Cornhusker state bill seeks to raise commercial enforcement officers status for better pay, benefits

| 3/8/2002
Nebraska commercial carrier officers could become state troopers and get a raise if the legislature passes LB470. The bill, being promoted by Nebraska State Patrol Superintendent Col. Tom Nesbitt, would make carrier division officers official state troopers with equal pay and benefit levels as troopers. Currently, the starting salary for carrier officers is $26,291 compared to $30,680 for state troopers. Nesbitt says the pay difference causes the carrier division to lose officers seeking better pay and retirement benefits. The bill moved on to a second round of debate March 6 with a 31-1 vote, with the only "nay" coming from Sen. Ernie Chambers. Although the bill would keep a separate carrier division, Chambers sees the bill as unnecessary because having a separate carrier enforcement unit lets truckers know Nebraska takes its trucking laws seriously.