March 30, 2012                                                                                  Legislative Report Archive

In This Issue




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voterVoter ID Bill Fails

LB 239, a bill that would have required voters to show identification at the polls, is dead. After eight hours of General File debate, a vote to end a filibuster failed by three votes. The bill will not reappear on the Legislature's agenda.


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snapSnapshots of County Issues 

All bills introduced by the Legislature are assigned to a committee for a public hearing. Committees may choose to report the bill to the floor for debate by the full body of the Legislature.  Bills go through three levels of floor debate before pasage:  General File, Select File, and Final Reading.  With seven days left in the 2012 session, bills not appearing on the consent calendar or having a priority designation will not be addressed. 


You can find the daily agenda here by clicking on the appropriate date.   


Bills Advanced from Select File


The definition of farm home site would be revised by LB 750 to mean land contiguous to a farm site which includes an inhabitable residence and improvements used for residential purposes. The farm home site would have to be located outside of urban areas or platted and zoned subdivisions. The bill would also revise guidelines used for determining comparable sales. The bill advanced from Select File after the adoption of a technical amendment.


LB 970, which would cut corporate and income taxes, was advanced from Select File on Thursday. As introduced, the bill also contained language to eliminate inheritance taxes collected by counties, but those provisions were stricken from the bill by the Revenue Committee. LB 1102, a bill to gradually reduce inheritance tax rates and increase exemption amounts, remains in committee.


Several retirement bills were advanced from Select File. LB 916 would make technical changes to the state-administered retirement plans. On General File, a committee amendment was adopted that includes language from LB 1036 and LB 973. Language from these bills would provide a two-month window this fall for county officials and employees currently participating in the defined contribution plan to change to a cash balance plan. In addition, county retirement benefits could be the subject of action in certain civil suits.


LB 867 would allow Lancaster County to reduce their employer match from 150 percent to 100 percent of the employee's retirement contribution.


Senators advanced a long list of Select File bills through a consent calendar process today. These bills include:


* LB 1035 would allow for automatic advancement on the ballot of airport authority candidates when there are not more than two candidates for each position to be filled. As advanced, the bill also contains provisions from LB 966 which address the use of computer printouts as permanent ledgers of election returns.


* LB 722 strikes an outdated requirement to pay county board members monthly in counties over 60,000.


* LB 823 would harmonize the responsibilities of county treasurers in holding school district surety bonds and making distribution of tax dollars.


* LB 1101 would clarify the timeline for the election of a county assessor in counties that are re-assuming the assessment function from the state.


* LB 734 would revise the timeline for replevin actions to extend beyond 20 days, if ordered by the court.


* LB 881 would require the arresting or apprehending agency, rather than the entity operating a holding facility, to be responsible for medical costs related to injuries incurred during arrest or apprehension of law violators.


* LB 851 would make the issuance of receipts for payments of property taxes voluntary, rather than mandatory. Receipts would be issued at the request of the taxpayer.


* LB 1106 would require an assessment application to be filed by the owner of the improvements when ownership of an improvement on leased public land changes.


* LB 936 would eliminate deadlines when a county board terminates an inactive township.


* LB 822 would eliminate the notation of the average level of value on change of valuation notices sent to property owners.


* LB 865 would allow jurors to waive compensation for their services.


* LB 1121 would change signature requirements for recall elections in sanitary and improvement districts.


Bills Passed by the Legislature


The Legislature sent more than 20 bills to the Governor this week, including revisions to the state budget.


In addition, LB 536 would provide for a transfer on death deed process to allow for the nonprobate transfer of land. During earlier debate, LB 536 was amended to include concepts from LB 818, which would provide for a transfer of property between ex-spouses without documentary stamp taxes.


LB 985 would codify procedures for the delivery of juvenile services currently provided through a pilot program in Douglas County.


LB 995 would revise county hospital statutes to reflect modern organizational procedures and allow county hospitals to operate more like their non-profit peers.


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