January 12, 2018                                                             Legislative Report Archive 

In This Issue


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introconBill Introductions Continue, Debate Begins
Bills on property tax relief, prison overcrowding, and election redistricting make up some of the 332 bills and three constitutional amendments that have been introduced during the first seven days of the 2018 legislative session. Bill introductions will continue on January 16, 17 and 18.
Public committee hearings on new bills will begin at 1:30 p.m. on January 16. A schedule of selected hearings of interest to counties is provided below and the entire hearing schedule can be found on the Legislature's website.
This week, senators held full days of floor debate on 2017 General File carryover bills and a 2018 priority bill to repeal the motorcycle helmet law ( LB368). Because a motion to invoke cloture and end debate fell three votes short, the bill is not likely to appear on the agenda again this year. LB368 was introduced and prioritized by Senator John Lowe in 2017 and prioritized in 2018 by Senator Bob Krist.
Senators also debated increasing handgun permit fees from $5 to $25. LB81 was introduced by Senator Carol Blood to help counties offset the costs associated with increased numbers of applications for permits. An amendment was adopted to extend the renewal period from three years to five years. Senator Tyson Larson filed a successful motion to indefinitely postpone the bill, effectively ending debate on the bill for the year.
Two bills introduced last year at NACO's request appear on Monday's agenda for General File debate. LB193 would update court terminology and practices to reflect the functionality of the JUSTICE system -- the state's electronic case management system. LB310 would amend counties' duties to post carrying capacity on bridges.
On Wednesday morning, Governor Pete Ricketts spoke to the body in his annual State of the State address. He focused on ways for Nebraska to become more competitive while providing property tax relief and overcoming a deficit projected at nearly $200 million. Senator Jim Smith introduced the property tax proposal, LB947, on his behalf. The bill would restructure the existing Property Tax Credit Act that provides relief to through a credit on real property taxes. The new plan, the Nebraska Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act, would create a system of refundable income tax credits. It would permanently reduce individual and corporate income tax rates and provide $10 million over two years for workforce development.
The body will be in recess on January 12 and 15. Next Thursday, Nebraska Chief Justice Mike Heavican will present his State of the Judiciary address at 10:00 a.m.
NACO Legislative Committee Meeting Set for January 26
NACO's Legislative Committee will meet on January 26 to review and take positions on 2018 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.
After brief introductory remarks, affiliate groups will meet for discussion of bills pertinent to their membership. After the groups have met, the NACO Legislative Committee will reconvene as a whole to review and take positions on the entire list of bills. 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 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 Cornhusker, A Marriott Hotel at 12th and L Streets.
 valburValuation Burden of Proof Hearing Scheduled
County assessors would have to prove that the valuations they set are fair and equitable when the county board of equalization hears protests of real property under LB905. The bill, which was introduced by Senator John Kuehn, will be heard by the Revenue Committee on Friday, January 19.

The committee will also hear LB772, which would change special valuation in counties under 100,000. The bill was introduced in response to the proposed Costco chicken processing plant in Fremont.

The third bill to be heard by the committee on January 19 was introduced by Senator Burke Harr on behalf of NACO. Under existing law, a non-owner can protest the valuation of another party's property. The property owner does not receive notification of the protest or have the ability to respond. LB885 would require county clerks to forward a copy of the protest form and attachments, as well as the decision of the county board of equalization, to the property owner. The bill does not address the policy of whether someone should be allowed to protest the value of property they do not own.
A second bill introduced by Senator Harr at NACO's request will be heard on Thursday, January 18. LB884 would expand authority for counties to implement a local option sales tax. Existing law provides for a county sales tax only in areas not already under a municipal sales tax and limits the usage to public safety services. LB884 would allow voters to impose the sales tax on all areas of the county, regardless of whether there is a municipal sales tax, and allow it to be used for economic development or manufacturing and industrial site development.
Two technical bills on inheritance taxes, LB881 and LB882, will also be heard on January 18.
The hearings will start at 1:30 in Room 1524 of the State Capitol.

