From Juggernaut to Commission: 16 Days in February

The first four and half hours of the Revenue Committee hearing on February 6 on Legislative Bill 405, one of the Governor’s proposals to eliminate state income tax for a broader sales tax, seemed noisy and riddled with insider banter. From 1:30 to 6 p.m. senators, bureaucrats and the Governor talked to each other about the bill while the public and lobbyists waited to speak.

From time to...

entered on 02/22/13 at 03:21 PM | read more »

Nebraska Legislature 2013

Among the 168 legislative bills that hit the Clerk’s desk on January 23, the tenth and last day for individual senators to introduce new legislation for the 2013 Session, were a couple of heavyweights bills. Omaha senators led or were instrumental in introducing them.

The Reader sought out conversations with Omaha-area senators and, despite full committee hearing and meeting schedules at the...

entered on 01/26/13 at 04:47 PM | read more »

About Taxes

Scarcely had Governor Heineman revealed half of his idea to eliminate income tax in favor of a somehow broader sales tax, than professor Richard Pomp, tax teacher and writer, and former tax change commission member, arrived in Lincoln to offer a few tax basics.

Invited by the Open Sky Policy Institute, the professor offered serious advice in homey and humorous terms. The Institute is a...

entered on 01/22/13 at 07:59 PM | read more »

One Does Not Bear Arms Against A Rabbit

Gun violence and the wide availability of assault rifles are rightfully in the center of debate following last week’s massacre. We are an unusually armed country, with almost enough guns for every single person.

An important overview is offered by the nonprofit investigative news outfit Propublica and their “The Best Reporting on Guns in America.” Their summary introduces Jill Lepore’s New...

entered on 12/19/12 at 10:11 AM | read more »

Heineman Gives Health Care to Feds

When Governor Dave Heineman told the federal government on Nov. 15 that Nebraska would pass on running its own health insurance exchange, he pointed to cost and lack of control. It was a very different Governor from the one who had presided over a public meeting featuring invited panels of health insurance executives and agent/brokers just 10 weeks earlier.

Industry was ready, but the...

entered on 11/21/12 at 12:15 PM | read more »

The Difference in Every Election

There is a big hole in Douglas County voting.

If residents in Ben Gray, Chris Jerram and Garry Gernandt’s east Omaha districts registered and voted at the same rate as Thomas Mulligan’s district in northwest Omaha, there would be an additional 35,000 votes – enough to make the difference in every city, state and federal election held in the last 20 years.

There are 83 days left until...

entered on 08/14/12 at 01:32 PM | read more »

Something, but is it enough?

Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale approved the Douglas County Election Commissioner's polling place restorations this week. The addition of polling places follows an unprecedented removal, far exceeding any changes in the two previous U.S. Census, after which redistricting is implemented.

From an initial cut of 88 polling places, 28 are slated to be added, leaving 208 polling places for...

entered on 07/31/12 at 12:00 PM | read more »

Researchers Stand Up for Report

While violence in Omaha, particularly among young males, continues at an alarming rate, the only recent examination of gang violence is being buried by the stakeholders who commissioned it, and who are tasked foremost with addressing this issue – North Omaha’s Empowerment Network and the Omaha Police Department. 

UNO professors Pete Simi and Dennis Hoffman spent 14-months on the 2011-2012...

entered on 07/24/12 at 01:14 PM | read more »

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Terry’s Movement on Immigration

“Let me start with blending what I think will happen with where I am, personally.”

As comprehensive immigration reform ... more »

If You’re Not At The Table, You’re On The Menu

“In 2008 all eyes were on the Latino vote. That year we had 19.5 million registered Latinos that were active to vote,” ... more »

Public Hearing this Thursday on Election Commissioner Changes

Senator Sara Howard's LB 235 will have its public hearing this Thursday, February 14th at 1:30 in the Government, Military, ... more »

A Second Opinion

Calculations for the cost of extending Medicaid in Nebraska as a critical piece of the Affordable Care Act have been ... more »

Meet the Chief

First, a primer on how to pronounce “Schmaderer,” the new police chief’s last name: “SHMA’ der.” Rhymes with water. “Some ... more »

A State of Homelessness

As winter takes hold the number of homeless moving into shelters is on the rise. Winter is the toughest time of the year ... more »

Ganging Up

<p>Some of the community leaders behind the first South Omaha Violence and Intervention meeting.  </p> Alberto Gonzales didn’t enter the meeting room at the South Omaha Library on March 15 so much as the room opened up and ... more »

Police reviewing gun policy following school shooting

The Omaha Police Department is reviewing its gun policy for off-duty officers after Robert Butler Jr. used his father's ... more »