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NE Collective Bargaining (CIR) Legislation - Hearings Transcript Feb. 7, 2011

NE Collective Bargaining (CIR) Legislation - Hearings Transcript Feb. 7, 2011

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Published by Shelli Dawdy
Hearing Transcript from February 7, 2011, for Nebraska legislation associated with public employee collective bargaining and the Commission of Industrial Relations (CIR) for LB397, LB482, LB555, LB564, LB623, LB624, LB664, LR29CA
Hearing Transcript from February 7, 2011, for Nebraska legislation associated with public employee collective bargaining and the Commission of Industrial Relations (CIR) for LB397, LB482, LB555, LB564, LB623, LB624, LB664, LR29CA

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Published by: Shelli Dawdy on Feb 22, 2011
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[LB397 LB482 LB555 LB564 LB619 LB623 LB624 LB664 LR29CA]The Committee on Business and Labor met at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, February 7, 2011,in Room 1524 of the State Capitol, Lincoln, Nebraska, for the purpose of conducting apublic hearing on LB397, LB482, LB555, LB564, LB623, LB624, LB619, LB664, andLR29CA. Senators present: Steve Lathrop, Chairperson; Tanya Cook, ViceChairperson; Brad Ashford; Tom Carlson; Burke Harr; Jim Smith; and Norm Wallman.Senators absent: None.SENATOR LATHROP: Good afternoon. My name is Steve Lathrop. I'm the Chair of theBusiness and Labor Committee and we're here today to hear a series of bills and theygenerally relate to the subject matter of the Commission on Industrial Relations. We'restill waiting on two members to get here and so I'll take this opportunity to tell you a fewof the ground rules that they're very familiar with. And hopefully by the time I get donewith this, they'll be here and then I can introduce everyone before we start. As the Chairof the committee, I have a number of responsibilities and one of them, and it's verybasic and fundamental, is to keep the hearing moving, to make sure that the informationthat we're getting is new from one testifier to the next and that we're not caught up in agreat deal of repetition. The other is to make sure that we're out of here at a decent hourand to make sure that those senators who are going to introduce bills today do not haveto wait until 11:00 tonight to do that. So in order to move the process along, I'd like tokind of cover some of the ground rules. And to explain to those of you who have notparticipated in a hearing in the Legislature before, I'll start with some pretty basic stuff.When we have a bill that's up, we'll take them in the order that they are listed outside onthe sheet, which would be to begin with LB397, which is my bill. We'll take these bills inorder and the process is the introducer, the state senator, will introduce the bill; then wewill hear from the proponents or those people that favor the measure; we'll hear fromopponents; and then we will hear from those who are to testify in a neutral capacity.That's the process. Then the state senator that's introduced the bill is permitted anopportunity to close, which means they get the last word and can have some finalTranscript Prepared By the Clerk of the LegislatureTranscriber's OfficeRough DraftBusiness and Labor CommitteeFebruary 07, 2011
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remarks. It's also important that we have some...maintain a level of decorum throughthese proceedings and so I want to talk to you about that as well. If you have a cellphone, I'll ask you to turn it off or at least to turn it to the vibrate mode. It's alsoimportant and I don't know if anybody intends to do this but there's no signs. You don'thold up signs or express your approval by applauding or cheering or your disapprovalby booing or anything of the sort. It's important that we maintain decorum through theseproceedings. If you are testifying on a bill, I will ask you to fill out a sign-in sheet andthey are on the back table. It's important that the record properly reflect who was here,so to get your spelling right and make sure we know where you're from and that sort ofthing, fill out the sheet. Put it into the wood basket here so that my committee clerk canbegin the process of making a good record. We have a light system here and you canlook around the room. I will tell you we have a room, an overflow room, with a goodnumber of people that also have an interest in the bills today, so when that happens it'snot uncommon and it's certainly the practice in the Business and Labor Committee touse the light system. Let me tell you what that means. On the table there is a panel withthree lights. When you sit down we will begin the stopwatch, or Kate does that, I don'tdo that but Kate does, she'll begin the stopwatch. You get three minutes to testify.Please understand that's not some bit of disrespectfulness on our part to put you on atimer but only to make sure that the hearing moves along. Our experience is to giveeverybody an opportunity to testify we have to limit you. You will get a green light. Afteryou're down to one minute, you'll get a yellow light. That should be your indication toyourself to start wrapping up or to summarize what you have left of testimony. When thered light comes on please stop. Okay? Now I've had people that ignore the red light andsometimes we kind of allow some latitude. Today we simply have too many people herefor folks to speak through the red light, and so please don't make me interrupt you andask you to stop. As I indicated before, we have a good number of people here and it ismy intention to limit the testimony, at least initially, on each one of the bills, if it becomesrepetitive especially, and by that I mean we may take, for example on LB482, SenatorUtter's bill, we may hear testimony for an hour, a half hour each side, and then basicallysay after an hour we're going on to the next bill. If you want to stay around, when we areTranscript Prepared By the Clerk of the LegislatureTranscriber's OfficeRough DraftBusiness and Labor CommitteeFebruary 07, 2011
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done with Nelson's LR29CA, we will have essentially an open mike (laugh) and that's alittle unusual but what we'll do is afford you an opportunity, if you did not have anopportunity to testify on a bill, to come up and say, you know, my name is Joe Smithand I want to talk about my opposition to LB623, for example. And so you'll all have anopportunity to be heard. The one thing I will ask is that if someone has alreadyexpressed your point of view that you not come up and repeat it. All right? You arewelcome to, if you are uncomfortable testifying or if someone has already expressedyour point of view, then you can fill out one of the sheets and turn it in to Kate and wewill note your opposition or support of a particular bill. It is...I know there's a lot of rulesbut I want this to run smoothly and so it takes a little bit at the front end. There is ninebills today. Not everybody is going to be able to come up on every bill, okay, and notevery bill probably deals with what you're concerned with. So please, the first bill thatwe'll hear, actually hear testimony on, is Senator Utter's, LB482. If you have somethingto say about Senator Utter's bill, for or against, please come up and we'll try to take careof you. If you want to see the CIR eliminated, that is Senator Nelson's bill, please waituntil that bill so that we are not interfering with the opportunity that people that havesomething to say about Senator Utter's bill, for example, so that they're afforded theopportunity to be heard on that bill and we don't clog up the system with peopletestifying about something that really doesn't have that much to do with a particular bill. Ithink I'm getting near the end of the rules. I think that's it. Let me introduce mycolleagues that are here today. I'm going to sit down, I think, at this point. To my right isSenator Carlson, who's from Holdrege; then we have Senator Burke Harr from Omaha;as well as Senator Ashford; my committee clerk, Molly Burton, pardon me, committeecounsel, sorry. Molly has done a great deal of work on these issues and so I apologizefor that mistake. We have my committee clerk, Kate Wolfe, at the other far end; SenatorSmith from Papillion; Norm Wallman; and Senator Tanya Cook from Omaha. And myname, again, is Steve Lathrop. And with that, I think that brings us to LB397, which ismy own bill.SENATOR LATHROP: (Exhibits 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5) Good afternoon, members of theTranscript Prepared By the Clerk of the LegislatureTranscriber's OfficeRough DraftBusiness and Labor CommitteeFebruary 07, 2011
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