Final 2016                                                                    Legislative Report Archive 

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sinedie2016 Legislative Session Adjourns Sine Die
The 104th Nebraska Legislature, Second Session adjourned on April 20, 2016. This Final 2016 Legislative Report is intended to provide a brief synopsis of some of the 210 bills passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Pete Ricketts, as well as noting bills with county impact that were killed. This report highlights particular provisions of interest to counties within the included bills and notes bills that were amended into other measures. 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 in your county.
More than 446 bills, resolutions, and constitutional amendments were introduced this year. Bills that were not adopted will not carry over to the 2017 session. The 90-day 2017 session is scheduled to convene on January 4, 2017.
Most bills take effect at 12:01 a.m. on July 21, 2016, which is three calendar months after the Legislature's adjournment. Bills passed with a specific operative date or emergency clause become effective on the specified date or upon the governor's signature.

Eleven senators will be leaving the body due to term limits, including the Speaker and several committee chairs. When the 2017 session convenes, senators will be elected by the body to fill leadership roles and committees will be reorganized.
The NACO staff appreciates all county officials and employees who responded to requests to contact legislators, review legislation, and answer 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 2017. NACO's 2017 legislative priorities will be selected following NACO's 11th annual legislative conference on October 13 in York.
countyopCounty Operations
LB784 harmonizes conflicting sections in the Nebraska Budget Act and the County Budget Act to allow counties to have more access to funds during the period between July 1 and the adoption of the budget on September 20. Both Acts limit expenditures to a proportion of the budgeted amount during this period but the Nebraska Budget Act also allows the governing body to approve additional expenditures from the budgeted funds upon a showing of necessity. LB784 adds this language to the County Budget Act. Because the bill carries an emergency clause and was signed on April 6, it is already in effect.
LB938 places coordination of the plan for next-generation 911 under the oversight of the Public Service Commission (PSC). LB938 requires the PSC to appoint a state 911 director to manage the department within the Commission. The PSC and state 911 director will develop a plan for a 911 service system and hold two public hearings on the plan. The plan must include, at minimum, the costs associated with the implementation and estimated ongoing operation and maintenance of the 911 service system, including which costs that are to be paid from funds collected by the state and which costs will be the obligation of local governing bodies. The plan must also contain a recommendation of the number of public safety answering points that should be maintained in the state that are capable of next-generation 911 service.
LB1038 provides local weed control authorities, weed management entities, and natural resources districts with $1 million in state funding to help control of phragmites and other invasive species in waterways. The funding, which was originally introduced as LB711, will be used to continue riparian weed management efforts to increase flow conveyance, improve wildlife habitat, and increase water available for human consumption. The bill reinstates the Riparian Vegetation Management Task Force to help oversee the process. Other provisions of the bill address a water rights agreement between the Nebraska Public Power District and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission regarding the Spencer Dam, revise procedures for the Niobrara Council, and create a permitting procedure through the Department of Roads for trimming vegetation that obstructs advertising signs.
LB876 allows all public bodies to record votes using an electronic voting device. Existing provisions of the Open Meetings Act list the public bodies that can use such devices, including counties, municipalities, learning communities, joint public agencies and others. This change will require an update to the Open Meetings Act posters that must be available at every public meeting. NACO will make the revised language available online.
LB742 updates references to population thresholds that primarily affect Lancaster County. It is estimated that Lancaster County will exceed 300,000 in the 2020 census. The bill is not intended to change county practices but to adjust references that trigger automatic changes in county structure or operation.
LB881 expands the use of energy financing contracts for participating governmental units. Such contracts provide for cost recovery through utility and operation and maintenance savings.
LB1082 requires counties, cities, villages, and natural resources districts to be given notice and copies of Class II commercial underground injection well permit applications. The bill was introduced in response to concerns last year about fracking and the regulatory authority of the Nebraska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
LB936, a bill to adjust inheritance tax exemption amounts and tax rates, did not advance from the Revenue Committee.
LB188, a bill to clarify there are circumstances when a passenger in a fleeing vehicle should not be considered an innocent third party under law enforcement pursuit laws, fell two votes short of a cloture motion on Select File and was killed.
LB693, which would have increased the time frame to file a tort claim against a county from one to two years, did not advance from the Judiciary Committee.
LB935, which would have imposed a penalty on governing bodies that failed to provide the State Auditor with annual information regarding interlocal and joint public agency agreements, was vetoed by Governor Ricketts. He did not object to the reporting penalty, but opposed a Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee amendment based on LB1099 that would have changed the state process for reimbursing employees for expenses from an itemized system to a per diem basis. He and State Auditor Charlie Janssen are reported to have reached an agreement on the reimbursement process and both issues are likely to be introduced again next year.

