Final 2014                                                                             Legislative Report Archive

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fourSummary of 2014 Legislation

The 103rd Nebraska Legislature, Second Session adjourned on April 17, 2014. This Final 2014 Legislative Report is intended to provide a brief synopsis of some of the 185 bills and one constitutional amendment adopted by the Legislature and to highlight particular provisions of interest to counties within each of the included bills.  Please review the actual legislative bills for more specifics. The full text of the final version of each bill, called the slip law, can be viewed on the Legislature's website. Copies of bills can be requested from the Legislature's Bill Room at (402)471-0617. Also, consider contacting your county attorney with questions regarding the implementation of a particular bill related to your county.


More than 460 bills and constitutional amendments were introduced this year. Bills that were not adopted or indefinitely postponed will  not carry over to the 2015 session. The 2105 session is scheduled to convene on January 7, 2015. 


Most bills take effect at 12:01 a.m. on July 18, 2014, which is three calendar months after the Legislature's adjournment. Bills passed with an emergency clause become effective upon receiving the signature of Governor Dave Heineman or on an otherwise specified date.


Seventeen senators, including the Speaker and chairs of several committees, will leave the body at the end of 2014 due to term limits.  


The NACO staff appreciates all county officials and employees who responded to requests to contact legislators, review legislation, and respond to surveys during this year's session. The direct involvement of county representatives is always the key to a productive legislative session.


Please contact the NACO office or your affiliate group if you have suggestions for possible legislation for 2015. NACO's 2015 legislative priorities will be selected following NACO's annual legislative conference on October 23 in Kearney.


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countyopCounty Operations

LB937 changes the number of county supervisors that constitutes a quorum from two-thirds to a majority of the members. Under the two-thirds rule, a committee could be made up of four supervisors, which is the same number that makes up a majority for voting purposes. The bill was introduced to address possible perceptions that county business is being conducted improperly when a majority of the board meets as a committee and later votes on the issue.The bill will take effect on July 18.  


LB863 allows counties that have been maintaining an abandoned or neglected pioneer cemetery for at least five years to transfer the management of the cemetery to a cemetery association. The county planning commission, if any, would review the proposed transfer and the county board would hold a public hearing before approving the transfer by resolution. This language was originally introduced as LB855.Other sections of the bill prohibit the sale to and use of nicotine vapor products by minors and allow local governing bodies, including counties, to authorize off-sale liquor sales until 2 a.m. This language, taken from LB888, revises existing law allowing sales of liquor for consumption on-premises until 2 a.m.


LB215 expands the use of a County Visitor Improvement Fund to include grants to organizations to promote, encourage, and attract visitors to the county to use the county's travel and tourism facilities. Currently the funds may be used directly for such purposes.


LB1044 allows mobile homes to be treated as abandoned if left on private property for more than 30 days after notice from a local government unit is posted on the mobile home and sent to the last-registered owner. Like other abandoned vehicles, mobile homes would be subject to sale, auction, or vesting of title with the governmental entity. Mobile or manufactured homes for which an affidavit of fixture has been filed cannot be treated as abandoned under the bill.


LB597 gives county boards more authority over sales of real estate and improvements by county agricultural societies. The bill adds equipment purchases to the list of uses of the levy allocated to county ag societies by the county board. Because the bill carries an emergency clause, it took effect when signed by Governor Heineman on February 13.


LB792 eliminates a requirement for county treasurers to send an outdated report of school funds to the State Treasurer.


LB737 reduces the residency requirement for veterans service officers from five years to one year and allows an exception if there are no qualified applicants to fill a vacancy.


LB588 defines veterans preference for purposes of hiring by the state or counties of 150,000 to 300,000 with a civil service system. The preference applies to veterans and spouses of veterans who are 100 percent permanently disabled. The bill takes effect on January 1, 2015.

