Dorn discusses senators not voting, Beatrice Six state aid bill

BEATRICE, NE — Myron Dorn is getting feedback from his constituents before heading to the final 20 days of the legislative session.

The state senator from Gage County participated in a townhall discussion at the Beatrice Public Library on Thursday. The conversation covered a variety of topics but the most spirited questions concerned senators who are present but choose not to vote.

Gov. Pete Ricketts and U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer both criticized the Unicameral after 11 senators didn’t vote on a property tax bill pushed by Ricketts.

Dorn didn’t condemn those senators but said he takes a different approach.

“When I’m up there, I think the people of my district would like to know whether I’m voting yes or no," Dorn said. "I’ve tried very, very hard - I’ve done very few present and not voting. There are some senators that do quite a bit. It really is a soft no.”

Dorn voted yes on LB 408, Ricketts’ local property tax cap bill.

Earlier Thursday, Dorn’s LB103 passed the first round of debate on a 35-3 vote. The bill would give four million dollars total to Gage County over the next two years to assist in payment of the Beatrice Six judgment.

Opponents have argued that the county should have to deal with its own problems.

“Well if we thought that way throughout the whole state, everybody would have to handle their own problems," Dorn said. "This is an issue - part of our argument has been, we hope no other counties have to go through this.”

The bill must pass two more votes before heading to the governor’s desk. Dorn says Thursday’s positive report from the state’s economic forecasting board increases the chances his bill becomes law.