January 26, 2018                                                             Legislative Report Archive 

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revcomRevenue Committee Hears First Property Tax Relief Bill
Senator Steve Erdman's bill to relieve the property tax burden by creating an income tax credit for 50 percent of school taxes paid was the first of several property tax relief and tax restructuring bills that will be heard the by Revenue Committee in the 2018 session. LB829 mirrors a property tax relief petition that is being circulated. At the hearing on Wednesday, proponents argued that property taxes, especially on agricultural land, exceed production capacity and have skyrocketed in recent years. Opponents raised questions about how to generate the revenue needed to offset the credit because the bill does not provide an alternative revenue source.
The committee also heard LB899, a bill to require assessors to prorate the value of real property destroyed after the January 1 assessment date and before October 1. The bill contains concepts similar to LB1089, which was prepared by the Department of Revenue. However, LB1089 contains technical and procedural details, including requiring submission of a petition by the property owner or assessor to change the value of property destroyed by a major calamity.
Next Wednesday, January 31, the committee will hear LB947, a property tax relief bill introduced by Revenue Committee Chairman Jim Smith on behalf of Governor Pete Ricketts. The bill proposes closing a $200 million budget gap by making across the board cuts to state agencies, borrowing from state agencies, and redistributing property tax credits. Nine amendments have already been filed by the introducer.
On Thursday, February 1, Senator Burke Harr's LB1108 will be before the committee. The bill would increase sales taxes for four years to create jobs and support schools. Half of the would be directed to the Transportation Infrastructure Bank and light rail development grants.
Other property tax relief bills will be heard throughout the next few weeks.

policyNew Policy for Submitting Letters to Committees
The Legislature's Standing Committees have adopted a new policy for the submission of letters to committees that are intended to be part of the record. Under the new policy, letters must be received by the committee by 5:00 p.m. the day prior to the hearing. Letters received after the cut-off will not be read into the record.

bridgeBridge Signage Bill Advanced from First Round
County bridges would not need to be posted with the carrying capacity or weight limits unless the limit varied from the county road under LB310, which was advanced from General File on Monday. Senator Curt Friesen introduced the bill last year at NACO's request. The Nebraska Cattlemen proposed an amendment to a fix an oversight in legislation adopted two years ago setting weight limits for implements of hubandry on county bridges and culverts. An amendment was adopted to exempt culverts with a span of less than 60 inches from these restrictions.
During General File floor debate Senator Paul Schumacher questioned existing language in Neb.Rev.Stat. 39-1411 that would remove the county from liability for any accidents or injury occurring on county bridges. He suggested amending the section to clarify that county liability is waived only when damage or failure of the bridge is caused by a violation of the weight limit.Senator Friesen has offered AM1610 to make this change on Select File.
 hrgsnapSnapshots of Activity
Committee Hearings
Every bill introduced in the Nebraska Legislature is given a public hearing by a committee. Each senator is assigned to one or more committees. Following is a summary of discussion at selected committee hearings this week.
Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee
No proponents appeared to testify on either of two bills to limit county officials' salaries. LB 831 would place a cap of $24,000 on elected county board members' salaries. LB997 would cap salaries of administrative employees of political subdivisions. Several opponents to both bills emphasized that local control is best for determining what salaries are reasonable and fair to elected officials and employees. Both introducers of the bills appeared receptive to amendments to their legislation.
Transportation and Telecommunications Committee
Two Department of Motor Vehicles clean up bills were heard by the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee and advanced to General File this week. LB895 would create a new type of "flood damaged" salvage title. LB896 would update deadlines under the proposed electronic titling system for motor vehicles.

Natural Resources Committee
Senator Tom Brewer, the introducer of a bill to allow for the purchase of a Nebraska park permit during the motor vehicle registration renewal process, asked the Natural Resources Committee to hold LB754 to work through some procedural aspects. As proposed, the sticker would be attached to the rear license plate and cost $15, which is half of the regular annual permit fee. When a similar program was enacted in Kansas, the number of permits doubled.

Urban Affairs Committee
Cities in counties of all sizes could use a land bank to bring dilapidated, tax delinquent properties back onto the tax rolls under LB854. The Urban Affairs Committee heard the bill on Tuesday. Currently land banks are only available to cities or villages within a county where a city of the metropolitan class is located or a county with at least three cities of the first class. LB854 was advanced to General File.

General File Debate
A bill to repeal county authority to enact a plan to manage prairie dogs  survived a motion to indefinitely postpone but failed to advance from General File on Tuesday. Senator Ernie Chambers introduced LB449 to repeal the Black-Tailed Prairie Dog Management Act that had been enacted while he was not in the Legislature due to term limits. The Act is based in part on noxious weed control laws. The bill would also remove the state Department of Agriculture director's authority to contract with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to control black-tailed prairie dogs.

Select File Debate
Senators advanced a series of Select File bills today including LB193, a bill to update court statutes to reflect the new JUSTICE electronic case management system.

