Nebraska Association of County Officials

Legislative Report
January 10, 2020 Legislative Report Archive
2020 Legislative Session Convenes
The 106th Legislature, Second Session convened on Wednesday, January 8, to begin a "short" 60-day session. Senators began bill introductions on the first day and will continue to introduce bills during the first ten days of the session. By the end of the third day, 197 bills and eight constitutional amendment had been introduced.
 
Each bill will be assigned to one of the Legislature's committees for a public hearing. The membership of standing committees and committee meeting information is available here. Hearings will begin on January 21 and conclude on February 27. During this time, mornings will be dedicated to floor debate on bills carried over from 2019 and committee hearings will take place in the afternoons. If a committee advances a bill to the full legislature, it must advance through three rounds of floor debate -- General File, Select File, and Final Reading -- before passage. Bills that pass will be sent to the Governor for a signature or veto. Adjournment is tentatively scheduled for April 23.
 
The first bill scheduled for floor debate is LB147, a bill introduced by Senator Mike Groene on student discipline. It will be followed by LB153, Senator Tom Brewer’s bill to exempt a portion of military retirement pay from income tax. Bills that were not passed or killed in 2019 carried over at the same stage of debate. The full agenda for January 13 is available here.
 
Governor Pete Ricketts will present his State of the State address on January 15 at 10:00 a.m. Nebraska Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Heavican will present his State of the Judiciary address on January 22 at 10:00 a.m.
 
A Iist of senators and their contact information is here. Due to construction of the Capitol, some senators’ room numbers may have changed over the interim.
 
The Legislature's website contains information pertinent to legislative activities: daily and session calendars, text of bills and amendments, daily agendas, hearing schedules, transcripts of debate, state laws, and more. Live video streaming of floor debate and committee hearings is provided by Nebraska Educational Television (NET).
NACO Legislative Committee to Meet January 31
NACO's Legislative Committee will meet on January 31 to review and take positions on 2020 legislation. The meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the NACO office at 1335 H Street in Lincoln in the conference room on the second floor at the rear of the building. All county officials are encouraged to attend or discuss areas of concern with their NACO Board representative prior to the meeting. The NACO Board of Directors makes up the NACO Legislative Committee. 
 
Because lunch will be provided, please notify the NACO office at (402)434-5660 or danielle.belina@nacone.org if you plan to attend. Because the Legislature is in session, parking around the Capitol will be limited. Public parking is not available behind the NACO office or in the MIPS lot. A parking garage is available at the Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel at 13th and L Streets.
2020 Bill Introductions Begin
Bills were introduced this week to require continuing education for treasurers ( LB781), authorize the Tax Equalization and Review Commission to remand hearings to county boards of equalization and compress the acceptable range for valuations of residential and commercial property ( LB812), and provide for the appointment of county engineers in counties with a population over 150,000 ( LB744). Here are some of the new bills and their introducers: 
 
County Operations
LB744 (Blood) Authorize appointment of county engineer in certain counties and change powers and duties
LB763 (Dorn) Change provisions relating to certain payments of funds to townships
LB781 (Stinner) Provide for annual continuing education for treasurers of certain local governments and provide a duty for the Auditor of Public Accounts
 
Elections
LB820 (Brewer) Change required information on the voter registration application
LB822 (Brewer) Change recall petition and election provisions
LR283CA (Brewer) Constitutional amendment to change qualifications of electors
LR286CA (Cavanaugh) Constitutional amendment to remove felony convictions other than treason from being a disqualification for voting
LR292CA (La Grone) Constitutional amendment to require verification of identity prior to voting
 
Taxes
LB812 (McCollister) Change acceptable ranges and authorize orders for rehearings under the Tax Equalization and Review Commission Act
LB818 (Brewer) Adjust the nameplate capacity tax for inflation
LB829 (Erdman) Change provisions relating to certain in lieu of tax payments made by the Game and Parks Commission
LB841 (Crawford) Change provisions relating to certain certifications for homestead exemptions
LB930 (Briese) Require a minimum amount of tax relief under the Property Tax Credit Act
 
Motor Vehicles
LB771 (Gragert) Change a one-license-plate registration provision
LB785 (Friesen) Change vehicle size, weight, and load provisions, provide for stinger-steered automobile transporters and towaway trailer transporter combinations, and define emergency vehicle
LB873 (Hunt) Provide for a gender-neutral designation on operator's licenses and state identification cards and provide for amendment of a birth certificate
 
Criminal Justice and Courts
LB881 (Hansen, M.) Prohibit deductions of fines from bonds