Your Election Day primer

Election Day is Nov. 4, but you don’t have to wait to cast your ballot. Here’s what you need to know if you want to vote early.

Nebraska Legislative District 42 candidates on same path, diverge on issues

The two candidates vying to represent District 42 in the Nebraska Legislature may have similar backgrounds, but their outlooks are much different.

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Both candidates in Nebraska Legislative District 48 want tax changes

Mike Meister focuses on property tax, John Stinner on a variety of state taxes. 

Corrections Director Kenney tells legislators he let some improperly released inmates remain free

Corrections Director Mike Kenney admitted Friday that he “took a very lenient” view of state law when he “invented” a program to allow at least eight inmates to stay home rather than return to prison.

Sen. Kintner calls on opponent to apologize over remark about wife

Nolte's suggestion that she get a job "in the real world" was over the line, Kinter says.

Good-time law has been built on 45 years of trial and error

The system giving prisoners time off has become hot topic in politics this year.

Fact check: Recent claims about good time for Nebraska inmates

Recent claims about good time and a fact-check and comments from Clarence Mock, a longtime defense attorney and former prosecutor, and Sarpy County Attorney Lee Polikov.

At legislative hearing, early childhood ed, technology in classroom are pushed as priorities

Charter schools were pitched, too but were met with opposition during the four-hour hearing before the Nebraska Legislature's Education Committee that drew about 150 people to the Gallup campus in Omaha.

Counties press to shift some costs to state

Legislature willing to look at ideas that could help reduce property taxes

The two candidates for Nebraska governor, Democrat Chuck Hassebrook and Republican Pete Ricketts, have both talked about reducing state mandates on counties as a way to reduce local property taxes.

Sticker shock or good investment? Cost of refurbishing 46 chairs in Nebraska Capitol is about $1,900 each

While the chief keeper of the historic structure and two members of the Capitol Commission defended the cost, saying the restored chairs will last a long time, Gov. Heineman wondered whether it could have been done for less.

Legislature to investigate state's handling of prisoner roundup, reimprisonment

State Sen. Steve Lathrop of Omaha, who chairs the legislature’s Department of Correctional Services Special Investigative Committee, said the issue could come up as soon as Oct. 10, the next scheduled hearing.

Latest prison problems boost calls for special prosecutor, housecleaning at Corrections

 "It’s just one thing after another," Omaha State Sen. Heath Mello says, and he’s not sure a special investigative committee has time to look into it all. 

Nebraska Legislature

Public input sought on Nebraska's vision for education

The hearings will be held in October and November.

A fermenting issue: Brewers ask Nebraska lawmakers to consider tax break for barley, hops production

Nebraska could brew up additional revenue for farmers by providing incentives to grow crops used in the making of beer and liquor, a panel of state lawmakers was told Friday.

40,000 to 60,000 of Nebraska's older county bridges need repairs, but funds limited

The aging bridges — designed from the 1930s to 1960s — are showing wear and tear, and threaten to hinder the state's agricultural economy.

Heineman to take 'couple of weeks' before announcing interim Lt. Gov.

Gov. Dave Heineman said he doesn’t plan to leave the office unfilled in his final months because a lieutenant governor is required by statute but said Lavon Heidemann’s departure was “totally unexpected.”

Nebraska property owners to see bigger tax credit in 2015

The state property tax credit will amount to about $107 for the owner of a $150,000 home, the State Department of Revenue announced on Friday. That would amount to an increase of about $18 for that homeowner.

Friends of Brenda Council expect her to continue to help people, despite loss of her law license

But the Nebraska Supreme Court's disbarment of the former state senator likely means the end of her political career.  

Hansen: Need a Lyft? Good luck — that pink mustache doesn’t need fixing, Omaha’s mass transit does

Fair or not, Omaha cabs have a reputation for taking too long to show up. Bus service in the city is nearly nonexistent at night, a subway is only a sandwich here and the last time I checked, Ollie the Trolley is a bit too costly for your commute.

Judge orders 5 Nebraska prison officials to testify on miscalculated release dates

Five state prison employees embroiled in the scandal of miscalculated release dates for inmates were ordered Friday to testify before a state legislative committee investigating the mess.

Do tax incentives provide enough economic boost for Nebraska?

The state's chambers of commerce say yes, but critics see better uses for the annual $270 million cost.

In 42-page letter, Ernie Chambers suggests Heineman end 'vain pursuit' of NU presidency

The state senator from Omaha does not think Gov. Dave Heineman should be the president of the University of Nebraska, and he has compiled 42 pages worth of reasons. 

Ex-Nebraska prison director can expect grilling by legislative panel

The questions for Bob Houston, who abruptly retired 11 months ago from his post as director of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services, will now also include what he knew about the department’s mistaken calculation of release dates for more than 750 prison inmates.

In Nebraska, conservative group eyes push for charter schools

The fight to establish charter schools in Nebraska isn't over, despite the loss of a key advocate in the Nebraska Legislature and opponents' vow to keep the publicly funded, independently run schools out of the state.

Gov. Heineman not planning to call special session on state prison sentencing mess

The reason the governor gave a state senator for not calling such a session: The screw-up was the result of people not doing their job, not because the state urgently needs new laws.

Calls grow for probe into Corrections officials' inaction after court rulings on sentence calculations

State senators demand a criminal investigation, and possibly a special session, on failure to act on the Nebraska Supreme Court rulings

State Sen. Lydia Brasch to attend national fellowship program

State Sen. Lydia Brasch of Bancroft will become a member of the Council of State Governments’ Henry Toll Fellowship Program Class of 2014.

Nebraska lawmakers ask: Do incentive programs create jobs?

Members of the Legislative Performance Audit Committee heard suggestions from two national experts about how other states evaluate job-incentive programs during a meeting at the State Capitol.

Sen. Galen Hadley joins Colby Coash in seeking Nebraska Legislature's speaker post

Two senators whose names had been mentioned as speaker candidates have decided against running for the position. They are Sens. Mike Gloor of Grand Island and Kathy Campbell of Lincoln.

Economic experts say the Midwest is poised for growth

The economists tell lawmakers to build on the region’s strengths and focus on education, job training. 

Campaign issue

Minimum wage hike may propel Nebraska Democrats

Opposed by the state's Republican candidates, an effort to boost the rate enjoys widespread support.

Will minimum wage petition net enough signatures to make ballot?

Organizers of Nebraska's minimum wage petition drive announced today that they will submit signatures to the Secretary of State’s office for verification Thursday.

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