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 29 - Recess Day
Tuesday, January 30
Transportation and Telecommunications Committee
Room 1113, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB740 (Lindstrom) Provide for registration and licensing of metropolitan utilities district motor vehicles and trailers as prescribed
  • LB755 (Brewer) Change rules for operation of all-terrain vehicles and utility-type vehicles
  • LB909 (Bostelman) Change motor vehicle titling and registration provisions, assembled and kit vehicle provisions, and the branding of certificates of title as reconstructed or replica
  • LB980 (Watermeier) Provide for issuance of permits for divisible loads of hay bales
Urban Affairs Committee
Room 1510, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB846 (Briese ) Change provisions relating to findings and the enforceability of certain agreements under the Community Development Law
  • LB874 (Urban Affairs Committee) Change the Community Development Law 
  • LB967 (Groene) Eliminate provisions of the Community Development Law relating to undeveloped vacant land and land outside of cities
  • LB1085 (Wayne) Change the Community Development Law and provisions relating to tax-increment financing
Wednesday January 31
Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee
Room 1507, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB943 (Wishart) Redefine a term relating to budget limitations
  • LB850 (Linehan) Require disclosure of the anticipated cost to a political subdivision to pay off its bonds
  • LB1128 (Wayne) Prohibit counties, local governments, and certain state entities from spending legislative appropriations under certain conditions
Judiciary Committee
Room 1113, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB792 (Ebke) Change powers and duties of the Nebraska State Patrol, law enforcement agencies, the executive director of the Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, and the Attorney General
  • LB923 (Morfeld) Provide immunity for certain law enforcement employees administering naloxone and change provisions relating to immunity for persons reporting or experiencing alcohol overdoses
  • LB955 (Krist) Provide for reciprocal certification of military police officers and law enforcement officers from other jurisdictions
  • LR269CA (Schumacher) Constitutional amendment to authorize the Legislature to delegate complete or partial sovereignty to one area of the state
Revenue Committee
Room 1524, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB947 (Smith) Adopt the Nebraska Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act, change income tax rates, and eliminate certain exemptions and credits
Thursday, February 1
Government, Military and Veteran Affairs Committee
Room 1507, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB1000 (Briese) Require a bond election under the Public Facilities Construction and Finance Act                
Judiciary Committee
Room 1113, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB842 (Pansing Brooks) Change provisions relating to certain minimum sentences            
Revenue Committee
Room 1524, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB1108 (Harr) Authorize certain tax credits, change the sales tax rate, and provide for school foundation aid and certain grant programs
  • LB745 (Watermeier) Require notice relating to certain refunds of local sales and use taxes            
Friday, February 2
Judiciary Committee
Room 1113, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB879 (Ebke) Provide for a parenting time summary report
  • LB972 (Wayne) Provide for deferred judgments by courts
  • LB785 (Vargas) Change terminology related to marriage
Nebraska Retirement Systems
Room 1525, 12:00 p.m.
  • LB1005 (Kolterman) Change county and school retirement provisions
Revenue Committee
Room 1524, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB1071 (Lindstrom) Adopt the Infrastructure Improvement and Replacement Assistance Act and provide for a turn back of state sales tax revenue
  • LB739 (Lindstrom) Change the Sports Arena Facility Financing Assistance Act       
Monday, February 5 
Transportation and Telecommunications Committee
Room 1113, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB721 (Wayne) Remove a prohibition to regulate wireless telecommunications service by the Public Service Commission
  • LB993  (Friesen) Create the 911 Service System Advisory Committee and change the 911 Service System Act and eliminate the act's termination date
  • LB994 (Friesen) Create the Rural Broadband Study Task Force, change provisions relating to the Nebraska Telecommunications Universal Service Fund, and change powers and duties of the Public Service Commission as prescribed 
Tuesday, February 6
Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee
Room 1507, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB987 (Schumacher) Adopt the Uniform Regulation of Virtual-Currency Businesses Act
Transportation and Telecommunications Committee
Room 1113, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB1009 (Murante) Provide a super-two rural highway classification and change maximum highway speed limits as prescribed
Wednesday, February 7
Judiciary Committee
Room 1113, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB691 (Blood) Adopt the Nebraska Virtual Currency Money Laundering Act and define and redefine terms under the Nebraska Money Transmitters Act
  • LB695 (Blood) Authorize and define smart contracts and authorize use of distributed ledger technology as prescribed
  • LB773 (Clements) Change intimidation by telephone call provisions and prohibit intimidation by electronic message
  • LB782 (Pansing Brooks) Change intimidation by telephone call provisions and provide for intimidation by electronic communication
  • LB855 (Lindstrom) Change Security, Privacy, and Dissemination of Criminal History Information Act provisions to provide for charges or offenses that have been pardoned
  • LB1083 (Hansen) Provide for discovery of telephone numbers and email addresses of witnesses in criminal cases
Thursday, February 8
Judiciary Committee
Room 1113, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB990 (Wayne) Create the offense of possession of a firearm by a prohibited juvenile offender
  •  LR293CA (Wishart) Constitutional amendment providing a right to use or consume medical cannabis subject to laws, rules, and regulations
Friday, February 9 - Legislature in Recess, Special Judiciary Committee Hearings
Judiciary Committee
Room 1113, 9:30 a.m.
  • LB781 (Pansing Brooks) Change penalties for certain felonies committed by persons under nineteen years of age
  • LB869 (Pansing Brooks) Change provisions relating to sealing of juvenile records
  • LB875 (Bolz) Change sentencing provisions for crimes committed by persons under the age of eighteen  
  • LB930 (Hansen) Prohibit use of juveniles' statements made as a result of custodial interrogation
  • LB983 (Ebke) Change provisions relating to audiovisual court appearances
Judiciary Committee
Room 1113, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB925 (Pansing Brooks) Change provisions relating to certain sex crimes and crimes against children
  •  LB988 (Pansing Brooks) Adopt an affirmative consent standard with respect to sexual assault
  •  LB1013 (Pansing Brooks) Limit the habitual criminal enhancement to violent felonies
  •  LB1132 (Pansing Brooks) Provide a procedure to set aside convictions of victims of sex trafficking and to expunge related records

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