January 18, 2019                                                        Legislative Report Archive 

In This Issue


Bill Introductions Continue

NACO's Legislative Committee Meeting on January 25

Property Tax Cap, Ag Land Value Hearings Scheduled

Snapshots of County Issues

Schedule of Selected Hearings


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introsBill Introductions Continue
The introduction of new bills was the primary focus of the second week of the 2019 legislative session. By the end of Friday, the 8th day of the session, 478 bills and five constitutional amendments had been introduced. Bill introductions will conclude on Wednesday, January 23. The Legislature will be in recess on January 21 for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Public committee hearings on each of the introduced bills will begin on January 22. Selected hearings of interest to counties are listed below and the full schedule is posted on the Legislature's website.
On Tuesday, Governor Pete Ricketts gave his State of the State address. He outlined his budget and plans for property tax relief which include a three percent cap on property taxes levied by local governments, $1 million in aid through the Property Tax Credit Relief Fund, and a statutory floor of $275 million for the Fund. He noted that six new counties have been designated as Livestock Friendly in the last year, bringing the total to 49 counties.

On Wednesday afternoon the Rules Committee held a hearing on proposed changes to the Legislature's rules. Senators operate temporarily under the prior year's rules until permanent rules can be adopted. In 2017, the permanent rules were not adopted until the 49th day of the session. Floor debate on proposed rule changes will begin on January 22.  
Chief Justice Mike Heavican presented a State of the Judiciary address on Thursday. He addressed Nebraska's justice reinvestment efforts, citing successes in the state's problem-solving and re-entry courts and the role of probation.

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lgcmNACO's Legislative Committee Meeting on January 25
NACO's Legislative Committee will meet on Friday, January 25 to review and take positions on 2019 legislation. The meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the NACO office at 1335 H Street in Lincoln.

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 may be limited. Public parking is not available behind the NACO office or in the MIPS lot. A parking garage is available at the Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel at 12th and L Streets.

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capProperty Tax Cap, Ag Land Value Hearings Scheduled
Bills to cap property taxes levied by counties, require additional notice of increased tax asking, and change ag land values for school bonds will be heard by the Revenue Committee on Thursday, January 24 at 1:30 p.m. in Room 1524 of the State Capitol. The public is invited to attend and provide testimony.
LB158, introduced by Senator Tom Brewer, would freeze valuations for four years. The bill would set the assessed value of real property as of January 1, 2020, at the same value that was assessed on January 1, 2019, plus new improvements and less improvements that were destroyed or removed since January 1, 2019. The same process would be applied for the following three years.
The constitutionality of a similar proposal was questioned in a 2016 Attorney General's opinion. The opinion concluded that a valuation freeze could result in an unconstitutional lack of uniformity among property of the same class by limiting growth in the market value of property.

Under LB103, counties and other taxing entities proposing an increase in their tax asking from the prior year would have to hold a public hearing and pass a resolution. The hearing could not be held at the same time as the annual budget meeting. Public testimony would be permitted within reasonable time limits set by the board.
Notice of the hearing would have to be given at least 30 days in advance by publication in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the county and posting in a prominent public location at which notices are regularly posted in the building where the governing body regularly conducts its business. The notice would have to be at least the size of one-eighth page of a standard size or tabloid size newspaper with the headline in 18-point type.
The notice would have to include specific language stating the percentage increase in property value over the prior year, the lowered tax rate that would be needed to levy the same amount of property taxes as the prior year, the effective rate increase proposed by the board, and the proposed total budget increase percentage.
LB103 was introduced by Revenue Committee Chair Lou Ann Linehan.
LB183 would value ag land at one percent of its actual value for school district taxes levied to pay the principal and interest on bonds. The valuation for county purposes would not be affected. The state would make the necessary calculations in conjunction with the school aid formula. Senator Tom Briese introduced the bill.
The Revenue Committee is chaired by Senator Lou Ann Linehan. Members are: Senators Tom Briese, Sue Crawford, Curt Friesen, Mike Groene, Mark Kolterman, Brett Lindstrom, and John McCollister.
Public hearings are livestreamed through NET's link on the Legislature's website. If you are not testifying in person and would like to submit a written position letter to be included in the official hearing record as an exhibit, the letter must be delivered or emailed to Senator Linehan's office by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 23. The letter must include your name and address, state a position of for, against, or neutral on the bill in question and include a request for the letter to be included as part of the public hearing record. This process applies to all committee hearings and submitting written testimony to their respective chairs.

