February 3, 2012                                                                               Legislative Report Archive

In This Issue


Selected Committee Hearing Schedule


NACO Scholarship Available




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snapshotSnapshots of County Issues 

All bills introduced by the Legislature are assigned to a committee for a public hearing. Bills advanced to the floor for debate by the full body of the Legislature go through three levels of debate:  General File, Select File, and Final Reading.


Upcoming Hearings


On Feb. 8, the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee will hear four bills that would alter or clarify county functions.  LB 936 was introduced at NACO's request to eliminate a June 30 transfer date when a county board terminates an inactive township.  LB 1094 would allow counties under 10,000 to vote on the issue of holding all elections by mail.  LB 1101 would clarify the election timeline in counties reassuming the assessment function from the state.  LB 827 would require mediation before a court action could be filed in budget disputes between county boards and officials.


An alternative to complete elimination of inheritance taxes as proposed by Governor Heineman will be heard by the Revenue Committee on Feb. 8 at 1:30 p.m. As written, LB 1102 would gradually reduce inheritance tax collections by increasing exempt amounts and lowering tax rates. Amendments altering the rates and structure are expected. LB 970, the bill to eliminate inheritance taxes, remains in the Revenue Committee.


Hearings Held This Week


Due to blizzard warnings, hearings scheduled for Feb. 3 were cancelled and rescheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 13.   


Bills Debated on General File


Douglas County and Omaha would create an interjurisdictional planning commission to study merger issues and develop a plan by 2013 under a bill advanced from first round debate on Wednesday. Senator Brad Ashford introduced the bill last year to encourage the governing bodies to look for ways to eliminate redundancies between the two governmental structures. Under a Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee amendment that rewrote LB 344, the mayor and city council would each select two representatives, the county board would select four, and each of the other municipalities in the county would select one representative.


The Health and Human Services Committee advanced LB 904, which would clarify the role of clerks of the district court in reporting annulment and dissolution data to the Department of Health and Human Services Division of Vital Statistics. Pursuant to the bill, if the required information is unavailable after reasonable attempts by the plaintiff to acquire the information, the designation of "unknown" would be accepted. Although other statutes place the burden of providing the information upon the parties, clerks of the district court have been penalized for failing to complete the reports.


Two bills related to election issues were advanced by the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. LB 878 was introduced at the request of the Secretary of State to make minor changes, such as moving the statutory date for preparing the annual election calendar from December 1 to November 1 prior to the statewide primary election. As introduced, LB 759 would have required petition circulators to wear identification badges and eliminated residency requirements for circulators due to a finding that such requirements are unconstitutional. Circulators would have to be age 18 or older. A committee amendment would eliminate the identification requirement but leave the age requirement in place.


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hrgSelected Committee Hearing Schedule

Following is a list of some of the bills with county impact that have been scheduled for public hearing in the coming weeks. Please check the Legislature's website for a full listing.


Monday, February 6

Nebraska Retirement Systems Committee

Room 1525 12:10 p.m.

* LB867 (Karpisek) Change employer contribution provisions under certain county retirement plans


Transportation and Telecommunications Committee

Room 1113 1:30 p.m.

* LB1040 (Schilz) Change provisions relating to snow removal on state highways and encroachments and regulation of state rights-of-way

* LB1052 (Christensen) Change provisions relating to maintenance of drainage facilities on county roads

* LB1112 (Flood) Change provisions relating to state highway system plans


Tuesday, February 7

Transportation and Telecommunications Committee

Room 1113 1:30 p.m.

* LB893 (McGill) Provide for Nebraska Armed Forces Pride Plates and distribution of fees

* LB894 (McGill) Provide for issuance of certain license plates to spouses of veterans

* LB1095 (Larson) Provide for Beef State license plates


Urban Affairs Committee

Room 1510 1:30 p.m.

* LB1115 (Flood) Authorize construction and operation of natural gas pipeline facilities by jurisdictional utilities

* LB1137 (Mello) Adopt the Nebraska Municipal Land Bank Act

* LB1121 (Lambert) Change signature requirements for recall petitions for sanitary and improvement districts


Wednesday, February 8

Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee

Room 1507 1:30 p.m.