Bills that would have revised inheritance tax rates (LB960) or eliminated inheritance taxes altogether, LB812, did not advance from the Revenue Committee. At the committee hearing on these bills and on a measure to provide state aid to counties (LB1053), senators asked questions about alternative funding sources for counties and the impact of unfunded mandates. Several of these topics will be examined this summer as interim studies:
  • LR544 - Fiscal impacts of unfunded mandates
  • LR582 - Fiscal impacts of unfunded and underfunded mandates on counties
  • LR573 - State aid programs to cities, counties, and other political subdivisions
  • LR594 - Constitutional provisions that enable or limit the Legislature's power to enact property tax policies and relief programs 


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stbudgetState Budget Revisions

LB905 and LB906 are two of four bills in this session's nearly $8 billion mid-biennium budget adjustment package. LB905 adds $25 million for property tax relief through the Property Tax Credit. It provides a $7.4 million appropriation in contingency funds to cover possible shortfalls in probation funding due to juvenile justice reforms enacted last year in LB561. It appropriates funds to contract with counties to house prison inmates on a temporary basis and states the intent to investigate whether leasing a former Lancaster County jail facility could be part of the plan to address prison overcrowding. Many of the new expenditures are for one-time expenses and do not represent ongoing new commitments.


Governor Heineman vetoed approximately $65 million of the package and the Legislature restored $61 million of those cuts. The overridden vetoes include funding for replacement of the motor vehicle titling and registration system, deferred maintenance of state parks, heating and air conditioning repairs for the State Capitol and courtyard fountains, staff within the State Auditor's office, and other revisions. 


Other bills that impact the state budget create a sales tax exemption for repair and replacement parts for agricultural machinery and equipment (LB96) and adjust individual income tax rates for inflation (LB987). LB987 also provides an income tax exemption for military retirement. Veterans will be able to either exclude 40 percent of military retirement benefit income for seven consecutive taxable years shortly after retirement or fifteen percent beginning with the year they turn 67.


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ptaxProperty Taxes
More than two dozen bills were introduced in response to the Tax Modernization Committee's study of sales, income, and property taxes last summer. Much of the property tax discussion focused on agricultural land values and resulted in the introduction of bills to decrease agland values from 75 percent to 65 percent (LB670 and LB813) and to provide an income tax offset for property taxes paid on agland (LB1038). These bills did not pass but a Revenue Committee interim study will look at methods used by other states to determine the taxable value of agricultural land (LR566). 

Bills addressing the valuation of vacant lots (LB885) and irrigated acres (LB723) were amended onto other bills late in the legislative process. LB885, which was amended into LB191, provides that two or more vacant or unimproved lots in the same subdivision and the same tax district, owned by the same person, and held for sale or resale may be treated as a single parcel for valuation purposes at the owner's request. In these instances, the county assessor must use the income approach, including the use of a discounted cash-flow analysis, to value the property.  If, based upon the facts and circumstances, the assessor believes that this process does not result in valuation at actual value, he or she may present this information to the county board, which may petition the Tax Equalization and Review Commission to use a different mass appraisal technique. The original language of LB191 enacts the Nebraska Job Creation and Mainstreet Revitalization Act to provide a nonrefundable tax credit for the restoration of historically significant property. The credit is applied against income tax, the insurance premium tax, or the financial institutions franchise tax. The bill contains a severability clause in case there are constitutional problems with the valuation process.  


Provisions from LB723 were amended into LB1098, which distributes $32 million over the next two years, plus $11 million annually after that, for water sustainability projects. It expands the Nebraska Natural Resources Commission to include representatives from agricultural interests, public power, irrigators, wildlife conservation, and more.  Language from LB723 adds an item to the guidelines assessors must consider when determining  what constitutes a comparable sale. For agland that is located within a class or subclass of irrigated cropland, assessors must consider differences in well capacity or water availability due to federal, state, or local regulatory actions, if current data is available from those sources.

LB717 brings Nebraska into compliance with new federal regulations for real property appraisers. Two bills that would have created additional levels of credentialing for appraisers remained in committee. LB733 was introduced at NACO's request to develop a mass assessment credential and was heard by the Revenue Committee. LB685, which was heard by the Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee, would have created a credential for a Real Property Associate. An interim study, LR499, was introduced to further examine the issues presented by LB685 and will be conducted by the Banking Committee.


LB851 contains language from LB681, which combines last year's bills on land banks and tax sales. Due to the timing of their passage, sections of statute that were amended in both bills could not be harmonized into a single law without separate legislation this year. The new language would re-enact last year's language to eliminate bid-down on tax sales certificates, outline a round-robin process for bids, and impose a $25 registration fee for bidders. New language in LB851 clarifies that tax deed proceedings for tax sales certificates issued between 2010 and 2014, including noticing and application, and foreclosure proceedings, are governed by the laws in effect on December 31, 2009.


LB697 requires county treasurers to forward an electronic copy of the list of real property subject to tax sale to the Property Tax Administrator for publication on the Department of Revenue's website.