proptaxProperty Taxes
LB958 grants $20 million in property tax credits to agricultural and horticultural lands. Beginning with tax year 2017, the Property Tax Administrator will determine the amount to be distributed to each county based on a ratio using the credit allocation valuation of the county. Like the existing property tax credit, which remains unchanged, county treasurers will calculate the distribution for each parcel and it will appear as a credit on property tax statements. The total appropriation for both tax credits is $224 million.
The bill was one of Governor Pete Ricketts's property tax relief proposals. As introduced, LB958 would have capped aggregate agland valuation at 3 percent statewide, eliminated budget exceptions for interlocal agreements, and capped unused budget authority. A second public hearing on the bill was needed to discuss the tax credit concept and restricting community college levies. The community college provisions were removed from the bill before passage.

LB959 was also part of the governor's property tax relief package. It increases state aid to schools by more than $8.5 million by changing the aid formula.
LB729 amends the Real Property Appraiser Act to allow county assessors to retain the services of unlicensed persons to assist in appraisal. Because many small counties cannot afford to have a full-time certified appraiser on staff, various contractual arrangements have been made for those services. All of the work performed by such individuals will continue to be under the oversight of the county assessor. The bill also repeals last year's moratorium on enforcement actions against mass appraisers by the Real Property Appraisal Board. LB729 took effect following the governor's signature on March 9.
LB731 updates the Nebraska Real Property Appraiser Act to comply with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) and federal licensing requirements.
LB131 increases the collection fee retained by county treasurers for collecting sanitary and improvement district (SID) funds from one percent to two percent. A 2015 Nebraska Supreme Court case held that statutory language limits collection fees to one percent but many counties had been collecting two percent prior to the court's decision. The language was introduced as LB827 and amended into LB131. Other sections of LB131 prohibit SIDs from spending assets that are used by a municipality to determine the feasibility of an annexation.
LB683 aligns Nebraska's homestead exemption criteria with eligibility for federal veterans benefits. The bill allows surviving spouses of veterans who remarry before age 57 to retain their current homestead exemption status. The bill takes effect on January 1, 2017.
LB776 is a technical bill from the Department of Revenue. Among other things it eliminates annual medical recertification for homestead exemption applicants who are certified as totally disabled by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and no change in medical condition has occurred. The Tax Commissioner or county assessor may request certification to verify that no change has occurred. This language takes effect on January 1, 2017.
LB774 is an omnibus tax measure that was amended to incorporate other bills. It grants sales tax exemptions to nonprofit substance abuse treatment centers, county agricultural societies (LB542), certain independent living centers (LB1088), and purchases by museums (LB1015). The bill allows county airport authorities to exceed levy limits for bonds (LB1014).
Several property tax relief proposals were introduced but not adopted. LB1037 was intended to address differences in the valuation of non-agricultural land associated with agland by valuing land associated with farm sites and home sites at their agland value. LB717 would have frozen valuation at 2105 levels and changed the assessment history to five years. LB825 would have required reporting values of exempt properties
As a follow-up to the property tax discussion, three interim studies have been introduced to examine property taxes in Nebraska. LR593 will examine the structure, compliance, and administration of real and personal property taxes. LR600 will examine alternatives for valuing agricultural land for property tax purposes. LR604 will examine inconsistencies in the practices utilized by county assessors in determining agricultural land value.

