LB 461, the tax-cut package put forth by the Revenue Committee, is first and foremost an income tax cut for wealthy Nebraskans and the proposal does little to truly address property tax relief. In fact, LB 461 is fundamentally flawed in a way that makes it more likely to exacerbate, not help, Nebraska’s reliance on property taxes to fund K-12 education. Furthermore, some Nebraskans would actually pay more in overall taxes under LB 461.
From the Omaha World-Herald:
Frank LaMere finally got the decision he’s been waiting for.
For two decades, he’s called for an end to alcohol sales in Whiteclay, Nebraska, due to the dreadful consequences.
On Wednesday, a state liquor board voted 3-0 to end the long-controversial beer sales in Whiteclay, an unincorporated village known as the “Skid Row of the Plains” that sells millions of cans of beer each year to residents of the officially dry Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
“I think today that the Oglala Lakota people won. I think Nebraskans won. We’ll be better for it in this state,” said LaMere, a Native American activist from South Sioux City.
From the Lincoln Journal Star Editorial Board:
There is a common phrase employed in legislative debates: This is a solution looking for a problem.
Cliches become clichés precisely because there’s a kernel of truth at their center. In this case, a voter ID measure — LR1CA offered by Sen. John Murante of Gretna, requiring a photo ID to participate in Nebraska elections — is a solution looking for a problem.
Secretary of State John Gale has stated plainly that there’s been no evidence of voter fraud being a problem in Nebraska. An earlier Local View from Kristie Pfabe noted that impersonation, the type of fraud an ID plan aims to stop, is the least efficient way possible to sway a race. It comes with a high cost criminally, and that high potential cost yields but one vote.
Murante argues that the bill is necessary to restore Americans’ confidence in the voting process.
But the plan creates more problems than it solves and does more harm to our democracy than it helps.
From the Columbus Telegram:
National environmental groups and the company seeking to build the Keystone XL pipeline fired separate legal volleys Thursday over the contentious project.
Environmental groups — including one that got its start in Nebraska — made good on a promise to file a lawsuit seeking to reverse President Donald Trump’s green-lighting of the Keystone XL project.
Meanwhile, TransCanada filed a motion with the Nebraska Public Service Commission urging it to reject 56 people and groups seeking intervener status in the review of the Keystone XL route through the Cornhusker state, including the Nebraska Ponca and Yankton Sioux tribes and environmental and public-health advocacy groups.
More than 100 people and organizations, including more than 90 landowners and three labor unions, have petitioned to intervene, which would allow them to file legal briefs, cross-examine witnesses and present formal arguments to the PSC alongside TransCanada’s attorneys.
From the Lincoln Journal Star:
Nebraska corn farmer Art Tanderup was just about to head to his workshop Friday morning to overhaul his 30-year-old field sprayer in preparation for spring planting when his phone rang.
President Donald Trump had granted a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, the voice on the line said.
Pipeline manufacturer TransCanada wants to plant a half-mile of the crude-oil pipe across a field where Tanderup and wife Helen have planted red, blue, white and speckled corn sacred to the Ponca Tribe, part of their ongoing protest of the project.
While Tanderup knew it was coming, Trump’s official reversal of former President Barack Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL struck a sour note.
“We’re quite disappointed,” Tanderup said. “Now we’re looking what we can do to stop it, and obviously that is through the Nebraska Public Service Commission.”
The Nebraska Green Party’s statement in support of LB34, under consideration by the Nebraska Unicameral:
The Nebraska Green Party would like to express its support of LB 34 and thank Sen Ebke for introducing it. The strength of a democracy lies in its ability to accommodate a diversity of voices, and any improvements in that regard will have our support. Third parties already face steep obstacles to entry in the political arena, and this at a time when, at least nationally, voters seem to have very low regard for the leadership of the established parties and are left wanting by the high barriers to entry of our current system. We urge you to pass LB 34. The bill would not take anything away from the current ballot access situation, but provides an additional path to ballot retention.
If you’re not already a subscriber, then you don’t know what you’re missing. Join a Nebraska Green Party listserv to learn about Green events and issues near your home. Also keep up on national and international events with links to stories from Truthout, Reader Supported News, AlterNet, and more. Let Mj’s “Good News” digest brighten your inbox! (Subscribe to see what we mean.)
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- Congressional District 2 (Omaha metro): Send a message to email@example.com.
- Statewide: Send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, Mj announced a new format for the digest beginning in February:
Hello Greens. We’ve decided to make a little change in the NGP Digests. We hope it will be helpful for readers.
We will now send local action alerts and event notices separately from the Digests. Digests will continue to bring You as much Good News as possible from sources we’ve used for years: Jill Stein and the Green Party of the US, Reader Supported News, Truthout, Democracy Now!, AlterNet, Daily Kos, as well Lincoln Journal Star, Nebraskans For Peace, and other local sources. (We’ll also bring you less than good news when it seems necessary, but You can always find that elsewhere.)
Action alerts have sometimes gotten lost in the mix of national news and commentary. Thus, the change.
Using the INDIVISIBLE model, we need resistance to be collective, constant, and local. We hope this change will make it easier to stay aware of local actions and events that need Your support.
From the Lincoln Journal Star:
Several hundred demonstrators gathered outside the Grand Manse in downtown Lincoln Tuesday to protest Sen. Deb Fischer’s decision not to hold town hall meetings during the current congressional recess.
Meanwhile, inside the building, the news media was barred by the Lincoln Independent Business Association from covering Fischer’s address to a luncheon meeting.
LIBA luncheon appearances by public officials traditionally have been open to the media.
We have a new supply of American Apparel Nebraska Green Party t-shirts, made by the local Green-identified Lincoln business Screen Ink. They will be available at this Sunday’s February 19th Omaha NGP meeting, or before, in Lincoln, by e-mailing mjberry (at) inebraska.com. Sunday’s meeting is at 3 p.m. at Aroma’s Coffeehouse, 1033 Jones St. (Join the Facebook event.)
From the Lincoln Journal Star Editorial Board:
Last week, Sheridan County Commissioners could have done the right thing and denied the reissue of liquor licenses to the four beer stores of Whiteclay.
Instead, after just 10 minutes of discussion, the commission voted 3-0 to recommend reissuing licenses to the stores in the remote village with a population of 12 that, year after year, have been allowed to sell the equivalent of 3.5 million cans of beer. Most of the sales are to residents of the legally dry Pine Ridge Indian Reservation just across the South Dakota border.
The reservation, home to the Oglala Sioux Tribe, is plagued with alcoholism, crime, poverty and fetal alcohol syndrome — all exacerbated by the easy availability of alcohol in Whiteclay. Shutting the stores down by denying the liquor licenses wouldn’t end those problems, but it would likely reduce them.