LB986 adjusts the tiers for homestead exemptions to reflect inflationary factors and adds an exemption for persons with developmental disabilities on January 1, 2015.


LB1087 expands the homestead exemption program to exempt the taxable value of homesteads owned by veterans who have a 100 percent service-connected disability and are not eligible for a total exemption under other provisions applicable to disabled veterans. Unremarried widows and widowers of such veterans would also be eligible for the exemption. The bill will take effect on January 1, 2015.

LB558 provides that an action seeking a declaratory judgment that a tax or penalty is unconstitutional must be brought within 12 months after a tax or penalty is assessed. Currently the action must be brought within the same tax year.  


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 lawctsLaw Enforcement and Courts

LB464 revises juvenile justice laws enacted in last year's LB561 and updates truancy provisions. The bill clarifies the roles of counties, the Office of Probation, and the Office of Juvenile Services with respect to costs associated with pre-adjudication, evaluation and transportation of juveniles in the juvenile justice system. The bill expresses intent to provide an additional $5 million to Community-Based Aid for counties. However, an appropriation was not made during this legislative session.  Misdemeanors and Class IIIA and IV felonies will be initiated in juvenile court. The truancy provisions require school districts and families to create a plan to address school attendance problems. If a plan is unsuccessful and a student misses 20 days of school, the school can submit a report to the county attorney. Illnesses that result in attendance being impossible or impracticable would not be included when referring cases to the county attorney. The bill also contains language from LB1093, which transfers $450,000 from the state's General Fund to the State Court Administrator to help pay for proposed new duties related to court-connected prehearing conferences and other services for juveniles. 


LB907 sets out the State of Nebraska's intent to work with the Council of State Governments Justice Center to study and identify solutions and practices to reduce prison overcrowding. It creates the Nebraska Justice Reinvestment Working Group, which includes four local government representatives, to conduct the study.  The Department of Correctional Services, in consultation with the Board of Parole, will develop a reentry program for persons incarcerated in state correctional facilities, parolees, and persons transitioning off community supervision.  It will also develop vocational and life skills programming. The Department must develop a release or reentry plan for each offender when he or she has served at least 80 percent of his or her sentence. The bill contains provisions from LB808 to provide educational loan repayment assistance for attorneys serving for at least three years in public legal service in areas with a shortage of legal professionals. The program will be overseen by the Commission on Public Advocacy. The bill contains language from LB932 that would "ban the box" so employers could not ask job applicants to disclose their criminal history until it is determined that they have met minimum employment qualifications. Exceptions are granted for certain public employers, such as law enforcement agencies and education.The bill outright repeals antiquated sections that allowed inmates who were not kept at hard labor (Neb.Rev.Stat. sec. 29-2405) to be fed bread and water (sec. 29-2208).


LB999 implements a study to examine the feasibility of using part of the former Hastings Regional Center for a correctional behavioral health treatment center.


LB853 updates the Young Adult Bridge to Independence Act which helps ease the transition for young people aging out of the foster care system.  The bill also requires development of an alternative response implementation pilot program as an alternative to traditional investigations by law enforcement or the Department of Health and Human Services into allegations of child abuse or neglect.  A Review, Evaluation, and Decide Team comprised of Department staff will convene to review intakes of child abuse allegations and determine which process to use. County attorneys and law enforcement agency personnel may attend team reviews upon the request of a party.


LB998 creates the offense of "upskirting" to expand certain privacy laws to public places (see LB1034and lowers the penalty for certain ignition interlock offenses. It updates human trafficking laws to prohibit debt bondage, threats of deportation, and other types of exploitation. The bill also allows for the designation of a person to determine the disposition of the remains as part of burial pre-need arrangements. 


LB403 prohibits the sale of novelty lighters without child safety features. Violators are guilty of a Class IV misdemeanor.


LB811 adds a category of synthetic cannabinoids to the list of banned substances. It incorporates provisions from LB752 which expand the list of professions for whom enhanced penalties for assault are applied. In addition to existing language applying enhanced penalties for assault on an officer, the bill covers emergency responders, state correctional employees, Department of Health and Human Services employees, and health care professionals.


LB828 expands the use of audiovisual court appearances in criminal proceedings in county court. It expands the ability to accept written guilty pleas in both district and county court. Currently this process can only be used for written waivers of arraignment in district court.


