February 20, 2015                                                     NACO E-Line Archive 

Upcoming Events

Central District Meeting

Kearney, NE

March 19, 2015


Northeast District Meeting

Norfolk, NE

March 20, 2015


Panhandle District  


Location TBD

March 25, 2015


West Central District Meeting

Curtis Ag College

March 26, 2015


Southeast District Meeting

Mahoney State Park

April, 17, 2015


To view all upcoming events, click here.




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.

In This Issue  

County Board Workshop to be Held in June this Year  

Public Service Commission to Discuss Eligible 911 Costs 

2015 NACO Scholarship Applications Available
Department of Revenue Announces Assessor Test Date

Department of Labor Announces Inmate Grant Opportunities

Nebraska Crime Commission Announces Violence Prevention Grants

Legal Line

County Government Day PowerPoint  

2015 County Official Directory Order Form  

2014 County Board Handbook and Revisions  

News From NACo  

NACo Web-Based Education 

News From Across the State 

County Classifieds    

Legal Calendar

Associate & Sustaining Members 

cbrdwkshpCounty Board Workshop to be Held in June this Year
After last year's County Board Workshop in February, it was decided to move the workshop time from February to June.  A declining registration rate was determined to be the main factor in the decision.  Larry Dix, NACO Executive Director stated that, "while it is difficult to pick a time that will work for everyone, we will continue to offer the same quality of education for the workshop that has been enjoyed in the past."

This year's County Board Workshop will be held at the Holiday Inn and Convention Center in Kearney on June 10th through June 12th.  Registration for the event will be provided on the NACO webiste when it opens in May.
psc911Public Service Commission to Discuss Eligible 911 Costs

Are you unsure what the eligible costs are that you can spend wireless funds on?


Are you unsure what documentation should be filed with the Commission for your audit?


Does the wireless ratio, the percentage of funds that can be set-aside and set-aside funds in general confuse you?


Do you have general questions about how to complete your 911-SAM Audit each year?


The Public Service Commission will be holding a video conference meeting on March 2, 2015, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. to discuss eligible costs for wireless 911 funds and 911-SAM audits.  We will be providing information about eligible costs and how to complete the audit form correctly and what documentation needs to be filed.


Joan Raffety, 911 Coordinator from the Public Service Commission knows that these forums can sometimes be intimidating to ask questions, so she would invite you to email your questions to her so that they can be addressed to the group overall.  It is the goal of this meeting to help provide a little more clarity for everyone and to make this process a little easier on everyone.


Joan can be emailed at  Her phone number is 402-471-0208. 


The Commission will have the following video sites available:   

  • Lincoln Atrium at 1200 "N" Street, Suite #300
  • Ainsworth at the Public Library, 5th and Main
  • North Platte at Vocational Rehab, 200 S Silber, Building #2
  • Norfolk at Vocational Rehab, 1212 West Benjamin Avenue
  • Scottsbluff at Vocational Rehab, 505 A Broadway, Suite #500
schapp2015 NACO Scholarship Applications Available

Nebraska high school seniors who are the children, stepchildren, or under the legal guardianship of county officials or employees are encouraged to apply for one of twelve $1,000.00 NACO scholarships.  Additional information and the application form can be found on the front page of the NACO website.  The scholarship application deadline is March 1, 2015.  To access the application from this article, click here

deptofreveneuDepartment of Revenue Announces Assessor Test Date

The Property Assessment Division has posted a news release to the Division's website for the County Assessor/Deputy Assessor Exam May 14, 2015.


If you have any questions, please contact the Policy/Legal Section of the Property Assessment Division.

deptoflaborDepartment of Labor Announces Inmate Grant Opportunities
Jail-Based Job Centers Will Help Break the Cycle of Incarceration

Strong employment prospects are critical in keeping previously incarcerated people from returning to prison. To help transitioning inmates get the resources and support structure they need to succeed, the department is launching a $5 million pilot program to place American Job Centers in 10 correction facilities around the country. The prison-based job centers will ensure that inmates nearing release get a head start in preparing for the job market. Once released, former inmates will be directly connected to one of the 2,500 American Job Centers nationwide to receive continued support and assistance. "These grants will give soon-to-be released inmates a real shot at success, keep our communities safe and go a long way toward breaking the cycle of incarceration that has plagued so many families around the country," said Secretary of Labor Perez.


Grant applications are open now until April 3, 2015.  For the press release and additional information go to:  

nccovpNebraska Crime Commission Announces Violence Prevention Grants

The Nebraska Crime Commission is pleased to announce the availability of FY 2014-2015 Office of Violence prevention Grant [OVP].

The Application Instructions outline general guidelines, eligibility, and funding requirements.

This information can be found on the Crime Commission website:  

COMPETITIVE FUNDS AVAILABLE:             $700,000.00


You are encouraged to distribute and post the announcement. Please contact Chris Harris, Director of the Office of Violence Prevention at the Nebraska Crime Commission at 402-471-3813 (office) 402-416-4129 (cell) 402-471-2837 (fax) or by email: for answers to any questions concerning the funds and application process.
legallineLegal Line
Editor's Note: Legal Line is a feature that will periodically appear in NACO E-Line. This edition has been prepared by Beth Ferrell 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.