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snshSnapshots of County Issues
A number of bills introduced this week could have an impact on counties. Some of these include:

County Operations
LB237 (Crawford) Change provisions relating to sales and use tax collection fees
LB239 (Dorn) Change requirements for notice of hearing on county budget - NACO Bill
LB267 (Bolz) Provide a duty for the county board relating to deficient bridges and authorize a tax levy
LB273 (Hansen, M.) Provide a restricted funds budget limitation as prescribed for certain political subdivisions
LB315 (Kolterman) Provide for an inheritance tax exemption and change certain inheritance tax proceedings
LB324 (La Grone) Change immunity from liability under the 911 Service System Act
LB336 (Hansen, M.) Change the vote required to exceed certain budget limitations
LB373 (Brewer) Provide setback and zoning requirements for wind energy generation projects
LB411 (Scheer) Provide an additional method of changing the number of county commissioners
LB452 (Clements) Change boundaries of Nebraska planning and development regions and provide a procedure for a county to move to an adjacent region
LB463 (Williams) Change provisions relating to treasurer's tax deeds and tax sale certificates - NACO bill
LB474 (Dorn) Change provisions relating to claims against the state for wrongful incarceration and conviction
LB246 (Brewer) Change provisions relating to elections
LB415 (Friesen) Repeal recall provisions for political subdivisions
Juvenile Justice
LB230 (Pansing Brooks) Provide for room confinement of juveniles as prescribed
LB231 (Pansing Brooks)Change provisions relating to legal defense of juveniles
LB354 (Pansing Brooks) Change provisions relating to sealing of juvenile records
LB391 (Hansen, M.) Change duties of peace officers taking juveniles into custody or interrogating juveniles and prohibit use of statements taken in violation of juvenile rights
Law Enforcement/Courts
LB232 (Slama) Reduce the threshold amount for claims against the state for prosecution costs
LB282 (Hansen, M.) Change provisions relating to bail
LB335 (Hansen, M.) Authorize a 24/7 sobriety program permit for operating a motor vehicle as a condition of bail
LB363 (Hansen, M.) Adopt the In the Line of Duty Compensation Act
LB369 (Vargas) Require jails, law enforcement agencies, and the Nebraska State Patrol to provide public notice before entering into agreements to enforce federal immigration law and to allow audits of noncomplying entities
LB376 (Friesen) Provide for safekeeping of prisoners - NACO bill
LB387 (Pansing Brooks) Change and modernize provisions relating to juries - NACO bill
LB446 (McDonnell) State intent relating to appropriations for the County Justice Reinvestment Grant Program
LB455 (Arch) Change medical services payment provisions relating to jails

Motor Vehicles
LB270 (Friesen) Change licensing, registration, and titling provisions for motor vehicles and other vehicles as prescribed
LB446 (McDonnell) State intent relating to appropriations for the County Justice Reinvestment Grant Program

Property Tax
LB250 (Walz) Change provisions relating to agricultural land and horticultural land receiving special valuations
LB289 (Linehan) Change provisions relating to county assessor inspections of real property for property tax purposes
LB303 (Lindstrom) Change the amount of relief under the Property Tax Credit Act
LB314 (Briese) Adopt the Remote Seller Sales Tax Collection Act and change revenue and taxation provisions
LB372 (Erdman) Change provisions relating to classes and subclasses of agricultural land and horticultural land
LB393 (Groene) Increase the documentary stamp tax
LB420 (Bolz) Adopt the Property Tax Circuit Breaker Act
LB444 (McDonnell) Provide a homestead exemption for certain dwelling complexes
LR8CA (Linehan) Constitutional amendment to limit the total amount of property tax revenue that may be raised by political subdivisions

LB338 (Wayne) Change calculation of gasoline tax and distribution of proceeds
LB414 (Brandt) Change county highway superintendent duties as prescribed and eliminate an annual report requirement - NACO bill