LB674 changes when a sentencing court may order a person not to own possess, or reside with any animal after conviction of a misdemeanor related to improper treatment of an animal.


LB908 clarifies terminology and rights related to permanent child guardianships and adoption notices given to biological fathers.


LB920 establishes the Office of Public Guardian to provide services when no private guardian or conservator is available. The office operates under the judicial branch and is directly responsible to the state court administrator.


LB1089 provides for the distribution of unpaid funds in certain class action suits to the Legal Aid and Services Fund. The fund is distributed by the Commission on Public Advocacy in the form of grants to providers of civil legal services to eligible low-income persons.


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 mvehMotor Vehicles

Funding for a new motor vehicle titling and registration system was introduced as LB738 and became part of this year's budget revision package. In LB906, Governor Heineman vetoed a $12.5 million transfer from the Department of Motor Vehicles Cash Fund for the program, noting that it was not an emergency that required a mid-biennium deficit appropriation. The Legislature overrode the veto so the process of identifying a new system will begin. Pursuant to LB905, a report is due to the Legislature by July 1, 2015.    


LB383 creates Military Honor license plates for veterans and active-duty service members. In order to be eligible, persons who have served or are serving must register with the Department of Veterans' Affairs.


LB446 defines flood damage for purposes of salvage motor vehicle titles.


LB701 allows an insurance company to apply to the Department of Motor Vehicles for a salvage branded title when they are unable to obtain a properly endorsed title from the owner of a totaled vehicle.


LB758 would allow a copy of the registration certificate for a trailer, rather than the original certificate, to be carried in the vehicle pulling the trailer.


LB251 increases the fees charged by car rental companies to help cover the costs of motor vehicle taxes and fees paid in Nebraska. Fees collected in excess of motor vehicle taxes and fees are distributed to counties, cities, and schools under the regular motor vehicle distribution formula. The bill takes effect on October 1, 2014.


LB814 revises definitions and registration procedures related to all-terrain and utility-type vehicles. County treasurers will collect the sales and use taxes at the time of application for the certificate of title for such vehicles. For five years, sales and use taxes collected for these vehicles and personal watercraft will be used by the Game and Parks Commission for repairs at state parks. The bill becomes operative on October 1, 2014.


LB816 allows proof of automobile liability insurance to be provided in a paper or electronic format.  If a person displays it as an electronic image on an electronic device, it is not considered as consent for law enforcement to access other parts of the device. The person presenting the device assumes liability for damage to the device.


LB777 modernizes motor vehicle operator's license statutes by striking references to duplicates and instead using the word "replacement".


LB983 brings Nebraska into compliance with new federal requirements for commercial motor vehicle drivers' licenses, permits, and state identification cards. Provisions from LB981 that were amended into the bill prohibit school bus drivers from texting or using cell phones while driving, with limited exceptions. Provisions from LB249 exempt farmers and their family members and employees from commercial driving regulations when driving covered farm vehicles.


LB776 updates federal references to motor vehicle regulations.


LB1039 allows commercial haulers of farm equipment to receive an exemption from size, weight, and load requirements when moving equipment to or from the equipment dealer's place of business. The dealer must provide a signed statement that indicating authority for the hauler to act on their behalf. The statement is subject to inspection by any peace officer.


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New procedures for persons registering to vote and voting early on the same day in the county clerk's or election commissioner's office are enacted under LB565. Ballots cast by persons who have registered to vote that day will be treated in a manner similar to provisional ballots and kept separate for ten days. If the acknowledgment of registration is returned during that time as undeliverable for any reason other than clerical error, the ballot will be rejected. Senators discussed whether early voting ballots comply with the constitutional requirement to preserve secrecy in voting. Several years ago a third "secrecy" envelope was eliminated from the mail-in process.


LB661 requires the Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Department of Motor Vehicles, to develop and implement an electronic voter registration process by July 1, 2015. Applicants with a valid Nebraska driver's license or state ID will be able to use the process to register to vote or update their voter registration record through the Secretary of State's website. The Department will develop a process to electronically transmit voter registration information to county clerks and election commissioners. Upon receipt of the application for registration, the election commissioner or county clerk will send an acknowledgment of registration to the applicant indicating whether the application is proper or not. The bill also contains language to limit the release of digital signatures to law enforcement agencies or for electronic voter registration purposes.


LB946 revises numerous election provisions.  

