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January 15, 2016                                                                        Legislative Report Archive 

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debateDebate Begins, Bill Introductions Continue
Senators started full days of debate on carryover bills this week. After adopting permanent rules, they advanced bills to revise the turnback of sales taxes to cities with a convention center or sports arena (LB285) and to place a question about organ donor registration on driver's license applications (LB145). After six hours of debate on a bill to grant state regulatory authority over certain poker games (LB619), a cloture motion failed and debate ended. Debate began on LB113, a bill to provide for inmate copays for medical care. (See article below)
 
Bill introductions continued with a total of 349 bills and nine constitutional amendments offered to date. Bills can be introduced for the first 10 days of the session. Today is the 8th day of the session.
 
Public hearings on bills will begin on the afternoon of January 19. Floor debate will take place in the morning. Hearings are expected to conclude by March 3.
 
A schedule of selected hearings of interest to counties is provided below and the entire hearing schedule can be found on the Legislature's website.
 
Chief Justice Mike Heavican will offer his State of the Judiciary address on January 21. Governor Pete Ricketts presented his second State of the State Address on Thursday.

 
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inhrtInheritance Tax Revision Proposed
All classes of beneficiaries would be taxed at a rate of one percent on amounts in excess of $100,000 under a proposal introduced by Senator Laura Ebke on Wednesday. Currently Class 1 beneficiaries, such as parents, children, and siblings are taxed at a rate of one percent on amounts in excess of $40,000. LB936 would retain the one percent rate for Class 1's but increase the exempt amount to $100,000. Class 2 beneficiaries, such as aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, are currently taxed at 13 percent on amounts over $15,000. All other beneficiaries (Class 3) are currently taxed at 18 percent on amounts over $10,000.

In FY12-13, counties collected $58.8 million in inheritance taxes. Although it is impossible to determine the exact fiscal impact of the bill because the amount of inheritance taxes collected annually fluctuates due to the size of estates and class of beneficiaries in each estate, the loss to counties under LB936 would be significant.

LB936 has been referenced to the Revenue Committee but a hearing date has not been set.
 
 
commtgNACO Legislative Committee Meeting Set for January 29

NACO's Legislative Committee will meet on January 29 to review and take positions on 2016 legislation. The meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the NACO office at 1335 H Street in Lincoln in the conference room on the second floor at the rear of the building.  

 

After brief introductory remarks, affiliate groups will meet for discussion of bills pertinent to their membership. After the groups have met, the NACO Legislative Committee will reconvene as a whole to review and take positions on the entire list of bills. All county officials are encouraged to attend or discuss areas of concern with their NACO Board representative prior to the meeting.

 

Because lunch will be provided, please notify the NACO office at (402)434-5660 or leslie@nacone.org if you plan to attend. Although the Legislature will be in recess, parking around the Capitol may be limited. Public parking is not available behind the NACO office or in the MIPS lot. A parking garage is available at The Cornhusker, A Marriott Hotel at 12th and L Streets.

 

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copayInmate Copay Bill Debated on First Round
Debate began Thursday on a bill to allow county jail and state correctional facilities to require inmates to make a copayment for self-initiated medical care. LB113 was introduced and prioritized by Senator Tyson Larson last year and carried over on General File.

A Judiciary Committee amendment would change the proposal from a mandatory minimum copy of $10 to maximum $10 copay. No copayments could be charged for emergency care, chronic illnesses, or staff-initiated care. Care could not be denied if the inmate could not pay. Senators discussed the deterrent aspects of a copayment when inmates use a non-emergency medical visit as an opportunity to leave the facility for several hours. Several senators contrasted the administrative costs of such a plan with the amount of funds that would be generated. Others compared the wages earned by inmate workers to the cost of the copayment.
 
Debate is expected to continue for slightly more than 3 hours on Tuesday until a cloture vote can be taken. A cloture vote can occur only upon a motion of the bill's introducer after full and fair debate, which is deemed to be six hours on General File. If a cloture vote is successful, the bill advances to the next round of debate. If the motion is unsuccessful, debate ceases on the bill for the day and typically does not reappear on the agenda.
 
 
proptaxProperty Tax, Road Funding Proposals Offered
During his State of the State address on Thursday, Governor Pete Ricketts expanded upon the details of plans for property tax relief and road funding. The broad property tax proposal, introduced later that morning as LB958, would tighten spending limits, cap growth in agland values at 3 percent, and remove the ability for townhall meetings to increase levies and budgets. The school proposal, LB959, would control growth in the school funding formula by limiting school budget increases.
 
