February 24, 2017                                                                  Legislative Report Archive 

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temprulesPriority Bill Designation Begins
Senators and committees began designating their priority bills this week. According to the Legislature's rules, each senator can designate one priority bill and standing committees may designate two bills. The speaker may designate up to 25 speaker priority bills. Senator and committee priority designations will end on March 9. The deadline to submit requests for speaker priority bills is March 7. The list of priority bills designated thus far can be found here.

Senators took up the first bill designated as a committee priority on Friday. LB407, which was designated by the General Affairs Committee, would shorten the wait time between keno games and provide for the issuance of electronic tickets. Senator Ernie Chambers made a motion to indefinitely postpone the bill that passed on a 24-9-10 vote.
The Appropriations Committee has begun hearing from state agencies on budget requests for the upcoming biennium. The preliminary FY2017-18/FY2018-19 budget is available on the Legislature's website. The Forecasting Board will meet on Monday to analyze economic data and develop a projection on how much General Fund revenue the state will collect from various taxes.
Please note that committee hearings on March 1 will be held in the morning to accommodate Statehood Day events later in the day. Nebraska was granted statehood on March 1, 1867 and the events are part of a yearlong celebration of the state's 150 th anniversary. The schedule for the day's activities can be found here.
comhrgssetCommittee Hearings Continue
Judiciary Committee
Jury statutes would be reorganized and updated under a bill introduced by Senator Patty Pansing Brooks on behalf of NACO and clerks of the district court. LB192 would rearrange Chapter 25, Article 16 by topic and define terms such as grand jury, petit jury and tales juror in order to make the statutes easier to follow. The Nebraska State Bar Association and ACLU submitted letters in support of LB192.
The committee advanced another bill introduced by Senator Pansing Brooks on behalf of counties. LB193 would modernize court terminology and recordkeeping procedures to reflect the statewide electronic case management system.
The committee also heard LB367, which would transfer costs for transportation of juvenile offenders to counties when a peace officer takes a juvenile into temporary custody and a probation officer determines the need for detention or an alternative placement. The issue was identified in a 2014 study of unfunded mandates and has been part of the ongoing discussion of juvenile justice reform costs.
Urban Affairs Committee
County assessors would be responsible for accepting applications for tax increment financing (TIF) projects and forwarding them to the Tax Commissioner under a bill heard by the Urban Affairs Committee on Tuesday. The introducer, Senator Mike Groene, called the bill an attempt to put state oversight over municipalities in the TIF process. Under LB597, a governing body seeking to use TIF would need approval from the Tax Commissioner before the rest of the project could move forward. Opponents testified that the process could slow down projects and might be unconstitutional. NACO testified neutral, comparing the process to accepting homestead exemption applications and asking for technical changes if the bill advances. The committee also heard LB489 that would redefine the term redevelopment project to strike a reference to "other improvements". The phrase was cited in a study of TIF projects by the State Auditor as being unclear. A third bill, LB262, would prohibit the use of TIF on certain undeveloped vacant land. Testifiers discussed whether such parcels should be both blighted and substandard to be eligible for TIF.
The committee will hear other bills on TIF and the Community Development Law next Tuesday, February 28. LB95 would expand hearing and notice provisions to counties and other local entities of proposed TIF projects so that there is more opportunity for those boards to meet and review the proposals. LB496 would expand the definition of redevelopment project to include the construction of workforce housing in cities of the first and second class and villages. LR16CA would allow cities to pledge taxes in a redevelopment project for up to 20 years if the area is extremely blighted.
Revenue Committee
LB602, which would change the valuation of ag land to a productivity-based system was heard by the Revenue Committee on Friday. An amendment that would replace the bill would provide for the appointment of a Crop Values Committee to develop the gross income per acre as a starting point for the calculation. As originally written, the bill would provide for a statutory 6 percent capitalization rate.
Real property taxes and special assessments would have to be current before developers could combine multiple lots through a Form 191 process under LB236. Senator Steve Erdman introduced the bill at NACO's request to prevent taxes from falling through the cracks when parcels are physically combined. NACO asked for the bill to address recordkeeping concerns but much of the discussion focused on the policy of allowing developers to combine lots for tax benefits. A real estate development group opposed the bill because many sanitary and improvement districts use special assessments in the beginning stages of development.
The Revenue Committee also heard LB238 that would allow counties to certify values to other taxing entities by mail, electronically, or on the county's website. An amendment was suggested to add authority for the recipient to request the information by mail.
LB288 would expand the types of service of notice that a tax deed was being pursued to include certified mail or designated delivery service. An amendment was offered to require the property owner's name to be included in the notice. The bill would also provide that tax sales certificates sold between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2017 would be governed by the laws in effect on December 31, 2009. Existing law ends the period on December 31, 2014.

Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee
LB567 would eliminate a requirement for counties to provide office space to the Department of Health and Human Services for the administration of public assistance programs as the facilities existed on April 1, 1983. Instead, the state would have to pay for the costs. An amendment was offered at the hearing to limit the state's obligation to costs for the rental of privately owned facilities. NACO supports LB567.
Transportation and Telecommunications Committee
Telecommunications providers could use small cell technology to deliver a new generation of wireless technology under LB389, the Small Wireless Facilities Act, that was heard by the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee on Tuesday. The Act would allow poles and wireless facilities to be placed in the county right-of-way. Another bill heard by the committee would terminate a 2018 sunset date on the 911 Service System Act that was adopted last year to facilitate the development of NextGen 911 in Nebraska.
 snapSnapshots of County Issues
Bills Advanced by Committees 
This week the legislature's standing committees sent a number of bills to the full body for debate. Some of these include LB193 that would replace antiquated language and practices in district courts. Senator Patty Pansing Brooks introduced LB193 on behalf of NACO and clerks of the district court. The Executive Board advanced LB407 that would create the Whiteclay Public Health Emergency Task Force.

Bills Advanced from General File
Senators advanced bills from the first round of debate this week. Among the bill advanced from General File are:
  • LB8 would allow for graduated response sanctions and incentives for juveniles on probation
  • LB10 would increase the number of judges in the separate juvenile court from five to seven
  • LB11 would address transfers of juveniles between district or county court and juvenile court
  • LB85 would require persons seeking appointive or elective office to pay outstanding civil penalties before filing or appointment. A committee amendment would place the burden for determining eligibility on the candidate, rather than the election official

Bills Advanced from Select File
Among the bills advanced from Select File, the second round of debate, this week are LB45 which would expand eligibility for Military Honor license plates to members of the Reserves. LB80 would place law clerks and students employed in the unclassified service under the civil service statutes for counties of 150,000 to 300,000.
Upcoming Hearings on County Issues
In addition to the hearings listed elsewhere, here are a few to note next week:
  • LB95 (Crawford) Expand hearing and notice of proposed tax increment financing (TIF) projects to counties and other local entities. Hearing on Tuesday, February 28 at 1:30 before the Urban Affairs Committee
  • LB451 (Murante) Election clean-up bill. Hearing on Wednesday, March 1 at 9:15 before the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee
  • LB322 (Craighead), LB385 (Lindstrom), LB555 (Smith) Change filing fees and authority of TERC, including shifting burden of proof to county board of equalization when assessed value has increased more than 5 percent over prior year. Hearing on Wednesday, March 1 at 9:30 before the Revenue Committee
  • LB504 (Brewer) Provide for a moratorium on the industrial development of wind energy projects. Hearing on Wednesday, March 1 at 9:15 before the Natural Resources Committee
  • LB531 (Harr) Return motor vehicle sales tax collection fee retained by counties to pre-2002 amount. Hearing on Thursday, March 2 at 1:30 before the Revenue Committee
scholNACO Scholarhips Applications Being Accepted
Nebraska high school seniors who are the children, stepchildren, or under the legal guardianship of county officials or employees are encouraged to apply for one of twelve $1,000.00 NACO scholarships.  In addition to the twelve NACO scholarships, a special award, the Ronda Dix Memorial Scholarship, may be awarded to an applicant planning a career in nursing, physical therapy, or other medical field.  Additional information and the application form can be found on the front page of the NACO website.
The scholarship application deadline is March 1, 2017. To access the application from this article, click here . 
comhrgSelected Committee Hearing Schedules
Every bill introduced by the Legislature is the subject of a public hearing. Following is a schedule of bills that are of interest to counties.Note that bills not appearing on this list may be heard during the same hearing. A complete list of hearings is available on the Legislature's website. For tips about testifying at a hearing, click here. Please note that hearing times may have changed.

