Floor Debate on January 17, 2018

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PRESIDENT FOLEY PRESIDING

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the George W. Norris Legislative Chamber for the ninth day of the One Hundred Fifth Legislature, Second Session. Our chaplain for today is Senator Kolowski. Please rise.

SENATOR KOLOWSKI

(Prayer offered.)

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Thank you, Senator Kolowski. I call to order the ninth day of the One Hundred Fifth Legislature, Second Session. Senators, please record your presence. Roll call. Mr. Clerk, please record.

CLERK

I have a quorum present, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Thank you, Mr. Clerk. Are there any corrections for the Journal?

CLERK

I have no corrections.

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Thank you. Are there any messages, reports or announcements?

CLERK

Mr. President, your Committee on Reference reports LB982 through LB999, as well as LR281CA, it's a reference report. And Enrollment and Review reports LB350, LB130, LB304, LB399, and LB135 to Select File; some having Enrollment and Review amendments attached. Series of hearing notices from Health and Human Services Committee and from the Judiciary Committee. That's all that I had, Mr. President. (Legislative Journal pages 305-307.)

LB350 LB130 LB304 LB399 LB135

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Thank you, Mr. Clerk. While the Legislature is in session and capable of transacting business, I propose to sign and do hereby sign the following seven Legislative Resolutions: LR271, LR272, LR273, LR274, LR275, LR276, and LR278. (Doctor of the day introduced.) Now proceed to the agenda. Mr. Clerk.

LR271 LR272 LR273 LR274 LR275 LR276 LR278

CLERK

Mr. President, the first item this morning, Senator Riepe would like to withdraw LB915.

LB915

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Senator Riepe, you're recognized to open on your motion.

LB915

SENATOR RIEPE

Thank you, Mr. President and colleagues. This is a motion to withdraw LB915. The intent of this bill was to expand existing prohibitions on the use of hand-held devices while operating a motor vehicle, texting and cell phone use. LB915 was dropped with the Clerk and provided the violation of the statute be deemed a secondary offense, an error by me. Senator Krist has a bill that he will or has introduced--texting while driving as a concern, and I will study his bill to avoid needless duplication within this body. Thank you, Mr. President.

LB915

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Thank you, Senator Riepe. Is there any discussion on the motion? Seeing none, Senator Riepe, you may close if you care to. He waives close. The question before the body is the motion to withdraw LB915. All those in favor vote aye; those opposed vote nay. Have you all voted who care to? Record, please.

LB915

CLERK

31 ayes, 0 nays, Mr. President, on the motion to withdraw the bill.

LB915

PRESIDENT FOLEY

The motion to withdraw has been adopted. Moving on to General File, Mr. Clerk.

LB915

CLERK

Mr. President, LB469 offered by Senator Larson. (Read title.) The bill was discussed yesterday, Mr. President. The committee amendments as offered by the General Affairs Committee were presented. Those committee amendments are pending. I do have an amendment to the committee amendments.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Senator Larson, if you would like a couple of minutes just to get us started, why don't you refresh us on where we are on the bill. Senator Larson.

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Thank you, Mr. President. Colleagues, I'll be fairly short. We have to remember, and I think it was reported yesterday, that nearly 300,000 Nebraskans, I think is what was the AP reported, are playing fantasy sports right now in the state of Nebraska. What we have to understand and view LB469 as is do we want to offer them consumer protections or do we want to leave them vulnerable to certain web sites or certain individuals that want to take advantage of them? That's what LB469 boils down to. It's not an expansion of gambling, because there is already 300,000 Nebraskans that are doing it. How can it be an expansion if they're already doing it? This is about offering them protections to ensure that they do not get taken advantage of. If you are okay with Nebraskans continuing to be taken advantage of, then you can listen to "Gambling with the Good Life" and that will continue to happen because they are going to continue to play, they're going to continue to operate in Nebraska and these are going to continue to happen. So we can either protect Nebraskans or we can leave them exposed. That's what LB469 boils down to. Thank you, Mr. President.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Thank you, Senator Larson. Debate is open on LB469 and the pending committee amendment. Mr. Clerk.

LB469

CLERK

Mr. President, I have an amendment to the committee amendment. Senator Chambers would move to amend with FA89.(Legislative Journal page 303.)

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Senator Chambers, you're recognized to open on FA89.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Thank you, Mr. President. This bill fits into my strategy for this session. I have referred to you all's president as an inveterate liar, a determined denier, a consummate falsifier. He cannot tell the truth. And that has infected Republicans all over the country and it seeps into legislatures. Senator Larson knows that, first of all, let me ask him a question or two, then I'm going to touch on my amendment...if Senator Larson, would yield.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Senator Larson, would you yield, please?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Yes.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Senator Larson, how many people did you say are engaged in this activity right now in Nebraska?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

The article I read in the AP this morning said 300,000.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

How many are playing through these four companies that you brought this bill for?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

I brought the bill for the people of Nebraska, but I do not know how many are playing through those four companies.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

So then you don't know how many are playing for money, how many are playing for fun, how many may be playing through these companies, do you?

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

I can try to get those number for you, if you'd like.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

No, you don't know though, do you?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Not off the top of my head. As I said, the figure I read was from the AP this morning.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Thank you. He is misleading you. He is intentionally fudging and hedging. Senator Larson didn't bring this bill out of the goodness of his heart. We had this last session. There are four companies that want this bill. They testified before the committee. Let me ask Senator Larson a question today to see if he did a little research between yesterday and today to get an answer to a question I posed to him, the answer to which he did not know...or profess not to know.

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Yes.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Senator Larson, are these four companies licensed to carry under activities in Las Vegas?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

I don't think so. I didn't look into that.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Is there any provision in law or the gambling commission in Nevada that would prohibit them from carrying out these activities in Nevada?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

I didn't look into the Nevada law. I'm focused on what we're doing here in the Nebraska Legislature.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

But you know that was discussed by me last session, wasn't it?

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SENATOR LARSON

Not last session, Senator Chambers.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

You said what?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Not last session.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

When was this bill up before?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

It would have been 2016.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

So it's a carryover from when?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

This is a carryover...it was reintroduced in 2017 and passed out of the General Affairs Committee again in 2017. It was first introduced in 2016 and received a priority in which it died in the last Legislature, the previous Legislature, so not last session. Last session is what I considered to be 2017.

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SENATOR CHAMBERS

Last year.

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Last year. And last year we did not hear this on the floor of the Legislature.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

When was this bill introduced?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

2017.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

When did we discuss it?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Well, the first time we discussed it would have been in 2016.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Okay.

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

So it was introduced first in 2016. It died on the floor of the Legislature. It was reintroduced in 2017 and it was never discussed on the floor of the Legislature. It was carried over and then work sheet order we took it up in 2018. So this was never discussed in 2017 between you and I.

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SENATOR CHAMBERS

It was discussed in 2016, correct?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Correct, but not last session.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Okay. You made that clear. You might have to have things repeated over and over, but I think most of us got it. You know that I brought this issue up in 2016 about them not being licensed in Nevada, or you forgot that that was discussed?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

If you say you did, you did.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

You don't remember it, though?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

I don't.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

You talked to the lobbyists for this bill, haven't you?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

I've talked to them, yes.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

And did they discuss with you whether or not this was legal in Nevada since 2016 when I brought it up on the floor?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

I have not discussed that with the lobbyists.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

You did not talk to them on your telephone when I was discussing that issue on the floor in 2016?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Not about the Nevada aspect, no.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

And you didn't think it was necessary for you to check into whether or not it's licensed in Nevada?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

I really don't care if it's licensed in Nevada. I'm focused on making sure we protect Nebraskans.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

"Mr. Trump," you didn't answer the question. I'm sorry, "Mr. Bannon," you didn't...I'm sorry, when people...birds of a feather flock together, and when they make the same noise as I just put wrong label on them. That's all I'll ask you right now. I want to demonstrate to people that Senator Larson is not forthcoming. Senator Larson has had discussions of this bill with the lobbyists for this bill. If he says he hasn't, which he has not said, I would show that he's not telling the truth. So what would they discuss since I spent considerable time on the floor in 2016 pointing out why these businesses don't operate in Nevada. Do you know why they do not operate in Nevada? They do not want to go before the gambling commission. They would be officially declared gambling operations and that would take away Senator Larson's mischaracterization of this activity as not gambling. Since it is gambling, it violates the Nebraska Constitution, for one thing. He wants to say...let me let him speak for himself. Is Senator Larson still back there and would he continue to answer questions?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Yes.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

All right. Senator Larson, does the activity described in this bill constitute gambling under the Nebraska Constitution?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

I believe this is a game of skill, so no.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

If it's a game of skill, then it wouldn't need any permission from the gambling commission in Las Vegas to operate, would it?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

I don't know how the gambling commission in Las Vegas operates. I honestly don't. I haven't studied it.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Do you think based on their name, they address the subject of gambling?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

I would assume so.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Do you think since they address the subject of gambling, people who wanted to conduct a checkers tournament would have to get permission from the gambling commission in Las Vegas?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

I don't know.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

If the world chess tournament were to be conducted in Las Vegas, do you think they would have to get permission from the gambling commission in Las Vegas to conduct a world tournament in chess?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

I don't know. I'd be assuming to say no, but I am unsure because I have no idea what the gambling commission in Vegas regulates.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Okay. Members of the Legislature, the gambling commission in Las Vegas regulates gambling. When Senator Larson cannot even answer questions that a layperson can answer, you know it's not based on inability, it's based on refusal. You are being dealt a fast shuffle. That's a gambling term. And Senator Larson is not as naive about gambling as he wants to appear on this floor. He wants to make you all who are rubes...I refer to them as rubes, Senator Larson, but I do it openly. You hide and pretend that you have respect for them, but you have less respect for them than I do. I'd never bring a bill like this and say it's not gambling. But that's me. Members of the Legislature, this is a gambling bill. Senator Larson knows there are a lot of people engaged in this activity who do it through a cable television program, from what I heard, and that's the first I heard of it, yesterday. People play this. But it's not for money. It's for fun. And some people have said they do it for fun. It's a diversion.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

One minute.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

But I'm going to use this bill and I'm going to take all the time under the rules that can be taken on this bill. And I'm going to do it on other bills. I haven't decided how much time I'll take on Senator Lowe's bill Friday. The only way it can come up is for him to have assured the Speaker that he's got 33 votes to invoke cloture. Now, you know I would not want Senator Lowe to go through all that work without it being for a purpose. That much work should not be done in vain. So since it was done in anticipation of having to invoke cloture, I'm not of a mind to disappoint him. But when Friday comes, who knows. Maybe I'll be dead by then. Maybe Senator Lowe will be dead by then. Maybe the whole world will be evaporated by then. Or maybe Jesus will come...oh, I'm sorry...

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Time, Senator.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

...he came back and he's now the football coach at Nebraska. Thank you, Mr. President.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Senator Chambers, you're first in the speaking queue. You may continue.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Thank you. Mr. President, members of the Legislature, I'm going to have fun if nobody else does. And here is something that kind of stokes my fire. I'm getting calls from people who listen to what we do on the floor of the Legislature. They listen to what is discussed and they listen to me. And there are some people who gamble and they didn't realize that somebody who is a lay person, such as I am, who is deemed by some people to be straight- laced and to some extent a prude, could understand about bookmaking. But it's not that hard to understand if you read, if you talk to people. I read and I understand what I read. Reading as a means to obtain information is not bad. How many people have ever set foot on Mars? As the spiritual says: no, not one; no, not one. How many people have studied Mars by way of a telescope? Some, but probably not many. But when you sit in a classroom and it's dealing with the subject of the stars, the universe, the divine constellations of the heavens, discussions occur with reference to Mars, Pluto, Neptune, and nobody has ever set foot on those planets. So what you know about those things, you have read. What do you know about a heart other than what you have heard or read? Reading is not to be ridiculed. Reading is not to be disparaged. And when people do not read, they prevent the contact with minds far greater and more learned than their own. The words that people write and that are published outlive the author, sometimes by centuries. Some things are attributed to anonymous. They don't know who wrote it. But it's of such value that it is published and people learn from it. So there are many things I know about based on reading and reading alone. Gambling is something that happens everywhere in this country. Legally in certain states where they're allowed to have casinos, where bookmaking is allowed under...as an exemption to a federal law, bookmaking occurs. You all know about Las Vegas. So if you pick up some of these sheets that are put out, if you listen to some radio programs that discuss sports, you learn about gambling; and because of the amount of work Senator Larson has put forth in trying to slide various types of gambling through the Legislature, he knows more about gambling than he wants to let on. But I taught him something about gambling, and I do not gamble, in terms of card playing, dice, casinos. And Senator Larson, you're right, I have bet on some football games. I bet people on the floor probably on occasion. Governors bet each other on football games. I see a person who is not bothering anybody. He is minding his own business. I want to put on my glasses so I can read his name because I can't make it out from here, but he's now standing up. He must have known I was going to ask him a question.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

One minute.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

He's talking to Senator Harr. I just was coached by my seat mate, the senator's name is Briese. My time is up on this time, but I have my light on. I would like to have a little discourse with Senator Briese when I'm recognized again. Thank you, Mr. President.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Thank you, Senator Chambers. Senator Larson.

