January 28, 2013                                                                              Legislative Report Archive

In This Issue




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billBill Introductions End, Debate Begins

Senators introduced more than 250 new bills and constitutional amendments during the final two days of the 2013 bill introduction period. In total, 655 bills were introduced during the first 10 days of the session. Public hearings on introduced bills began on Jan. 22 and several committees have advanced bills to the full Legislature for General File debate.


Counties will be involved in many of these bills, including LB623, which would increase the dollar amounts triggering bidding for road and bridge projects. Implementation of Medicaid expansion as proposed by LB578 and LB 579 could provide coverage to persons now served by county general assistance. LB561 and LB562 would revise the juvenile justice system stressing a community-based model. LB632 would eliminate a requirement for counties to provide office space to the Department of Health and Human Services.


Despite initial concerns that Governor Dave Heineman's tax reform package (LB405 and LB406) might include a repeal of inheritance taxes, the proposals focused on promoting economic development through changes to sales and income taxes. However, inheritance tax isn't completely off the table this year. LB600 was introduced to reduce the tax rates for Class II and Class III beneficiaries. The bill is intended to re-balance the rates for relatives such as nieces, nephews as well as unrelated individuals.


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snapshotSnapshots of County Issues 

Upcoming Hearings

The county share of motor vehicle registration fees would be reduced by 50 cents in exchange for centralization of the distribution of postcard reminder notices of motor vehicle taxes. LB207, introduced by Sen. Beau McCoy, would decrease processing and mailing costs for counties. The bill would specifically authorize counties to charge a postage and handling fee when vehicle owners request delivery of license plates, registration certificates or decals by mail. The bill will be heard by the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee on Jan. 28 at 1:30 p.m.


County boards would set fees and commissions charged by sheriffs beginning on January 1, 2014 under LB65. The fees are currently set by statute.  The bill will be heard by the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee on Jan. 30. A related bill, LB360, will be heard by the Judiciary Committee at a later date. Under LB 360, the Legislature would revise the rate specified for certain fees.


Committee Hearings 

Counties would be allowed to enact a county manager form of government under a proposal heard by the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee on Jan. 23. LR12CA would place the question of whether a constitutional amendment should be adopted to allow the Legislature to provide for a county to adopt by a majority vote a county manager form of government on the Nov. 2104 ballot. Senators heard from county officials, city managers and others about the history of county government and options for organizing under a county manager form of government.  The committee has not taken action on the proposal.


The Judiciary Committee heard testimony on LB123, which would return indigent defense fees collected in Douglas County to the county.  Existing law provides for the $3 fee charged on court cases statewide to support the Commission on Public Advocacy, which provides assistance to counties in capital and other serious cases. The Commission was established in 1995 to provide property tax relief to counties.


The Committee also heard testimony on LB3, a bill to require filers of nonconsenual liens to provide a stamped, addressed envelope to the register of deeds to forward a certified copy of the filing to the property owner. Amending the bill to require the filer to give notice to the property owner was suggested by proponents and opponents. Judiciary Committee Chairman Brad Ashford asked stakeholders to provide an amendment within the next few weeks so that the committee can advance the bill.


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hrgsSelected 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, January 28

Transportation and Telecommunications Committee

Room 1113 1:30 p.m.

  • LB32 (Hadley) Change provisions relating to historical vehicle license plates
  • LB207 (McCoy) Change motor vehicle registration provisions
  • LB249 (Dubas) Change motor vehicle provisions relating to farm vehicles and drivers transporting agricultural commodities or farm supplies
  • LB250 (Dubas) Change motor vehicle provisions relating to issuance of trip permits


Tuesday, January 29

Urban Affairs Committee

Room 1510 1:30 p.m.

  • LB66 (Schilz) Authorize cities of the first class to annex certain noncontiugous property



Wednesday, January 30

Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee

Room 1507 1:30 p.m.





  • LB65 (Schilz) Authorize counties to set sheriff's fees and commissions
  • LB108 (Karpisek) Prohibit counties, cities, and villages from imposing credentialing requirements
  • LB257 (McCoy) Change provisions relating to municipal counties
  • LB311 (Scheer) Change filing requirements for official bonds and oaths



Judiciary Committee

Room 1113 1:30 p.m. 

  • LB136 (Avery) Provide for the distribution of administrative fines and costs and forefeited property
  • LB152 (Dubas) Change eminent domain negotiations



Thursday, January 31

Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee

Room 1507 1:30 p.m.



  • LB160 (Schumacher) Provide for electronic signatures on recall, initiative, and referendum petitions
  • LB167 (McCoy) Change ballot and vacancy provisions for presidential electors
  • LB183 (Karpisek) Provide for county board appointment of election commissioners
  • LB188 (Karpisek) Require legislative approval of gubernatorially appointed election commissioners



Judiciary Committee

Room 1113 1:30 p.m. 


  • LB46 (Ashford) Provide for consolidation and coordination of crime laboratories


Friday, February 1

Judiciary Committee

Room 1113 1:30 p.m.


  • LB345 (WIghtman) Change transfer on death deed requirements and filings


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