Nebraska Association of County Officials

Legislative Report
January 15, 2021 Legislative Report Archive
Bill Introductions Continue
Senators continued to introduce bills this week, with a total of 486 bills and 10 constitutional amendments offered by the end of January 15, the 8th day of the session. Bill introductions will conclude on January 20.
Governor Pete Ricketts presented his annual State of the State Address on January 15. He set out his priorities for the session, including property tax relief. This would be provided in part through limiting the growth of local government property taxes to three percent. This concept was introduced by Senator Lou Ann Linehan as LR22CA. A similar concept was introduced by Senator Tom Briese as LB408.
In a separate announcement, Governor Ricketts extended Executive Order 20-36, which grants county boards and other public bodies a limited waiver to meet by videoconference or telephone conferencing as long as access to the meeting is available to members of the public and media. The new Executive Order, No. 21-20, is available here.
Speaker of the Legislature Senator Mike Hilgers announced that the traditional structure of morning floor debate and afternoon committee hearings has been revised due to public safety concerns about large group gatherings such as legislative floor debate. Instead, committee hearings will be held all day, with morning hearings beginning at 9:30 a.m. and afternoon hearings beginning at 1:30 p.m. Further details, including options for remote participation, will be released next week. Hearings are scheduled to begin on January 25. A complete schedule is available here.
In addition, Speaker Hilgers announced guidelines for extended floor debate in the 2021 session. Because the Legislature’s rules require full and fair debate but do not set out durational parameters, Speakers often develop guidelines about when cloture votes can be taken to end debate. Speaker Hilgers intends to limit filibusters to eight hours on General File, four hours on Select File, and two hours on Final Reading. If cloture motions are not adopted during earlier rounds of debate, four hours of debate would be permitted on Final Reading. In rare instances, these time frames could be adjusted. Speaker memos on both issues are available here.
On January 12, the Legislature’s Rules Committee heard 21 proposed changes to the rules that serve as an operational structure for the body. Proposals included changes to the duration of filibusters, public and media attendance at executive sessions, limiting the number of bill introductions, allowing for distance voting by senators during emergencies, and changes to parliamentary procedures. Senators will begin debate the proposals advanced by the committee next Thursday.
The Legislature will be in recess on January 18 for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and is scheduled to return for floor debate on January 19. However, in response to the concerns about possible political unrest next week, the Legislature adjourned “until the call of the Speaker”. This adjournment provides scheduling flexibility should it be needed.
On Thursday, January 21, Nebraska Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Heavican will present his State of the Judiciary Address at 10:00 a.m.
Video Legislative Updates
Beginning January 15, weekly legislative updates will be posted on Fridays on NACO’s YouTube Channel. Other updates will be posted periodically on legislative issues. Check out our new format!
NACO Legislative Committee to Meet on January 29
NACO's Legislative Committee will meet on Friday, January 29 to review and take positions on 2021 legislation. Due to COVID restrictions, the meeting will be conducted through Zoom. Each affiliate group has been asked to review bills pertinent to their office prior to the meeting and select one of their members to speak to their recommended positions on bills. Registration information will be available soon.
Locksmith Licensing, Township Library Hearings Scheduled
Legislative standing committees have begun scheduling public hearings on bills. Please note that some hearings will begin at 9:30 a.m. and others will begin at 1:30 p.m.
Monday, January 25
Business and Labor Committee - Room 1524, 9:30 a.m.
LB169 (M. Hansen) Repeal locksmith registration requirements
General Affairs Committee – Room 1510, 9:30 a.m.
LB75 (Gragert) Change provisions relating to township libraries
Transportation and Telecommunications Committee – Room 1113, 9:30 a.m.
LB106 (Friesen) Change fees relating to access to drivers' records and provide for a new motor vehicle operator's license services system
LB113 (Albrecht) Change provisions relating to motor vehicle titling, licensing, registration, and fees and operators' licenses and permits and authorize a new motor carrier services system
Transportation and Telecommunications Committee – Room 1113, 1:30 p.m.