LB960 creates the Transportation Innovation Act, which enacts new programs to expedite road, bridge, expressway, and economic development projects. The program will receive a one-time transfer of $50 million from the state's cash reserve. Up to $40 million will be placed in a newly-created infrastructure bank for use with a new County Bridge Match Program to provide additional funding to accelerate the repair and replacement of deficient bridges in the county road system. The Nebraska Department of Roads (NDOR) will develop the program, including participation criteria and matching fund requirements, with input from NACO. The program will create efficiencies by bundling bridges with similar engineering and using design build for certain projects. County participation in the bridge match program is voluntary. The program will terminate on June 20, 2023.
More than $400 million in state motor fuel tax generated between July 2016 and June 2033 will also be added to the fund. Twenty million will be directed to the Economic Opportunity Program to finance transportation improvements to attract and support new businesses and business expansion in the state.

LB671, a bill to repeal the Build Nebraska Act, was killed. The Act directs a portion of sales tax revenue to counties through the Highway Allocation Fund. In FY14-15, counties and cities received a combined $11.1 million.
LB977 began as a bill to expand weight limits for implements of husbandry, including manure spreaders, on county roads. As passed, it expands the time frame for existing county authority to regulate the operation of vehicles and impose weight limits on county roads from 90 days to 180 days. County ordinance statutes are revised to reflect this change. 

Other bills were amended into LB977, including measures to create breast cancer awareness license plates (LB844) and decrease the number of prepaid applications organizations need to qualify for specialty license plates from 500 to 250 (LB989). Other bills incorporated into LB977 include LB918 to shift one percent of motor vehicle tax proceeds to a fund to help replace the state's vehicle titling and registration system, LB872 to allow the Department of Roads and road maintenance vehicles operated by political subdivisions to use blue and amber rotating or flashing lights for road work, and LB799 to allow public transit grant funds to be used for capital acquisitions, such as the purchase of new shuttle vans.

LB874 is an omnibus election bill that contains concepts from four other bills. It allows voters to take photos of their marked ballots and reveal the photograph. These "ballot selfies" are often posted on social media (LB787). Language from LB741 allows the display of yard signs on private property within 200 feet of a polling place or building designated as a place for voters to cast ballots, subject to local ordinance. The property cannot be under common ownership with the property on which the polling place or building is located. Language incorporated from LB682 changes the deadline to request mailed ballots and procedures to petition onto the general election ballot. Existing law requires requests for ballots to be received by 4 p.m. on the Wednesday before the election. Beginning June 1, 2016, applications must be received no later than the close of business on the second Friday before the election. Changes in the U.S. Postal Service delivery and sorting procedures have sometimes made it difficult for voters to receive the ballots and return them before the election under the previous deadline. The bill allows county clerks and election commissioners to mail out ballots two days earlier. Language from LB879 changes the signature requirements to place a candidate's name on the partisan ballot for the general election by petition.
LB400 revises the timeline for candidates to file financial disclosures from April 1 to March 1 for the prior fiscal year. Under existing law, if a candidate files before January 1, he or she must file a C-1 financial statement for the prior year, then file a second statement for the next year by April 1. If the second filing deadline is not met, the candidate's name cannot appear on the ballot. However, due to the timing of election laws, it may be too late to remove the candidate's name from the ballot.
LB695 clarifies procedures for returning ballots in sanitary and improvement district elections and specifically states that each ballot must be returned in a separate envelope.
LR403 creates the Election Technology Committee to examine the longevity of election technology and the feasibility of updating or replacing it. The committee will study options for acquiring hardware and software or other methods of voting and how costs should be allocated between the state and counties. Seven members of the Legislature will sit on the committee and will request information from the Secretary of State, election commissioners from counties of various sizes, NACO, individuals with disabilities, voting rights groups, and election technology manufacturers. The committee will issue a report no later than December 15, 2016.
The Legislature considered but did not adopt a bill to change to a winner-take-all primary system. In addition, Governor Ricketts vetoed LB580, a bill to create an independent citizen's commission to assist the legislature in redistricting after the 2020 census.
An interim study, LR504, will examine the numerous deadlines involved in the election process.

