March 15, 2013                                                                             Legislative Report Archive

In This Issue




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priorityPriority Bills Selected
Bills to expand Medicaid and reform the juvenile justice system have been chosen as priority bills this year. Each senator is allowed to select one bill as a personal priority and each committee may designate two bills as priority measures. The Speaker may choose 25 Speaker priority bills. Today was the deadline for designating senator and committee priority bills. Speaker priority bills will be announced prior to adjournment on March 18, the 44th day of the session. While a priority designation does not guarantee debate, the bills generally take precedence on the Legislature's agenda. The full list of priorities can be found here.

Some of the priority bills of interest and the senator or committee prioritizing the bill include:

  • LB464 (Ashford) Change court jurisdiction over juveniles and indictment procedures
  • LB577 (Campbell) Change provisions relating to the medical assistance program
  • LB517 (Carlson) Create the Water Sustainability Project Task Force
  • LB543 (Chambers) Change a penalty from death to life imprisonment or life imprisonment without possibility of parole
  • LB140 (Krist) Change provisions of the Airport Zoning Act
  • LB57 (Larson) Change provisions relating to grants from the Environmental Trust Fund
  • LB613 (McCoy) Create the Tax Modernization Commission
  • LB97 (Mello) Adopt the Nebraska Municipal Land Bank Act and authorize land banks to acquire tax-delinquent properties
  • LB595 (Price) Provide for a Public Service Commission study of next-generation 911
  • LB299 (Seiler) Change political subdivision election provisions
  • LB423 (Agriculture Committee) Change seizure provisions of the Livestock Animal Welfare Act
  • LB561 (Judiciary Committee) Change findings and intent for changes to the juvenile justice system and a funding mechanism
  • LB271 (Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee) Change provisions relating to early voting
  • LB263 (Nebraska Retirement Systems Committee) Change provisions relating to government retirement systems
  • LB341 (Revenue Committee) Change tax sale procedures
  • LB93 (Transportation and Telecommunications Committee) Provide for notation of veteran status on drivers' licenses and state identification cards
  • LB66 (Urban Affairs Committee) Authorize cities of the first class to annex certain noncontiguous properties
  • LR29CA (Urban Affairs Committee) Constitutional amendment to change provisions relating to redevelopment projects


snapshotsSnapshots of County Issues 

Bills Advanced from Committee
Counties would be given the option of continuing or terminating contracts signed by the state before the assessment function was transferred back to those nine counties.  Although LB55 would apply to all contracts, it was especially intended to address lengthy contracts for assessment software. The Revenue Committee sent the bill to the floor on Tuesday. The committee also advanced bills to revise the tax sales process (LB341) and create a municipal land bank in Douglas and Sarpy counties (LB97).  LB97 has been selected a a priority bill by Senator Heath Mello and LB341 has been selected as a Revenue Committee priority bill.


Counties could enter into larger bridge construction and road improvement projects without competitive bidding under LB623. As introduced, the bill would increase dollar amounts for such projects from $60,000 to $150,000.  Counties would need to solicit bids for materials in excess of $20,000, rather than the existing rate of $10,000.  The Transportation and Telecommunications Committee sent the bill to the floor with an amendment that would adjust the rate for bidding projects to $100,000.


The Natural Resources Committee advanced LB477, which would extend the sunset on the Riparian Vegetation Management Task Force from 2013 to 2015. Two representatives nominated by the Nebraska Weed Control Association serve on the task force, as well as other environmental and governmental interests.  The task force helps prioritize vegetation management in river basins. 


The Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee advanced and prioritized LB271, a bill that would change the time frame for in-person early voting in response to a Help America Vote Act complaint that certain accessible ballots were not available timely due to programming delays. The committee killed LB525, which took a different approach to the timing problem. LB349, which would change procedures for write-in and nonpartisan campaigns for President and Vice President, was also advanced.


selecteSelected Committee Hearing Schedule
Following is a list of some of the bills with county impact that have been scheduled for public hearing next week. Committee hearings will conclude on March 21 and full days of debate will begin on March 25. Please check the Legislature's website for a full listing.

Monday, March 18

Transportation and Telecommunications Committee

Room 1113 1:30 p.m.

  • LB84 (Schumacher) Change provisions relating to the operation of utility-type vehicles
  • LB223 (Janssen) Redefine utility-type vehicles
  • LB650 (Karpisek) Include asphalt crack filler trailers in the definition of trailer under the Motor Vehicle Registration Act 


Wednesday, March 20

Revenue Committee

Room 1524 1:30 p.m.

  • LB581 (Crawford) Change the sales and use tax collection fees
  • LB333 (Schumacher) Change the sales and use tax collection fees
  • LB618 (Karpisek) Create the Agricultural Land Valuation Task Force


Thursday, March 21

Revenue Committee

Room 1524 1:30 p.m.

  • LR2CA (Pirsch) Constitutional amendment to require that any bill that imposes or increases a tax be approved by a majority of the members of the Legislature plus four
  • LB317 (Price) Change a duty of county assessors relating to real property valuation
  • LB62 (Schilz) Change levy provisions for rural and suburban fire protection districts

Judiciary Committee

Room 1113 1:30 p.m.

  • LB592 (Lautenbaugh) Authorize the carrying of concealed handguns by qualified law enforcement officers and qualified retired law eforcement officers
  • LB319 (McGill) Change certain permitholder penalty provisions under Concealed Handgun Permit Act


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registerRegister for Counties' Legislative Day
Make plans now to attend NACO's Counties' Legislative day on April 18. County officials will have an opportunity to view the Legislature while in session as well as meet with state senators. A luncheon will be served at the Cornhusker Marriott hotel and all senators will be invited to attend. This is a great opportunity to discuss issues affecting county government with your senator. To view a tentative program click here. There is no fee to attend, however, registration is required. To register, click here.


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