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Thank you, Mr. President. I think everybody here knows that I do support all forms of gaming, but I do not feel that this is a game of chance. This is a game of skill, and as I said, it is already happening in the state of Nebraska and we should protect those people that are. I did get a little insight via a friend about something that Senator Chambers was talking about and I'd ask him to yield to a question if he had time.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Senator Chambers, would you yield, please?

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Yes, I will.

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Yesterday we talked about what it was called, the bookies, what was it? That the percentage of the bookies takes is called the?

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

The juice or vigorish.

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Vigorish--and do you know what vigorish...where it derives?

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

No.

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

It derives from the Russian word, winnings.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

All right.

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

So I was just wondering if you knew.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

No.

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

All right.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

You've improved my education and for that I'm grateful.

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Thank you, Senator Chambers.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Just as the President is grateful for what the Russians helped him do. The Russians are not bad.

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

So moving forward, colleagues, we do have to understand, regardless of what Senator Chambers says, it does take skill to play fantasy sports. I am a member of an ESPN league that we do not bet, and...but I would say that my team has made the playoffs nearly every year that I participated. And I'd like to think, and I do think that's because I pay attention, I move players, I pick up players, and that is the level of skill that is involved. We've seen courts across the United States and we had this debate back in 2016 with poker, that have declared games like poker games of skill. Senator Chambers fought me on that as well. But I said that mathematics show otherwise that it is a game of skill, not a game of chance. But in the end, this is about protecting Nebraskans. This doesn't expand gambling. It protects them from bad actors and that's what's important here. As I said, do we want to protect Nebraskans or do we want to leave them exposed? That's what this boils down to. They're gonna participate, pure and simple. This is a consumer protection and added regulation. And not very often do I vote for added regulation. That is not something I ran in the Legislature on, but if it's going to harm everyday Nebraskans, there is a place for it. Thank you, Mr. President.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Thank you, Senator Larson. Senator Hilkemann.

LB469

SENATOR HILKEMANN

Thank you, Mr. President. I wonder if Senator Larson would take some...answer some questions for me?

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Senator Larson, would you yield, please?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Yes.

LB469

SENATOR HILKEMANN

Senator, I've done some research on this project. In New York the Attorney General made a decision that basically...it was his decision that would ban the use of these sports gambling operations?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Okay.

LB469

SENATOR HILKEMANN

Was that true or not?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

You know, our Attorney General offers opinions all the time. It sounds like...I don't know if the courts have acted on it or not. If an Attorney General in New York has done so, then I'll take your word for it. But again, it's an opinion.

LB469

SENATOR HILKEMANN

Now, wasn't it after that Attorney General's decision that the Legislature of New York rapidly did a bill and put it in place so that they could continue this on- line type betting?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Again, I'm unsure of what happened in New York. I'm focused about the Nebraska Legislature. But if they did, they did. I'll take your word for it that the New York Legislature passed a similar bill to LB469.

LB469

SENATOR HILKEMANN

Now, how does this bill and how does this bill differ from what was done in New York? In other words, I'm assuming that what they had to do in New York was to pass some legislation in order to make that continue to be legalized. Is that correct?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Well, an Attorney General's Opinion doesn't make anything illegal. That's an Attorney General's Opinion. I think you know that from working with our current Attorney General in Nebraska, correct? An Attorney General's Opinion doesn't make anything legal.

LB469

SENATOR HILKEMANN

Right. Right.

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

So it has no legal standing. Correct? An Attorney General's Opinion has no legal standing.

LB469

SENATOR HILKEMANN

An Attorney General's Opinion has no legal standing?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

No legal standing in court. Correct?

LB469

SENATOR HILKEMANN

Okay. I would hope that our Attorney General's Opinion would have some legal standing.

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

It has legal standing. I don't think an Attorney General's Opinion has legal standing. That's what the courts are for.

LB469

SENATOR HILKEMANN

Okay.

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

So the New York Attorney General may have offered an opinion and the Legislature may have created its own law, but it's not to circumvent the Attorney General because it's an opinion. Only a court can declare something illegal. The Legislature can deem it legal. But an opinion has...we can operate with or without an opinion. I mean, we do that all the time in the Nebraska Legislature. We seek opinions or sometimes the Attorney General offers an opinion and we say, we don't care what the Attorney General thinks, we'll let the courts test it. As you self admitted, the Attorney General's Opinion has no legal standing and it wasn't ever taken to the courts. So it can't be deemed illegal by him.

LB469

SENATOR HILKEMANN

Now, you said earlier that 300,000 Nebraskans were already doing this particular activity.

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

That's what the AP reported this morning.

LB469

SENATOR HILKEMANN

Okay. Now, if they're already doing it, why do we need to have this legislation? I don't understand why this legislation is necessary.

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Well, as I've been talking, there are some companies out there that allow a significant number of entries, let's say 3,000 in one game. And that puts those individuals that are just playing one or two games or putting one or two entries in a game at a severe disadvantage because these individuals are using very sophisticated algorithms to pick teams and they're not just doing it individually.

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PRESIDENT FOLEY

One minute.

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

And that leaves Nebraskan consumers at risk. So there is one parts of it. Another part of it is this says that these companies have to keep the players' funds in a separate account from their operational funds. Therefore, players won't put $100 in and then the company use it for operational funds and won't have any money to pay out the prize winnings. So this is a consumer protection. I've said that, and I'm sure you've been listening intently to the debate and heard me say that. So that's why we need this bill, to ensure Nebraska players don't get taken advantage of. This offers them protection.

LB469

SENATOR HILKEMANN

Thank you.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Thank you, Senators Hilkemann and Larson. Senator Crawford, you're recognized.

LB469

SENATOR CRAWFORD

Thank you, Mr. President; and good morning, colleagues. I have, in the past, consistently voted against bills that would expand access to addictive gaming or gambling behavior, or speed up that behavior. And so I've been listening intently to the conversation. And I believe I hear Senator Larson making the argument that actually LB469 would actually restrict and regulate this gaming behavior. So for right now I'm going to put aside the question of whether it's gambling or skill for right now and this part of the debate because I think a game of skill could be as addictive and as a gambling game and so from the perspective of people having increased access to addictive behavior that may harm their families and put our children in child welfare system, I'm going to put that question of whether it's gaming or gambling aside. I want to really focus on this question of whether LB469 is expanding or restricting and regulating gaming. So I wonder if Senator Larson would yield to a few questions.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Senator Larson, would you yield, please?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Yes.

LB469

SENATOR CRAWFORD

Thank you. Senator Larson, I've heard you say several times how many people are already engaged in this activity. I just want to clarify for the record, do you mean that they are legally engaged in this fantasy sports activity in Nebraska? Is it legal for me to get on to DraftKings and play today?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

I believe so, yes.

LB469

SENATOR CRAWFORD

You believe so that it is legal currently to do so?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Yes.

LB469

SENATOR CRAWFORD

And is there any restriction on what DraftKings or FanDuel can do when they are recruiting people to play their games in Nebraska? Do we have any restrictions on their activities in our state currently?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

No.

LB469

SENATOR CRAWFORD

So are there federal laws that restrict their behavior?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

In 2006, Congress passed the Uniform Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in an effort to modernize the Wire Act of 1961 and it specifically exempted fantasy sports contests. Now I can't speak and I can try to find out if there are any specific federal regulations, but my understanding is that the federal government has explicitly said fantasy sports contests are okay in terms of regulations on a federal level. I'm unsure and I can try to get those answer for you.

LB469

SENATOR CRAWFORD

Okay. Thank you. So that's thinking about these two big players. Now you said before one of your concerns are fly-by-night players that may be just trying to take advantage of Nebraskans.

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

I missed that question, I'm sorry.

LB469

SENATOR CRAWFORD

Oh, I'm not to the question yet.

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Oh, okay.

LB469

SENATOR CRAWFORD

So the big players, we understand who they are and there are federal regulations guiding what they can do. I think I heard you talking about the fact that our concern would be some fly-by-night operation that comes in and pretends to be a fantasy sports game, but then takes advantage of people, just takes their money, or has algorithms that allow their employees to win, or in some other way is actually defrauding Nebraskans. So is that true, that it is legal for me to play. It's legal for those two entities to be here, but is it also legal for some fly- by-night entity to just set up their own fantasy sports league in any way they choose to do so?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Yeah. And that's happened in the past that we've seen, obviously, creating web sites and companies, it's fairly easy and that's a good thing in America. We want businesses to be able to prosper. But we don't want businesses to take advantage of hardworking Americans and hardworking Nebraskans specifically in this case and that's a possibility. And that's why...

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

One minute.

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SENATOR LARSON

...LB469 restricts operational funds from winnings funds and makes sure that they have to register with the state of Nebraska. So these companies that don't register with the state of Nebraska will be able to be prosecuted by our Attorney General, because we all have created that law. This restricts gambling in Nebraska, because it's going to happen anyway. So it's about protecting consumers. This isn't about making fantasy sports legal or anything else.

LB469

SENATOR CRAWFORD

All right. I'll ask more questions on another turn. Thank you.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Thank you, Senators Crawford and Larson. Senator Geist.

LB469

SENATOR GEIST

Yes, thank you, Mr. President. I would ask if Senator Larson would yield to a question, please?

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Senator Larson, would you yield, please?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Yes.

LB469

SENATOR GEIST

Senator Larson, I noticed on...let's see, it's page 2, line 12, of your bill that says--fantasy contest means any on-line fantasy or simulated game or contest with an entry fee required for participation. Correct?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

We're in page 2 of the green copy?

LB469

SENATOR GEIST

Yes. Line 12. It says with an entry fee required.

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Line 12, fantasy contest...yes.

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SENATOR GEIST

So are we talking about people who are in an office fantasy football league playing for free?

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SENATOR LARSON

Not if they're playing for free.

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SENATOR GEIST

Okay. Thank you. That's all I have. I actually agree with Senator Chambers, this is legalizing expanded gambling. I don't believe this would protect our consumers. I don't believe this is a consumer protection bill. This encourages and codifies a deceptive gambling scheme. I believe it takes advantage of our citizens and it creates a foothold for online gambling. What we're talking about is daily fantasy gaming. It's not your fun little office pool that you do with your friends so that you have bragging rights next week when your athlete wins. There was actually an analysis from Bloomberg Business Week. It showed that the majority of daily fantasy sports customers are relying largely on chance, not skill, to earn their money back. The New York Times reported that just 10 to 20 percent of entrants win anything at all. That means 80 to 90 percent lose. That is not a game of skill. I also noticed in the transcript that from 2016 that the 300,000 players in Nebraska, that the same number that Senator Larson quoted as the number of players currently playing in Nebraska in 2018, and I would just question if those players include players who are playing for fun, not daily online sports. We're talking daily betting. This is totally different from what you think of when you think of fantasy football. This is not the same thing. This is opening a door to those vulnerable citizens who have addictive behaviors, who may not yet have addictive behaviors, but get a thrill out of gambling and taking advantage of those citizens. And I will yield the remainder of my time to Senator Chambers.

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PRESIDENT FOLEY

Thank you, Senator Geist. Senator Chambers, one and a half minutes.

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SENATOR CHAMBERS

Thank you, Senator Geist. Thank you, Mr. President. And I concur with everything Senator Geist said. This is gambling. I'd like to ask Senator Larson a question, which I think he can answer in the short time that remains.

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PRESIDENT FOLEY

Senator Larson, would you yield, please?

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SENATOR CHAMBERS

Senator Larson, I know you didn't write this bill and I'll bet you a thousand dollars against a dollar that you did not write this bill. Now, you can lie and take me for $1,000 or you can tell the truth. Who wrote this bill?

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SENATOR LARSON

My legal counsel.

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SENATOR CHAMBERS

And he wrote it in...I shouldn't say "he" because I don't know who all your legal counsel is.

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SENATOR LARSON

It's a he.

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SENATOR CHAMBERS

Okay. With whom did he work in conjunction in writing this bill?

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SENATOR LARSON

I'm sure he worked with the industry to make sure that it was protecting consumers as much as possible because they want to do that as well.