Two other bills that would affect the valuation process were introduced this week. LB899 would require a pro-rated valuation if property is destroyed by fire or another natural disaster between January 1 and October 1. LB963 would require all parcels to be reviewed every three years, rather than every six years. Neither bill has been scheduled for hearing.
 bilintroBills Introduced Impacting Counties
A number of the bills introduced this week have an impact on counties. Some of these include:

County Operations
  • LB884 (Harr) Change and eliminate provisions relating to county sales and use taxes *NACO Bill*
  • LB887 (Murante) Clarify requirements for exceeding budget limitations under the Nebraska Budget Act
  • LB993 (Friesen) Create the 911 Service System Advisory Committee and change the 911 Service System Act and eliminate the act's termination date
  • LB997 (Murante) Provide limits on salaries of administrative employees of political subdivisions
Property Tax
  • LB885 (Harr) Change provisions relating to property tax protests  *NACO BIll*
  • LB899 (Erdman) Provide for an adjustment to the assessed value of destroyed real property
  • LB905 (Kuehn)Change the burden of proof for certain protests of real property valuations
  • LB910 (Bolz) Adopt the Property Tax Circuit Breaker Act and change the funding of the Property Tax Credit Act 
  • LB947 (Smith, on behalf of the governor) Adopt the Nebraska Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act, change income tax rates, and eliminate certain exemptions and credits
  • LB963 (Smith) Change how often real property is inspected and reviewed for property tax purposes
  • LB965 (Schumacher) Change provisions relating to lists of real property subject to sale for delinquent taxes.
  • LB879 (Ebke) Provide for a parenting time summary report
  • LB972 (Wayne) Provide for deferred judgments by courts
  • LB983 (Ebke) Change provisions relating to audiovisual court appearances
Law Enforcement
  • LB955 (Krist) Provide for reciprocal certification of military police officers and law enforcement officers from other jurisdictions.
  • LB959 (Murante) Provide requirements for returning a ballot for someone else and provide a penalty
  • LB969 (Wayne) Change signature requirements for nomination of partisan candidates by petition
TIF (Tax Increment Financing)
  • LB967 (Groene) Eliminate provisions of the Community Development Law relating to undeveloped vacant land and land outside of cities.

comhrgsCommittee Hearings Scheduled
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.

