Government Relations & Lobbying
Baird Holm LLP’s government relations team represents clients before policy-making entities at the local, state and national levels. Three of our attorneys are regularly registered as lobbyists before the Nebraska Legislature. We regularly appear before the Nebraska Legislature, legislative committees, regulatory agencies, city councils and county boards, planning and zoning commissions, and other elected or appointed officials. We also assist clients in arranging, preparing for, and meeting with elected officials and other government decision makers.
As experts in drafting legislation, we assist our clients in getting legislation introduced at the appropriate governmental level and in shepherding it through the legislative process. Our attorneys have served as staff for local, state, and federal legislative bodies and have extensive experience in bill drafting as well as crafting amendments throughout the legislative process, while also working with legislative counsel to ensure legislation meets our clients’ objectives. Our subject-matter expertise as attorneys gives us a significant advantage in bill preparation and bill drafting, both initially, and in negotiations with senators, third parties and the Legislature’s own bill drafting office.
Tracking and Evaluating Legislation
Our attorneys and staff monitor legislative trends and developments at the local, state and national levels likely to affect our clients and their interests. We also track legislation throughout the legislative process.
In addition, Baird Holm attorneys have extensive experience working with state agencies and the Nebraska Legislature’s Legislative Fiscal Office on fiscal notes, which are instrumental to the legislative process and to state policymakers in evaluating legislation.
Once a law is passed, we assist in implementation of the law and its associated regulatory processes. Our team has worked extensively with a number of state agencies to ensure seamless implementation of legislation and to avoid administrative issues or delays in issuing guidance to our clients, including work on the recently enacted state historic tax credit program.
We assist clients seeking, negotiating and prosecuting contracts and similar relationships with the State of Nebraska and other municipal entities. This practice includes assistance with responses to requests for proposals, negotiating contracts, interpreting and enforcing contracts, contesting bid awards and structuring project finance.
State Historic Tax Credit Legislation
In 2014, our team completed a three-year effort in which we successfully drafted and lobbied to passage a state historic tax credit program for Nebraska. This program provides a 20 percent credit against qualified expenses, up to $1,000,000 in credits per project. Since its inception, the program has led to over $100,000,000 in new investment in communities throughout Nebraska.
The relationship the Baird Holm team enjoys with local and regional developers, non-profit entities, lenders, investors, institutions, and legislators and regulators puts us in a unique situation that allows us to facilitate the connection of all involved entities in such a transaction. We act as the liaison for all parties, and help to structure, document and close deals which may otherwise go unnoticed or unexecuted.
Renewable Energy Lobbying Expertise
In June 2009, the Nebraska Legislature appointed Baird Holm partner David C. Levy to its wind energy technical working group. In early 2010, we successfully represented wind development interests in the drafting and negotiation of LB 1048, Nebraska’s “omnibus” wind export bill. In 2016, Baird Holm led lobbying efforts on legislation that eliminated burdensome regulatory requirements on the development of private renewable energy facilities in Nebraska. David has obtained passage of numerous other renewable energy bills, and he is considered one of the foremost lobbyists in this subject in Nebraska.
Craft Beer Industry Legislation
In 2016, Baird Holm attorney Vanessa Silke successfully represented the Nebraska Craft Brewers Guild in the drafting and negotiation of LB 1105, which has facilitated the growth of individual breweries, and provided a platform for the development of industry-related marketing, tourism, manufacturing, production, and economic development throughout greater Nebraska. The Baird Holm government relations team continues to build relationships among industry stakeholders, senators, agency personnel, and local governmental authorities to support the craft beer industry.
Natural Resources Expertise
The Baird Holm government relations team has worked with governmental and private clients to provide written comments to rules and regulations proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Forest Service, and advised clients on the impacts of changes to federal rules and regulations, and pending litigation. Since 2013, Vanessa Silke has drafted and negotiated several natural resources-related bills, participated in interim studies, and testified before several standing committees of the Nebraska Legislature.
Member of State Law Resources, Inc.
Baird Holm is the exclusive Nebraska law firm selected to be a member of State Law Resources Group, an international network of independent law firms. Firms are selected based on their experience in government relations and administrative, regulatory and municipal law at the state and federal level. This gives Baird Holm a broad reach beyond its borders should issues require representation or consultation in other states. David Levy is a member of the State Law Resources Board of Directors.