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SENATOR CHAMBERS

And when we say the "industry," we're talking about lobbyists, aren't we?

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SENATOR LARSON

Or the large companies that do this to ensure that we are protecting Nebraska consumers.

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SENATOR CHAMBERS

And the companies have lobbyists, don't they?

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SENATOR LARSON

I believe so.

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SENATOR CHAMBERS

Now, these people who testified for these companies, were they lobbyists for the company or were they officials of the company, these four companies? They're listed as...

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SENATOR LARSON

I think it was a trade association that testified. I'm not sure if they did individually. I'd have to look at the committee statement, the hearing was last year.

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SENATOR CHAMBERS

So lobbyists were testifying for this bill.

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PRESIDENT FOLEY

Time, Senators.

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SENATOR CHAMBERS

Thank you, Mr. President.

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PRESIDENT FOLEY

Thank you, Senator Chambers, Senator Larson. Senator Krist, you're recognized.

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SENATOR KRIST

Thank you, Mr. President; good morning, colleagues; and good morning, Nebraska. So let me set the record straight for Krist, not for anybody else. I consider fantasy gambling, fantasy football, any engagement where money changes hands on a game of chance or skill as gambling. Okay? I'm not hiding behind the fact that I think this is a skill game. What happens here is you pick the best guy, the best pony that's going to carry the football on Sunday afternoon for the Baltimore Colts and you pick that guy and you hope that he has a good day because that's how you're going to get paid and you're going to win. Folks, that's skill in skill of picking the pony to run is no different in a running back, a quarterback, or a pony, or a horse. I'm not making a distinction about whether this is skill or whether this is gambling. You're not listening to what this bill does, though. This bill actually brings revenue in, which supports problem gambling. Those folks who came in and testified in a neutral capacity, David Geier and others, this bill regulates those people who take advantage of those people who are out there doing this thing, Senator Geist, and they do. This bill absolutely makes sure that there are no bad actors out there who are gouging people or making sure that in this practice of fantasy gambling that we're not regulated and we're not getting revenue. And let me tell you something else, go out to all your neighborhood bars in western Nebraska and look at the machines that are in the bars, that are not being regulated, they're not bringing any revenue in, and you want to talk about the slot machine? We need to start regulating gambling as it exists, or if you feel so strongly about it, then pass a law to say that the fantasy football in any capacity, in any fun-loving capacity, in any occupational situation, in a bar, in a restaurant, in somebody's home, is illegal and let's start prosecuting people for doing it. Try that on for size. I've had about this much of Pat Loontjer telling me what I can and cannot do, and problem gambling folks, and gambling from the Good Life folks telling me what I can and cannot do. I want to regulate the gambling. I want to bring revenue in from the gambling. And I want people who have actually been involved in gambling to understand that it is an addictive behavior that needs to have therapies and we need to support the problem gambling folks with some kind of revenue. Once again, you're going to see a bill from me that shifts some money around and tries to get more money into the problem gambling area. Take all the iPhones, take all the iPads away from the kids, because they are online gambling as we speak. Now, how do we regulate it? How do we make sure those kids are not vulnerable for it? How do we make sure we're bringing revenue in so we can enforce that? I don't know. Chicken and the egg here. And people who, I don't know, out of a front store window or a shop someplace in some way understood and looked at the booking operation going on and the betting operation going on and now decades and decades later are telling me that gambling is a bad thing. I don't appreciate that either. I voted this bill out of committee for one reason--this exists on a daily basis. It is gambling. It needs to be controlled. It needs to be monitored and it needs to be taxed and revenue needs to come into this state. We have a revenue problem, folks. This is not a puritanical discussion of what's right, what's wrong, what's indifferent, what people believe in. It is a regulating force that will bring both...

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PRESIDENT FOLEY

One minute.

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SENATOR KRIST

...sense to the industry and control. The only reason that this fiscal note is as low as it is is we're only talking about the people we know are doing it on a big level, the four level. There are other organizations out there that would have to register. And if they didn't and they weren't regulated, then they would be fined. Look at the fines in there. If you violate this basic statute, there is a $5,000 fine if you're found not complying. We can talk about being a puritan for the rest of the day, and we probably will. But when you look at the essence of this bill and what it is trying to do, either vote it up or vote it down, but don't make hypocrites out of yourself or the person that you're trying to ask a question of by saying that the intention is wrong.

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PRESIDENT FOLEY

Time, Senator. Thank you, Senator Krist. Items for the record, please.

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CLERK

Mr. President, new bills: (Read LB1034-1057 by title for the first time.) In addition, Mr. President, new resolutions, LR287 is by Senator Quick, that will be laid over. LR288 is by Senator Bolz; that will be laid over as well. I also have a communication from the Speaker directing LR288 be referred to the Reference Committee. Confirmation reports from the Agriculture Committee, three separate reports. Notice of hearings from the Revenue Committee and from the Executive Board. An announcement, Mr. President, the Banking Committee will meet in Executive Session at 10:00 in room 2022; Banking at 10:00. That's all that I have. Thank you. (Legislative Journal pages 307-314.)

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PRESIDENT FOLEY

Thank you, Mr. Clerk. In the speaking queue, we have Senator Chambers, Crawford, Pansing Brooks, Hilkemann, Wayne, Larson, and Geist. Senator Chambers, you're recognized.

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SENATOR CHAMBERS

Thank you. Mr. President, I appreciate what everybody is saying, including what Senator Krist said. But I haven't heard Senator Krist suggest that prostitution be legalized because it will make money and people are engaging in it anyway. That drug sales should be legalized for the same reason; that the state should open liquor stores in some states operate and make money. There are things that are hurtful and harmful to society, that stain the social fabric, if you will. When bills come through to offer as a constitutional amendment, the legalization of casinos, I fight them tooth and nail because I don't think they're helpful. I think they're very harmful. I know people who are victimized by that kind of gambling. I know people who, their whole home economy improved when Ak-Sar-Ben racing went out of business. I'm not theorizing like some people on this floor might be doing. I've seen what I've seen and I'm going to act on those reasons. Senator Krist said he thinks this is gambling. The reason Senator Larson says it's not, because it would be unconstitutional. The constitution specifies the kind of gambling that is allowed. This is not allowed. This is based on chance. Senator Krist instructed us, to some extent, how this game is played, one aspect of it. You pick a person who is going to run with the football. But Senator Krist doesn't tell us that that person may be injured in the game. The person may not be allowed to play in the game. So it is all a matter of chance. It is gambling. And I'm going to oppose the state sanctioning of this kind of gambling. When you have horse racing, first of all, Senator Larson talked about keeping operational money separate from what the suckers bet. Pari-mutuel comes from the term parrish mutuel and it's spelled t-u-e- l. Here's the way it operated. You have a pot. Everybody who is going to bet puts money into that pot and the track takes its money out right away, just like the bookie. And the money that's paid out is based on what the odds are. But it's suckers who lose paying the winnings for this sucker who happened to win. But nobody who gambles consistently on horse racing, unless you have inside information, is going to make a living at it. Those who walk around the tracks and are called touts often have run over shoes, holey britches, and you would ask yourself, why would people take information and advice from this tout when if the tout knew what he was talking about, he'd have some money? He'd make money playing the information he gives if it's going to win. But gamblers are desperate. They are highly superstitious. When they play the lottery, they pick names like...I mean numbers, the birthday of somebody, the age of somebody else, the date that such and such a thing happened. Well, all of that is a matter of chance. Those things are allowed under the constitution because there are church groups who want to gamble. I really mean this, when I was younger, I used to think BINGO was a Catholic saint because I'd go past Catholic churches...

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PRESIDENT FOLEY

One minute.

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SENATOR CHAMBERS

...and big banners, I'd see BINGO. So I thought BINGO was a Catholic saint. Then I find out it's gambling and they do it in the churches. Everybody gambles. Everybody wants to take the money from the suckers and Senator Krist in general is saying things that I would agree with. But this bill is not in the interest of the public. He did not call it a consumer protection bill. Why is it mischaracterized in that fashion? I don't believe they have 33 votes. But if they do, then they deserve to get it because they are consummate salespersons. So I'm going to continue taking time and we're going to go to cloture whether people like it or not. Whatever they say my motives are, because as Popeye--I am what I am and that's all that I am, and I shall continue to be what I am. Thank you, Mr. President.

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PRESIDENT FOLEY

Thank you, Senator Chambers. Senator Crawford.

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SENATOR CRAWFORD

Thank you, Mr. President. I'd like to continue dialogue with Senator Larson, if he is willing to yield to questions.

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SENATOR WATERMEIER PRESIDING

SENATOR WATERMEIER

Senator for question?

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SENATOR CRAWFORD

Thank you, Senator Larson. We were talking about the extent to which this would restrict or regulate this activity in new ways that's not currently restricted right now. And as I understand it, in the bill, one example is that if the bill passes then any entity engaged in this activity has to confirm that someone playing the game is at least 19 years of age. Is that true?

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SENATOR LARSON

Yes.

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SENATOR CRAWFORD

So that looks like an added restriction. And currently right now, FanDuel has no obligation to do that, or are they required to do that right now by federal law?

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SENATOR LARSON

I do not think they're required to do that by federal law. Again, I can double-check specifically.

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SENATOR CRAWFORD

I appreciate that.

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SENATOR LARSON

But I don't think there are any restrictions. A company themselves can impose those restrictions, FanDuel or DraftKings can self-impose those restrictions.

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SENATOR CRAWFORD

Okay.

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SENATOR LARSON

But again, there's a lot of companies out there that might not impose those restrictions, and that's why we're trying to create uniformity to ensure that there is that age limit.

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SENATOR CRAWFORD

Okay. So when we're talking about revenue from this activity for the state, if I remember correctly, there's some tax that gets paid for being willing...for having the privilege of being able to run these games in our state under this act, so there would be tax revenue. Now, is there any revenue component that actually puts money in the Problem Gamblers Assistance Fund?

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SENATOR LARSON

I don't think that it goes directly into the problem assistance gambling fund, but I'm definitely open to that if somebody would like to do that. Right now we anticipate...the fiscal note only says the big four will sign up at the $10,000 per year, but I...as Senator Krist mentioned, more than that...more than likely will.

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SENATOR CRAWFORD

But would we need to add language to ensure that if these players...if this activity is now regulated and sanctioned in the state, that we would have more funds in our problem gambling assistance fund so that we'd make sure there would be resources available to those who have addiction problems with fantasy sports?

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SENATOR LARSON

I'm more than happy to do that. Obviously, there are some expenditures the Department Revenue has to have half an FTE to monitor the program and ensure that everybody is licensed and following those licenses. So, you know, the difference between the revenue and the expenditures, if we want to put a certain percentage into the problem gambling fund, I would be up to a friendly amendment as such between General File and Select File, that's...I'm completely open to that.

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SENATOR CRAWFORD

So you are committing that if this pass ons General File, you'll work with those who are interested in making sure more money is in the problem gambling assistance fund that we'll add a provision to make that happen between General and Select.

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SENATOR LARSON

I'd be happy to do that.

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SENATOR CRAWFORD

All right, thank you. Thank you, Senator.

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SENATOR WATERMEIER

Thank you, Senator Crawford and Senator Larson. Those in the queue wishing to speak: Senator Pansing Brooks, Senator Hilkemann, Senator Wayne, Senator Larson, and Senator Geist. Senator Pansing Brooks, you are recognized.

