State Sen. Mark Kolterman, a Seward Rotary Club member, addressed the Club during its July 21st meeting, reporting on current legislative matters and reflecting on his two terms representing Seward, York, and Polk counties in Lincoln
State Senator Mark Kolterman, District 24, addressed the Seward Rotary Club on Wednesday, July 21 in the Jones Bank Basement Meeting Room.  His talk was titled “My Experiences in Working in the Legislature-Past, Present and Future.”  Kolterman has served almost two full terms in the Legislature, having completed seven of his eight sessions. He has one more year to serve and then will “term limit” out.”  He was introduced by his twin brother, and fellow Seward Rotarian, Clark Kolterman.
Sen. Kolterman opened addressing the approaching “Special Session” in September, called to address the redistricting of the legislative districts.  The committee is now waiting on the official census results, and anticipating a loss of one or two rural senators, because of the loss of population in the western part of Nebraska.  He hopes to see little change in his district-District 24.  He also commented on his final legislative session – a short session and purposely has not offered a lot of new bills.  He plans to offer six or seven bills-while previously he would offer and “carried” up to 30 bills to the Legislature. 
He feels the theme of his legislative success is “building consensus” and has worked hard to create positive relationships with the other legislators and state administration.  He reviewed his activity and felt he was blessed to serve in many areas of his expertise and interest-working in a variety of posts during his last seven years.  He served on the Health, Human Services Committee, the Banking and Insurance Committee, the General Affairs Committee and the Retirement Committee-where he has served as the Chair for six of the last seven years.  He is now serving on the Appropriations Committee.
Kolterman noted that as a state we are fortunate to have a strong state revenue to support our state expenses, with a recent $6 billion in revenue last year, which is up 20 percent.  Nebraska “came through COVID” in good shape financially, he said.  He reminded the Rotarians that the property tax is levied locally and not as a state.  He is disappointed that in District 24 there is not much school funding by the state-and he has 14 school districts in his district-comparing those schools' limited funding to Omaha Public Schools, where they receive 56 percent of their funding in OPS from the State funds.
He is promoting Tax Credits and Tax Relief to the tune of ups to 25% if you qualify.  He was proud to have prioritized a bill to repeal State Tax on Social Security and eliminate or have no tax on Military Retirement Pay-to keep military families in Nebraska.  He noted most states that surround Nebraska have the similar program.  He also noted he carried a very successful bill to manage the Omaha Public School Retirement Plan and allow it to be managed with the other school retirement plans, helping OPS get back on track with a stronger management program.  He noted that OPS is short about a billion dollars and that they are still responsible for the shortfall-the state would just manage the program-not bail them out. 
Kolterman also commented on his work to change the existing St. Francis Management of Foster Care and ratify the many issues surrounding that agreement with HHS and also spoke to the PBM-Pharmacy Benefit Manager Health Insurance Plan and his work with that current bill.  He pointed out that there is a lot of money in the state from the many Federal Programs at this time and while he is willing to keep those programs in place, because they are funded, he is not excited about stating and funding new programs-all at an added expense. 
He was asked about the approaching Governor’s Race and felt it will be an expensive journey for many of the candidates as they are well funded.  He noted that he walked in the Seward Fourth of July Parade with his fellow Senator Brett Lindstrom and felt they thought alike-as a “common sense” candidate for Governor.  “He is young and smart and very dedicated to Nebraska!” stated Kolterman.  He noted that there may be even more entering the race and he was very confident it would be Republican Governor as the victor-as the Democrats may not even have a candidate. 
When asked about his future plans, Sen. Kolterman stated that he has served almost eight years in the Nebraska Legislature and enjoyed and grateful for the entire experience  but has no future political plans.  "I am planning to enjoy the Good Life of Nebraska!”