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August 22, 2014                                                              www.nacone.org   NACO E-Line Archive 

Upcoming Events

Assessors Workshop

August 25-28, 2014 

Kearney, Holiday Inn Hotel & Conference Center 

 

Panhandle District Meeting

September 10, 2014

Gering, Civic Center

 

West Central District Meeting

September 11, 2014

Ogallala, Quality Inn & Suites

 

Central District Meeting

September 18, 2014

Grand Island, Quality Inn & Suites

 

Northeast District Meeting

September 19, 2014

Schuyler, St. Benedict Center

 

Southeast District Meeting  

September 25, 2014

I-80, Mahoney Park

 

NACO Legislative Conference

October 16, 2014

Holiday Inn Conference Center, Kearney 

 

 

To view all upcoming events, click here.

 



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AssocMembersAssociate and Sustaining Members

NACO Associate and Sustaining Members enable NACO to enhance its continuing education programs for county officials across the state. Visit NACO's complete associate and sustaining membership list here.

 

EducationFoundationEducation Foundation Memorial Program

A gift to NACO's Education Foundation ensures that the children of county officials and county employees are eligible to apply for scholarships to continue their education at Nebraska's higher learning institutions. Whatever their passion - history, art, music, science, education, sports - the NACO Education Foundation will provide them an opportunity to fund their education beyond the K-12 level. Memorial gifts to NACO's Education Foundation are tax deductible and will be a lasting legacy in honor of your loved one's commitment to educating the children of Nebraska's county officials and employees. For more information about how to make a memorial gift, please contact Larry Dix  / 402-434-5660 ext. 226.

In This Issue

Legislative Conference Set for October 16  

Annual Conference Matters 

Nebraska State Penitentiary Officials to Discuss State/County Jail Initiative at All NACO District Meetings     

Conference to Address Emerald Ash Borer Scheduled for August 28th in Lincoln Financial Professional Training for Government Employees on October 29 in Lincoln  

2 Day Grant Workshop in Grand Island on October 20 & 21  

Advanced Institute of Excellence to be Held in Kearney 

Immediate Comments Needed for Text to 911 for PSC Request  

Legal Line 

Order NACO's 2014 Directory of County Officials Now  

County Government Day PowerPoint 

2013 County Board Handbook and Revisions  

News From NACo  

NACo Web-Based Education  

News Across the State 

County Classifieds    

Legal Calendar 

Associate & Sustaining Members 

NACO Education Foundation Memorial Program  

lecLegislative Conference Set for October 16th
NACO's 9th Annual Legislative Conference will be held in Kearney on October 16, 2014.  If you haven't already done so, be sure to mark this date on your calendar because you won't want to miss this educational opportunity.   

 

To view the tentative agenda for this conference, click here.

 

The registration fee for this conference is only $45.00.  The registration fee includes two breaks, a luncheon and all handout materials.

 

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Convention Center in Kearney.  Rates for lodging are $85.95 single/double.  You may contact the Holiday Inn at (308)237-5971 for lodging.  Be sure to mention that you are with the NACO Legislative Conference to receive the contracted rate.

 

At this conference you will have input into establishing NACO's platform and legislative priorities.  Take a look at the tentative agenda and you will see that this conference is a very important part of each elected and appointed county official's continuing education, not to mention your opportunity to have input into legislation that affects county government as a whole.  

 

To register for the Legislative Conference, click here.

Conference_MattersAnnual Conference Matters

Lodging

Lodging for NACO's 120th Annual Conference became available in June, 2014. The conference will be held in Omaha December 10-12 and this year you will be able to make lodging reservations electronically by visiting the Omaha Convention & Visitors Bureau website and clicking on NACO's microsite.  The link to the microsite is available here and is also posted on NACO's website 

Once you click on NACO's microsite, you will be able to choose the contracted  hotel of your choice along with the dates you will require for lodging.  Initially, a valid credit card will be required for securing your lodging.  Once you have secured your lodging via credit card, you will be able to access a credit application for direct billing and will be required to complete and submit a tax exempt form (all forms will be available on the microsite).

 

Planning

NACO has sent, via e-mail, planning grids and cut off dates to each affiliate group leader requesting that each group plan their sessions for the upcoming Annual Conference in December.  If you have a topic that you would like to have addressed at the conference, please contact your affiliate group president so they may consider it for the agenda.  

 scjiState/County Jail Initiative Discussion at District Meetings
Larry Wayne, Deputy Director of Programs and Community Services and Layne Gissler, Corrections Program Administrator of the Nebraska Department of Corrections will attend the NACO district meetings to discuss the State/County Jail Initiative that has begun in Nebraska.  They will share with attendees their vision of how the program will work if a county is interested.  Layne Gissler has provided NACO E-Line with a summary of that vision. 