  • It designates the salary on November 30 of the year preceding the election as the basis for determining the candidate filing fee for the upcoming term.
  • Wages for persons appointed to the counting board in school district bond elections are set at no less than the minimum wage.
  • Overtime costs of permanent election employees are included within the election costs charged to participating political subdivisions. Existing law includes compensation costs for only temporary election workers within the calculation.  
  • Chief deputy election commissioners are required to take the same oath as county officials. Currently no oath is specified.
  • Special elections for Class IV or V school districts can be held in conjunction with the primary or general election for a city of the primary or metropolitan class which is governed by a home rule charter. Existing statutes prohibit special elections in certain months unless held in conjunction with a statewide primary or general election.  
  • The deadline to replace early voting ballots that are destroyed, spoiled or lost is extended to 8 p.m. on the day of the election.  
  • In special elections by mail, the county clerk or election commissioner can chose not to mail a ballot to registered voters who appear to have moved and have failed to respond to a confirmation notice. Notice must be sent to such voters explaining how to get a ballot and setting out the applicable deadlines.  
  • The list of registered voters who have returned their ballots during a special election by mail must be made public. Existing law prohibits such disclosure until the election has been certified by the canvassing board.  
  • The bill addresses reporting thresholds for campaign contributions.  
  • The bill contains provisions from LB833 to clarify the election process for county surveyors in counties of less than 150,000. The question of whether to appoint or elect a county surveyor in each county must be presented to voters at the 2020 election. County boards in counties with an elected surveyor could opt out of the election. The question may again be presented to voters at a later statewide general election.  
  • Provisions from other bills change the number of members on Class II and Class III school boards (LB726), clarify when the second half of a term begins when an official is appointed to fill a vacancy (LB743), and provide that the 45-day deadline to fill vacancies applies to cities (LB1084).  
  • LB946 takes effect on January 1, 2015.


LB56 provides for automatic advancement in county primary elections if the number of candidates does not exceed the number of candidates to be nominated by a political party for that office. A write-in candidate for that office must file a notarized affidavit of his or her intent to run and pay the filing fee by March 3. If an affidavit is filed, the original filer's name appears on the primary ballot along with a line for the write-in candidate. Because the bill carries an emergency clause, it will be effective for the primary elections in May.


LB144 allows candidates who fail to advance from the primary election due to a tie vote to pursue a write-in candidacy in the general election. When there is a tie vote, the candidate who is nominated is chosen by lot. 


LB1048 requires political parties to file a copy of the party's plan for selecting delegates to its national convention with the Secretary of State. Registration of county convention delegates with the election commissioner or county clerk is made optional at the discretion of the party. The bill requires the Secretary of State to deliver a copy of the official election calendar to the headquarters of all recognized political parties.


LB702 changes procedures, including election revisions, for a village to change to a city of the second class.


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recdocsRecording of Documents

LB780 eliminates the filing of a Form 521 with death certificates not related to transfer on death deeds.


LB693 increases the value of the decedent's estate that can use an affidavit of probate from $30,000 to $50,000. The bill takes effect on January 1, 2015.


LB867 contains language from LB1043 to eliminate documentary stamp taxes on transfers to 501c3 corporations that are not private foundations.The bill revises distributions made under the Sports Arena Facility Financing Assistance Act. In addition, purchases by historic automobile museums and sales of currency or bullion are exempted from sales tax.


LB750 requires continuation statements to be filed in the Secretary of State's office for artisan's, thresher's, veterinarian's, and several types of agricultural liens that were initially filed prior to November 1, 2003. If a continuation statement is not filed between June 30, 2014 and January 1, 2015, the lien will lose its perfection.


Language introduced in LB668 provides that the sale of property with an artisan's lien extinguishes liens or security interests if the holder does not respond to appropriate notice. The proceeds of the sale would be distributed first to satisfy the lien and then to satisfy the obligation secured by the lien of any holder of record. As required by existing law, county treasurers hold the money for five years and then pay it into the school fund unless one of the parties furnishes evidence of ownership. Other sections create a rebuttable presumption of Nebraska residency for purposes of registering motor homes, as well as changing tax incentive reporting requirements and other technical changes.


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LB757 eliminates antiquated statutes requiring road numbering and mailbox placement.


LB698 authorizes the Department of Roads to allow haying of highway rights-of-way every year.


