(Lincoln) -- Barring any special session or other unforeseen circumstance, legislative work has wrapped up at the Unicameral in Lincoln.
State Senators finished work last Wednesday, dealing with three bills that Governor Pete Ricketts vetoed. First District Senator Dan Watermeier -- who represents Otoe, Johnson, Nemaha, Richardson and Pawnee counties -- says legislators decided to take action on just one of the bills rejected by the Governor, a bill that deals with children who were illegally brought into the United States.
"LB 947, introduced by Omaha Senator Heath Mello, allows lawfully present immigrants to apply for professional and commercial licenses," said Watermeier. "This bill would extend benefits to youth qualifying for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Under executive order, President Obama has allowed certain young people that were brought into the country illegally as children to be deemed temporarily lawfully present in our country."
Senators voted 31-to-13 to override the Governor's veto, meaning lawfully present immigrants in Nebraska can now apply for business and commercial licenses. The legislature also decided to not take action on the other two bills vetoed by Ricketts. Watermeier says one of the bills that was not considered for an override was LB 580, which would have put citizens in charge of redrawing legislative districts.
"The bill proposed to create an Independent Redistricting Citizen’s Advisory Commission in an effort to take some of the politics out of the process," said Watermeier. "Governor Ricketts believed that LB 580 was Constitutionally suspect as the Nebraska Constitution requires the Legislature to conduct legislative redistricting. Senator John Murante, the primary sponsor of LB 580, chose to continue to work on this proposal rather than attempt to override the governor’s veto."
Senators also chose to not take action on a veto of LB 935 which would change audit procedures and state operations. Governor Ricketts is expected to work with the State Auditor to form a more streamlined proposal for the next legislative session. With the close of the session, several Senators will see their time in the legislature come to an end due to term limits. Watermeier says several leadership positions will be open next spring.
"Senators who cannot run again include the Speaker of the Legislature and the chairs of the Appropriations Committee, Education Committee, Health and Human Services Committee, Natural Resources
Committee and Revenue Committee," said Watermeier. "Next year will see many new leaders emerge to carry on their responsibilities."
Watermeier made his comments in his final weekly legislative update. You can hear the full update in the audio file below.