The road funding bill, LB960, would create an infrastructure bank to accelerate completion of the expressway system and provide matching funds to counties to repair deficient bridges.
 
 
snSnapshots of County Issues
A number of the bills introduced this week have an impact on counties. Some of these include:

County Operations
  • LB863  (Schilz) Adopt the Wind Energy Expansion Act
  • LB876  (Murante) Authorize electronic voting devices for public bodies in public meetings
  • LB927  (Hilkemann) Change provisions relating to surcharges for 911 service
  • LB938  (Smith) Adopt the 911 Service System Act and transfer funds from the Enhanced Wireless 911 Fund to the 911 Service System Fund
  • LB992 (Ebke) Provide a restriction on installment contracts for the purchase of real or personal property by political subdivisions
     
 Inheritance Tax
  • LB936 (Ebke) Change inheritance tax rates and exemption amounts
 
Property Tax
  • LB925 (Harr) Change provisions relating to issuing a treasurer's tax deed and bringing a tax lien foreclosure action as prescribed
  • LB940  (Johnson) Adopt the Tax Stabilization Act
  • LB958 (Gloor) Change provisions relating to budgets, the valuation of agricultural land, and levy limitations
  • LB959 (Sullivan) Change and eliminate provisions relating to school funding, budgets, and levy authority
  • LB995 (Davis) Repeal provisions relating to the special valuation of agricultural land and provide for the agricultural value of agricultural land
  • LR394CA (Hughes) Constitutional amendment to authorize taxing bodies to exclude their taxes from pledges made by cities to pay indebtedness on redevelopment projects
  • LR399CA (Davis) Constitutional amendment to require cities and villages to obtain voter approval before pledging taxes for the payment of indebtedness related to redevelopment projects

Jails/Law Enforcement/Courts
  • LB861 (Schumacher) Provide for court review of inmate restrictive housing placement as prescribed
  • LB910 (Bolz) Change provisions relating to parole administration
  • LB915 (McCollister) Create a veterans' treatment court pilot project
  • LB919 (Williams) Change provisions relating to problem solving court programs
  • LB976 (Seiler) Change provisions relating to jury sequestration
  • LB984 (Schumacher) Change provisions relating to mandatory minimum sentencing and sentencing of habitual criminals
  • LB998 (Schumacher) Provide for emergency community crisis centers and change provisions relating to emergency protective custody
  •  LB1000 (Mello) Require certain law enforcement agencies to adopt policies on the use of body-worn cameras, provide that recordings from such cameras are not public records, and prohibit certain conduct involving such recordings
  • LR413 (Watermeier) Create the Task Force on Behavioral and Mental Health
     
 
Juvenile Justice
  • LB893 (Pansing Brooks) Modify jurisdiction of juvenile courts and change provisions relating to temporary custody and disposition of juveniles
  • LB894 (Pansing Brooks) Change provisions relating to appointment of counsel in juvenile cases
  • LB917 (Krist) Change provisions relating to access to records for and investigations by the Inspector General of Nebraska Child Welfare (replaced by LB954)
  • LB954 (Krist) Change provisions relating to access to records for and investigations by the Inspector General of Nebraska Child Welfare (replaces LB917)
  • LB1010 (Williams) Change provisions relating to juvenile court petitions
     
Elections
  • LB871 (Murante) Provide for a presidential preference primary election
  • LB879 (Murante) Change signature requirements for partisan candidates
  • LB912 (Smith) Change requirements for presentation of identification for purposes of voting
  • LR403 (Hansen) Provide the Executive Board of the Legislative Council appoint the Election Technology Committee as a special committee of the Legislature
 
Roads
  • LB872 (Murante) Change a provision relating to the use of blue and amber rotating or flashing lights
  • LB960 (Smith) Adopt the Transportation Innovation Act and provide transfers from the Cash Reserve Fund
  • LB977 (Smith) Change provisions relating to implements of husbandry on highways
     
Planning and Zoning
  • LB864 (Crawford) Change provisions relating to a municipality requesting additional extraterritorial zoning jurisdiction
  • LB877 (Murante) Change a provision relating to review of proposed subdivision plats by certain county planning commissions
 
Motor Vehicles
  • LB880 (McCollister) Change provisions relating to Military Honor Plates
  • LB918 (Murante) Provide for the redistribution of motor vehicle taxes as prescribed
  • LB989 (Murante) Change provisions relating to motor vehicles

 
hrgschedCommittee Hearing Schedule for Next Week
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.

