May 20, 2011                                                                                     Legislative Report Archive

In This Issue




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RoadRoad Funding Bill Signed by Governor

Counties, cities and the state will share about $70 million annually from state sales tax collections to help fund road projects, beginning in 2013. The bill earmarks one-quarter percent of the state's 5.5 percent sales tax for roads for twenty years. Fifteen percent of the total will be distributed to counties and cities through the Highway Allocation Fund. Governor Heineman signed LB 84 on Tuesday.


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CIRSelect File Revisions Proposed to CIR Bill

A proposed Select File amendment to LB 397, a bill to revise the state's collective bargaining system, appears to resolve concerns by chambers of commerce, Governor Heineman, and others that the measure is not extensive enough. The bill is set for second-round debate today.


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snapshotSnapshots of County Issues

Advanced from General File 


Counties, cities, and state agencies would be given authority to pursue reclamation costs for the maintenance and repair of roads, bridges, and other infrastructure damaged by pipelines under a Natural Resources Committee amendment to LB 629. Pipeline carriers would be responsible for reclamation and maintenance of pipeline right-of-way until the pipeline is permanently decommissioned or removed. As originally introduced, the bill would have given some pipeline oversight to the Public Service Commission and required proof of financial responsibility from pipeline carriers. The bill does not address the siting of pipelines.


Bills to revise congressional (LB 704) and legislative district (LB 703) boundaries were advanced from the first round of debate on May 19. In addition to the plans presented by the Redistricting Committee, senators debated several other maps proposed by individual senators. Bills to redraw boundaries for the Public Service Commission, Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska, and State Board of Education are pending on Select File today. A bill to revise judicial district boundaries, LB 699, is scheduled for Final Reading this morning.


Expanded levy authority for certain natural resources districts would be extended for six years by LB 400. As originally introduced, the bill would have repealed the Long-Term Care Savings Plan Act, but a Revenue Committee amendment replaced those provisions with LB 528. The additional levy authority is intended to help NRDs in fully appropriated or over-appropriated basins to administer and implement ground water management activities. The bill was advanced from General File on Wednesday and appears for Select File debate on today's agenda.


A bill introduced to authorize juvenile court judges to order juveniles to attend or reside in detention facilities and make restitution for medical expenses as conditions of their probation was advanced to General File on May 16. A Judiciary Committee amendment removed judicial authority relative to detention centers and added the ability to order juveniles to attend day reporting centers or drug court programs. LB 670 advanced to Select File but may not be debated again during this session.


Advanced from Select File


Clerks of the district and county courts, county boards, the State Court Administrator, district and county court judges, and county attorneys would provide input when negotiating an agreement for clerks of the district court and clerks of the county court to provide services when the other is temporarily unavailable under an amendment to LB 669. Informal cooperative arrangements between district and county court clerks have been in place in many counties; the bill would formalize the process. The concept of was originally presented in LB 451 and amended into LB 669. Other amendments adopted before the bill advanced from the second round of debate would facilitate electronic filings for criminal and traffic complaints and make technical changes to dissolution of marriage laws.


Passed by the Legislature


Counties could adopt a local option sales tax to finance public safety services they provide independently under LB 106. Existing law requires an agreement with another entity in order to use county sales tax dollars. LB 106 was one of several bills with county impact passed by the Legislature this week. LB 289 would authorize the operation of low-speed vehicles on certain highways, subject to restrictions enacted by local governments and the Department of Roads. LB 628 would authorize counties and other public entities to donate obsolete motor vehicles to charitable organizations. The bill also revises purchasing statutes related to motor vehicles. LB 589 sets out procedures for local governments to use state highways for special events, such as road races.


Signed by Governor Heineman 


In addition to LB 84, Governor Heineman signed numerous bills this week. Unless a bill carries an emergency clause or specific operative date, these bills will take effect three months after the Legislature adjourns.


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


LB 15 authorizes district court judgements across county lines.


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


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


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


LB 167 revises state rules regarding payments to individuals who are displaced by a publicly financed road project to match federal law.


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 implements 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 provides for reapportionment of special assessments.


LB 326 provides grants for companies located in distressed areas in municipalities or counties with less than 100,000 residents to hire interns.


LB 423 revises special assessment tax liens for sanitary and improvement districts.


LB 550 revises candidate filing deadlines to clarify that persons serving in elective offices are subject to incumbent filing deadlines.


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


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