Government & Politics

States criticized for spending federal relief funds on tax cuts, prisons

BY: - February 6, 2023

As states plan how they’ll spend the $25 billion remaining in federal COVID relief funds, some also are facing criticism and renewed scrutiny over how they have allocated money already received from the American Rescue Plan Act. Of the $198 billion authorized by Congress in 2021, $173 billion already has been appropriated by states, the […]

North Omaha lawmakers challenged about process that recommended $225 million in grants

BY: - February 5, 2023

OMAHA — A North Omaha community forum got testy at times Sunday night as many participants challenged the process that led to the slate of North and South Omaha groups in line to share $225 million in federal funds. State Sens. Terrell McKinney and Justin Wayne, both of North Omaha, fielded questions from the estimated […]

DNC delivers blow to New Hampshire, Iowa with overhaul of primary calendar

BY: - February 4, 2023

The Democratic National Committee approved a presidential primary calendar Saturday that placed South Carolina as the first nominating state in 2024, pushing back New Hampshire and Iowa from their traditional spots in a party-wide push to diversify the early calendar. In a voice vote at the DNC’s winter meeting in Philadelphia, party members voted to […]

North Omaha’s 24th Street corridor gets millions to kick off streetscape project

BY: - February 3, 2023

OMAHA — A North Omaha streetscape project kicked off Friday with about $9 million to help boost the area’s main commercial corridor, a historically redlined and disinvested part of the city. Improvements planned along the North 24th Street business improvement district, a 2.3-mile stretch from about Meredith Avenue to Cuming Street, call for enhanced sidewalks, […]

Linehan

Battle over devoting public funds for private school scholarships returns to State Legislature

BY: - February 3, 2023

LINCOLN — The annual battle over whether to devote public funds to private schools was renewed Friday at the Nebraska Legislature, with testimony extending into the evening. Nebraska is one of only two states that doesn’t allow “school choice” by extending public state funds to private schools. Backers of parochial and private schools said Friday […]

farming

Pillen plan to shift valuation of ag land gets static, even from farm groups

BY: - February 3, 2023

LINCOLN — Gov. Jim Pillen’s plan to relieve property taxes paid by farmers and ranches got a rough reception Friday, even from some farm groups. The head of the state’s largest agriculture group, the Nebraska Farm Bureau, said Pillen’s plan to shift the valuation method from being based on recent sales of land to its […]

GOP headquarters

County attorney requests special prosecutor in alleged Nebraska GOP break-in

BY: - February 3, 2023

LINCOLN — Lancaster County Attorney Pat Condon filed paperwork Friday requesting a special prosecutor to check the work of the Lincoln Police Department regarding last summer’s alleged break-in at the Nebraska Republican Party headquarters. Condon, a Republican prosecutor backed by both the new and old leadership teams at the state GOP, asked a judge to […]

Pillen

Pillen tax-cut ideas win support of business groups, prompt criticism from community colleges

BY: - February 2, 2023

LINCOLN — The lead sponsor of Gov. Jim Pillen’s proposal to cut state income taxes fended off doubts Thursday that such a $1.5 billion reduction in state revenue was affordable and wouldn’t harm state services. State Sen. Lou Ann Linehan of Elkhorn said the state has more than a $2 billion surplus of state tax […]

Tracy Jackson testifies before the Judiciary Committee in a cardigan and black shirt that bears the face of Earnest Jackson, her husband

Nebraska lawmaker revives legislation to help Earnest Jackson, others get a retrial

BY: - February 2, 2023

LINCOLN — A revived legislative proposal would allow convicted defendants — including an Omaha man convicted for a 1999 killing — to file a motion for a retrial based on newly discovered evidence. Legislative Bill 18, proposed by State Sen. Justin Wayne of Omaha — a measure similar to one Wayne introduced two years ago — is the […]

Nebraska voter ID bill revised before lengthy public hearing that draws mostly foes

BY: - February 1, 2023

LINCOLN — An amendment to a proposed voter ID law, one that calls for mail-in voters to see a notary, was among points that drew fire during a public hearing Wednesday that stretched nearly six hours. “It’s full of flaws and bureaucratic B.S.,” Jaden Perkins, a North Omaha community organizer with the Heartland Workers Center, […]

Cardiac-activity abortion ban bill draws hundreds to Nebraska Capitol

BY: - February 1, 2023

LINCOLN — Proponents and opponents were given three hours each Wednesday to argue over State Sen. Joni Albrecht’s bill aimed at outlawing abortions in Nebraska after an ultrasound detects embryonic cardiac activity. Hundreds in an overflow crowd waited hours to testify for two or three minutes to the seven members of the Legislature’s Health and […]

State employees union approves labor contract granting raises of up to 10%-27%

BY: - February 1, 2023

Editor’s note: this story has been updated to correct the percentages of the raises. LINCOLN — State workers have ratified a new labor contract that contains the largest salary increases in at least 35 years, a contract aimed at filling critical job vacancies. Gov. Jim Pillen and the Nebraska Association of Public Employees (NAPE) announced […]