Monday, January 15 - Legislature in Recess for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Tuesday, January 16
Transportation and Telecommunications Committee
Room 1113, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB733 (Thibodeau) Change provisions relating to licenses of county highway and city street superintendents
Wednesday, January 17
Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee
Room 1507, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB786 (Vargas) Change terminology related to county government
  •  LB825 (Brewer) Change provisions relating to budgets and public hearing notice for certain governmental entities
  •  LB827 (Lowe) Provide for disposition of property of members of veterans' homes and change state personnel system exemptions for the Department of Veterans' Affairs
Judiciary Committee
Room 1113, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB672 (Krist) Provide for medical release for committed offenders
  • LB675 (Krist) Change provisions relating to correctional overcrowding emergencies
  • LB676 (Krist) Allow certain committed persons to participate in substance abuse or rehabilitative treatment, seek residency or employment, and participate in structured programming
  • LB692 (Blood) Provide for a staffing analysis of the Department of Correctional Services
  • LB841 (Pansing Brooks) Provide duties relating to correctional overcrowding emergencies
Natural Resources Committee
Room 1525, 2:00 p.m.
  • LB758 (Hughes) Require collaboration between natural resources districts and counties under the Nebraska Ground Water Management and Protection Act
Revenue Committee
Room 1524, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB760 (Hughes) Change the Volunteer Emergency Responders Incentive Act
Thursday, January 18
Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee
Room 1507, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB887 (Murante) Clarify requirements for exceeding budget limitations under the Nebraska Budget Act
  • LB902 (Bostelman) Authorize the withholding from the public of information regarding firearm registration, possession, sale, or use
  • LB859 (Hansen) Change records relating to employee deaths which may be withheld from the public
Judiciary Committee
Room 1113, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB678 (Krist) Change provisions relating to criminal justice
  • LB776 (McCollister) Provide requirements for inmate access to telephone or videoconferencing systems in county and city jails
  • LB818 (Chambers) Change powers and duties relating to the Jail Standards Board
  • LB878 (Ebke) Provide requirements for testimony by jailhouse informants
Revenue Committee
Room 1524, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB881 (Schumacher) Change inheritance tax provisions relating to life insurance proceeds
  • LB882 (Schumacher) Change provisions relating to certain inheritance tax proceedings
  • LB884 (Harr) Change and eliminate provisions relating to county sales and use taxes*NACO Bill*
Friday, January 19
Judiciary Committee
Room 1113, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB696 (Ebke) Increase the number of district court judges in Douglas County
  • LB697 (Ebke) Change certain district court judicial district boundaries
Revenue Committee
Room 1524, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB772 (Walz) Change provisions relating to agricultural land that receives special valuation
  • LB885 (Harr) Change provisions relating to property tax protests *NACO Bill*
  • LB905 (Kuehn) Change the burden of proof for certain protests of real property valuations
Monday, January 22
Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee
Room 1507, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB683 (Blood) Provide a license fee exemption for servicemembers and their spouses under the Nebraska Real Estate License Act
Business and Labor Committee
Room 2102, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB784 (Vargas) Change the Employee Classification Act to prohibit contractors with unpaid fines from contracting with the state or political subdivisions
Executive Board
Room 2102, 12:00 p.m.
  • LB744 (Executive Board) Adopt the Legislative Qualifications and Election Contests Act
Transportation and Telecommunications Committee
Room 1113, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB895 (Geist) Change lien and flood-damaged brand provisions relating to motor vehicle certificates of title and change duties and requirements of the Department of Motor Vehicles as prescribed
  • LB896 (Geist) Change provisions relating to electronic certificates of title, salvage vehicles, and the electronic dealer services system and Vehicle Title and Registration System maintained by the Department of Motor Vehicles
Tuesday, January 23
Transportation and Telecommunications Committee
Room 1113, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB671 (Krist) Change requirements for certain driving permits and use of occupant protection systems, change certain violations from secondary to primary enforcement, and prohibit use of interactive wireless communication devices by school bus operators
  • LB711 (Baker) Change requirements for use of occupant protection systems 
Wednesday, January 24
Judiciary Committee
Room 1113, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB670 (Krist) Change membership, powers, and duties of the Nebraska Coalition for Juvenile Justice
  • LB673 (Krist) Change procedures for certain hearings for juveniles
  • LB689 (Blood) Exclude juveniles from the Sex Offender Registration Act
  • LB708 (Bolz) Change provisions relating to juvenile court bridge orders
  • LB714 (Howard) Provide a procedure for judicial emancipation of a minor
  • LB774 (Pansing Brooks) Change peace officers' duties regarding encounters with certain juveniles
  • LB870 (Pansing Brooks) Provide for room confinement for juveniles as prescribed
Thursday, January 25
Judiciary Committee
Room 1113, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB688 (Blood) Provide for the possession, use, and application of sunscreen for children and students and provide immunity
  • LB729 (Wayne) Allow claims arising out of misrepresentation or deceit under the Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act and State Tort Claims Act
  • LB780 (Pansing Brooks) Prohibit manufacture, import, transfer, and possession of multiburst trigger activators and firearm silencers
  • LB810 (Harr) Change provisions of State Tort Claims Act relating to certain claims arising out of misrepresentation or deceit by the Department of Health and Human Services
  • LB849 (Ebke) Provide procedure for return of handguns temporarily taken into possession by law enforcement under Concealed Handgun Permit Act
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