February 8, 2013                                                                              Legislative Report Archive

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tortIncreased Tort Claims Cap Proposed

Counties could pay increased amounts for tort claims under a bill that will be heard by the Judiciary Committee on Feb. 13. Existing law sets a cap of $1 million per person for claims arising from a single occurrence and $5 million for all claims arising out of a single occurrence. LB 284 would increase the maximum amount recoverable to $3 million per person arising out of a single occurrence and $12 million for all claims arising out of a single occurrence. The bill would also extend the time period to file claims from one year to two years.  NACO and other political subdivisions oppose the bill. Compared to other states, Nebraska's caps and filing deadlines are generous.


The committee will also hear LB169, which would allow the clerk of the district court to serve as jury commissioner in counties of 50,000 to 200,000. Currently the election commissioner must serve that function in those counties.  In larger and smaller counties, the clerk of the district acts as jury commissioner. LB169 would allow the judges of the district to determine whether the election commissioner or the clerk of the district court would serve as jury commissioner.


A bill to prohibit state and local political subdivisions from adopting policy recommendations that deliberately or inadvertently infringe upon private property rights will also be heard on Feb. 13.  LB482 references Agenda 21, a document adopted by the United Nations.


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snapSnapshots of County Issues 

Upcoming Hearings

The Revenue Committee will hear a proposal to change procedures for sales of delinquent taxes on Feb. 13.  LB341 came from an interim study looking at revisions to the treasurers deed process adopted last year.  The bill would eliminate the bid-down process and add a registration fee for bidders, among other revisions. The committee will also hear LB97, a bill to create a land bank in counties with a city of the metropolitan class or counties having three first class cities.  The land bank would have priority in bidding for tax sales and is intended to return delinquent properties to the tax rolls.


Livestock animal welfare and assistance for counties designated as livestock friendly will be heard by the Agriculture Committee on Feb. 12.  LB 423 would address custody and disposition of neglected or abandoned livestock.LB550 would provide loans for infrastructure and assistance in identifying potential sites for livestock operations.


Bills Placed on General File

The Transportation and Telecommunications Committee advanced a bill to bring the state into compliance with federal restrictions on the length of time permits can be issued to allow vehicles to exceed weight limits (LB117) and a measure to clarify who is responsible for the violation in the case of an overweight vehicle (LB398). The bills were heard on Monday.  Two other bills heard at the same time remain in committee. LB548 would revisit legislation adopted last year to address the length of trailers transporting hay bales and allow exemptions for movement of empty trailers. LB174 would increase the penalty for manure spills from trucks in cities of the metropolitan class.


Bills Advanced from General File

Four bills supported by NACO advanced from the first round of debate this week.  LB28 would change the August 1 deadline to file personal property tax returns to July 1.  The bill is intended to encourage the timely filing of returns so that values can be provided to other taxing entities sooner.  LB29 proposes revisions to controlling account legislation adopted last year. LB36 would provide that the documentary stamp tax is not imposed upon certified or authenticated death certificates filed with the register of deeds.  LB311 would clarify language related to obtaining a bond before beginning the term of office for elected county officials.


LB210, a bill to revise procedures related to nonconsensual UCC filings was advanced from General File. Draft amendments are being reviewed for a related bill on the filing of nonconsensual common law liens, LB3.


Two motor vehicle bills were discussed briefly during the first round of debate and advanced unanimously.  LB32 would clarifly that specialty license plates cannot be used as historical plates.  LB207 would reduce the county share of motor vehicle registration fees by 50 cents in exchange for centralization of the distribution of postcard reminder notices of motor vehicle taxes. The bill 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.


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selSelected 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 11 

Transportation and Telecommunications Committee

Room 1113 1:30 p.m.

  • LB10 (Krist) Change and eliminate provisions relating to occupant protection systems
  • LB189 (Harms) Change provisions and penalties relating to occupant protection systems
  • LB118 (Harms) Change texting enforcement provisions

Business and Labor Committee

Room 2012 1:30 p.m.

  • LB373 (Mello) Change Nebraska Construction Prompt Pay Act provisions

Tuesday, February 12

Urban Affairs Committee

Room 1510 1:30 p.m.