To review that article and to prepare for the district meeting discussions, click here
Ash_BorerConference to Address Emerald Ash Borer Scheduled for August 28th in Lincoln
The Emerald Ash Borer is on the way to Nebraska and it's not a matter of if, but when.

Mark Harrell, the Nebraska Forest Program Director says that he and his colleagues are checking ash trees around the state, constantly looking for the emerald ash borer which is a small, green, shiny bug that lays eggs in the tree.  Those eggs produce larvae that hatches in the tree and the larvae eats the tree, causing major problems.  To read more, click here.

To view details of how to register and to view the agenda, click here.
fptaFree Financial Professional Training
Lancaster County Treasurer, Andy Stebbing is offering government employees financial professional training on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. at the Nebraska Educational Telecommunications (NET) building at 1800 North 33rd Street in Lincoln, Nebraska.  This training is sponsored by the Lancaster County Treasurer's Office, Allen, Gibbs and Houlik, L.C. and the Lincoln Chapter Association of Government Accountants.

For more details of the training and registration requirements,click here.

Financial Professional Training hotel information may be found by clicking here.
grwGrants Workshop in Grand Island
The Nebraska State Patrol Criminal Identification Division and Grant Writing USA will present a two-day grants workshop in Grand Island, October 20-21, 2014.  This training is applicable to grant seekers across all disciplines.  Attend this class and you'll learn how to find grants and write winning grant proposals.

Details can be obtained by clicking here.  
Advanced_InstituteAdvanced Institute of Excellence to be Held in Kearney
Today's leaders rely on stakeholders to help them make the hard decisions.
They also use after-action reviews to evaluate outcomes of their decisions.

These concepts and more will be introduced at the NACO Advanced Institute of Excellence, Wednesday, October 15th in Kearney at the Holiday Inn Convention Center. The Advanced Institute is open to ALL. 

The NACO Institute of Excellence will be conveniently held the day before the 9th Annual NACO Legislative Conference. The program starts at 10:00 a.m. and runs to 5:00 p.m.  The cost is only $45 for the entire day; lunch is included. For more information about this fall's Advanced Institute and future Institutes of Excellence download a .pdf version of the 2014 - 2015 Program Offerings brochure by clicking here.
pscPublic Service Commission to Hear Comments
The Public Service Commission is now seeking public comment on the development of a proposal to fund text to 911 solutions for public safety answering points (PSAPs, aka: 911 dispatch centers) who are ready to implement the new technology.

Public comments will be accepted in Docket No. 911-060/PI-191 on or before Wednesday, August 27th, 2014.

To read more, click here.
Legal_LineLegal Line
Editor's Note: Legal Line is a feature that will periodically appear in NACO E-Line. This edition has been prepared by Elaine Menzel of the NACO legal staff. Legal Line is not intended to serve as legal advice. Rather, it is published to alert readers to court decisions and legal or advisory matters important to county government. For a specific opinion on how the information contained in this article or that which will be discussed in future issues relates to your county, consult your county attorney or personal counsel.

Were Doctors (Defendants) Employees of the Hospital as a Political Subdivision?

In Jacobsen v. Shresta, 288 Neb. 615, --- N.W.2d --- (2014), individuals of the plaintiff's estate filed a wrongful death action against the defendants after complications developed following a surgery of the decedent. One of the primary questions in the case related to whether or not the doctors (defendants) were employees of the hospital as a political subdivision. The one year requirement for filing a claim under the Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act (PSTCA) had not been met; therefore, if the defendants were determined to be hospital employees the claim would be barred.

 

Before hearing a bifurcated employment issue, the district court rejected the plaintiff's claim that they were entitled to a jury trial. Additionally, the district court found that the defendants were employees. It dismissed the complaint. The Court of Appeals upon appeal determined that the plaintiffs had waived their right to a jury trial and affirmed the trial court's decision. The plaintiffs sought further review.

 

Subsequently, the Supreme Court concluded that the plaintiffs, by their silence, could not have waived their right to a jury trial; however, it concluded that the plaintiffs did not have a right to have a jury decide whether the defendants were political subdivision employees and thus affirmed the lower court's decision.

 

In a great deal of the case, the Supreme Court discussed a party's right to a jury trial and the underlying history of current law. Ultimately, the Supreme Court stated, "[I]n district court, a party's waiver of a jury trial occurs only if a court determines that one of three circumstances under § 25-1126 applies. Because none of those circumstances apply here, the Court of Appeals erred in holding the [plaintiffs] waived their right to a jury."

 

The Supreme Court then considered whether the plaintiffs had a right to have a jury decide if the defendants were governmental employees. To answer this question, the Supreme Court looked to the history of the laws governing a party's right to a jury trial. For example, the Court explained that in 1875, there was no right to a jury trial on any issue in a suit against the State or its political subdivisions because the common-law doctrine of sovereign immunity, and the related common-law doctrine of governmental immunity, operated to bar such suits at that time.

