Nebraska Association of County Officials

Legislative Report
Legislature Convened on January 6
The 107th Legislature, First Session convened on Wednesday, January 6 for a "long" 90-day session. Senators began bill introductions on the second day and will continue to introduce bills during the first ten days of the session. By the end of the third day of the session, 212 bills and five constitutional amendments had been introduced. A complete list of introduced legislation is available here. Bills that were not passed or killed in 2020 did not carry over and bill numbers began again this year with LB1.
 
Five new senators joined the body. A list of senators and their contact information is here.
 
Senator Mike Hilgers of Lincoln was elected as Speaker and new committee chairs were chosen. A complete list of committee membership is available here.
 
Senators are following safety protocols developed last fall and procedures are being developed for committee hearings, which will begin on January 25. These protocols are subject to change throughout the session. The protocols and schedule for the coming weeks is available here.
 
After hearings conclude in late March, the Legislature will begin full days of debate. If a committee advances a bill to the full legislature, it must advance through three rounds of debate -- General File, Select File, and Final Reading -- before passage. Bills that pass will be sent to Governor Ricketts for a signature or veto. Adjournment is tentatively scheduled for June 9.
 
The Legislature's website contains information pertinent to legislative activities: daily and session calendars, text of bills and amendments, daily agendas, hearing schedules, senator contact information, transcripts of debate, state laws, and more. Live video streaming of floor debate and committee hearings is provided by Nebraska Educational Television (NET).
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 will be 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. NACO staff will reach out to each affiliate president and legislative representative to schedule times for preliminary discussions.
Registration information will be made available next week.
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
LB41(Dorn) Change provisions relating to certain payments of funds to townships
LB102 (Dorn) Provide for transfer of duties of clerks of the district court to clerk magistrates
LB103 (Dorn) Appropriate funds to aid counties to pay certain federal judgments
LB169 (Hansen, M.) Repeal locksmith registration requirements
LB179 (Linehan) Transition from elected to appointed county assessors
 
Open Meetings and Public Records
LB83 (Flood) Change the Open Meetings Act to provide for virtual conferencing
LB112 (Albrecht) Require members of the public to be allowed to speak at each meeting subject to the Open Meetings Act
LB212 (Cavanaugh, M.) Prohibit charging members of the Legislature fees for public record requests
 
Property Tax
LB2 (Briese) Change the valuation of agricultural land and horticultural land for certain school district taxes
LB63 (Lindstrom) Change certain deadlines relating to property tax exemptions
LB98 (Walz) Change provisions relating to agricultural or horticultural land receiving special valuation
LB133 (Erdman) Adopt the Nebraska EPIC Consumption Tax Act and eliminate certain other taxes
LB165 (Erdman) Change provisions relating to the assessment of real property that suffers significant property damage
LR11CA (Erdman) Constitutional amendment to require enactment of a consumption tax and prohibit certain other forms of taxation

Elections
LB11 (Blood) Change provisions regarding voter registration and requests for ballots for early voting
LB43 (Hansen, M.) Provide for election of election commissioners and eliminate certain deputy positions
LB125 (McCollister) Provide for ranked-choice voting for certain elections
 
Law Enforcement
LB51 (Lathrop) Change and provide qualifications for and duties relating to certification of law enforcement officers, require accreditation of law enforcement agencies, prohibit chokeholds in law enforcement, and require policies on excessive force
LB110 (Pansing Brooks) Change and provide duties relating to use of force in law enforcement
LB192 (Wishart) State intent regarding appropriations for law enforcement training and certification
LB193 (Wishart) State intent regarding appropriations for law enforcement training

NACO Requests
LB63 (Lindstrom) Change certain deadlines relating to property tax exemptions
LB75 (Gragert) Change provisions relating to township libraries
LB93 (Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee) Eliminate a reporting requirement regarding marriages
LB105 (Friesen) Change certification dates for unpaid county claims