Monday, January 18 - Legislature in Recess

Tuesday, January 19
Transportation and Telecommunications Committee
Room 1113 Room, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB735 (Friesen) Provide a length limit exception for an articulated bus vehicle operated by a transit authority
  • LB811 (Brasch) Change provisions relating to counties' use of alphanumeric and county number system license plates
  • LB732 (Watermeier) Change provisions relating to Military Honor Plates
  • LB880 (McCollister) Change provisions relating to Military Honor Plates

Urban Affairs Committee
Room 1510, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB699 (Mello) Change the Nebraska Municipal Land Bank Act
  • LB700 (Mello) Require notice to neighborhood associations for changes to business improvement districts and zoning ordinances in cities of the metropolitan class
  • LB704 (Urban Affairs Committee) Change building code provisions applicable to political subdivisions

Wednesday, January 20
Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee
Room 1507, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB695 (Crawford) Provide for the counting of ballots in sanitary and improvement district elections
  • LB702 (Urban Affairs Committee) Harmonize provisions relating to the election of city council members in cities of the second class
  • LB682 (Craighead) Change deadlines for ballots for early voting and special elections by mail

Judiciary Committee
Room 1113, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB709 (Howard) Provide for an alternative to detention for juveniles
  • LB673 (Krist) Change provisions relating to appointment of guardians ad litem
  • LB675 (Krist) Change provisions relating to placement and detention of juveniles
  • LB845 (Pansing Brooks) Provide requirements relating to confinement of juveniles and provide a duty for the Inspector General of Nebraska Child Welfare
  • LB894 (Pansing Brooks) Change provisions relating to appointment of counsel in juvenile cases

Nebraska Retirement Systems
Room 1525, 12:00 p.m.
  • LB790 (Kolterman) To alphabetize defined terms under various retirement statutes
  • LB803 (Nebraska Retirement Systems Committee) Change disposition of court docket fees as prescribed

Thursday, January 21 
Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee
Room 1507, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB741 (Hansen) Change electioneering provisions related to yard signs
  • LB728 (Johnson) Authorize electronic voting devices for natural resources districts
  • LB876 (Murante) Authorize electronic voting devices for public bodies in public meetings
 
Judiciary Committee
Room 1113, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB831 (Hansen) Adopt the Automatic License Plate Reader Privacy Act
  • LB846 (Pansing Brooks) Require law enforcement agencies to adopt a policy regarding suspect identifications by witnesses
  • LB738 (Ebke) Prohibit the use of cell-site simulator technology or devices by law enforcement agencies

Natural Resources Committee
Room 1525, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB672 (Krist)Eliminate fees on tires as prescribed

Revenue Committee
Room 1524, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB775 (Gloor) Change property tax provisions relating to motor vehicles
  • LB776 (Gloor) Change revenue and taxation provisions
  • LB777 (Gloor) Change provisions relating to partial payments for property taxes held in escrow
  • LB725 (Schumacher) Provide an exception to a filing requirement relating to conveyances of real estate

Friday, January 22 
Executive Board
Room 2102, 12:00 pm.
  • LB954 (Krist) Change provisions relating to access to records for and investigations by the Inspector General of Nebraska Child Welfare (LB954 replaces LB917, which was withdrawn)

Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee
Room 1507, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB677 (Craighead) Change a residency qualification and military service requirement for certain veterans service officers
  • LB764 (Garrett) Authorize summary discipline for minor offenses in the Nebraska Code of Military Justice
     
Revenue Committee
Room 1524, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB723 (Schumacher) Change sales and use tax collection fees
  • LB724 (Schumacher) Change sales and use tax collection fees
  • LB884 (Scheer) Change the Convention Center Facility Financing Assistance Act and the Sports Arena Facility Financing Assistance Act
                               
Monday, January 25
Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee
Room 1507, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB729 (Johnson) Change provisions of the Real Property Appraiser Act
  • LB731 (Johnson) Change provisions relating to the Real Property Appraiser Act 
 
Tuesday, January 26
Transportation and Telecommunications Committee
Room 1113, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB765 (Garrett) Increase original certificate of title fees for vehicles transferred to Nebraska from another state or country
  • LB918 (Murante) Provide for the redistribution of motor vehicle taxes as prescribed
 
Urban Affairs Committee
Room 1510, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB875 (Murante) Change conditions for approval of a planned unit development for certain second-class cities and villages
  • LB948 (Morfeld ) Change an application period limitation for the designation of enterprise zones as prescribed
  • LB864 (Crawford) Change provisions relating to a municipality requesting additional extraterritorial zoning jurisdiction
 
 
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