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SENATOR PANSING BROOKS

Thank you, Mr. President. Well, I'm sort of glad that we continue to have this argument every year. And I keep getting, sort of, tempted to, by some of the arguments, like, well, we're already doing it, people are already doing it on-line, so we should regulate it so that we can make it so that we can go after them. Well, we're not going after them now when it is illegal, so how is creating a bill or a law going to make it so that we can go after them even more easily? That doesn't make sense to me. It's already happening. The argument is-- well, if it's already happening, we're going to be able to go after these people if we regulate it better. And I just don't understand that. So number one, that's one thing. Number two, I am concerned...I hear my friend and colleague, Senator Krist, talking about the puritan ways. I am particularly concerned about looking as if I'm not willing to look at the Internet and what's possible and how we move forward. But you know, I am concerned. Either you believe it's gambling or you don't. We already had one senator say, well yeah, it's basically gambling. The problem is it's a slippery slope. If we allow this type of gambling, then, of course, there's poker on-line, too. So once we say that it's okay to do fantasy sports on-line, then it's also, I presume...well, that just opens the door, then we can do poker on-line, because they're already doing it on-line, so why can't we do it. So again, each thing becomes...it's where your heart is, either you believe in gambling or you don't. I'll tell you why I don't believe in gambling. There's a study that came out in 2014 that was entitled...and the article talks about people in poor neighborhoods are twice as likely to have gambling problems. And it's by the University of Buffalo. And based on a representative...this is a quote--based on a representative telephone interview with nearly 5,000 people ages 14 to 90 in the United States, the study found problem gambling was twice as likely in neighborhoods with the highest levels of poverty, compared to neighborhoods with the lowest poverty levels. They looked and those with highest neighborhood disadvantage, more than 11 percent were problem gamblers compared to just 5 percent ranking in the top fifth of economic advantage. It goes on to say that problem gambling was determined by a number of symptoms, including gambling with increasing amounts of money, repeated unsuccessful efforts to control or stop gambling, and preoccupation with gambling activities. Types of gambling included casinos, sports betting, that's what this is; horse or dog racing, lotteries, on-line gambling, as well as raffles, office pools, charitable gambling, pull tabs, and BINGO. So I guess I'm a puritan. You know, this argument, that oh, we're going to use...yeah, we all need money, there's no question. The children in this state need legal counsel and representation. And I will continue to fight for that. We are balancing our budgets on the backs of children. But now we're going to go ahead and legalize something like gambling, that's the effort, and say, oh, well we can create a fund to help those who have a serious problem with gambling. To me, that's like somebody bringing forward a bill saying, let's lower the smoking age, shall we?

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SENATOR WATERMEIER

One minute.

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SENATOR CRAWFORD

Let's let kids smoke at an earlier age and it will be great because it helps with tax receipts. So we'll be able to grow our budget and we're going to create a fund for nonsmokers...for people to help them quit smoking. That makes as much sense as legalizing this form of gambling and then creating a fund to help...which this bill doesn't even do, by the way, but then possibly adding an amendment to help gamblers anonymous. But literally, we're talking about an enterprise that preys on the vulnerability of people who are addicted and who have serious problems and who may be looking for a way to make some money in a rapid manner. And we know that the odds are against them. Thank you, Mr. President.

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SENATOR WATERMEIER

Thank you, Senator (Pansing) Brooks. Senator Hilkemann, you are recognized.

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SENATOR HILKEMANN

Thank you, Mr. President. And thank you for those comments, Senator Pansing Brooks. I am with you. I believe this is a form of gambling and I will stand here and oppose this major...as well. Earlier I asked Senator Larson several questions about the New York thing. And I went back to the article that I was researching on it, and I thought maybe what I would do is simply kind of highlight some of this article. Now, this comes from the...it's called The New York Times. I'm sure we've all heard of that. And it's in their June 18, 2016, edition. It says, in this article, Senator Larson, it says: months after being halted by the New York Attorney General, daily fantasy sports won a major victory early Saturday as state lawmakers moved to legalize on-line games. Now, this article says that Governor Cuomo has not yet indicated whether he was going to sign the bill. The Attorney General, who first declared war on the industry in the fall by declaring daily fantasy sports to be illegal gambling, laid the groundwork for a deal in March when he suggested a June 30th deadline for the Legislature to act to address games' legal status. The Attorney General, a Mr. Schneiderman, was neutral on the Legislature's action on Saturday, calling it a law that will be my job to enforce and defend. But he added that his office would continue to pursue claims against DraftKings and FanDuel, the industry's largest companies, over the allegations of consumer fraud and false advertising. Well, I won't go on anymore to read that. I just wanted to make a point that indeed, the Attorney General did put a halt to the gaming industry, or at least this portion of gaming industry in New York at one point. And it did take the legislature to legalize this to move it forward in New York. And the article does go on to say that the New York deal is a lifeline for an industry so battered that FanDuel and DraftKings, once bitter rivals, are in merger talks, according to two people familiar with the negotiations. So that must...so we talk about it becoming more popular. You're saying we have 300,000 people using it. At either rate, Senator, I think this is expanded gambling. I also read many stories last...some stories last evening about the number of people who had at one time had gambling addictions, they overcame those addictions, and then with the ease of having this in front of their computer, they got hooked once again on it. And I'm just concerned that for those people who do get addicted to gambling, the cost that it is to society, and the cost that it is to individual families, and therefore, I will continue to oppose this legislation. If I have any further time left, I would yield that time to Senator Chambers.

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SENATOR WATERMEIER

Senator Chambers, 90 seconds.

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SENATOR CHAMBERS

Thank you, Mr. President, members of the Legislature; thank you, Mr. Chairman. If these companies can do this already, why would they come here and ask the Legislature to pass a bill that's going to make them pay money to be regulated? They're, in effect, going to have to pay for a license. Then they can be charged with a crime. I'm glad that the senator pointed out that they were charged with fraud and other types of activities, which in plain language might amount to racketeering if it's done on a large enough scale. They are the bad actors. They were the bad actors in New York. They're coming here and saying, we are bringing you a consumer protection bill where they're the only actors that are of any consequence. So I believe everything that Senator Larson said is false, it is misleading, and if my colleagues in sincerity swallow it, that's not going to make me swallow it. If one man makes a foolish statement and a thousand people agree with it, that doesn't make it less foolish. Lemmings follow the leader, based on things that I hear. I know that my time is short on this time that Senator...I like to call him Chairman now, gave to me, but I do intend to make this bill go to cloture, I don't care what anybody says.

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SENATOR WATERMEIER

Time, Senator.

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SENATOR CHAMBERS

Thank you, Mr. President.

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SENATOR WATERMEIER

Senator Wayne, you're recognized.

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SENATOR WAYNE

Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning, colleagues. This is an interesting debate. I remember watching this on TV a couple of years ago. I live in a district where we are next to the river, and if I were to go across to Council Bluffs, I would see many other license plates have Nebraska plates on them. So I look at this at an opportunity to generate revenue, and I'm not necessarily opposed to gambling. So I will support this bill. But I am going to offer everybody in the Chamber and those who are watching from their offices an opportunity to show and be consistent that you are against gambling. I'm going to introduce a resolution to move Carter Lake back into Nebraska. I say back, because the river was changed, and I expect every anti-gambling senator to sign on to that, because the Ponca Tribe is going to build a casino. So if you believe it has no place in Nebraska and you need to cross the river, or cross the borderline, then we need to make sure it's across the river. So I look forward to every person who votes against this bill, signing up for my resolution, asking the Governor and the Legislature to take a strong stance to bring Carter Lake back into the fold...or into the fold of Nebraska, so you can keep gambling out of Nebraska on this side of the river. So I look forward to all your support of this bill that I'm going to introduce and we will...Senator Friesen, I think, might be on board if I can convince him. I know Senator Larson is on board. And we're going to make sure that gambling doesn't happen in Nebraska if you truly believe that. As it relates to this bill, though, it already happens, many of my friends continue to do it. I think it needs to be regulated in some fashion instead of not being regulated. So I will support this bill. And I think generally we need to, as a state, to look at all revenue streams and have a conversation, as Senator Krist said, about gambling in general; but more importantly, all revenue streams as it relates to the state of Nebraska. With that, thank you, Mr. President.

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SENATOR WATERMEIER

Thank you, Senator Wayne. (Visitors introduced.) Those in the queue wishing to speak: Senator Larson, Senator Geist and Senator Krist. Senator Larson, you are recognized.

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SENATOR LARSON

Thank you, Mr. President. I agree with Senator Krist and a lot of what he said in terms of protecting consumers. Senator Chambers wants to talk about lemmings following an individual, well...and trying to portray that I am the one that is lying. Colleagues, this is about consumer protections, and when they say it's not, that is the lie. I want to clarify something for Senator Pansing Brooks that this is not illegal in Nebraska right now. It is happening. It doesn't mean it's illegal. It's not illegal, and that's why it's happening, because it is not. I'd like to ask Senator Hilkemann a question if he's in the room, because he stood up twice and tried to bring up New York.

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SENATOR WATERMEIER

Senator Hilkemann for a question?

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SENATOR HILKEMANN

I'm available.

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SENATOR LARSON

Senator Hilkemann, you bring up this New York case, did...and you said that the New York Attorney General offered an advisor opinion, correct?

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SENATOR HILKEMANN

Well, according to what I read there...

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SENATOR LARSON

An advisory opinion.

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SENATOR HILKEMANN

No, he stopped the gambling.

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SENATOR LARSON

The New York Attorney General offered an advisory opinion expressing concerns. Did that New York Attorney General, did he prosecute anybody?

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SENATOR HILKEMANN

Senator, I do not know.

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SENATOR LARSON

No, he didn't. Because it was an advisory opinion, he wasn't sure if it was illegal or not, and what happened was then the New York Legislature went in and addressed the Attorney General's concerns to protect New Yorkers. So colleagues, any Attorney General in the country, just so we understand, can offer advisory opinions. He can threaten to prosecute and companies can voluntarily choose to stop or they can continue to operate and risk going through the court system. The companies in New York received the advisory opinion and because they wanted to play fair and make sure people operated above, they said, all right, we understand your concerns. We will go to the Legislature and fix those concerns. An Attorney General can only offer an opinion or choose to prosecute. In the New York case, he offered opinion but did not choose to prosecute. It might astound you, Senator Hilkemann, that no Attorney General has prosecuted this in the United States. Colleagues, this is about consumer protections, regardless of what Senator Chambers says. There are companies out there that are trying to do this that aren't above board, and we want to protect Nebraskans from those companies. And if LB469 fails to pass, they will continue to be in Nebraska, the four major players, as well as every other little company, and there will be no regulation. If you're okay with that, that's fine. You can choose not to have any consumer protections. And Nebraskans looking to continue to play this legally, which they are currently doing, will continue to do so.

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SENATOR WATERMEIER

One minute.

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SENATOR LARSON

I have not seen our Attorney General prosecute this. And I know he's anti- gambling. Maybe this will spur his efforts towards that. This isn't illegal, it's currently happening and will continue to happen. We can choose to protect Nebraska consumers to make sure they are not taken advantage of with LB469 or we can choose not to. Really, it's no skin off my back either way, but I would like to protect Nebraskans. And to Senator Geist's point, she says that 80 percent of people lose. Well, I'd say if there's a foot race between four people and there's one winner, 80 percent of the people are still losing. And anything that happens, that is happening. Thank you, Mr. President.

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SENATOR WATERMEIER

Thank you, Senator Larson and Senator Hilkemann. Senator Geist, you are recognized.

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SENATOR GEIST

Thank you, Mr. President. I would ask our resident expert, Senator Chambers, if he would yield to a question.

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SENATOR WATERMEIER

Senator Chambers for a question.

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SENATOR CHAMBERS

Only if I find out what I'm supposed to be an expert on.

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SENATOR GEIST

I would like to ask you, as you understand the Nebraska Constitution, is this type of betting on-line legal within the Constitution of the state of Nebraska?

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SENATOR CHAMBERS

If there's no money...if it's a game of chance, it has to be specifically allowed by the Nebraska Constitution. People can contest among and between themselves as much as they want to, as long as there's no stake, there's no money bet, no prize of any kind. If you have pin ball machines in your facility and people win games, that's gambling. It's a game of chance. But if they just play it for recreation, it's not gambling; it's the involvement of money or a prize of some kind that makes it gambling. So if you're playing this kind of activity and there's no money involved, it's not violating the constitution. When Senator Larson says a lot of people are doing it, a lot of people are, but it would be gambling, but nobody is going to enforce that, because no law enforcement agency has the wherewithal to prosecute everybody who is engaging in this activity, even though it's gambling and against the constitution.

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SENATOR GEIST

So if I understand you correctly, where I read on line 12 on page 2, this has an entry fee required, and you can win big jackpot, or they say you can, so that is technically gambling under the definition you cited, correct?

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SENATOR CHAMBERS

I don't believe it's technically gambling, I believe it's actually gambling.

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SENATOR GEIST

Okay, thank you, yes.

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SENATOR CHAMBERS

And nothing the Legislature would do is going to make it constitutional. I believe if the Legislature passed this bill and somebody wanted to challenge it in court, I think the court would find it to be gambling because it's a matter of chance and it's not specifically allowed by the constitution. That's my legal opinion.

LB469

SENATOR GEIST

And if it were to be allowed by the constitution, that could only happen if we take this to a vote of the people and put it on the ballot.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Somebody would have to put it on the ballot. The Legislature could pass a resolution to put it on the ballot or somebody could do it by way of petition. But it would have to be by a vote of the people.

LB469

SENATOR GEIST

Thank you, Senator Chambers. That is all I have. Thank you, Mr. President.

LB469

SENATOR WATERMEIER

Thank you, Senator Geist and Senator Chambers. In the queue wishing to speak: Senator Krist, you are recognized.

