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Issue: #2March 20, 2013
2013 Unicameral Session Half Over
Priority Bills Have Best Chance For Action

The Nebraska Legislature is 46 legislative days into the current 90-day session, which is now 50% complete. Committee hearings on bills will conclude next week, and full-day floor debate is scheduled to begin March 27.  The Big "I" has testified in hearings on six bills this session.


"Priority" bills named by senators, committees, and Speaker Greg Adams stand the best chance of being acted upon this session.  There are three Priority bills on IIAN's "watch" list - LB 384 (Speaker Priority) to adopt the Nebraska Exchange Transparency Act, LB 568 (B,C&I Committee Priority) to adopt the Exchange Navigator Licensure Act - which is backed by IIAN and the Nebraska Agents Coalition,  and LB 505 (Sen. Coash Priority) to require coverage for autism disorders.   


Four bills on our list have already passed - including LB 21, which eliminates the sunset provision previously set to go into effect on June 30, 2014 for Workers' Compensation coverage for mental injuries incurred by "first responders".   None of the other Workers' Comp bills on our list have Priority status. 


See more details on all of the bills IIAN is watching in IIAN's weekly Unicameral Update, updated every Monday during the session at www.iian.org.   Read the full text of any bill using the "Bill Search" feature on the Unicameral website -  click here.

Exchange Navigator Licensing Bill Is Important Consumer Protection

LB 568 - the Health Insurance Exchange Navigator Licensure Act - allows the Nebraska Department of Insurance to regulate federally-mandated "navigators", who will assist Nebraska insurance consumers obtaining health insurance coverage through Nebraska's Health Insurance Exchange/Marketplace, set to start open enrollment October 1, 2013.  Without passage of LB 568, there will be a regulatory vacuum at the state level, and largely inexperienced insurance consumers will have no state authority to turn to if they are harmed - intentionally or unintentionally - by advice from "navigators".  LB 568 also clearly delineates the different permissible functions of agents and "navigators" within the Exchange.  It is has been a major focus of IIAN's Health Insurance Exchange Task Force, chaired by Mark Lisko of Omaha, and other members of the Nebraska Agents Coalition - NAHU, NAIFA, and PIA - for the past six months.  Now that LB 568 has been named a "Priority" bill by the Unicameral Banking, Commerce & Insurance Committee, IIAN's Jim Cavanaugh and Coalition lobbyists are working with the bill's sponsor, Omaha Sen. Burke Harr, on committee amendments needed to get the bill out to the floor for consideration by the full legislature.  When that happens, we may be calling on you for grassroots support.  See why IIAN and the Nebraska Agents Coalition is supporting LB 568.  Download IIAN white paper on what's in the bill.  

Nebraska Senators & IIAN Members Meet & Mingle On March 6

Senators and staff from 24 legislative districts met with member agents from all over Nebraska at IIAN's biennial Senators' Reception on March 6 at Billy's restaurant in Lincoln.   Prior to the reception, members discussed IIAN's major issues with senators in their offices at the Unicameral.  "This event is a great way for our members to get to know their senators, and explain the issues that are important to independent agents," commented IIAN Legislative committee chairman Bob Hoppe of Columbus.  "And the reception allows us to have extended conversations with more senators in an informal atmosphere." 

Non-Resident  Multi-State Licensing Reform Bills Introduced

In major news for agents and brokers across the country, the "National Association of Registered Agents & Brokers Reform Act" (NARAB II) was introduced in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives last Tuesday.  NARAB II would provide nonresident (beyond an agent's home state) insurance agent and broker licensing reform, while preserving the rights of states to supervise and discipline agents and brokers. The legislation is a top priority for the Big "I."  The full story.

And yesterday, Jon Jensen, an independent agent from South Carolina and national Big "I" Government Affairs Committee chairman, testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investments on the NARAB II Senate bill.  

Read more. 


Take 3-Minute Grassroots Survey - It's Who You Know!

Your involvement and input at the grassroots level is essential to our success in the political arena! Your IIAN Legislative Committee needs to know if YOU know a Nebraska Senator and/or Unicameral candidate, and/or U.S. Congressman/Senator - and the issues that are important to you.  Click here to take the 3-minute survey - thank you! 

How To Contact Us

Jim Cavanaugh, Legislative Representative
1-800-342-3352/402-341-2020 Office  402-301-9675 Cell
Carol McClelland, CAE, Executive Director

1-800-377-3985/402-476-2951 Office  402-432-5113 Cell

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