Attorney General Issues Opinion on Agland Valuation for School Aid  


Reducing the value of agricultural and horticultural land used to calculate state aid to schools while continuing to use the existing midpoint for other property is not unconstitutional, according to an opinion issued by Nebraska Attorney General, Doug Peterson. The opinion was requested by Senator Al Davis on LB280, a school funding bill, which would codify a proposal by the OpenSky Policy Institute to protect funding for K-12 schools and reduce Nebraska's heavy reliance on property taxes to fund schools.


Unlike other bills to decrease the valuation of agricultural and horticultural land, referred to generally as agland for this article, and require assessors to keep two sets of records, LB280 would adjust the data after it has been certified to the Department of Education by the Property Tax Administrator. The bill would reduce the agland valuation aspect on the resources side of the school aid formula so that only 65 percent of agland valuation could be considered, rather than the current 75 percent. The midpoint of the acceptable range would be reduced from 72 percent to 62.4 percent of actual value for agland and special valuation.


The opinion applied Article III, Section 18 of the Nebraska constitution which prohibits the passage of any local or special laws. The Nebraska Supreme Court has found that a legislative act can violate this prohibition in two ways: 1) by creating a totally arbitrary and unreasonable method of classification, or 2) by creating a permanently closed class. Citations omitted. Because no closed class was implicated, the focus turned to whether the process proposed in LB280 would establish an arbitrary and unreasonable classification.


The opinion referred to similar legislation introduced in 2011 in which a decrease in the percentage of actual valuation of agland would have decreased formula resources in determining state aid, thereby increasing the amount of state aid allocated to schools as equalization aid. Equalized school districts would receive increased aid and the number of non-equalized district would be reduced.


The opinion noted that because the valuation of agricultural and horticultural land outpaced increases in the value of other property in recent years, utilizing a different, lower percentage of agland value in the state aid formula is not arbitrary or unreasonable. It is based on real substantial differences between such lands and other real property. Thus, reducing the midpoint is not an improper classification in violation of the special legislation clause.


The full opinion is printed in the Legislature's daily journal for February 17, beginning on page 525.  


Although not addressed in the opinion, other elements of LB280 would incrementally reduce the maximum levy for school districts and learning communities and revise the local effort rate. The hearing on LB280 was held on Wednesday, February 18. You can read the bill here.
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 The CD order form is available here .
 coudir2015 County Official Directory Order Form
NACO's 2015 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.  In January, county clerks for each county will receive one complimentary copy of the directory intended for use by all offices in their courthouse.  For additional copies, click here for the order form.
County_Board_Handbook_20122014 County Board  Handbook and Revisions
The 2014 County Board Handbook and related revisions are now available. The cost for a current handbook, including legislative information from the 2014 session, is $80.00/book plus $18.00 shipping and handling per book. The 2014 Supplement to the County Board Handbook is available for $25.00 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.
newsfromnacoNews from NACo

MacArthur Foundation Announces $75 Million for Jail Reform


The MacArthur Foundation has announced an exciting opportunity to undertake local jail reform through its new Safety and Justice Challenge, a five-year $75 million investment that seeks to reduce over-incarceration in jails.  


The Challenge is looking to improve local criminal justice systems across the country and safely reduce jail incarceration - with a particular focus on addressing disproportionate impact on low-income individuals and communities of color. Selected sites will reveal new and better ways of targeting resources, more effective risk assessment to determine if confinement is really necessary, and better public safety returns and social outcomes.  


Twenty sites will initially be selected to receive a grant of $150,000 to support an intensive six-month planning process, during which they will rigorously examine how their jails are being used and what strategies will reduce the inappropriate use of jail without compromising public safety. Each site will produce a plan for implementing these reforms. Then, beginning in 2016, as many as 10 of these jurisdictions will be selected for a second round of funding of up to $2 million to support implementation of their jail reduction plans.


The turn-around time on this is fairly short-applications are due March 31-so we are sending you this information and RFP right away. More information about the Challenge can be found here: and the RFP is available here:


For further guidance, the MacArthur Foundation will host three live webinars to walk applicants through how the competition will work and answer any queries you might have about the application process. The webinars will take place on the dates below; registration is necessary to participate. To register, send an email to and indicate which webinar you plan to attend:

  • Wednesday, February 25 from 12:30pm - 1:30pm EST
  • Thursday, February 26 from 11:00am - 12:00pm EST
  • Tuesday, March 3 from 4:00pm - 5:00pm EST

NACo_WebinarsNACo Web-Based Education
What to Look for in the 2015 County Health Rankings

Thu, Mar 19, 2015 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM CDT

 Join us to learn about how the County Health Rankings can serve as a tool to help improve health in your community! Learn from experts at the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and one of your peer county leaders about the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. New measures and tools will be presented and will include discussion about how these resources can assist your county in its journey toward building a culture of health. Participants will also get access to embargoed data before the March 25th national release of the 2015 County Health Rankings. Register today by clicking
newsacstNews From Across the State
Nebraska Association of County Officials
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