* LB827 (Dubas) Require mediation for budget disputes between a county board and a county officer

* LB1101 (Wightman) Change provisions relating to election of county assessors

* LB1094 (Harms) Provide for an election in certain counties to require elections by mail

* LB936 (Karpisek) Change provisions relating to termination of the township board


Judiciary Committee

Room 1113 1:30 p.m.

* LB919 (Schilz) Change court fees, sheriff's fees, and handgun certificate fees

* LB1049 (Cornett) Create and change provisions relating to the purchase of certain metals


Revenue Committee

Room 1524 1:30 p.m.

* LB977(Mello) Adopt the Property Tax Relief Act

* LB1061 (Heidemann) Change provisions relating to valuation of agricultural land

* LB1102 (Wightman) Change inheritance tax rates and exemption amounts


Thursday, February 9

Revenue Committee

Room 1524 1:30 p.m.

* LB902 (Harr) Redefine a term relating to property tax exemptions and change provisions relating to a sales tax exemption for purchases by the state or a governmental unit


Friday, February 10 - Legislature is in Recess


Monday, February 13

Health and Human Services Committee

Room 1510 9:30 a.m.

* LB995 (Heidemann) Change provisions relating to county medical facilities and public hospitals


General Affairs Committee

Room 1510 1:30 p.m.

* LB829 (Louden) Create alcohol impact zones


Tuesday, February 14

Urban Affairs Committee

Room 1510 1:30 p.m.

* LB1126 (Christensen) Provide and change extraterritorial jurisdiction of a village

* LB1132 (McGill) Change the Community Development Law

* LB1001 (McGill) Create the Building Code Advisory Committee and change and eliminate state agency building code compliance requirements

* LR376CA (Mello) Constitutional amendment to change provisions relating to redevelopment projects


Transportation and Telecommunications Committee

Room 1113  1:30 p.m.

* LB1067  (Lautenbaugh)  Requie certain provisions in highway and bridge construction and maintenance contracts


Wednesday, February 15

Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee

Room 1507 1:30 p.m.

* LB819 (Price) Provide for the treatment of military medals as unclaimed property

*LB999 (Price) Authorize the display of an honor and remember flag at public buildings

* LB795 (Avery) Change provisions relating to applying for membership in veterans homes


Revenue Committee

Room 1525 1:30 p.m.

* LB897 (Pahls) Change provisions relating to the completion of tax lists

* LB967 (Schumacher) Change an interest rate relating to delinquent taxes and special assessments

* LB1069 (Wightman) Change provisions relating to tax sales to collect delinquent property taxes

* LB1093 (Hadley) Change provisions relating to foreclosure proceedings for delinquent real estate taxes

* LB1109 (Brasch) Provide for classification of flooded agricultural land as inundated land


Thursday, February 16

Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee

Room 1507 1:30 p.m.

* LB813 (Karpisek) Prohibit counties, cities, and villages from imposing credentialing requirements

* LB880 (Pahls) Provide duties relating to reducing costs and adopting modern methods of state and local records management


Revenue Committee

Room 1525 1:30 p.m.

* LB855 (Fulton) Change sales and use tax collection fees

* LB1098 (Council) Repeal the Build Nebraska Act and change distribution of sales and use tax revenue


Friday, February 17 and Monday, February 20 - Legislature is in Recess


 Wednesday, February 22

Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee

Room 1507 1:30 p.m.

* LB975 (Smith) Adopt the Fair Bidding Act

* LB1076 (Karpisek) Change requirements for copies of public records and speaking at public meetings


Thursday, February 23

Health and Human Services Committee

Room 1510 1:30 p.m.

* LB1110 (Brasch) Provide for assistance for temporary and permanent housing after a natural disaster


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shipNACO Scholarship Available

The children and stepchildren of Nebraska's county officials and employees are eligible for scholarships provided by the Nebraska Association of County Officials. Click here for details.


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