LB469

SENATOR KRIST

Thank you, Mr. President; good morning, colleagues; and again, good morning, Nebraska. If you stand up on this mike, any mike, not just this mike, because my seat partner has said it before, any mike, and call this expanded gambling, you must have been talking to Pat Loontjer. This is not expanded gambling. This gambling is going on in the state of Nebraska right now. Go to any sports bar and watch what's happening in terms of fantasy football and the betting that's going on right now, and it is happening. Now, we can argue all day long in this Legislature whether it's legal gambling or illegal gambling or if it were brought to the courts, what would the result be. That's not our job. Our job is to make sure if there's something going on in the state, or if there's something that should not go on in the state, that statutorily we're either controlling it, we're regulating it, we're monitoring it, we're appropriating for it, we're taking money away from it, appropriate the money to make sure something is happening, apply the oversight that we need to and make the laws to support the effort. Read the book. That's what you're supposed to do. I'd like to ask Senator Chambers a question.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY PRESIDING

PRESIDENT FOLEY

: Senator Chambers, would you yield, please?

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Yes.

LB469

SENATOR KRIST

Are you familiar with the concept of the Occam's Razor?

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Of what?

LB469

SENATOR KRIST

Occam's Razor.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Oh, Occam's Razor. Yeah, that's if there's several ways to do something, you pick the least complicated one to do it.

LB469

SENATOR KRIST

Okay, thank you. And it was invented by one of your favorite "french friers" I think he might have been a judge...

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

William of Ockham.

LB469

SENATOR KRIST

There you go. Anyway, if there are several options, pick the option with the least assumptions and move forward, I think technically is how it's defined in wikipedia. We have an issue, and that issue is that we have machines all over this state that are allowing people to bet and they get some benefit from winning from that machine. And we are not regulating it, we are not drawing revenue from it. We have people coming into the state who are running these programs who are allowing people to bet, that is, to pick the pony, pick the running back, pick the quarterback, pick whoever you want to, it is a gambling activity that's going on and we are not regulating it, we are not enforcing anything, and we are allowing people of the state of Nebraska to potentially be taken advantage of. So you already allowed expanded gambling by the inference that you don't want to have any regulatory value over what's going on. Again, I said earlier today, if you want it to all go away...well, I said it on the motorcycle debate anyway and I'll say it again, you don't want to take any risks, stay at home, surround yourself with pillows. Okay? It's the best way to live your life. But open your eyes to the fact that it's already going on. And if you want to regulate the activity and if you want to bring revenue in because of it and you want to keep it from growing in any way, if you want to keep it from continuing to expand, then do something about it. Stand up here on the mike and say--it's expanded gambling and I won't support it. You don't have to support it. It's already happening. The only reason I supported this coming out of committee is that it creates revenue on something that already exists and needs to be regulated. There were some kind words said by Senator Chambers after I got up on the mike the first time. I don't expect to have any kind words said about my position on this thing. I will, however, take Senator Pansing Brooks to task, and I have talked to her off the mike...

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

One minute.

LB469

SENATOR KRIST

...to say that we need not to support the problem gambling by using some of this ill-gotten bet money to fund those programs is a bit shortsighted. The people of Nebraska voted to put Keno in place as a gambling mechanism, and we enabled the Department of Revenue to invent game after game after game. The Department of Revenue has expanded gambling exponentially. You can bet on anything at 7-Eleven seven days a week, 24 hours a day. But we regulate it and we get revenue from it; and we also passed in that initial constitutional that we would take money from that process and we would buy ambulances and other things and fund problem gambling because we knew we would have a problem. Please don't be an ostrich. Look at this thing in terms of what it is, not what you've been told it is.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Thank you, Senator Krist. Senator Larson, you're recognized. This is your third opportunity, Senator.

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Thank you, Mr. President. I heard the exchange between Senator Geist and Senator Chambers, and Senator Chambers offered his opinion that this would be considered a game of chance and not upheld in a Nebraska court. And I'd like to clarify this for Senator Geist--the constitution is clear when it says that no games of chance shall be permitted without authorization of the Legislature. So if we set aside the debate whether it's gambling or not, the constitution specifically discussed games of chance. That's why the Nebraska Supreme Court and Senator Krist just talked about these machines has said that Bank Shot is a game of skill because you can become better at it and there's more skill...a higher percentage of skill than there is chance, even though there are elements of chance in it. So we have to be very mindful. There's a reason our Attorney General has not prosecuted this issue. There's a reason why no Attorney General in the United States has prosecuted this issue. They have offered advisory opinions, but none have prosecuted. So Senator Chambers may have his opinion of what a court may do, and he's taken a lot of lawsuits to court, he's won some and he's lost some, but that doesn't make it what is. Only the court may do that. And I think it speaks volumes that the Attorney General hasn't prosecuted this and has chosen not to take these individuals to court because if he felt so strongly, he would have, because I know our current Attorney General is very anti-gaming. But our constitution clearly states that only games of chance are legal without authorization from the Legislature. And I assure you there is much more skill involved in this than Bank Shot. I don't know if Senator Geist has ever seen a Bank Shot machine, but it is barely meeting the threshold of game of skill. But it did, and our Supreme Court said it was therefore constitutional. Fantasy sports, obviously, has met the muster so far everywhere in the United States in terms of being prosecuted, or those trying to prosecute. So again, as Senator Krist said, let's step away, whether you want to say because you wager money, that's gambling. My argument is, it is a game of skills, therefore it is already currently legal, whether it's gambling or not, it is legal in the state of Nebraska and we should protect consumers. And if you think it's more of a game of chance, I invite any of you to take it through the court system and we'll figure it out. They'll continue to operate in Nebraska, every one of these companies, and that is bad for Nebraskans. They should be protected. Thank you, Mr. President.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Thank you, Senator Larson. Senator Chambers, you're recognized to close on floor amendment, FA89.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Thank you. Mr. President, members of the Legislature, we're going to have plenty of time to discuss this. I'm enjoying it. In fact, as I told "Professor" Schumacher, the enjoyment that I'm getting out of this makes up for the lack of salary amount that I labor for. Senator Larson is either unaware of how prosecutors' offices work or he's misleading you. No prosecutor seeks out every violation of the law to prosecute. Some things are deemed to be so insignificant, inconsequential, the office of the prosecutor is not going to initiate the action. If there is considered to be prostitution going on in a location, the only time something would be done usually if somebody makes a complaint. I'd like to ask Senator Larson a question.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Senator Larson, would you yield, please?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Yes.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Senator Larson, if this bill should pass, who will enforce it?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

I believe the Attorney General enforces laws of the state of Nebraska.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Does it specify whether the Attorney General will do this, or the Department of Revenue?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

The Department of Revenue is the main collector of the fees and will work to regulate and make sure those companies sign up. But if there's a company that is not, I believe a state agency then will turn it over...

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Okay, okay, okay, you answered.

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

...to the Attorney General and the Attorney General will prosecute. And I think that was original question, who would prosecute.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

If one of these companies that is licensed does not pay a fine, does the bill say they shall be shut down?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

I would have to go back, but it would...if they would commit the fine...they would commit the penalty, the Department of Revenue would refer it to the Attorney General, just as any state agency refers things to the Attorney General.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Thank you. You're wasting my time on this one. When we get...the bill comes up again, we'll go through that, I'm going to show you how little you know about prosecution. There is nothing that is in the nature of an enforcement mechanism here. The Attorney General's Office initiate very few lawsuits. If the Governor requests it...now, the Attorney General will defend the state if an action involves the state, but the Attorney General does not go out willy-nilly initiating prosecutions against every violation of the law. Senator Larson should know that, if he doesn't. But I'm going to touch on some things today and then I'll go into more detail later because I'm going to draft a motion to reconsider the vote on this amendment, because you're not going to adopt it because you don't even know what the amendment is. It was an interesting one, and much could have been said about it. But at any rate...you know why sports betting is the least offensive betting to me? You have better odds in sports betting than any other kind of betting. If you bet on horse races, however many horses are running is one thing that stacks odds against you, but then some are faster than others that you have to figure into it. If you're going to play cards, you have to know something about the value of the cards and the strategy of the game. If you're going to shoot dice, I don't know how many combinations there are that you could lose on. We could figure it out very easily. In sports betting, your odds are always 50-50. You don't need to know anything.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

One minute.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

You always have a 50-50 chance of winning; 50-50 chance of losing. But in every other form of gambling, the odds are stacked overwhelmingly against you. There's another method of betting in sports betting, they have what they call over-under. You look at the combined scores of the two teams and you bet that their combined scores will be over the number that the bookie sets or under it. If you bet over and the team goes over the two scores, you win. But you have to bet 20 percent more than what you hope to win when you bet over or under. And if it lands right on that number, then the bookie gets it all because you are neither over nor under. There are so many aspects to gambling, that would not be discussed ordinarily, that I will touch on as we go through this bill. And we're going to stay on it. How much time do I have, Mr. President?

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Actually time is expired, Senator Chambers.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

It's over?

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Yes, sir.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Okay, thank you very much.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Thank you, Senator Chambers.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

A call of the house and a roll call vote.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Thank you, Senator Chambers. There's been a request to place the house under call. The question is, shall the house go under call? All those in favor vote aye; those opposed vote nay. Record, please.

LB469

CLERK

20 ayes, 1 nay, Mr. President, to place the house under call.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

The house is under call. Senators please record your presence. Those unexcused senators outside the Chambers please return to the Chamber and record your presence. All unauthorized personnel please leave the floor. The house is under call. Senator Wishart, if you could return to the floor and check in, please, the house is under call. All members are present. The question before the body is the adoption of floor amendment, FA89. Senator Chambers has requested roll call vote. Mr. Clerk, please call the roll.

LB469

CLERK

(Roll call vote taken, Legislative Journal page 315.) 2 ayes, 37 nays, Mr. President.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

The amendment is not adopted. I raise the call. Before proceeding, items for the record, Mr. Clerk.

LB469

CLERK

Thank you, Mr. President. New bills: (Read LB1058-1071 by title for the first time.) In addition, Senator Harr would like to withdraw LB810; that will be laid over. Urban Affairs Committee reports LB748 to General File; LB865 to General File with amendments. And Enrollment and Review reports LB100, LB177, LB93, LB347, LB160, LB198, LB614, LB96 to Select File. That's all that I have, Mr. President. (Legislative Journal pages 315-321.)

LB1058 LB1059 LB1060 LB1061 LB1062 LB1063 LB1064 LB1065 LB1066 LB1067 LB1068 LB1069 LB1070 LB1071 LB810 LB748 LB865 LB100 LB177 LB93 LB347 LB160 LB198 LB614 LB96

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Thank you, Mr. Clerk. Next motion, please.

LB469

CLERK

Mr. President, returning to LB469, Senator Larson would move to reconsider the vote just taken with respect to FA89.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Senator Larson, you're recognized to open on your motion.

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Please vote against my motion.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Without objection, motion is withdrawn.

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

No, no.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

I'm sorry, I didn't hear you. Sorry, I misunderstood you. Senator Chambers, you are recognized.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Thank you. Mr. President, members of the Legislature, Senator Larson, we will get to consider that, because I have a reconsideration motion up there. We're going to take the time. He probably thought I was going to win the vote, and so he wanted to reconsider so he could try to undo it. But I know this Legislature. I'm going to show you all how clever gamblers are and how big a sucker they think the public at large are. There was this rural community, and it could have happened in a city, except for what the prize was to be. There was a big sign, it said--raffle, $5 to win the mule tied up in the back of this barn, $5. And people would just flocked from all over the county, because what is $5, when I've got a chance to win a mule. So this guy was taking in all these $5 bills, $1 bills in amounts of five, and he finally had a basket full. So then he had a person who was respected by everybody in the county so that they would know this person was honest. Her name was "sweet Sue." And everybody knew sweet Sue. So sweet Sue came, she reached into the container and pulled out a number. And one guy jumped up and he said-that's my number, that's my number, I got it. So the guy who was running the operation said okay, come on, let's go get the mule. So they went in back of the barn and there was the mule, but the mule was dead. So the guy said, well, you can either take the dead mule or you can get your money back. The guy said, well give me my money back. He gave him his $5 and everybody was happy. The mule was dead all the time. Gambling is stacked in favor of the house always. You're never going to beat the house. The house runs the game and is going to always make its money. The people who play the game are the suckers and they play against each other; even Senator Larson would acknowledge that. I'd like to ask Senator Briese a question or two if he would respond.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Senator Briese, would you yield, please?

LB469

SENATOR BRIESE

Sure.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Senator Briese, were you here in 2016 when we debated this bill?