LB174 (Friesen) Change provisions relating to highways and highway funding, road classifications, licensure of local highway and street superintendents, motor vehicle safety responsibility, accident reports, and the Nebraska Rules of the Road
Tuesday, January 26
Banking, Commerce and Insurance – Room 1507, 9:30 a.m.
LB66 (Williams) Change deposit, bond, custodial official, and pooled collateral provisions under the Public Funds Deposit Security Act
Snapshots of Bills Introduced This Week
A number of bills introduced this week could have an impact on counties. Some of these include:
County Operations
LB215 (Hughes) Change 911 service surcharge provisions
LB224 (Aguilar) Change provisions for appointment of a county surveyor in certain counties
LB236 (Brewer) Permit counties to authorize carrying concealed weapons as prescribed
LB267 (McCollister) Change provisions relating to municipal counties
LB303 (Hansen, M.) Provide a budget limitation exception as prescribed
LB343 (Friesen) Change identification inspection provisions under the Motor Vehicle Certificate of Title Act
LB368 (Sanders) Provide the Auditor of Public Accounts enforcement powers for failure of political subdivisions to file reports
LB424 (Brewer) Provide and change zoning requirements for wind energy generation projects
LB430 (Revenue Committee) Change tax provisions relating to net book value
LB431 (Revenue Committee) Change taxation provisions relating to improvements on leased lands, the assessment of undervalued and overvalued property, methods for giving notice, and the collection of certain taxes and fees
LB466 (Linehan) Require the proration of property taxes when real property is sold
Inheritance Tax
LB310 (Clements) Change inheritance tax rates and exemption amounts
LB377 (DeBoer) Change inheritance tax provisions
Property Tax
LB214 (Linehan) Define certain terms for purposes of property taxes
LB222 (Erdman) Change provisions relating to certain in lieu of tax payments made by the Game and Parks Commission
LB292 (Friesen) Change provisions relating to partial payments of property taxes
LB313 (Sanders) Change provisions relating to late applications for homestead exemption
LB408 (Briese) Adopt the Property Tax Request Act
LB412 (Cavanaugh, M.) Change a tax and assessment provision under the Nebraska Housing Agency Act
LB466 (Linehan) Require the proration of property taxes when real property is sold
LR22CA (Linehan) Constitutional amendment to limit the total amount of property tax revenue that may be raised by political subdivisions
LB242 (Brandt)Provide for county bridges under the Political Subdivisions Construction Alternatives Act
LB339 (Bostelman) Require a utility coordination plan for certain highway and bridge contracts
LB414 (Wishart) Change provisions of the Political Subdivisions Construction Alternatives Act

Law Enforcement/Courts
LB271 (Morfeld) Adopt the 24/7 Sobriety Program Act
LB307 (Pansing Brooks) Change provisions relating to appointment of counsel for juveniles
LB308 (Pansing Brooks0 Provide grants for juvenile indigent legal defense
LB407 (McDonnell) Include certain county correctional officers in provisions governing mental injuries and mental illnesses under the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Act
LB419 (Cavanaugh, J.) Require appointment of counsel in eviction proceedings and provide for a filing fee
LB444 (Hansen, M.) Change provisions relating to credit against jail terms
LB445 (Hansen, M.) Change requirements for peace officers taking juveniles into custody or interrogating juveniles and prohibit use of statements taken in violation of such requirements
LB285 (Brewer) Change provisions relating to elections conducted pursuant to the Election Act
LB362 (Halloran) Change provisions relating to ballots for early voting under the Election Act
LB435 (Hansen, B.) Require an official watermark on certain ballots under the Election Act
NACO Bills
LB224 (Aguilar) Change provisions for appointment of a county surveyor in certain counties
LB291 (Friesen) Change provisions relating to property tax protests