juvenileJuvenile Justice
LB894 is a comprehensive juvenile justice bill that requires the appointment of an attorney for juvenile cases in counties over 150,000. It incorporates language from LB709 to replace existing classifications of  secure detention and nonsecure detention for juveniles with new classifications of detention and alternatives to detention. This provision also establishes additional court review of the use of these programs and facilities. Provisions from LB845 create documentation and reporting requirements related to the use of room confinement of juveniles. Language from LB893 creates a minimum age of 11 years in juvenile court delinquency and status offense cases, beginning July 1, 2017. Provisions from LB673 allow county boards to create a county guardian ad litem division. Unless there is a conflict of interest or court determines that appointment of outside counsel is more appropriate to serve the child's best interest, the court shall appoint from within the division. An interim study, LR576, will continue the examination of children's access to legal counsel in juvenile proceedings across the state.
LB1010 removes the requirement for an affidavit when a petition is filed in juvenile court. Instead, the written petition would need to be signed by the county attorney. The change allows for direct e-filing of original documents without having them notarized or sworn by a clerk of the court.
LB954 clearly grants the Inspector General of Nebraska Child Welfare access to juvenile records for purposes of investigations being conducted by that office. The Inspector General must submit a request to the probation administrator for access to the records of juvenile probation officers related to a specific case. The bill carries an emergency clause and took effect upon the Governor's signature.
Interim studies will examine the effectiveness, economic stability, and long-term viability of the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center in Kearney and the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center in Geneva (LR561) and the use of congregate care in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems (LR551).

LB919 authorizes the creation of problem solving courts for drugs, veterans, mental health, driving under the influence, reentry and other issues. The courts are alternatives to incarceration and seen as a possible way to reduce prison overcrowding, as well as prevent recidivism. The companion appropriations bills provides funding for a veterans treatment court for Douglas County.
LB1098 increases the Legal Aid and Services Fund charged in court filings by $1.00, from $5.25 to $6.25. The Fund is administered through the Commission on Public Advocacy to provide grants for providers of civil legal services for low income Nebraskans. An interim study, LR560, will examine the use of court fees as a source of funding in Nebraska. A second interim study, LR584, will look at possible funding sources for providing access to civil legal services.
LB505 seals criminal history records after acquittal or successful completion of a drug or other problem-solving court. People whose records have been sealed will not have to disclose the arrest or charges on job or licensing applications. The bill will take effect on January 1, 2017.
crimjustCriminal Justice
LB1094 revises provisions from LB605, last year's bill on prison overcrowding. Concepts from this year's LB910 were incorporated into the bill to require additional reporting about inmates, including the number of inmates diagnosed with mental illness and behavioral disorders, and those who are held in restrictive housing. Data reporting will also be the focus of an interim study, LR550, which will examine reporting needed for for LB605's County Justice Reinvestment Grant Program. Mandatory minimum sentences, which were discussed during last year's debate, will be studied under LR527.
LB1000 requires the Crime Commission to develop model policies on the use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement agencies by December 1, 2016. Agencies must develop their own written policies or adopt the model policies by January 1, 2017. Law enforcement agencies are also required to adopt written policies on eyewitness suspect identifications pursuant to language from LB846 that was incorporated into the bill. Language amended into LB1000 from LB1055 opens grand jury proceedings for deaths occurring during apprehension or while in the custody of a law enforcement officer or detention personnel. Cases are to be treated as open, ongoing matters until all evidence, reports, and other relevant materials are transferred to the county attorney or the member of his or her staff that will serve as the prosecuting attorney. Unless a physician certifies that the death is from natural causes, a team of three peace officers must be selected to investigate the evidence concerning the cause of death and present their findings to the prosecuting attorney. If the grand jury returns a no true bill, it must create a grand jury report with the assistance of the prosecuting attorney. The report must contain findings and recommendations by the grand jury. A transcript, including exhibits, must be prepared at the court's expense. The transcript, report, and the no true bill must be filed with the court and available for public review.
LB1106 revises the state's civil forfeiture laws for the seizure of suspected drug money or property by law enforcement. The bill incorporates language from LB1108 that requires law enforcement agencies to provide detailed written reports of forfeitures to the Auditor of Public Accounts.