LB469

SENATOR BRIESE

No, I wasn't.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Were you here when we debated a bill that Senator Larson had to declare poker to be a game of skill?

LB469

SENATOR BRIESE

No, I don't recall that conversation. I wasn't here.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

I taught Senator Larson something about gambling, and he probably forgot, but on the chance that he may remember, I'm going to do it with Senator Briese. Senator Briese, do you know about face cards in a deck of cards? Do you know that ace is higher than the king?

LB469

SENATOR BRIESE

Sure.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

You know the king is higher than the queen?

LB469

SENATOR BRIESE

Sure.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

You know the queen is higher than the jack?

LB469

SENATOR BRIESE

Mm-hmm.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

All right. Now, we're going to bet $1 on what...

LB469

SENATOR BRIESE

Who is going to bet?

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

You and I.

LB469

SENATOR BRIESE

No. (Laughter) You may bet it.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Well, two people are going to bet a dollar. Okay, now the dollar can be called the pot or the ante. Okay, so I put my dollar here, he puts his dollar on top of mine. Is that picture in your mind?

LB469

SENATOR BRIESE

It is.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

All right. Now we take two aces and lay them together. We take two kings and lay them together. We take two queens and lay them together. We take two jacks and lay them together. Now, which pair would you advise the person who bet me to take?

LB469

SENATOR BRIESE

I don't know.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

You don't have an opinion?

LB469

SENATOR BRIESE

No.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

What's the highest value card there?

LB469

SENATOR BRIESE

The ace.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

So if there are two aces, two kings, two queens, two jacks, and I said pick the pair with the highest value, what would you tell the person to take?

LB469

SENATOR BRIESE

It would follow that the pair of aces would be the ones you want to pick.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

So you'd take the two aces. I'd take the two dollars. I said which "pair" that has the greatest value.

LB469

SENATOR BRIESE

That's why I didn't bet.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

But the two dollars, wouldn't that have the greatest value? I did that with Senator Larson. People don't think. Gamblers are like magicians. Misdirection, and that's why they banter and chatter.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Time, Senator.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

I've talked ten minutes already?

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Senator Chambers, you only get five minutes because it was Senator Larson's motion. You get five minutes to speak. But you're next in queue, you may continue.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Just so I understand, what is going on?

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Senator Larson made a motion so he gets the 10. As a speaker, you get five.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

So he did not withdraw his motion.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

I misunderstood him. I thought he said withdraw, but he said something else, so the motion is still before us.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

All right then. Okay. So we're on his motion then?

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

We're on his motion. That's correct, Senator. You are recognized, Senator Chambers.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Thank you. And I wouldn't mind, whoever put a motion up there, I'm going to talk about it. You could move that the President ought to attack North Korea and I'd speak on that motion. Members of the Legislature, I don't care whether people gamble or not. I don't care whether people visit prostitutes or not. That's their business. But I'm a member of the Legislature, and I, for my sake, and on my side, look at what I think would be beneficial to the society at large, or hurtful. You are not going to have four big-time gambler companies, gambling companies, get in league to come to a Legislature and say pass a law because we want to protect the community from us. We want to have to pay for a license in effect. We want to be regulated. They don't do that. If you look at the way this bill has been handled, it's not a protection bill for the consumers. When Senator...oh, he's not there, I was going to mention something Senator Krist had said; but I'll say it anyway. He said if you say that this is expanding gambling, then his opinion was that it's not. It would be an expansion of state-sanctioned gambling, state-sanctioned gambling. It is not sanctioned by the state simply because the state does not take action through a prosecutor to eliminate it or prosecute somebody. If you pass a law that would authorize and make this legal, it would be legal until somebody challenged it in court and it was struck down. The courts presume that actions taken by the Legislature are constitutional. Therefore, an argument has to be presented to persuade the court that it is not, in fact, within the realm of what a Legislature is authorized under the constitution to do. And for that reason, that act would be nullified. But until that happens, it is the law. Slavery was the law until a constitutional amendment struck it down. This kind of bill does touch on what we, as a Legislature, ought to do. There are things the Legislature can or is empowered to do. There are things that the Legislature may do, meaning it's going to choose one way or the other. There are things it ought to do. It is not mandated that it be done, but it is something which the Legislature, in the interest of upholding what is best for the public, should or ought to do. But in a state, only the Legislature has the power to legislate. And the Legislature cannot delegate that authority to any agency, any person, any entity, and the Nebraska Supreme Court makes it clear...

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

One minute.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

...that not even another branch of government, meaning the judiciary or the executive, is empowered to legislate. Each of the branches is restricted in terms of what it can do, and no one or combination can do anything pertaining to either of the other branches unless specifically authorized by the constitution to do so. So the ultimate law in the state is the constitution. And the Legislature can do anything that that constitution does not prohibit it from doing. The only check on that would be the laws of the United States, treaties entered into by the United States, or the Constitution of the United States. So there are things which a state under its own constitution may do. But if it violates the supreme law of the land, then it is struck down by the federal court system. There's more I'll say, but I think my time is up on this one. Thank you, Mr. President.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Thank you, Senator Chambers. (Visitors introduced.) Senator Chambers, you're recognized. This is your third opportunity, Senator.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Thank you, Mr. President. Members of the Legislature, if all of the "no" votes on my amendment translate into "yes" votes for this bill, it will fly across and be enacted into law. I don't see Senator Stinner and I don't see any members of the Appropriations Committee. Oh, I would like to ask Senator Bolz a question if she will respond.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Senator Bolz, will you yield, please?

LB469

SENATOR BOLZ

Yes, I'll yield.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Senator Bolz, how is a bill that has an A bill processed, even if it makes it to Final Reading?

LB469

SENATOR BOLZ

Any bill with an A bill has to be processed after the passage of the budget.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

So even if it's on Final Reading, it's after the passage of the budget.

LB469

SENATOR BOLZ

Right, so that we can illustrate that there is a remainder left in the budget for bills that could be spent...

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Thank you.

LB469

SENATOR BOLZ

...(inaudible) spent on the floor.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Thank you. And I was aware of that, but I wanted it from somebody who has more credibility than I have on this floor. Let's say you get this bill to Final Reading. How many hours do you want to spend on that bill on Final Reading? Whatever the maximum number of hours would be allowed will be taken. And because of that there is an incentive for me when we get to the budget bill on Final Reading to offer return motions on the budget bill for specific amendments, and I could, if I chose to, run out the clock in terms of the amount of...the number of hours allowed for debating the budget bill. I can take all of that time. Then if there are any other bills on Final Reading in front of this one, then I would make return motions on each one of those, and if you think I won't, there's some people here who remember when I had a mountain lion bill and it was not enacted. And I put my amendment in the form of a return motion on all the bills on Final Reading. Strike the contents of this bill and substitute my bill for it. And the senators didn't think I would do it because we were going to have some Final Reading on the last day and we were going through some of these bills. Then it might have been Senator...I don't remember if it was Senator Smith, but whatever senator it was came over and said, Senator, people have their families here and they came...and he made a pitch and he touched me, so to speak. And I told him based on the appeal...oh, and he mentioned the children who were with them. And I stopped offering that amendment and they finished Final Reading. But people who are aware of the way I operate, if you once put me in that position, I will have a motion that I will multiply on every bill that will be on Final Reading in front of this one. And I don't have to just make one motion on each bill, I can offer motions on the same bill, each one will be debated. I will offer my motion. If they're smart, they will not join me in the debate.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

One minute.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Then we'll take a vote and they'll vote against returning it and I'll move to reconsider. And I will debate it. And while they're debating that, I will make another motion on that bill to return it. And some of you challenge me. Let's make a bet here today. Challenge me. Tell me you think I can't do it or I won't do it. I'll do it. I'm going to kill this bill one way or the other. And now you have to determine whether it's more important for you to teach me a lesson and lose these bills, or get rid of something that's trash legislation. Thank you, Mr. President.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Thank you, Senator Chambers. Senator Walz.

LB469

SENATOR WALZ

Thank you, Mr. President. I rise in opposition to this bill, and I would like to tell a story on why. As a young man, he loved games. And he was a competitor in sports, in board games, in who could do more push-ups and who could run faster, he would participate in card games in high school with his friends and soon moved into playing fantasy sport games after high school. And then moved into playing slot machines and soon Black Jack at the casino. He would become so addicted to this game that he decided to quit school where he had a baseball scholarship. He became so addicted to the game of chance that he would leave his job in the middle of the day, lie to his employers and make the 45-minute drive to Council Bluffs to go to the casino. He would pawn items, some items that were very sentimental to his family, so he could find money to gamble. He would ask his family members for money making up stories as to why he needed it. He would refinance his car, take out small loans. He would do whatever it took to find the money to get to the casino. This young man became a family, a husband and a father and he had a family who loved him and supported him very much. His addiction caused so much pain for so many people. His addiction led to visits to his personal home from collectors to get money that was owed. It would lead to threats to him and his family. It was a horrible situation in so many ways. This is just one example of a young boy, one of the kindest, most loving boys who started out innocently playing a game of chance that almost led to destroying his life and the life of his family. As you can see, this is a personal story for me. So I'm not real concerned on is it legal, is it not legal; is it restrictive, do we have enough regulations? I'm concerned about the fact that it is a problem that can turn into a larger problem, a problem that can easily multiply. I'm concerned that it leads to activity that can destroy the lives of families and their finances. That it can destroy a person's personal life and well being. Thank you.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Thank you, Senator Walz. Senator Hilkemann.

LB469

SENATOR HILKEMANN

Thank you, Mr. President. I wonder if Senator Larson would answer a question for me, please.

LB469

PRESIDENT FOLEY

Senator Larson, would you yield, please?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Yes.

LB469

SENATOR HILKEMANN

Senator, how many states have passed a bill similar to what we have here before us in LB469?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

I think it's 19, but my legal counsel will...yes, 19 states have protected their citizens from bad actors.

LB469

SENATOR HILKEMANN

Okay. What are some of those states, do you have that list of who the states are?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

I don't have a list of which states have done it, no.

LB469

SENATOR HILKEMANN

Okay, okay. Now, one of the things we were talking a little bit about the Attorney General. I went back...there's a...I find an interesting Web site called LegalSportsReport.com, this my first to be...to have discovered that in developing this. You know, we talked about Attorneys General and you said that when an Attorney General posts a cease and desist order, is that making an opinion?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

If they are operating on current law, they can post a cease and desist order. If they are offering an advisory opinion, then that is an opinion. But that cease and desist order can be challenged in court.

LB469

SENATOR HILKEMANN

Okay. So the New York Attorney General, Alabama and Delaware have all, for certain, have cease and desist orders at one point into this. There are a number of Attorneys General who are also on record to saying this is...constitutes illegal gambling for their state such as Georgia, Nevada, Idaho, Hawaii, Illinois, Texas, Alabama, Tennessee, and Vermont.

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Well, Nebraska is not on that list. And Idaho actually has courts that have said poker is a game of skill, so I'd like to see that go through the courts and I'd encourage these companies to do that.

LB469

SENATOR HILKEMANN

Okay. Now, when I look at the...what these states that are...there are about a half a dozen states that these daily fantasy sports operations are not working in. Are you aware of that? At least this is according to this daily fantasy sports. Is this true or not? Are we...

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

There are some states that have actively...I think there are a few states that have actively banned them and that is up their legislature should they want to do so, or if their constitution does so. But as I said, with those states that you mentioned, Nebraska isn't included in them and they're legal to operate here right now.

LB469

SENATOR HILKEMANN

Yeah, I'm not...I'm just saying...what I was trying to point out is that Attorneys General...yeah, I don't know what our Attorney General Peterson's opinion is, and that's not to be argued here, I'm just saying that there are some Attorneys General who have looked at this in their states and have actually put out even cease and desist orders.

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Well, every state's laws are different. So obviously the Attorney General in Nebraska which is what we are focusing on, has not because, I would assume, he believes that they're operating within the law and not every law across the country is the same. You understand that. Each state can have different...so those Attorneys General that have offered cease and desist orders, their laws or constitutions may be significantly different from Nebraska, so therefore to use that as an argument, I don't quite follow, because their laws could be different, and you recognize that.

LB469

SENATOR HILKEMANN

Okay. Well, and that's what I'm trying to get to is...

LB469

SENATOR HOWARD PRESIDING

SENATOR HOWARD

One minute.

LB469

SENATOR HILKEMANN

...are we...so, Iowa is one of the states that this particular Web site says does not allow operators to take that into...why would Iowa not?

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

You'd have to ask an expert from Iowa. Like I said, Nebraska it's legal and allowed and operating.