 

Furthermore, the Court stated:

 

[T]he Legislature has the right to decide the terms under which it will waive its sovereign and governmen­tal immunity for tort actions against the State or its politi­cal subdivisions.The common-law doctrine of governmental immunity applies to a political subdivision's employees who are acting within the scope of their employment. And because the Legislature has determined when and how it will waive the State's sovereign and governmental immunity, we will find a waiver of such immunity only where stated by express language or clear implications. Because a jury trial is not one of the terms of its waiver of governmental immunity under PSTCA, a party is not entitled to a jury trial on its claim that a defendant is not a political subdivision employee.

 

In conclusion, the Supreme Court held the Court of Appeals erred in determining the plaintiffs had waived their right to a jury trial; however, they were not entitled to have a jury decide whether the defendants were employees of a political subdivision.

 

For the full text of the opinion, click here.  

NACO_DirectoryOrder NACO's 2014 Directory of County Officials Now
NACO's 2014 Directory of County Officials is a valuable resource that not only gives you names, addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers and e-mail addresses of every county official in the state, but includes a listing of county board meeting days, NACO districts, county seats, NACO officers and directors, affiliate officers and NACO staff.  County clerks for each county received one complimentary copy of the directory intended for use by all offices in their courthouse.  For additional copies, click here for the order form.
CountygovernementdaycdCounty Government Day PowerPoint
The PowerPoint presentation is available electronically at no charge (sent via e-mail) for use by counties during their annual County Government Day. The PowerPoint provides a comprehensive look at county government functions in the State of Nebraska and can be customized by each county. CD's are also available for $10.00 each to cover processing, shipping and handling. To request the County Government Day PowerPoint electronically, please e-mail your request to larrydix@nacone.org. The CD order form is available here.
County_Board_Handbook_20122013 County Board  Handbook and Revisions
The 2013 County Board Handbook and related revisions are available. The cost for a current handbook, including legislative information from the 2013 session, is $80.00/book plus $17.00 shipping and handling per book. The 2013 Supplement to the County Board Handbook is available for $20.00 plus $5.00 shipping and handling. The order form is available on the NACO website here. For questions, contact Ashley Vandeloo by clicking here or call her at (402) 434-5660 ext. 223.
News_From_NACoNews From NACo
Congress Passes Short-Term Patch for Transportation Funding

This week, Congress reached agreement over a short-term patch to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent and extend the current surface transportation law - Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) - through May of next year.

   

The Highway and Transportation Funding Act, H.R. 5021, was accepted by both chambers after much debate over the length of the patch.

 

The House initially passed H.R. 5021 on July 15. The House-passed version provided $11 billion to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent and extend MAP-21 through May of next year.  To read more, click here.

 

Senate Introduces Bill that Combines the Marketplace Fairness Act and the Internet Tax Freedom Act

On July 15, Sens. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) introduced the Marketplace and Internet Tax Fairness Act (MITFA). The bill (S. 2609) would combine two key issues important to counties:

  • The Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) as passed by the Senate in 2013, with a few minor technical corrections. MFA, which passed with the support of NACo, allows state and local governments to enforce existing sales taxes on remote sellers. 
  • A ten-year extension of the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA). ITFA prohibits counties from collecting a tax on Internet access (typically a subscription service) until November 1, 2014. While a 10-year extension is not ideal for counties, NACo favors a temporary extension of ITFA in lieu of permanent measures like the Permanent ITFA (H.R. 3086) that passed in the House on July 14, 2014.
 To read more, click here.
NACo_WebinarsNACo Web-Based Education
Using Juvenile Justice Receiving Centers to Improve Safety & Outcomes
Thursday, September 25, 2014 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM  Eastern Time
"Receiving Centers" for juveniles who are arrested or picked up by law enforcement officers for status or misdemeanor offenses offer a number of benefits to counties. These centers allow officers to drop off youth and quickly return to their duties in the community, provide a secure environment for juveniles and can identify underlying causes of delinquent or problem behavior.

To register for this webinar, Click here.

Mental Health Parity:  What it Means for Counties as Providers

Thursday, October 2, 2014, 2:00 - 3:15 p.m. Eastern Time
The regulations for the Mental Health Parity Law are now final. Health insurance plans must provide equal coverage for physical and behavioral health services. What does this mean for your county? How do these regulations interact with the Affordable Care Act? What are the challenges and/or opportunities for implementing mental health parity? Join county leaders and United Health Care to discuss the implications of mental health parity for your county.

To register for this webinar, Click here.

To view NACo's entire web-based education listing, click here.
News_Across_the_StateNews Across the State
Nebraska Association of County Officials
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