LB710 redefines the offense of hazing to apply to students of all ages and expands the types of acts that fall within the offense.
LB136 prohibits the sale, possession and use of flying lanterns in Nebraska. A violation is a Class V misdemeanor. The bill has been in effect since it was signed by the Governor in February.
LB1009 bans the sale of "lookalike" drugs such as K2, that are sold in deceptive packaging that purports to have the same effects as a controlled substance but are sold legally.
LB716 clarifies that a bicyclist entering a crossing from a designated path that intersects the street has the right of way within the crossing. Bicyclists are prohibited from suddenly leaving a curb or other place of safety and walking or riding into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to stop.
LB934 creates penalties for exploitation of a senior adult to get control of his or her assets. The bill expands the actions defined as acts of exploitation and sets the age of a senior adult at 65.
LB843 grants immunity from prosecution for a prostitution offense if a law enforcement officer determines that the person is a victim of human trafficking. The bill provides a state funding mechanism to pay for forensic medical exam kits so that sexual assault victims do not have to pay for their own examinations. A position is created within the Attorney General's office to administer the program and distribute the kits. Interim study LR529 will examine the implementation of federal human trafficking laws and related state law and policy.

LB807 allows county attorneys in counties of all sizes to waive quarterly reports to the county board on the criminal cases pending, appealed, and disposed of during the last quarter. Under existing law, only counties under 200,000 can waive the report.
LB816 authorizes disclosure of records of patients and residents of institutions overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services in three additional situations: to law enforcement and county attorneys when a crime occurs on the premises of an institution, upon request when the patient or resident has been deceased for 50 years or more, or to current treatment providers. The records are already available for use with federal benefits, upon a court order, to the Nebraska State Patrol pursuant to a handgun permit application, and other specified situations. The revisions are necessary to comply with federal HIPAA requirements.
LB906 authorizes a 30 percent tuition waiver for law enforcement officers who pursue studies leading to a degree that relates to a career in law enforcement from an associate or baccalaureate degree program from a Nebraska community college, state college, or state university. An officer must maintain satisfactory performance with his or her law enforcement agency as verified by a superior officer in the agency. To be eligible, officers must work for more than 100 hours per year and be authorized to make arrests.
LB190 removes the U.S. citizenship requirement for eligibility for a concealed handgun permit. It also allows spouses of members of the U.S. Armed Forces stationed in Nebraska to be considered Nebraska residents for purposes of concealed carry permits.
LB679 changes reporting requirements of the Community Corrections Division of the Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice. The new language broadens the scope of the Division's annual report and changes terminology.
mvMotor Vehicles
Driver's Licenses
