April 22, 2011                                                                                    Legislative Report Archive

In This Issue




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roadRoad Funding Bill Advances

Counties would receive an estimated $5.25 million from state sales taxes for road projects under LB 84.  The bill, which was advanced from the second round of debate on Wednesday, would earmark one-quarter of one percent of the state's sales tax for highway construction and road improvements.  At least 25 percent of the total funds would be used for expressways and federally-designated high priority corridors.

Several amendments and a motion to bracket the bill until June were defeated before cloture was invoked to end eight hours of second-round debate.  If LB 84 is passed by the Legislature and survives a possible veto, it would take effect in 2013. At that time, sales tax revenues designated for roads are projected to total $70 million.


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snapshotsSnapshots of County Issues
Debated on General File
Low-speed vehicles, which are similar to golf carts, could be used on certain Nebraska streets and roads pursuant to LB 289.  Low-speed vehicles could only be used on roads with a speed limit of 35 m.p.h. or less, subject to regulation by local governments and the Department of Roads. Drivers would need to hold a valid Class O operator's license and carry liability insurance for the low-speed vehicle.  Vehicles purchased after Jan. 1, 2012 would need a certificate of title.  The bill was advanced from General File on Monday and appears on Tuesday's agenda for Select File debate.  The Legislature is in recess on April 22 and 25, as well as April 29. 
Candidates could not file for office before December 1 under LB 449, which was advanced from General File this week.  The change would make it easier to determine filing fees.  Other provisions of the bill would set precinct sizes at 75 to 1,750 registered voters, require training for deputy registrars, and add e-mail addresses to voter registration forms.  LB 449 may be debated again on Tuesday. 

Last year's legislation to create a mechanism to use nameplate capacity to tax wind energy components would be revised by LB 360.  The bill, with an adopted Revenue Committee amendment, would clarify that a credit against the nameplate capacity tax applies only to depreciable tangible personal property taxes paid on facilities commissioned before July 15, 2010. 
Debated on Select File 
 The starting date for tax increment financing projects (TIF) would be more clearly defined to reflect the life of the project by LB 54. An Attorney General's opinion had been issued earlier this month to address questions about the constitutionality of the bill.  The bill, which is an Urban Affairs Committee priority bill, was advanced to Final Reading on Wednesday. 
Advanced from Final Reading
The Legislature sent more than two dozen measures to Gov. Dave Heineman's desk on Wednesday.  Among the bills are LB 35, which proposes changes to the permitting process for oversize vehicles during harvest season and tow trucks hauling disabled vehicles.  LB 499 would revise election issues.  LB 544 would require high school curriculum to include components to teach the value of civil discourse between opposing interests and  encourage active participation in the improvement of the community, state, country, and world. 

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