Public input on budgets welcome

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

This is the time of year in which school boards, cities, and counties are working on their budgets. They all have public hearings, which you can attend and provide input on where money is being spent, and voice your concerns. As a former school board member myself, I can assure you that the input of taxpayers and voters carries great weight in the budget-making process. Attending budgetary hearings can ensure that your voice is heard, your concerns are answered, and your priorities are considered. This can also help you to learn where your taxpayer dollars are going, whether they are being spent correctly, and that local taxing bodies are not taking advantage of high property taxes in an inappropriate way, and not properly representing the will of the people.

I know property taxes are at the top of the list for many Nebraskans. When the Legislature reconvenes in January 2017, I know many in the body, including myself, will also have reducing the property tax burden at the top of our lists.

Over the summer, I will be holding town halls all across the ten counties which make up the 44th District. At these informal meetings, I will be answering whatever questions you may have for me, as well as hearing concerns. It is my top priority that the people I was elected to represent have every opportunity to keep me up to speed on their opinions. Last week, I went to the midday meal at the senior center in Benkelman, and was pleasantly surprised at the turnout, and at the interest and input of local residents -- many of whom stayed after the meal to visit with me.

Next week, I will be in Alma at the Harlan County Senior Center on the 21st, and in Elwood at the Gosper County Senior Center on the 22nd. Later in June, I will be in Curtis at the Senior Citizens Center on the 29th. I am in the process of planning several more town halls, so look for dates at locations in future editions of this column, as well as announcements in your local paper and on my Facebook page.

If there is a gathering in your community which you would like me to attend, please don't hesitate to contact my office.

My email address is and my phone number is (402) 471-2805. You can read more about bills and other work of the Legislature at, and you can click on the Live Video Streaming NET logo to watch sessions, hearings, and other Capitol events.

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