LB311 incorporates language that was introduced in LB875 to eliminate a requirement for driver licensing services to be provided in every county. The bill was introduced due to concerns about the infrequent presence of driver's license examiners in small counties and the lack of appropriate space on site for commercial driver's license (CDL) testing in some counties. Other sections of the bill reflect federal language on gross vehicle weights, revise CDL leaner's permit procedures, and require specific affirmation language on CDL and learner's permit applications. The Department of Motor Vehicles is given authority to cancel or refuse to issue or renew operator's licenses and state identification cards if the payment is returned or not honored due to insufficient funds or other reasons. The bill took effect upon the Governor's signature on March 3.
LB47 revises the organ and tissue donor wording on driver's license applications, beginning July 1, 2017.
LB814 removes the mileage requirement from school driving permit applications for residents living outside of a city of the metropolitan, primary or first class. Existing law requires applicants to live at least 1.5 miles from the school attended.
License Plates
LB53 allows a single license plate and window decal, rather than two plates, to be issued for passenger cars not manufactured with a front license plate bracket. An annual nonrefundable registration fee of $100, plus the cost of the decal, must be paid to the county treasurer and remitted to the State Treasurer for credit to the Highway Trust Fund. The new system will take effect on January 1, 2017.
LB474 creates specialty Mountain Lion Conservation license plates. Revenue generated from the plates will be used to fund youth education programs relating to wildlife conservation practices.
LB865 revises the definition of handicapped or disabled person for purposes of handicapped or disabled license plates and strikes outdated language.
LB783 provides for permanent public power district license plates for motor vehicles and trailers operated by public power districts receiving annual gross revenue of at least $40 million as determined by the Nebraska Power Review Board. The plates will be issued in the county in which the district is headquartered. The bill becomes operative on January 1, 2017.
LB811 shifts numeric license plates on farm trucks and trailers in Douglas, Lancaster, and Sarpy counties to an alphanumeric system. When legislation was adopted in 1999 to change these three counties from the county number plate system to an alphanumeric system, farm trucks and trailers were not included and remained on the county number system. The change in LB811 will allow these counties to share plates, thereby reducing waste and eliminating confusion among other numbered plate types. The bill takes effect on January 1, 2017.
LB977 creates breast cancer awareness license plates. The bill also decreases the number of prepaid applications that must be submitted by organizations to qualify for specialty license plates from 500 to 250. Language incorporated into LB977 from LB918 earmarks one percent of motor vehicle tax proceeds for a fund to help replace the state's motor vehicle titling and registration system. Other elements of LB977 are discussed in the Roads section.
Other Motor Vehicle Changes
LB775 changes the factor used to calculate motor vehicle taxes from the year of acquisition to the year placed in service. It also clarifies that trailers and semitrailers are tangible personal property that is exempt from taxation.
LB275 closes a loophole when a driver who has become eligible to have his or her driver's license reinstated on the underlying revocation remains suspended under the initial conviction.
LB929 incorporates references to updated federal regulations into Nebraska's motor vehicle laws.

