Senator Brewer’s Weekly Update


Senator Tom Brewer

By Senator Tom Brewer

In 2021 I passed LB 387. This bill exempted military retired pay from Nebraska state income tax. For decades thousands of retiring service members, many of them Nebraskans, did not come home because they could live in a state that did not tax their retired pay. I am happy to report I have heard from an increasing number of retiring service members who have told me they are coming home to the state they were born and raised in because of this bill. A senator does not often receive feedback from a bill passing that is as rewarding as this is. Causing this to happen is exactly why I introduced this bill.

This past session I passed LB 1394. This bill exempts National Guard week-end drill pay, and pay for National Guard active duty for training or State emergencies. The fiscal note on this bill “cost” the legislature about $2 million in lost revenue. Forty one senators supported the bill, eight senators opposed the bill. Seven were excused for the final vote, and one was present, not voting. Their argument against the bill was based on the idea the legislature could not afford to lose $2M in revenue.

I think it is important for people to understand that before something can “cost” you, it first must belong to you. The $11.7 billion collected in Nebraska taxes must first be taken from someone who worked for and earned the money in the first place. Just because it is in Nebraska’s treasury does not mean it is the property of senators in the legislature.

The authorized strength of the Nebraska National Guard is low, around 92%. They are having a hard time recruiting and retaining soldiers. We are going to see if this $2.23M going back into the pockets of Guard members will help us restore the ranks. This is who we call when things get really bad and citizens are in danger. I think $2M is a bargain considering who will be receiving it and what we depend on them to do for Nebraska.

Please contact my office with any comments, questions, or concerns. Email me at, mail a letter to Sen. Tom Brewer, Room #1423, P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509, or call us at (402) 471-2628.