Fall is the time for writing new bills. Therefore, this week I would like to tell you about what kinds of legislation I have been working on for next year.

There are many issues facing our state right now and no state senator can tackle all of them.  Some will have to be taken up by other senators.

Nevertheless, I want to introduce the kinds of bills that are of utmost concern to the folks living in western Nebraska.

In regard to property tax relief, next year I will continue to push for the consumption tax.  I will also work to change the wording of the destroyed property statute from “destroyed” property to “damaged” property, in order to remove a loophole in the law, and I will continue seek ways to make Tax Equalization and Review Commission hearings speedy and fair for all property owners.   

One of the bills I plan to introduce next year pertains to renewing a driver’s license.  My bill will put a grace period of 30 days beyond a person’s birthday for renewing a driver’s license. 

Oftentimes, people do not think to renew a driver’s license until their birthday arrives.  But by then it is too late.  The license has already expired.

Depending upon where a person lives in Nebraska, renewing a driver’s license can be a real hassle.

For instance, the DMV only comes to Sidney two days per week; otherwise, a person living in or near Sidney would have to drive to a DMV in Scottsbluff or North Platte, and no one wants to drive those great distances on an expired driver’s license. Moreover, once a person arrives and tries to renew an expired driver’s license at the DMV, he or she quickly learns that a birth certificate or a passport is now necessary to renew an expired license.

My bill will change this by giving drivers a little extra time to renew their license and they won’t have to produce these documents to prove their identity.

Another bill I will introduce would give K-12 public school students the entire summer off.  My bill will fix the school year from Labor Day to Memorial Day.  Students should not be going back to school in early August like they do now. Teachers and administrators may do their in-service training during the summer months while students are out on summer vacation.

Giving students a day off here and there during the academic school year is hard on working parents who may have to take a day off from work in order to care for younger students at home.  Conversely, during the summer months parents may enroll their students in summer camps and other fun activities while they go to work.

Finally, next year I will introduce legislation to protect unvaccinated individuals from government actions and employer actions that cause many Nebraskans to lose their jobs. The Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reserves such legislation for the states.

Vaccinations are a private healthcare matter between an individual and his or her physician. No government agency or employer has the right to make decisions about another person’s health.  President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate is unconstitutional and violates a person’s liberty, including his or her religious rights, privacy rights, and healthcare rights.

As I said above, I am most interested in introducing legislation that concerns folks living in Western Nebraska. Therefore, if you have a good idea for legislation at the state level, then I encourage you to call my office sometime during the month of October.

Now is the time for writing new bills, and my office phone number is (402) 471-2616. Nebraska is a great state. Let’s keep it that way!

Steve Erdman represents dist. 47 — west of Lincoln County — in the state legislature. His district includes the town of Sidney. Contact him at Room 1124, P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509, (402) 471-2616, email: serdman@leg.ne.gov

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