LB736 revises the method that can be used to contact the One-Call Notification System before beginning excavation. Existing law provides for a toll-free phone call to the locating center. LB736 strikes this reference and allows the call center to designate the method for making the request. The bill carries an emergency clause and took effect following the Governor's signature on April 10.


LB930 prohibits excavation within 25 feet of an underground natural gas transmission line unless a representative of the operator of the line is present at the planned excavation area.


A bill to allow the state to issue bonds for road funding, LB1092, failed to advance on Final Reading.


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   otherissuesOther Issues

LB560 requires all employers to provide employees with an itemized statement listing their wages, deductions, and hours worked, if appropriate, on each payday. The statement must be delivered or made available to each employee by mail or electronically or provided at the employee's normal place of employment during employment hours.


LB765 sets out requirements for employers who pay wages with payroll debit cards and requires at least one free access per pay period.


LB76 creates the Health Care Transparency Act and the Health Care Data Base Advisory Committee. The committee will include at least one representative of local public health departments, as well as physicians, hospitals, employers that provide group health insurance, and others.  The committee will make recommendations to the Director of Insurance about strategies to collect and measure data about health care safety and quality, utilization, health outcomes, and cost. It is intended to promote transparency in the cost and quality of health care services in Nebraska


LB259 exempts keno writers who have no direct responsibility for the selection of numbers from licensing requirements under the Nebraska County and City Lottery Act.


LB272 increases chemigation permit fees.


LB390 creates an exception to the prohibition against possession of a firearm on school grounds for historical reenactments, hunter education programs, and honor guards. It includes language from LB772 to increase to $25,000 the amount of funds that the Adjutant General may spend on aerial fire suppression or hazardous material response before the governor declares a state of emergency. Currently $10,000 is available. In addition, LB390 removes the authority of the Governor to suspend or limit the sale, dispensing, or transportation of firearms during a state of emergency.


LB699 requires the Nebraska State Patrol and the Department of Health and Human Services to report on the number of people who are unable to purchase or possess firearms in Nebraska due to disqualification or a disability that is reported to the national background check system. The bill authorizes the issuance of a hunting permit to persons with developmental disabilities.


LB690 creates the Aging Nebraskans Task Force to develop and facilitate a statewide strategic plan for addressing the needs of the aging population in the state. Language in the bill requiring the Department of Health and Human Services to apply for a federal grant to fund development of a comprehensive system of long-term care services was vetoed by Governor Heineman, then overridden by the Legislature. 


LB719 requires state agencies seeking changes in rules or regulations to attach a written report summarizing testimony given at a public hearing.


LB740 allows veterans who are registered to vote and demonstrate objective evidence of intent to be a Nebraska resident to be considered a resident student for purposes of enrollment in a public college or university.


LB766 revises the tuition assistance program for National Guard members.


LB744 establishes the Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commission to develop programs and plans for the observance of the 150th anniversary of Nebraska's statehood in 2017.


LB759 is the annual omnibus retirement bill. It contains provisions from LB918 that gives the State Investment Officer more flexibility in investment accounts used by the county and state retirement plans.


LB 844 extends the termination date for the Nebraska Litter Reduction and Recycling Act from 2015 to 2020. The Department of Environmental Quality provides grants under the Act.


LB901 creates the Nebraska Mental Health First Aid Training Act to help the public identify and understand the signs of mental illness or substance abuse. The training will be provided through the behavioral health regions. The regions will work with agencies and organizations including law enforcement agencies and local health departments to develop a program that offers grants to implement the Act in ways that are representative and inclusive of the economic and cultural diversity of the state. The bill also provides funds for doctoral-level psychology internships to help provide access to behavioral health services in rural and underserved areas of the state.


LB961 authorizes the governor to execute a fire-fighting compact with surrounding states, as originally proposed in LB820. It incorporates LB373 to add definitions to the Nebraska Construction Prompt Pay Act to clarify when a project is substantially complete so that retainage can be released.  The bill allows employers to create a short-time compensation program to temporarily provide benefits to eligible employees. This concept was introduced as LB559.


LB994 increases the fees charged by the Department of Health and Human Services for certified copies of death certificates and certified copies or abstracts of marriage licenses.  The increases take effect on July 1, 2014.The fee increase does not apply to county copies of marriage licenses.  


LB1012 clarifies that certain formerly used defense sites located outside of municipal boundaries do not count toward geographic, population, and other limitations for purposes of tax increment financing.


