BEATRICE – Nebraska State lawmaker Myron Dorn says getting an entire Legislative Session completed was no small feat, given the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
"In December, we had almost the highest hospital rates at that time, so there was a lot of planning and thought process put into how can we get through session without having to interrupt it, stop it or not have part of it. It was very successful in the fact that we did accomplish getting the whole session in."
Senators were separated from one another by plexiglass dividers during floor debate. Committees had to make adjustments during hearings because of social distancing requirements and attendance restrictions.
"It did work well in the fact that we did complete all of those. We did get all of those committee hearings....every bill did have it's own hearing. I sit on Appropriations Committee and we did have an issue with a staff person on Appropriations.....so we were quarantined, actually, for a week."
Missing from approval this year were bills dealing with proposed election law changes and some of the social issues.
Dorn’s LB 103 made in through the body and was signed by Governor Pete Ricketts, allocating a total of $4 million over two fiscal years to aid in paying off a huge federal judgment owed by Gage County.
"Very, very thankful....and thankful that as we go through this process....as the county goes through this process that we're able to pay this off quicker. Not only for the county, but for the Beatrice Six. So, as time progresses we can move on and get this past us, and past them. Hopefully some day, this won't be in the news anymore....and its more something that happened and it's going to be settled and resolved."
Dorn amended the bill to reduce the amount of state money coming back to the county, from $10 million to $4 million, to gain enough support of senators to pass it.
It was given final approval, on a 44-3 vote.