LB469

SENATOR HILKEMANN

Okay. Thank you. Madam President, thank you.

LB469

SENATOR LARSON

Thank you.

LB469

SENATOR HOWARD

Thank you, Senator Hilkemann and Senator Larson. Senator Pansing Brooks, you are recognized.

LB469

SENATOR PANSING BROOKS

Thank you, Madam President. I am rising to just say a little bit more. I want to thank Senator Walz for her very impassioned testimony just recently. I think it's so important, those who have been affected by gambling; it ruins lives, it ruins families, it's very difficult. And so again, we have one senator in here in support of it saying it's not gambling, Senator Larson. And then we have another senator, Senator Krist, who is saying, well, yeah, it's definitely gambling. So, you know, to me the difficulty is if we want to legalize gambling, that's a bill. That's a decision to be made by the body. And to say that it is happening, again, to say that it's happening and if we don't just embrace it that it's going to continue happening, that seems to me a circuitous argument. I have some information that was given to me that was a quote by the CEO of DraftKings, Jason Robins, who said very simply--it's gambling, it's putting money on an event in the outcome in hopes of winning more money. And others have said the exact same thing. And Jim Murren from MGM Studios, MGM Casino's Chair says--I don't know how to run a football team, but I do know how to run a casino and this is gambling. So there is all sorts of discussions about the fact that this is gambling. But it's being brought to us in a way to say, oh no, this really isn't gambling and we have to accept it because it's already being done. And again, just because something is being done illegally doesn't mean we have to accept it. Now yes, we do need more revenue. But, again, this is a policy decision--do we want revenue from gambling or not? But to dance around the issue, to have one senator say, oh, it's not gambling; have another senator say, oh, it's definitely gambling, but accept it anyway. That's not the way I want to discuss an issue and I don't think it's appropriate. I do know people that have done the fantasy gambling on ESPN without any kind of money exchanged. And so I know a tiny bit about this, enough to be dangerous, I guess. But that kind of gambling where you don't have money involved and you're just teasing each other for your bad choices or your non-choices or whatever it is, I get that. And that's something fun to do among family members or friends. The minute you inject money into it and say, oh, well, it's happening and we just have to accept it, to me puts real lives in danger. It puts real lives at risk of addiction, of falling apart, of losing jobs. Our number one issue for our state chamber is work force. So any of these kinds of things that precipitously cut off a healthy and vibrant work force to me are wrong. Yeah, we have to increase ways to make money and support what's going on as a state. But to choose something like gambling and then not actually call it gambling and have a discussion as if it weren't gambling is disingenuous.

LB469

SENATOR HOWARD

One minute.

LB469

SENATOR PANSING BROOKS

Thank you, Madam President. I'll give the rest of my time to Senator Chambers.

LB469

SENATOR HOWARD

Senator Chambers, one minute if you would like it.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Thank you, Madam President. Thank you, Senator Pansing Brooks. And I'm like what Hattie is supposed to be, always hungry and willing and ready to accept more. Anybody who is going to give me time...if I were the only one speaking, I could have taken all the time this morning, so in a way I feel like people intruded into my territory, but not being one who wants to cut off full and free debate, I wouldn't want that to happen. Even those who oppose what I say, I want them to speak because they give me grist for my mill. Sometimes they speak from emotion. Somebody from the peanut gallery will tell them something and they will say it unexamined on the mike and it will be wrong. Or they cannot defend it. Or they don't know this or that. When Senator Larson was talking about Attorneys General...

LB469

SENATOR HOWARD

Time, Senator Chambers.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Thank you, Madam President.

LB469

SENATOR HOWARD

Thank you, Senator Chambers. Senator Ebke, you are recognized.

LB469

SENATOR EBKE

Thank you, Madam President. In the interest of collegiality, Senator Chambers would you like the rest of my time?

LB469

SENATOR HOWARD

Senator Chambers, you're yielded 4 minutes and 50 seconds.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Thank you, Madam President. Bless you my child, I'm old enough to say...well, grandchild. Members of the Legislature, I listened to Senator Larson. If I lived during the days of the Old West and he is with the gang that can't shoot straight, but he's got a gun. If he accidentally aimed it right and hit me, then it would kill me. So I have to take seriously everybody who is shooting off their mouth on the floor. So I listened to him when there was the discussion of Attorneys General, and he was not conceding that states have different laws that govern what an Attorney General can and cannot do, the impact of an Attorney General's Opinion. He said Attorneys General don't and can't. Then when contrary evidence is presented, he then says, because he's more interested in trying to be right than he is in the truth will say, well, you know they've got different laws. I'm interested in Nebraska. They don't...they always had different laws. He needs to be a bit more cautious, and I'm not going to tell him how to conduct his affairs, do it any way he wants to, because everything we say is recorded. Everything we say is transcribed. And if he wants to try to clean something up on the floor, he cannot erase what had gone before. It's there. As that Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam says--all your piety and wit cannot move that finger back to erase a word of it. The moving finger moves and having writ, moves on. The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam--once it's written, you cannot unwrite it. Now, the Rubaiyat did not go on to say that if what was written by you, that writer was fate, you cannot undo what fate as done. You cannot control fate. Fate acts and you are a victim of fate or you're benefited by fate. But if you had analogize that to a person, whatever you do, you cannot undo that, but you might can mitigate the damage that was done if it was a negative act or you can compensate somebody as is the theory behind punitive damages or civil damages in a lawsuit. What we're dealing with here is something which is very addictive, and even the strongest supporters of gambling cannot argue against that. They know people who have fallen victim to it. If that's what they want to do, it's not for me to stop them. I'm not going to question Senator Larson on everything, but it would be stupid, and I don't want him to sound stupid on the floor, not that he would, but to say because something is being done, therefore it's legal. He said it's being done in Nebraska and it's legal. That doesn't follow. There are things done in this and every state which are not legal. If he would be trying to get across the notion that because no prosecutor has prosecuted or taken action to stop it, therefore it's legal, that doesn't follow either. Every agency of government talks about not having sufficient funds or employees to do...

LB469

SENATOR HOWARD

One minute.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

...everything which they are charged under the law to do. The courts want more judges, they want more staff; they want more technological help to try to handle things that they cannot do manually, and I would add a "womanly"…"womanally" (phonetic). Let the machines do it. As I've said before, those who create machines are geniuses, but those who create the machines that can create machines are the magicians. There are machines that build machines. The machine that you have is inside your head. Your brain is a tool maker. It depends on how you are going to make use of it. There are things...

LB469

SENATOR HOWARD

Time, Senator Chambers.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

You said time?

LB469

SENATOR HOWARD

Yes, sir, I did.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Thank you, Madam President.

LB469

SENATOR HOWARD

Thank you, Senator Chambers. Thank you, Senator Ebke. Senator Pansing Brooks, you are recognized.

LB469

SENATOR PANSING BROOKS

Thank you, Madam President. I was hoping to give my time to hear the rest of what Senator Chambers had to say.

LB469

SENATOR HOWARD

Thank you, Senator. Senator Chambers, you are yielded 4:50.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Thank you, Madam President. Thank you, Senator Pansing Brooks. I was talking about the brain. There are things you can do to increase your brain power. There might be a limit as to what a person can learn. I don't know that there is. Just like there's no such thing as an infinite number. There can be an infinite series of numbers, and to be infinite means there is no end. You cannot write a number so large that you cannot add another one to it. What you can do is make a large line of zeros and if there are a billion of them, you still have only zero. But if you put a 1 in front of that first zero and then you have the billion, you have a huge number. Nobody has determined yet when a brain has reached the capacity of a brain that's properly functioning and not one more fact can be assimilated. Not one more name can be learned. Not one more number can be created. So at least potentially the capacity of the brain to learn is infinite. Potentially. Maybe there is a limit. But nobody has reached it yet. But there are things a person can do to hinder the ability of a brain to function properly. Drugs can do it. Alcohol can do it. Strong emotions can do it. Pressure. People talk about depression. And other things can interfere with your brain to function as it should. Senator Walz gave a recitation in detail about the downward spiral of a person who started with something that seemed very innocent. And before he knew it, he was hooked. It's like the fish. The fish sees the worm. Maybe the fish sees the hook but doesn't know what the hook is. All it focuses on is the worm, and it grabs the worm, but in grabbing the worm, there's something else that automatically goes along with the worm. Now, here's the way the philosophers phrase that situation. Does the fish take the hook? Or does the hook take the fish? Either one can be correct. But what we're talking about relates to a situation where a person apparently thought he could deal with something and it turned out that he couldn't. There have been all kind of ways of saying that somebody who gambles will gamble and lose, gamble, lose yet again, then gamble more trying to win and lose even more. That's why people sometimes will double up on bets. Some of them call it double or nothing. Always holding in front of the person the prospect of winning. These concepts are expressed in different ways. The will of the wisp. When you are in an area where there is a lot of vegetation, then sometimes a phosphorescent effect is created and you see what you think is a light. And you go where you think you see that light, but when you get to where you thought the light was, it's not there.

LB469

SENATOR HOWARD

One minute.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

So you see it somewhere else and you continue to follow it. It's a will of the wisp. You're never going to capture it. You will always be following, always pursuing. There is a group called U2. They sing a song about running: "but I still haven't found what I'm looking for." That is a notion that you find in music, literature, art, every human endeavor because there are always things just beyond your reach; things that are desirable. Somebody wrote a song called "Dream the Impossible Dream."

LB469

SENATOR HOWARD

Time, Senator Chambers.

LB469

SENATOR CHAMBERS

See? Thank you, Madam President.

LB469

SENATOR HOWARD

Thank you, Senator Chambers and Senator Pansing Brooks. Speaker Scheer, you are recognized.

LB469

SPEAKER SCHEER

Thank you, Madam President. We have used now the allotted time for the first three hours of debate for LB469, so we will pass over that and move on to the next bill item on the agenda. Thank you.

LB469

SENATOR HOWARD

Mr. Clerk.

LB469

CLERK

Madam President, the next is a proposed constitutional amendment by Senator Larson, LR18CA. It would propose an amendment to Article III, Section 8; Article IV, Section 2; and Article V, Section 7 of the Nebraska Constitution. Introduced on January 18 of last year; referred to the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. The bill was advanced to General File. I have no amendments to the resolution at this time.

LR18CA

SENATOR HOWARD

Thank you, Mr. Clerk. Senator Larson, you are welcome to open.

LR18CA

SENATOR LARSON

Thank you, Mr. President, and colleagues. I am sorry that just by chance we had two in worksheet order that were mine, but we will continue. LR18CA is a constitutional amendment that would change the age of eligibility for public office to the federal voting age. LR18CA would provide an opportunity at the general election for voters of our state to decide collectively and as a voting majority whether individuals that have reached the voting age or older are able to run for any public office. If passed by Nebraska voters, this amendment would provide the opportunity for individuals to serve in any capacity of which they are currently able to cast a vote in the election of our state. More than four and a half decades ago it was decided that a portion of our federal constitution be reconsidered. And so it became the individuals 18 years of age were declared responsible and mature enough not only to drive cars, own homes, start businesses, get married, and fight in wars, but also have the right to vote in both federal and state elections. LR18CA simply carries forward a similar mentality that individuals 18 years of age who are old enough to vote possess the potential capability of not only serving and representing a constituency but also doing it well. The voting majority of our state will ultimately make the decision whether an individual be 18 years of age or 81 years of age who would best represent their interest in elected capacity. Forty states have recognized in one form of elective office or another that an individual 18 years of age or older is qualified to serve the public. I introduced LR18CA because I believe the same opportunity to serve should be made available for all public offices including member of the Legislature, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and member of the Supreme Court. If a citizen of our state has the right to vote for those who will serve and represent us, then that same individual should be provided with an opportunity to serve as well. I would like to reiterate that LR18CA is only a vehicle to this opportunity. Ultimately, Nebraska voters will make the decision. It is also important to note that individuals would remain subject to any other qualification requirements for each independent office. I would like a quick note that when the Nebraska Constitution was written specifically for the Legislature, they put it at 21. The voting age at that time was 21. When the federal government decided to move the federal voting age to 18, Nebraska didn't follow suit. But their original writers of our constitution did feel that if you were old enough to vote, you were able to serve. Thank you.

LR18CA

SENATOR HOWARD

Thank you, Senator Larson. Members, you have heard the opening on LR18CA. The floor is open for debate. Senator Chambers, you are recognized.

LR18CA

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Thank you. Mr. President...Madam President, members of the Legislature, I would like to ask Senator Larson a question.

LR18CA

SENATOR HOWARD

Senator Larson, will you yield?

LR18CA

SENATOR LARSON

Yes.

