Nebraska’s newest state senator visited the Nebraska City Rotary Club Wednesday afternoon.
Robert Clements of Elmwood was appointed to serve Legislative District 2, which includes part of Otoe County, in early February.
He told the audience about the interview process, which began with a phone call from the governor’s office on a Saturday morning while he was working at the American Exchange Bank in Elmwood and ended with an afternoon interview with the governor.
After the governor asked Clements to come to Lincoln and be a senator, Clements said he felt it was his civic duty to serve.
He was sworn in on a Monday afternoon and had a floor vote to attend at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning.
“The rest of the new senators get a three-day orientation,” said Clements. “I had none.”
With his background in finance, Clements was selected to serve on the appropriations committee, which had to overcome several budget shortfalls during the most recent Unicameral session.
Appropriations Committee members made some cuts, and Gov. Pete Ricketts made additional cuts to get the budget to balance.
Clements said he finds it “surreal” to have officials such as the chief justice of the state supreme court in his office asking for money or justifying their program’s budget.
“It’s a great responsibility, and I take it very seriously,” he said.
Clements explained to the audience that 660 new laws were proposed during the last Unicameral session and those laws are divided among 13 standing committees for review.
Of the proposed laws, 170 were passed during the session.
The Nebraska City Rotary Club meets at noon Wednesday at the Eagles Club, 660 1st Corso.
The program for the July 5 meeting will be Dr. Sheri  Grotian-Ryan, who will discuss the recent successes of the Peru State College chapter of Phi Beta Lambda.