  • LB529 (Dubas) Change requirements for approval of redevelopment plans under the Community Development Law
  • LR29CA (Adams) Constitutional amendment to change provisions relating to redevelopment projects

Agriculture Committee

Room 1524 1:30 p.m.

  • LB423 (Agriculture Committee) Change seizure provisions of the Livestock Animal Welfare Act
  • LB550 (Schilz) Adopt the Livestock Growth Act and change provisions of the Nebraska Advantage Rural Development Act

Transportation and Telecommunications Committee

Room 1113 1:30 p.m.

  • LB83 (Schumacher) Change requirements for use of turn signals
  • LB85 (Schumacher) Authorize vehicular traffic weighing less than one thousand pounds to proceed through a traffic light after stoppinig
  • LB399 (Lautenbaugh) Permit members of certain organizations to use flashing amber lights on motor vehicles
  • LB453 (Karpisek) Change provisions relating to motor vehicle headlights 

Wednesday, February 13

Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee

Room 1507 1:30 p.m.

  • LB215 (Schilz) Change provision relating to use of the County Visitors Promotion Fund
  • LB192 (Karpisek) Change provisions relating to requests for information by the Auditor of Public Accounts

Judiciary Committee

Room 1113 1:30 p.m.

  • LB284 (Conrad) Change provisions of the Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act relating to limits on actions and amounts recoverable
  • LB169 (Gloor) Change provisions relating to jury commissioners
  • LB482 (Kintner) Prohibit the state and political subdivisions from adopting certain policy recommendations

Revenue Committee

Room 1524 1:30 p.m. 

  • LB97 (Mello) Adopt the Nebraska Municipal Land Bank Act and authorize land banks to acquire tax-delinquent properties
  • LB341 (Wightman) Change tax sales procedures

Natural Resources Committee

Room 1525 1:30 p.m.

  • LB517 (Carlson) Create the Water Sustainability Project Task Force

Thursday, February 14

Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee

Room 1507 1:30 p.m.

  • LB235 (Howard) Change precinct size requirements and procedures for drawing political subdiviosn boundaries and changing polling places and provide for election advisory committees
  • LB525 (Haar) Change deadlines under the Election Act
  • LB271 (Lautenbaugh) Change provisions relating to early voting

Natural Resources Committee

Room 1525 1:30 p.m.

  • LB57 (Larson) Change provisions relating to grants from the Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund

Friday, February 15 - Recess Day 


Monday, February 18 - Holiday


Tuesday, February 19

Executive Board

Room 2101 12:00 p.m.

  • LB613 (Schumacher) Create the Tax Modernization Commission

Friday, February 22

Natural Resources Committee

Room 1525 1:30 p.m.

  • LB634 (Davis) Adopt the Wildfire Control Act of 2013
  • LR40 (Davis) Request the United States Forest Service to reconsider its original deicion not to pay a proportionate share of the replacement costs of fences destroyed by wildfires between private and public lands in certain counties


Monday, February 25

Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee

Room 1507 1:30 p.m.

  • LB614 (Schumacher) Provide for withholding insurance proceeds for demolition costs

Wednesday, February 27

Revenue Committee

Room 1524 1:30 p.m.

  • LB531 (Conrad) Change distribution of sales and use tax revenue and repeal the Build Nebraska Act
  • LB370 (Lathrop) Create the County Property Tax Assistance Program and the Municipal Property Tax Assistance Program
  • LB600 (Wightman) Change certain inheritance tax rates

Thursday, February 28

Health and Human Services Committee

Room 1510 1:30 p.m.

  • LB577 (Campbell) Change provisions relating to the medical assistance program
  • LB578 (Nordquist) Create a fund to provide funding for medicaid services and change distribution of premium tax revenue 

Revenue Committee

Room 1524 1:30 p.m.

  • LB101 (Watermeier) Change valuation of agricultural and horticultural land
  • LB145 (Brasch) Change valuation of agricultural and horticultural land
  • LB55 (Wightman) Change provisions relating to reassumption of assessment function by counties
  • LB574 (Harr) Provide that certain assessments are levied and collected as special assessments

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