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Legislative session to take place ‘under construction’

January 6, 2019

If you’re headed to the Capitol to talk to your senator during this legislative session, you might want to call ahead.

And if you think you know your way around, be warned there have been changes.

An eight-year, $106 million heating, air conditioning and renovation project kicked off last summer, sealing off the southwest quadrant of the Capitol behind temporary walls where first phase work is taking place.

While the south and west doors remain open, the work has pushed some senators into the tower on floors not accessible to the general public.

Anyone wanting to meet with a senator in the tower should call ahead to schedule an appointment, said Roxanne Smith, the Capitol’s tourism supervisor and public information officer.

Or, visitors can stop at the information desk on the ground floor to request a legislative staff member ride down the elevator to meet them.

Some shuffling may still happen, however, after the Legislature convenes and committee assignments are doled out, moving some senators into the tower or others back onto the lower floors.

Smith said the final roster and office locations should be published on the Legislature’s website -- nebraskalegislature.gov -- by mid-January.

Construction will also move some committees into the Warner Chamber -- the former Senate chamber before the Unicameral form of government was adopted -- opposite the George W. Norris Chamber for this session.

Hearings for the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee will be in the Warner Chamber on Mondays and Tuesdays, and the Judiciary Committee will meet there Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

The Nebraska Court of Appeals will also convene in the Nebraska Supreme Court hearing room while the renovation is taking place.

And the Capitol’s cafeteria has moved to Room 1301 inside the east doors where it will be open weekdays 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Smith said any questions should be directed to the information desk on the ground floor.

— Chris Dunker

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