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For those of you who participate in the exciting (and humbling) game of golf, if you haven’t heard this yelled­—or yelled it yourself—you would be in the minority. “FORE!” is shorthand for, “You are about to get hit with a flying projectile that I can’t believe came off of the end of my club. Get out of the way so you don’t get hurt!”

At least, that’s what I’m thinking when I’m yelling it.

You’ll not only hear it on your local course, but you’ll even hear it from the best players in the game during some of the biggest golf tournaments in the world. It doesn’t mean that they are bad golfers or that they haven’t put in the practice—there are just times when things don’t go according to plan.

One of those memorable shots was from the 2012 Masters Tournament. Bubba Watson hit his drive on the 10th hole, during the playoff, deep into the woods right of the fairway. When the pressure was on, he carved a shot through the trees and landed near the pin, which ultimately helped him win his first major championship (see photo of flight path below).

I enjoy watching golf because I know how hard it is to play well and the skills necessary to play as a professional.

I also know how hard it is to get legislation passed and to be effective in the Nebraska Legislature. I will also admit that compared to golf, watching the Unicameral is nowhere near as enjoyable—especially this year with the tactics that were utilized to attempt to cause some wayward shots this session. But just like Bubba Watson’s efforts at the Masters, it is important to recognize success when we see it.

2023 Legislative Session

The 2023 Legislative Session scorecard will show a lot of positive things accomplished this session:

  • 2023-2024 budget includes only a 2 percent increase despite historic 40-year high inflation.
  • LB753 gives families more options so their kids get an education that fits their needs.
  • LB243 provides billions of dollars in permanent property tax relief for Nebraskans.
  • LB754 lowers income and business taxes to 3.99 percent, saving Nebraskans $900 million a year in taxes; eliminates taxes of Social Security income; and provides a tax credit related to childcare for families and providers. These are the largest income and business tax cuts in state history.
  • LB 583 provides foundation aid and special education supplemental aid for each public school district while setting up the Education Future Fund for funding future
  • spending needs.
  • LB562 expands access to E-15, helping farmers and giving consumers more options at the pump.
  • LB683 creates a new Broadband Office that will more efficiently use resources to provide support to communities and avenues for high-speed internet expansion.
  • LB77 ratifies Constitutional Carry into law to protect Nebraskans and their rights.

The Iowa-Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association (INEDA) supported two other notable bills that were signed into law: Sales Tax Exemption on Twine/Wire (LB 96—Slama) was included in LB 727, and state funding for career and technical education (LB 610—Lippincott) was included in the budget.

In this industry, we all spend a great deal of time on workforce development and recruitment. The same concepts apply to elected officials. The session began with a newly elected Governor in Jim Pillen, a new Lt. Governor in Joe Kelly who had never presided over the Legislature, a new speaker in Senator John Arch, 10 new committee chairs, and 14 new state senators. The work they did would have been memorable for any legislative body, but it is especially laudatory when you consider how they accomplished what they did with so many new perspectives and personalities. Make time this summer and fall to thank your state senator for serving in the legislature.

Your participation in the legislative process is essential to your future success. Think of all of the time and energy you spend managing the risk in your business. Hopefully you recognize that your involvement in legislative and regulatory issues is an essential component to your risk management as these issues have become more and more prevalent in our daily lives.

As we approach the clubhouse, I would like to highlight the work of Tim Keigher with Keigher and Associates who represents you at the legislature. In addition, he provides INEDA members weekly email updates during the session. In his updates, Tim lists current issues before the legislature, previews the coming week, and summarizes INEDA’s position on all of the bills.

Before you know it, it will be time for the legislature to tee it up for the 2024 session.

2023 Nebraska Legislative Meeting and Golf Outing

On June 20 and 21, members from across Nebraska and Iowa, respectively, met for the 2023 Legislative Meeting and Golf Outing. These meetings are an opportunity for members to gain insight into the latest legislative developments impacting equipment dealers.

Nebraska Meeting Recap

In Nebraska, the highlight of the meeting was the honor of hosting Governor Jim Pillen and hearing firsthand how his first legislative session went and his goals and strategies for the upcoming year.

We reviewed Colorado’s law governing ag equipment under the “Right to Repair” effort that was supported by US PIRG and others. We also discussed what strategies and efforts can be used to help educate customers in Nebraska on the tools already available under the private sector, including the MOUs now in place for over 70 percent of ag equipment sold in America.

Finally, we discussed the importance of candidate engagement for the 2024 election. Specifically, we emphasized how important it is for the well-being of your business to get to know political candidates in your area. Make it a point to invite them all to visit your dealerships in Nebraska, and let us know if we can help!
Following the legislative meeting, we hit the course “FORE!” some golf!

Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen addresses the attendees of the Nebraska Legislative Meeting and Golf Outing

Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen addresses the attendees of the INEDA Nebraska Legislative Meeting and Golf Outing.

Iowa Meeting Recap

At the Iowa legislative meeting, Sara Allen and Paige Thorsen of Cornerstone Government Affairs provided an overview of Iowa legislative updates from the previous legislative session.

Iowa-Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association (INEDA) President/CEO Mark Hennessey spoke about the need to be prepared for a possible Right to Repair bill in 2024. We discussed how to position ourselves with the right individuals to help our dealers get ahead of this issue.

Finally, the group talked about PAC fundraising strategies for the upcoming year.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Iowa and Nebraska Legislative Meeting and Golf Outing this year!