*As Chairman of the Government, Military & Veteran's Affairs Committee, I worked daily with committee members on a variety of bills that promoted the integrity of open and transparent government. One of the most important was LB 742, introduced by Senator Beau McCoy to prevent secret settlements involving public officials and political jurisdictions. All settlements now are public records and those involving $50,000 or more must be placed on the agenda of the public entity involved. This bill is consistent with the principle of open government and was signed into law by the Governor on April 5th.
* Another victory for transparent government was a bill I introduced, Legislative Bill 717. Ultimately adopted as a Legislative Rule, the bill requires that the Legislative Journal -- the official daily record of the Legislature -- publish all Conflict of Interest Statements filed by Senators. A conflict of interest arises on bills in which a Senator or his or her immediate family stand to gain or lose financially should the bill become law. This new procedure will provide easier public access to information on potential conflicts of interest and will promote greater public confidence in government.