May 13, 2011                                                                                     Legislative Report Archive

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RoadRoad Funding Mechanism Passed


Senator Deb Fischer's proposal to designate a quarter-percent of the state's current 5.5 percent sales tax to state, county and city roads passed on Wednesday. The designation would begin in 2013 and remain in place for 20 years. It would generate approximately $70 million per year. Counties and cities would share in 15 percent of the total, which would be distributed through the Highway Allocation Fund. Opponents argued that the implementation date should be delayed to see if state sales tax revenues will recover. Governor Heineman has until Tuesday to decide whether to veto or sign LB 84.


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snapshotsSnapshots of County Issues
Advanced from General File

Clerks of the court in district and county courts would provide assistance in each other's absence pursuant to written agreements under a Judiciary Committee amendment to LB 669. The language, taken from LB 451, will likely be revised by Select File amendments to clarify the parties to the agreement, apportionment of costs, and the status of employees and ex officios. The committee amendment would strike the original language of LB 669 and replace it with LB 451, as well as three other bills: LB 339, which addresses pre-adjudication of juveniles; LB 349, which sets deadlines for jury trials in county courts; and LB 476, which would clarify statutes related to couriers delivering service of process.


The redistricting debate began on Thursday with LB 699, a bill to change the boundaries of Supreme Court judicial districts. Debate focused on the roles of the Supreme Court and Bar Association in developing district boundaries. The bill advanced to Select File on a 34-0 vote. The second round of debate is scheduled for Tuesday. The Redistricting Committee will hold hearings on Friday on other redistricting bills.

Advanced from Select File

Liability for parades and other local events that temporarily use state highways would be assumed by the county, city or village staging the event under LB 589. The governing body would formally acknowledge that it indemnifies the state and provide notice to the Department of Roads of the time and date of the event. Any claims arising from the special event would be subject to the Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act. The bill was introduced on behalf of the city of Papillion, which hosts summer road races using part of a state highway. LB 589 advanced from Select File on Wednesday.

Passed on Final Reading

The Legislature took up bills on Final Reading every day this week. While some were returned to Select File for amendments and the final vote will come later, many other bills with an impact on counties were passed.


Some of these include:

LB 373 through LB 380 and LB 585 make up the state's budget for the next two years, beginning July 1.


LB 15 would authorize district court judgements across county lines.


LB 17 would reflect records retention requirements following implementation of JUSTICE, the statewide electronic case management system.


LB 135 would change the date to remit motor vehicle and boat title fees from the fifth of the month to the fifteenth of the month.


LB 162 would eliminate an obsolete requirement for assessors to file an abstract of personal property.


LB 234 authorizes counties to request that the Department of Health and Human Services review the office space and service facilities provided by counties to determine whether the space is needed by the state or can be reduced or eliminated.


LB 254 would implement standards for documents filed in the register of deeds office.


LB 277 clarifies that it is the responsibility of the county board, with the advice of the visitors committee, to make decisions on the expenditure of County Visitors Improvement Funds.


LB 309 would provide for reapportionment of special assessments and includes amendments requested by NACO to accommodate parcels subject to a tax sales certificate.


LB 573 would allow storm spotters and emergency management workers to use flashing or rotating amber lights.


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