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selhrgSchedule of Selected Hearings
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. Due to construction at the Capitol, the Judiciary and Transportation and Telecommunications Committees will meet in the Warner Chamber.
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.
Monday, January 21, 2019 - Holiday
T uesday, January 22, 2019
Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee
Room 1507 1:30 p.m.
LB77 (Williams) Change provisions of the Real Property Appraiser Act and the Nebraska Appraisal Management Company Registration Act
Education Committee
Room 1525 1:30 p.m.
LB115 (Blood) Change provisions related to enrollment of children of members of the military     
LB6 (Blood) Change residency provisions relating to persons on active duty and their dependents for college tuition purposes            
LB122 (Crawford) Change postsecondary residency requirements for veterans, family members, and other qualified persons
Transportation and Telecommunications Committee
Warner Chamber 1:30 p.m.
LB79 (Friesen) Adopt and update references to federal transportation laws and allow for electronic images of certain registration certificates
LB82 (Friesen) Change provisions relating to contracts and state aid for bridges, land acquisition for state highways, functional classification, minimum standards, six-year and one-year plans, and distribution of funds          
LB117 (Hilgers) Change provisions relating to bridge and highway construction contracts, certification of financial showing, and obtaining contract plans prepared by the Department of Transportation

Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Judiciary Committee
Warner Chamber 1:30 p.m.
LB141 (DeBoer) Provide for the offense of assault by strangulation or suffocation
LB143 (Hughes) Prohibit throwing or dropping dangerous instruments on motor vehicles

Revenue Committee
Room 1524 1:30 p.m.
LB5 (Blood) Change the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Act

Thursday, January 24, 2019
Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee
Room 1507 1:30 p.m.
LB20 (Briese) Require voter approval of public building commission bonds
LB204 (Briese) Require approval of voters for bonds under the Interlocal Cooperation Act

Health and Human Services Committee
Room 1510 1:30 p.m.
LB200 (Wishart) Change provisions relating to licensure under the Health Care Facility Licensure Act of alcoholism centers providing civil protective custody of intoxicated persons

Revenue Committee
Room 1524 1:30 p.m.
LB63 (Groene) Change tax levy provisions relating to rural and suburban fire protection districts and change the Mutual Finance Assistance Act
LB103 (Linehan) Change provisions relating to property tax requests
LB158 (Brewer) Change provisions relating to the assessed value of real property
LB183 (Briese) Change the valuation of agricultural land and horticultural land for purposes of certain school district taxes

Friday, January 25, 2019
Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee
Room 1507 1:30 p.m.
LB64 (Groene) Change and eliminate licensing, training, and internship provisions under the Licensing of Truth and Deception Examiners Act
LB186 (Lindstrom) Adopt the Online Notary Public Act

Judiciary Committee
Warner Chamber 1:30 p.m.
LB47 (Chambers) Change provisions relating to when a grand jury report may be made public
LB213 (McCollister) Provide for setting aside certain infraction, misdemeanor, and felony convictions

Revenue Committee
Room 1524 1:30 p.m.
LB4 (Stinner) Change mileage reimbursement and filing fees under the Tax Equalization and Review Commission Act
LB86 (Wayne) Change provisions relating to the allocation of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and the collection and remittance of the documentary stamp tax

Monday, January 28, 2019
Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee
Room 1507 1:30 p.m.
LB42 (Hilkemann) Provide certain responsibilities and a duty under the Condominium Property Act and a duty under the Nebraska Condominium Act

General Affairs Committee
Room 1510 1:30 p.m.
LB56 (Lowe) Change special designated licensure provisions under the Nebraska Liquor Control Act

Transportation and Telecommunications Committee
Warner Chamber 1:30 p.m.
LB8 (Blood) Allow physician medical directors to display certain vehicle lights as prescribed
LB10 (Blood) Authorize the operation of lighted-billboard motor vehicles
LB80 (Friesen) Change motor vehicle identification inspection provisions
LB81 (Friesen) Change provisions relating to special stops at railroad grade crossings under the Nebraska Rules of the Road

Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Nebraska Retirement Systems Committee
Room 1507 12:00 p.m.
LB32 (Kolterman) Change defined contribution benefit investment options as prescribed under the County Employees Retirement Act and State Employees Retirement Act

Transportation and Telecommunications Committee
Warner Chamber 1:30 p.m
LB111 (Howard) change a certificate of title application signature requirement as prescribed
LB156 (Brewer) Provide for the operation of former military vehicles
LB192 (McCollister) Change provisions relating to veterans designations on operators' licenses and state identification cards
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