Monday, February 27, 2017
Nebraska Retirement Systems Committee
Room 1510, 4:30 p.m.  
  • LB415 (Kolterman) Provide and change notification requirements and duties and benefits for certain retirement system members, change certain annuity and disability benefit provisions, and provide duties for school districts and the Public Employees Retirement Board relating to retirement
Transportation and Telecommunications Committee
Room 1113, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB41 (Hilkemann) Change child passenger restraint system enforcement from a secondary to a primary offense
  • LB471 (Kolowski) Provide for enforcement of the prohibition against using a handheld wireless communication device as a primary action
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Transportation and Telecommunications Committee
Room 1113, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB627 (Larson) Provide for the operation of autonomous motor vehicles as prescribed
  • LB587 (Crawford) Change provisions relating to school permits
  • LB82 (Blood) Require the Department of Motor Vehicles to include certain traffic stop safety information in the Nebraska Driver's Manual
  • LB357 (Bolz) Increase original certificate of title fees for vehicles transferred to Nebraska from another state and provide for voluntary contributions to brain injury programs
Urban Affairs Committee
Room 1510, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB95 (Crawford) Change provisions relating to the Community Development Law and tax-increment financing
  • LB496 (Stinner) Define and redefine terms under the Community Development Law
  • LR16CA (Wayne) Constitutional amendment to allow cities and villages to pledge taxes relating to a redevelopment project for up to twenty years if area is extremely blighted
Wednesday, March 1, 2017 - Please note changes in hearing times
Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee
Room 1507, 9:15 a.m.
  • LB75 (Wayne) Provide for restoration of voting rights upon completion of a felony sentence or probation for a felony
  • LB314 (Murante) Change state and municipal election provisions to conform to prior legislation
  • LB451 (Murante) Change various provisions relating to elections as prescribed
  • LB76 (Wayne) Require notice for Secretary of State regarding completion of felony sentence for purposes of voting rights
Judiciary Committee
Room 1113, 9:15 a.m.
  • LB478 (Groene) Provide for possession of archery equipment and knives for recreational purposes
  • LB500 (Brewer) Authorize the carrying of concealed handguns by qualified active and retired law enforcement officers
  • LB558 (Schumacher) Define the term knife for certain provisions of the criminal code
Natural Resources Committee
Room 1525, 9:15 a.m.
  • LB504 (Brewer) Provide for a moratorium on industrial development of wind energy projects and for a task force study as prescribed
Revenue Committee
Room 1524, 9:30 a.m.
  • LB322 (Craighead) Change the Tax Equalization and Review Commission Act
  • LB385 (Lindstrom) Change provisions relating to the burden of proof and who may appeal under the Tax Equalization and Review Commission Act
  • LB555 (Smith) Change and eliminate provisions of the Tax Equalization and Review Commission Act
Thursday, March 2, 2017
Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee
Room 1507, 1:30 p.m.
  • LR1CA (Murante) Constitutional amendment to require voter identification
Judiciary Committee
Room 1113. 1:30 p.m.
  • LB201 (Lowe)  Change provisions relating to perjury and the issuance of search warrants
  • LB259 (Hansen) Provide for competency determinations in cases pending before county courts
  • LB440 (Wishart) Provide immunity from criminal or civil liability for removal of an animal from a vehicle by forcible entry as prescribed
  • LB505 (Brewer) Adopt the Refugee Resettlement Notification Act
  • LB589 (Crawford)  Provide for depositions of a child victim or child witness

Natural Resources Committee
Room 1525,1:30 p.m.
  • LB533 (Vargas) Require liability insurance for and restrict locations of underground enhanced recovery injection wells and wastewater disposal wells

Revenue Committee
Room 1524,1:30 p.m.
  • LB326 (Kolowski) Provide additional budget and tax levy authority for certain school districts
  • LB633  (Kolowski) Authorize school districts to levy a tax and exceed budget authority for school security measures and student technology
  • LB400 (Hilkemann) Change provisions relating to motor vehicle fees and taxes
  • LB531 (Harr) Change sales tax collection fees for motor vehicles
Friday, March 3, 2017
Judiciary Committee
Room 1113, 2:00 p.m.
  • LB444 ( Walz)  Prohibit cities and counties from canceling health insurance coverage for injured law enforcement officers
  • LB577 (Hilgers) Create offense of assault on a peace officer, firefighter, or out-of-hospital emergency care provider by ambush
  • LB623 (Wishart)  Change and eliminate provisions and penalties relating to assault on an officer, certain employees, or a health care professional
  • LB638 (Bostelman) Provide enhanced criminal penalties based upon a person's employment as prescribed

Revenue Committee
Room 1524,1:30 p.m.
  • LB228 (Harr) Change provisions relating to rent-restricted housing projects
Monday, March 6, 2017
Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee
Room 1507, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB141 (Williams)  Adopt the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act

Business and Labor Committee
Room 2102,1:30 p.m.
  • LB609 ( Linehan) Provide fee schedules under the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act
  • LB408 (Lowe) Provide for a drug formulary under the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act
  • LB319 (Halloran)  Provide for confidentiality of and access to certain injury reports under the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act
  • LB147 (Hansen) Change workers' compensation provisions relating to waiting time, termination of compensation, and attorney's fees
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee
Room 1507,1:30 p.m.
  • LB559 (Schumacher) Prohibit the collection of interchange fees on specified taxes and fees relating to electronic payment transactions
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Judiciary Committee
Room 1113, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB501 (Brewer) Change prohibition on locations where permitholder may carry a concealed weapon
  • LB520 (Hansen)  Require notification when persons prohibited by state or federal law obtain a handgun or concealed carry permit
  • LB556 (Halloran)  Change provisions relating to firearms and create the offenses of use of a facsimile or nonfunctioning firearm to commit a felony and possession of a firearm by a prohibited juvenile offender
  • LB637 (Bostelman)  Prohibit disclosure of information relating to firearm owners and concealed carry permitholders
  • LB666 (Lowe) Change provisions relating to carrying a concealed weapon

Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee

Room 1507, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB510 (Ebke) Provide a restriction on installment contracts for the purchase of real or personal property by political subdivisions

Thursday, March 9, 2017
Judiciary Committee
Room 1113,1:30 p.m.
  • LB434 (Ebke) Change videoconferencing provisions relating to certain juvenile hearings
  • LB516 (Pansing Brooks) Change provisions relating to a report on juvenile facilities
  • LB656 (Baker) Provide for claims against the state by persons wrongfully incarcerated
  • LB658 (Wayne) Provide for expert witness appointment as prescribed in certain juvenile proceedings
  • LB226 (Wishart) Provide for purchase of motor vehicles and insurance by certain juveniles, change foster care transition proposal provisions, and provide immunity from liability for caregivers

Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee
Room 1507, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB34 (Ebke) Change filing requirements for partisan candidates
  • LB112 (Hansen) Permit registered voters moving within Nebraska without reregistering to vote provisionally
  • LB197 (Kolowski) Provide for electronic application for an early voting ballot
  • LB290  (Vargas) Provide for voter registration upon application for driver's license, state identification card, or certain benefits
  • LB25 (Murante) Change provisions for presidential electors
Revenue Committee
Room 1524, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB570 (Friesen) Provide a property tax exemption for all tangible personal property
  • LB572 (Friesen) Provide termination dates for the Property Tax Credit Act and the Tax Equity and Educational Opportunities Support Act and change application deadlines under the Nebraska Advantage Act
  • LB576 (Brewer) Limit increases in property tax bills
  • LB599 (Groene) Exempt certain improvements on land from taxes as prescribed
Friday, March 10, 2017 - Recess Day
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Judiciary Committee
Room 1113,1:30 p.m.
  • LB405 (Baker) Change provisions relating to DNA samples, DNA records, and thumbprints under the DNA Identification Information Act
  • LB435 (Ebke) Change provisions relating to escape
  • LB450 (Chambers) Adopt the Patient Choice at End of Life Act
  • LB622 (Wishart)Adopt the Medical Cannabis Act

Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee

Room 1507, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB277 (Wayne) Change population requirements for election precincts
  • LB619 (Wayne) Permit certain counties to conduct elections by mail
  • LB316 (Murante) Change election provisions relating to technology and funding
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Judiciary Committee
Room 1113,1:30 p.m.
  • LB527 (Morfeld) Provide for subpoena of records in certain cases
  • LB145 (Hansen)  Provide for a hearing to determine financial ability to pay fines and costs and traffic citations and provide for community service
  • LB395 (Morfeld)  Change provisions relating to conditions of and ability to post bail
  • LB615 (Wayne) Provide for expungement of criminal history record information in cases of arrests based upon mistaken identity

Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee
Room 1507, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB163 (Vargas) Require additional polling places prior to elections in certain counties
  • LR15CA (Morfeld) Constitutional amendment prohibiting requiring a voter to present identification prior to voting
Friday, March 17, 2017
Judiciary Committee
Room 1113,2:00 p.m.
  • LB491 (McCollister)  Create the offense of fraudulent misrepresentation of a service animal and provide penalties
  • LB424 (Ebke)  Provide for earned time and discontinue use of good time in the Department of Correctional Services
  • LB585 (Linehan) Change provisions relating to dangerous dogs, seizure of animals, and animal control authorities

Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee
Room 1507, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB111 (Hansen) Provide for nonpartisan election of county officers
  • LB139 (Crawford) Authorize change to nonpartisan election of county officers
  • LB316 (Murante) Change election provisions relating to technology and funding
Monday, March 20, 2017
Business and Labor Committee
Room 2102,1:30 p.m.
  • LB503 (Brewer) Prohibit certain provisions in collective-bargaining agreements
  • LB598 (Groene) Require consideration of certain factors by the Commission of Industrial Relations when establishing wage rights
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Judiciary Committee
Room 1113,1:30 p.m.
  • LB446 (Chambers) Eliminate the death penalty and change and eliminate provisions relating to sentencing
  • LB560 (Schumacher) Change restrictive housing and inmate discipline provisions
  • LB593 (Hughes) Create the offense of criminal trespass to vehicles
Thursday, March 22, 2017 - Final Day of Hearings
Judiciary Committee
Room 1113,1:30 p.m.
  • LB502 (Brewer) Adopt the Permitless Concealed Carry Act

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