Bills Debated on General File
Several bills were debated on General File but no vote was taken on advancement.
, which would allow teachers or administrators to use necessary physical force to subdue a student who presents a danger to himself, herself or others, was debated on Monday afternoon but the Legislature adjourned before voting on advancement.
would end funding to the State Disability Program that provides assistance to persons who are disabled but have not yet met the duration requirements to qualify for Social Security disability. Counties help provide financial assistance for the first six months and the state helps cover the second six months. Stakeholders discussed several amendments but none made it to the floor for debate. No action was taken on the bill before time ran out.
Bills Advanced from Select File
Senators used regular floor debate and a consent calendar to advance bills from Select File, the second round of debate, this week.
would allow counties to enter into interlocal service agreements for sewage disposal systems. The bill would only apply to Sarpy County.
would change the statute of limitations for civil actions for sexual assault of a child. An amendment was adopted to address constitutional concerns about retroactivity.
would provide options for indigent persons who would otherwise sit out their fines in jail. Courts would be required to consider a defendant's ability to pay a fine before sentencing him or her to jail time for nonpayment. Courts could instead impose community service or allow for payment by installments. Courts would be required to consider all methods of bond payments to avoid pretrial incarceration. Counsel would be appointed for indigent debtors if being found in contempt of court might result in imprisonment.
would redefine estate terms to allow the state to recover hidden assets when persons are applying for Medicaid.
would update the state's electrical code to reflect the 2017 edition of the National Electrical Code. The current code is the 2014 version.
would revise the definition of "knife" within the criminal code to return to statutory language from 2009 that required courts to consider the intent of the party to use the knife as a deadly weapon.
LB20 would eliminate the requirement for veterans who are totally disabled by a non-service accident or illness to annually submit certification of their total disability to the assessor in order to qualify for a homestead exemption. Individuals who have certain permanent physical disabilities or amputations are already exempt from such filings unless their medical condition changes. The county assessor or Tax Commissioner could request certification to verify that there has been no change in the applicant's medical condition.
Bills Passed on Final Reading
On Monday morning senators took up nearly 50 bills on Final Reading. Some of the bills that would impact counties include the following.
is a Revenue Committee omnibus bill that contains several provisions requested by NACO. It would provide a 30-day grace period to pay delinquent taxes on rejected homestead exemptions before taxes accrue. County assessors could certify valuations to taxing entities electronically. Other provisions would clean up rent-restricted housing laws and require notices of pending tax deeds to include the name of the property owner. The determination of a parcel's primary use for agricultural or horticultural purposes could be made without regard to whether the parcel is platted and subdivided.
is the omnibus Transportation and Telecommunications Committee bill. It would allow motor vehicle dealers to provide titling and registration services. County treasurers would be required to remit both title and registration fees on the 20
of each month. Other provisions would change oversight of the One-Call Board of Directors, exempt vehicles with remote starters from laws prohibiting leaving vehicles unattended without removing the key, and allow public power district vehicle registrations to be kept at the principal place of business of the district.
would allow city or county law enforcement officers, paid firefighters, emergency responders, and certain front-line state employees who suffer serious bodily injury from an on-duty assault that results in the officer falling below the minimum number of working hours to maintain health insurance.
would change the number of days before a public hearing on a proposed budget statement from five days to four calendar days. The day of publication would count as a day but the day of the hearing would not. It would create penalties for failure to report information requested annually from counties and other entities, including lists of interlocal agreements. A 14 percent penalty would be assessed on delinquent payments for fees for services provided by the Auditor.
LB432 would revise the authority granted to governmental entities to adjust their budgets to account for delinquent taxes. Existing law allows for a five percent offset as well as an allowance for anticipated litigation. LB432 would trigger the allowance if the prime rate published by the Federal Reserve Board is 10 percent or greater at the time the entity's budget is filed and certified.
would eliminate the filing of a Real Estate Transfer Statement (Form 521) on oil, gas and mineral leases. The bill would also allow, but not require, registers of deeds to accept digital or electronic signatures. This authority already exists in Neb.Rev.Stat. §86-611(3).
would allow the Nebraska Department of Roads to assume responsibility for conducting environmental assessments for road projects. The reviews are currently conducted at the federal level. Conducting these assessments at the state level could save up to $19 million and significantly reduce wait times for projects.
would merge the Department of Aeronautics into the Department of Roads to form a unified Department of Transportation. The new department would be headed by the Director-State Engineer. A Director of Aeronautics would be appointed by the Director-State Engineer and confirmed by the Legislature to head the aeronautics division.
would create the Whiteclay Public Health Emergency Task Force to examine the public health implications of alcohol sales in Whiteclay, Nebraska. The task force would consist of five members of the Legislature and three nonvoting members representing the commission on Indian Affairs, a public health expert, and a data analysis expert. The task forces would terminate in 2019.
would establish a workforce housing grant program for nonprofit development organizations in rural communities in counties of less than 100,000.
would change state building code occupancy provisions related to in-home day cares and other care facilities to harmonize them with the Department of Health and Human Service's childcare regulations.
would create the Radon Resistant New Construction Task Force to develop minimum standards for radon resistant construction. The recommendations would be used to develop legislation in 2019.
would revise the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) mechanism for municipalities to finance the up-front costs of energy efficiency improvements on commercial, industrial, and residential properties. Senator Tyson Larson has introduced an interim study resolution
to further review the PACE process.
would provide for bridge orders transferring juvenile court jurisdiction of a juvenile to a district court.
would provide immunity from prosecution for drug possession for persons who seek help for themselves or another person due to a drug overdose. The bill also protects emergency responders who administer certain drugs to treat an apparent opioid overdose.
would change membership in the Nebraska Tourism Commission and provides for a program of innovative tourism grants.
Bills Signed into Law
Among the bills passed by the Legislature this week were three measures aimed at veterans. Governor Ricketts signed the bills on April 24.
amends the Uniform Credentialing Act allow military spouses to obtain temporary licensing in health professions. The temporary license would allow them to work in Nebraska for one year while they obtain their permanent licenses.
expands the hiring preference given to members of the military to spouses. The preference applies to state government jobs during the period of military service and six months after discharge.
The third bill,
, transfers oversight of the state's four veterans homes to the State Department of Veterans' Affairs. Currently the Department of Health and Human Services has oversight of these facilities.