LR41CA asks voters at the November 2014 general election to revise the constitution to allow wagering on replayed horseraces. The state's proceeds from parimutuel wagering would be distributed in the following manner:  49 percent to elementary and secondary schools, 49 percent to reduce property taxes statewide, and 2 percent to the Compulsive Gamblers Assistance Fund.  If voters adopt the amendment, enacting legislation would be needed to fully detail the distribution process.



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studiesInterim Studies

What follows is a partial listing of interim study resolutions that were introduced for examination during the summer and fall months. This listing represents only those studies determined to be of significant interest and importance to county government. Listed here are the resolution numbers, the introducer, the committee that will conduct the study, and a brief description of the issue. A complete list of the studies is available here. The public hearing schedule for selected interim studies will be posted on the Legislature's website as it becomes available.


LR499 Gloor (Banking, Commerce and Insurance) Interim study to examine whether Nebraska's Real Property Appraiser Act should be updated


LR520 Davis (Judiciary) Interim study to examine the problems that law enforcement is encountering since the State of Colorado legalized the sale and recreational use of marijuana


LR521 Nordquist (Nebraska Retirement Systems) Interim study to examine the public employees retirement systems administered by the Public Employees Retirement Board


LR527 Bloomfield (Government, Military and Veterans Affairs) Interim study to examine the reasons why emergency disaster payments made by or through the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are not made in a timely manner once awarded


LR528 Dubas (Transportation and Telecommunications) Interim study to examine issues surrounding financing the maintenance and replacement of county bridges


LR537 Dubas (Transportation and Telecommunications) Interim study to examine implementation, management, operation, and ongoing development of Next Generation 911 service in Nebraska


LR538 Harr (Government, Military and Veterans Affairs) Interim study to examine issues surrounding the implementation of an electronic notary system in Nebraska


LR542 Campbell (Judiciary) Interim study to examine issues regarding the current guardian ad litem system


LR543 Ashford (Judiciary) Interim study to examine issues under the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee


LR544 Mello (Appropriations) Interim study to examine the fiscal impacts of unfunded mandates


LR552 Ashford (Judiciary) Interim study to examine Nebraska's juvenile courts, especially juvenile courts within Douglas County


LR555 Crawford (Urban Affairs) Interim study to examine how cities and villages provide services to residents located in the extraterritorial jurisdiction or sanitary improvement districts of such cities and villages


LR556 Harr (Revenue) Interim study to examine local use of property taxes to study the fiscal relationship between state and local governments and the impact on our schools and justice system


LR557 Harr (Appropriations) Interim study to examine the need to appropriate funds to Memorial Park in Omaha, Nebraska, for improvements to the park and to examine ways to honor our veterans


LR559 Mello (Health and Human Services) Interim study to examine issues surrounding the Medicaid Reform Council


LR565 Gloor (Health and Human Services) Interim study to examine whether adding antidepressant, antipsychotic, and anticonvulsant drugs to the medicaid preferred drug list would be of benefit to Nebraska medicaid or Nebraska medicaid clients


LR566 Hadley (Revenue) Interim study to examine methods used by other states to determine the taxable value of agricultural land


LR569 Kolowski (Judiciary) Interim study to examine the professional development of forensic science in Nebraska   


LR573 Hadley (Revenue) Interim study to examine Nebraska's state aid programs to cities, counties, and other political subdivisions


LR580 Campbell (Health and Human Services) Interim study to examine the reform effort of Nebraska's behavioral health system


LR581 Avery (Government, Military and Veterans Affairs) Interim study to examine issues under the jurisdiction of the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee


LR582 Crawford (Government, Military and Veterans Affairs) Interim study to review the work of the Task Force on Unfunded Mandates created in 1996 and to study the impacts of unfunded and underfunded mandates on counties and county governments


LR587 Howard (Health and Human Services) Interim study to gather information and make recommendations to craft policy to support the creation of a sustainable community health workforce in Nebraska


LR594 Schumacher (Revenue) Interim study to examine Nebraska constitutional provisions which enable or limit the Legislature's power to provide for property tax policies and relief programs


LR595 McGill (Urban Affairs) Interim study to examine the impact of Nebraska changing to a home rule state in matters of local concern


LR599 Davis (Urban Affairs) Interim study to examine issues surrounding the use of tax increment financing under the Community Development Law in Nebraska


LR601 Davis (Health and Human Services) Interim study to examine the impact of implementing, and the impact of failing to implement, medicaid expansion in Nebraska  



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