January 30, 2015                                                                          Legislative Report Archive

In This Issue


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LB88, a bill to increase fees charged by county clerks to issue marriage licenses, was the target of a first-round filibuster by Senator Ernie Chambers this week. Former Lancaster County commissioner Kathy Campbell introduced LB88 on behalf of counties to help offset issuance costs. The bill would also increase the amount counties can charge for certified copies of marriage licenses from $5 to $16 to align with the rate charged by the state for the same document.


In addition to the amendments offered as part of the filibuster, amendments are pending to set marriage license fees at $30 and $35, as well as a proposal to allow county boards to set the fees in an amount up to $35.


A motion to invoke cloture is expected on Monday. Under the rules of the Legislature, a motion to invoke cloture may be taken after full and fair debate on a bill, which is generally considered to be eight hours. If a cloture motion is successful, a vote on the pending matter is taken immediately without debate. If a cloture motion is unsuccessful, debate on the bill ends for the day. If the bill advances, another filibuster is expected on the second round of debate.


The rules of the Legislature can be found here. The cloture provisions are in Rule 7-10. 


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probationInactive Township Bill Advanced to Second Round

County boards would have more authority to handle the financial affairs of inactive townships under a bill advanced from the first round of debate on Monday. LB65 would make it clear that county boards could levy a tax for the construction and maintenance of township roads and perform other functions in an inactive township until the township board reconstituted itself by a general election that filled all vacancies on the township board. An amendment is pending on Select File that would add an emergency clause to the bill so that it would take effect immediately.  


A second township bill, LB135,which is similar in intent, remains in committee. 


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allmailAll-Mail Election Hearing on Thursday
A bill to revise rules for elections by mail will be part of a series of election bills the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee on February 5. LB319, which was introduced by Senator Jim Smith, would expand the opportunity to have an all-mail election in selected precincts to all counties. Currently only counties of 10,000 or less can request approval from the Secretary of State for an all-mail election in a particular precinct. The Secretary of State evaluates the availability of ADA accessible polling places, the condition of roads, and the financial aspects of a mail election, among other factors, when considering the request. A second mail election bill, LB403, has not been scheduled for hearing.

Other election bills scheduled for Thursday's hearing include LB514, which would allow voters to provide address confirmation when registering to vote and voting early on the same day. LB575 and LB578 are primarily clean-up legislation.

On Wednesday, the committee will hear LB224, which would require flagging of polling places to identify areas where electioneering is prohibited. It would also create a zone within the area where campaign signs could be displayed. In addition, the committee will hear LB10 that would return Nebraska to a winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes.


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 issuesSnapshots of County Issues
Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee

The Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee took public testimony on bills to shift costs of probation (LB427) and Health and Human Services office space (LB61) to the state. County officials testified in support of the bill and pointed out the potential for property tax relief from the proposals. The Department of Health and Human Services testified in opposition to LB61 but there were no opponents to LB427.


The committee also took testimony on several veterans issues, including a measure to allow veterans aid funds to be used for transportation costs for veterans. LB305 was advanced by the committee with an amendment to enact an emergency clause.  


Revenue Committee

NACO and county officials testified in opposition to LB178, a bill to change the valuation of agricultural and horticultural land for school purposes. Tax statements would become longer and more complicated and assessors would have to keep a separate set of values for schools under the proposal. The bill is one of many proposals intended to provide property tax relief. Next week the committee will hear bills to provide sales and income tax credits. A complete listing of hearings can be found here.  


Counties also testified on LB162, which would allow tax sale investors to bid down their rate of interest with the county keeping the difference between the bid rate and the statutory 14 percent delinquency rate.  



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snaphearingsSelected Hearings
Every bill introduced by the Legislature is the subject of a public hearing. Following is a schedule of bills that are of interest to counties.Note that bills not appearing on this list may be heard during the same hearing.  A complete list of hearings is available on the Legislature's website.

Tuesday, February 3

Agriculture Committee

Room 2012, 1:30 p.m.

  • LB128 (Chambers) Repeal the Black-Tailed Prairie Dog Management Act


Transportation and Telecommunications Committee

Room 1113, 1:30 p.m.

  • LB642 (Garrett)  Change provisions relating to motorboat, motor vehicle, and trailer registration and titling

  • LB624 (Larson) Change provisions relating to vehicle load requirements

  • LB53 (Scheer) Provide for issuance of one license plate for passenger cars as prescribed


Urban Affairs Committee

Room 1510, 1:30 p.m.

  • LB295 (Scheer) Require municipalities to have county approval before enforcing ordinances in the extraterritorial zoning jurisdiction

  • LB266 (Crawford)  Change provisions relating to jurisdiction for municipalities to enforce ordinances


Wednesday, February 4 

Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee

Room 1507, 1:30 p.m.

  • LB10 (McCoy) Change election of presidential electors

  • LB205 (Schilz) Provide requirements for certain towers

  • LB224 (Harr)Provide and change restrictions relating to electioneering


Judiciary Committee

Room 1113, 1:30 p.m.

  • LB602 (Nebraska Retirement Systems Committee) Change collection provisions relating to judges retirement fees


Nebraska Retirement Systems Committee

Room 1525, 12:00 p.m.  

  • LB594 (Kolowski) Change contribution rates for certain police officers and county employees


Thursday, February 5

Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee  

Room 1525, 1:30 p.m.


  • LB319 (Smith)  Change provisions relating to elections conducted by mail
  • LB514 (Craighead) Change provisions relating to registering to vote and voting early at the same time
  • LB575 (Murante) Change provisions relating to ballots for early voting, write-in candidates, and filling vacancies
  • LB578 (Murante) Change provisions relating to elections

Judiciary Committee
Room 1113, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB651 (Bloomfield) Change liability for certain court costs as prescribed
  • LB504 (Krist) Change provisions relating to presentence reports and examinations
  • LB505 (Krist) Change provisions of the Security, Privacy, and Dissemination of Criminal History Information Act


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