this bill could positively affect approximately 13,000 Nebraska veterans.
LB 720, the ImagiNE Nebraska Act, is urgently needed to keep our state competitive for job and investment growth and would modernize our mainline business incentives program. It is necessary to pass the ImagiNE Nebraska Act into law this year as the current business incentives program, the Nebraska Advantage Act, sunsets at the end of 2020. We continue to work with Senator Mark Kolterman and others to push this bill across the finish line.
The Lincoln Chamber, as well as all business and economic development organizations across the state have a true champion for strong and diverse economic growth in Senator Kolterman. We are proud to work alongside him and the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, the Nebraska Economic Developers Association and many other pro-growth industry groups in support of passing LB 720.
Workforce development and talent attraction remain another priority as we work with local senators. Lincoln senators and others continue to prioritize workforce development as an urgent need for current and future economic growth.
Property tax reform, infrastructure spending, affordable housing and several other issues will be at the forefront of discussions as well in the Unicameral and remain issues that we have at the top of mind to help grow our community.
At a time when our state agriculture sector is under economic stress, the Revenue Forecasting Advisory Board recently noted that sales and use, corporate income taxes and miscellaneous taxes were all above projections. Hopefully, legislative and executive branch leaders will try to understand where the strong revenue returns are coming from and do their best to adopt policies that encourage this economic growth.
As is the case for every session and in meetings with our elected officials, our mission at the Chamber is to make sure business interests are understood and protected. It is our number one job ensure that elected officials understand the impact that public policy has on our strong growth and development.
The Chamber’s mission is to improve the lives of Lincoln residents by providing increased economic opportunity and can only be accomplished together. For more information on the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, (www.lcoc.com) please contact Jaime Henning at firstname.lastname@example.org.