LR18CA

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Senator Larson, this was before us on another occasion, not this version, but this idea was before us on another occasion, introduced by you also, is that correct?

LR18CA

SENATOR LARSON

Yes. Either in 2015 or '16.

LR18CA

SENATOR CHAMBERS

And what happened to that?

LR18CA

SENATOR LARSON

It fell two votes short of cloture, I think.

LR18CA

SENATOR CHAMBERS

And there was great opposition launched by me. I won't put it on anybody else. Would you agree with that? When I say great, a lot of opposition was expressed by me.

LR18CA

SENATOR LARSON

You filibustered it for an entire six hours.

LR18CA

SENATOR CHAMBERS

And you have no reason to feel that a different course would be pursued by me this time, do you?

LR18CA

SENATOR LARSON

I don't have any reason to believe a different course. We haven't discussed whether or not you would or not. I assume you would. I figured you would.

LR18CA

SENATOR CHAMBERS

But I'm older now than I was then, would you agree with that?

LR18CA

SENATOR LARSON

Yes.

LR18CA

SENATOR CHAMBERS

I'm closer to death than I was then (inaudible) you agree.

LR18CA

SENATOR LARSON

Every second brings each one of us closer to death.

LR18CA

SENATOR CHAMBERS

If you had your druthers, then that would occur before the time expired...

LR18CA

SENATOR LARSON

I do not wish that upon you, Senator Chambers.

LR18CA

SENATOR CHAMBERS

So then you would want me to expire before the time on debating this bill would expire.

LR18CA

SENATOR LARSON

No life is worth any individual law or bill.

LR18CA

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Well stated, well stated. And I appreciate that, Senator Larson. Members of the Legislature, Senator Hall...former Senator Hall and I fought assiduously to get the age for voting lowered to 18 in the state and were successful. My view was that young people would probably be more aware of issues when they are 18 than when they become older because they get out of the stream of reading, paying attention, and so forth that students, or people who were recently students, would continue to be a part of. In other words, there would be a greater awareness on the part of people who were 18 than those who are older. You can look at how people follow the President who are older. He said he likes uneducated people, and this is why. He has made "Repelicans" who used to have stature, he's converted them into moral munchkins, pitiful politicians. When he made that statement denigrating the continent that produced my forbears and by extrapolation, me, and called it an "s-house," I don't like that. They had a program on public television, Martin Luther King's birthday, they were supposedly celebrating, which showed the terrible things happening to black people--shotguns, the beatings by the police, fire hoses, dogs sicced on them, women beaten, it was hard not to hate everything white. You all never went through that. You couldn't deal with it. You can't deal with the things that happen on the floor of this Legislature, and you want me to act like it didn't happen. Then I see a fool sitting in the White House encouraging that kind of stuff, and I'm supposed to act like it's all right. If I said half of what he said...

LR18CA

SENATOR HOWARD

One minute.

LR18CA

SENATOR CHAMBERS

...you all would be popping up like you did when a comment I made about the police and ISIS was taken out of context by some woman who had a little online newspaper, and former Senator McCoy jumped up and led the rest of the sheep by the nose. I didn't run from it...I stood here and listened to them all yackety-yak. And then I wound up quoting Santa Claus, ho, ho, ho, I made fun of them, I mocked them, and I ridiculed them because they made fools of themselves. That's what white people do; not every white person. But white people in general do that. They're following Trump. People who sat in that room and heard him make that statement, not one of them denied it. Trump didn't deny it, until days past. Then he got some of them in the room to say we'll say you didn't say it. And now he's saying, where are all the senators saying who were there? What are they saying? Well, he says what he tells them to say. That is why I don't have a lot of respect for white people in office.

LR18CA

SENATOR HOWARD

Time, Senator Chambers.

LR18CA

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Thank you, Madam President.

LR18CA

SENATOR HOWARD

Senator Larson, you are recognized.

LR18CA

SENATOR LARSON

Thank you, Mr. President. Would Senator Chambers yield to a question?

LR18CA

SENATOR HOWARD

Senator Chambers, will you yield?

LR18CA

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Yes.

LR18CA

SENATOR LARSON

I guess I just ask you the first question, you were very open on the last bill. Do you plan on filibustering this bill?

LR18CA

SENATOR CHAMBERS

And I call it extended debate which I intend to engage in.

LR18CA

SENATOR LARSON

For a full three hours?

LR18CA

SENATOR CHAMBERS

If that's all that we're given, I'll take that.

LR18CA

SENATOR LARSON

You'll take that. And I believe the last time we discussed this bill, a lot of it was...you expressed a lot of...you didn't feel that those over...between 18 and 21 were capable of serving...or would make good decisions in the Legislature, something along those lines.

LR18CA

SENATOR CHAMBERS

As a generality and a policy, I didn't think people 18 years old should hold certain positions that they would...for example, a member of the Supreme Court.

LR18CA

SENATOR LARSON

Well, we'll stop there. So do you...so let's just use the Legislature, for example, because that was part of it. And if we want to discuss the Supreme Court, we can go more into detail on that. Do you think an individual should be...how old do you think an individual should be to become our State Auditor or our State Treasurer?

LR18CA

SENATOR CHAMBERS

I let me...I'm going to say this...

LR18CA

SENATOR LARSON

Like...(inaudible).

LR18CA

SENATOR CHAMBERS

No, no, you rambled on when you asked me a question, you're not going to tell me how to answer a question.

LR18CA

SENATOR LARSON

Okay, I'll ask it this way--are you aware of any age limit in Nebraska to be at the State Auditor, State Treasurer, Secretary of State, or the Attorney General?

LR18CA

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Here is what I will say...

LR18CA

SENATOR LARSON

Are you...

LR18CA

SENATOR CHAMBERS

A policy...

LR18CA

SENATOR LARSON

You are also very concise with me. Are you aware of...

LR18CA

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Are you going to listen? Otherwise, I'm not going to go through this. I'm not your child or anybody's child.

LR18CA

SENATOR LARSON

All right. Thank you.

LR18CA

SENATOR CHAMBERS

If you ask me, I'm going to answer the question my way and you are not going to tell me how to answer it. Now if that's the way you're asking me questions, don't play with me like that.

LR18CA

SENATOR LARSON

Thank you, Senator Chambers.

LR18CA

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Don't play with me like that, you got it?

LR18CA

SENATOR LARSON

Senator Chambers, I asked a specific question if you are aware of an age limit and I will give the answer.

LR18CA

SENATOR CHAMBERS

I will not answer your question.

LR18CA

SENATOR LARSON

Ironically, there is no age requirement...

LR18CA

SENATOR CHAMBERS

I will not answer your question.

LR18CA

SENATOR LARSON

For the elected office that oversees...all the state elections and the Secretary of State, he's the Chief Election Officer. There is no age requirement for the office that oversees the state's finances, investments--the State Treasurer. There is no age requirement for the office that oversees audits, reviews, and investigations of our state and local government's financial operations--the Auditor of Public Accounts. And there is no age requirement for our state's chief law enforcement officer and lawyer--the Attorney General. There are no age requirements for any of those offices in statute or our constitution in the state of Nebraska. Yet the voters have successfully and repeatedly elected dependable, competent, and qualified individuals for each of those offices. You don't even have to be 18 to run for any of those offices. There are no age limits. Yet you have to be 21 to run for the Legislature, and 30 for Governor and Lieutenant Governor. Now, I understand that the Governor and Lieutenant Governor have...there are concerns that they...that you worry about brain development, and we heard that all last time, but, colleagues, in the end, we haven't had age limits on many of our state constitutional offices. And the voters of Nebraska have elected competent and qualified individuals. Now, there are very few individuals that have ever been elected under the age of 25 to the Legislature. But the point remains if you want that civic engagement, if you want people to continue to be involved...

LR18CA

SENATOR HOWARD

One minute.

LR18CA

SENATOR LARSON

...why do we disenfranchise them; and in my view, take away their First Amendment rights of speech by telling them they get to, yes, vote for their representative, but they don't get an actual voice to be the representative. Their voice matters less. So they can go run for a statewide office, but not the Legislature. That's wrong. Thank you, Mr. President.

LR18CA

SENATOR HOWARD

Thank you, Senator Larson and Senator Chambers. Senator Chambers, you are recognized.

LR18CA

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Thank you, Madam President. Members of the Legislature, I will answer people if they ask me questions, but I'm going to answer it, and I'm not going to be cut off. And if that's the way it's going to be, I won't answer his questions, because you will see something that you don't want to see. I'm going to say like...there's a song that Harry Belafonte sang. It's called "Darlin' Cora." He said that--wake up, wake up, darlin' Cora, I gotta move on down the line. The sheriff and his hound dogs are coming, I gotta move on down the line. Then he said: I ain't a man to be played with. I ain't nobody's toy. I been working for my pay for a long, long time, how come he still calls me boy? I whopped that man, darlin' Cora, he fell down where he stood. Don't know if I was wrong, darlin' Cora, but lord it sure felt good. Now if you're going to play that game, know who you're playing it with. He thinks he's clever. Well, maybe he is with you all. When we are establishing a policy, we start where we are and determine whether there ought to be changes. I don't care what offices somebody six years old could hold or run for. I don't care if there are offices that a dog could run for, or a cat, but when something is presented here and it's dealing with a specific situation and we're establishing a policy, I'm going to discuss it from the standpoint of policy. Only some fool who may have graduated from George Washington University or Saint John's University or one of those in Washington, D.C., and thinks he's smart would make or arrive at a conclusion that because you're not lowering an age from 21 to 18, you're at the same time saying nobody 18 or even younger could do whatever is being discussed. Legislatures draw lines of necessity, they are arbitrary. The line could be 8, it could be 10, it could be 20, but a decision is going to be taken. If somebody offers a line and a majority of the senators agree, that's the line that would be drawn. Now, Commander Brewer, I doubt, would want a 16-year-old person to be made the commander of a military operation. But the 16-year-old would know how to shoot a gun. The 16-year-old would be more devil may care. But there are certain things that experience, wisdom, knowledge, training give to a person so that everything is not a suicide mission. And there are some people older who ought not be in the positions that they're in. We are talking about a policy decision. Do I trust the voters? I'd have to know what you mean by that. Do I trust them to make wise decisions? Look what's in the presidency right now. No, I don't think they make wise decisions. Look who is Attorney General now. I don't think they make wise decisions. I don't think the people who were elected Senator...I won't call his name...made a wise decision, but he's here and he shows why it wasn't a wise decision. But the voters are fickle. They're not required to understand or know anything. I look at the people that Senator Larson helped engineer into positions of chairs...

LR18CA

SENATOR HOWARD

One minute.

LR18CA

SENATOR CHAMBERS

...in this Legislature. They're not competent to be there based on knowledge and understanding or anything else. It was a deal that these politicians flunkying for the Republican Party did in this Legislature and because they had the numbers, they did it. Those are political realities. But I'm not going to be moved willy-nilly because a certain number of people say something ought to be done a certain way. I do have a brain; mine functions and I think. And I will behave in the way of a thinking person. And if people deal with me in a way that's reasonable and respectful, that's what they'll get from me. But if they bring something else, they're going to get that also. And that needs to be understood. I don't fear the Governor. I sure don't fear Senator Larson, the Attorney General, the Chief Justice. I've gone on this floor, I've criticized in detail all of them. They're nothing but men.

LR18CA

SENATOR HOWARD

Time, Senator Chambers.

LR18CA

SENATOR CHAMBERS

Thank you, Madam President.

LR18CA

SENATOR HOWARD

Thank you, Senator Chambers. Mr. Clerk, items.

LR18CA

CLERK

Thank you, Madam President. New Bills: (Read LB1072-1083 by title for the first time.) New resolution: Senator Krist offers LR289CA. It proposes an amendment to Article III, Section 5 and Article III, Sections 31 and 32 of the Nebraska Constitution. In addition, I have a hearing notice from the Government Committee and the Natural Resources Committee. A motion to be printed with respect to LB469. Senator Brasch would like to withdraw LB805; that will be laid over. Revenue Committee will have an executive session today following the public hearing in room 1524. Reference will meet upon adjournment. Mr. President, Senator Brewer would like to add his name to LR279. (Legislative Journal pages 322-326.)

LB1072 LB1073 LB1074 LB1075 LB1076 LB1077 LB1078 LB1079 LB1080 LB1081 LB1082 LB1083 LB469 LB805 LR289CA LR279

Senator Friesen would move to adjourn the body until Thursday, January 18, at 9:00 a.m.

SENATOR HOWARD

Members, you've heard the motion to adjourn. All those in favor say aye. All those opposed say nay. We are adjourned.