employEmployment Issues
LB83 reduces the number of employees needed to trigger wage discrimination protections. Currently state law requires equal pay for equal work without consideration of an employee's gender for employers of over 15 people. LB83 reduces the number of employees to two. This provision was originally found in LB928. Senators also debated a bill, LB586, that would have prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill did not advance.
LB821 establishes the Workplace Privacy Act. It prohibits an employer from requiring or requesting that an employee or applicant provide or disclose any user name or password for an online account or electronic device as a condition for being hired or continuing employment.
LB1110 adopts the Nebraska Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. It reflects new federal legislation that reformed the public workforce system and was the subject of an interim study last summer. The bill incorporates language from LB1029, the Sector Partnership Program Act. Both bills are intended to help provide employers in the state's key industries with skilled and educated workers.
LB1109 exempts the University of Nebraska from public records laws when hiring for upper level positions such as president and chancellor. Rather than making job application materials from the top four finalists public, notice of a priority candidate must be given 30 days prior to the meeting to vote on the hiring and public forums must be held on each University campus.
LB947 became law following a successful override of the governor's veto. The bill allows Nebraska residents who were brought into this country illegally as children to be eligible for professional licenses.
LB1044, a bill to terminate the Commission on Industrial Relations (CIR), did not advance from committee. An interim study, LR512, will continue discussion of the CIR as an option of last resort to resolve public sector labor controversies.
planningPlanning and Zoning
LB295 requires cities of the first or second class and villages to give counties written notice and an opportunity to comment when zoning ordinances are proposed within the extraterritorial zoning jurisdiction (ETJ). The city can take action after 30 days from the notice or when comments are received from the county, whichever is sooner. The provisions do not apply to cities or villages located in a county with a population in excess of 100,000 or if the municipalities and the county have a joint planning commission or joint planning department.
LB704 clarifies that counties and cities must keep a copy of their local building, construction, plumbing, electrical or other codes available for use and examination by the public as long as the code is in effect. Language from LB705 was incorporated into the bill to clean up statutes related to cities of the first class. An interim study, LR490, will examine the enforcement of state and local building codes.
LB864 allows cities of the first or second class and villages to request additional extraterritorial zoning jurisdiction from the county. Currently, if the territory requested is within one-half mile of another city's or village's ETJ, the county cannot approve the request for the additional ETJ. The bill permits the transfer if the other city or village adopts a resolution in support of the request.
LB875 requires county planning and public works departments to review planned unit developments located on property outside of the corporate boundaries of a second class city or village before approval of the development. This requirement applies to cities or villages of the second class that are located in whole or part within the boundaries of a county with a population between 100,000 and 200,000 that has adopted a comprehensive development plan and is enforcing subdivision regulations.
LB877 requires materials on proposed subdivisions plats or public streets or improvements that are filed with a municipality to also be provided to the county planning commission if the plat lies within the extraterritorial jurisdiction being exercised by the municipality. The commission can officially comment on the appropriateness of the design and improvements proposed in the plat. The bill applies to counties between 100,000 and 250,000.
LB1059 requires developers who plan to use tax increment financing to certify their intent to apply for tax incentives, including a refund of local option sales tax revenues. Two interim studies, LR439 and LR464, will examine the use of tax-increment financing by municipalities.
recordingRecording Documents
LB725 eliminates filings of real estate transfer statements (Form 521) on all easements except certain conservation and preservation easements defined under the Conservation and Preservation Easements Act.
LB492, a bill to eliminate a 2018 sunset for records preservation and modernization fees collected by registers of deeds, failed to advance from committee and will need to be reintroduced next year.
LB1035 updates terminology related to the central filing system and master lien list maintained by the Secretary of State.
veteransVeterans Issues
LB718 removes a requirement for county veterans service officers or veterans organizations to submit applications for waivers of college tuition and fees by dependents of deceased or disabled veterans. Instead, the forms will be submitted directly to the Director of Veterans Affairs. Local officials can assist in the process but will not be required to do so.
LB734 allows non-resident members of the Nebraska National Guard to receive in-state tuition rates at state postsecondary institutions.
LB753 provides re-employment protections for persons who are employed in Nebraska but are members of the National Guard in another state and are called to duty by that state.
LB677 reduces residency requirements for state veterans service officers from five years to one year. County veterans service officer residency requirements were not changed.
LB754 creates the Commission on Military and Veteran Affairs to help the state recruit and retain missions and develop partnerships.
otherOther Issues
LB447 requires political subdivisions offering defined benefit retirement plans to conduct an experience study at least once every four years to review the actuarial assumptions used to determine funding needs. A copy of the study must be electronically filed with the Legislature's Nebraska Retirement Systems Committee by October 15, beginning in 2016. These requirements were originally found in LB805. The Nebraska Retirement Systems Committee will conduct two interim studies on public retirement plans, LR483 and LR571, this summer.
LB803 cleans up a section of statute that should have been included in legislation adopted last year to provide a greater share of docket fees for judge's retirement.
LB1033 requires the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a comprehensive strategic plan for providing community services to qualified persons with disabilities in the integrated community-based settings pursuant to a U.S. Supreme Court decision. A stakeholder advisory committee will include representation from behavioral health regions, area agencies on aging, and other service providers.
LB465 adopts the Electronic Notary Public Act. The bill is modeled after North Carolina language that sets out a registration process with the Secretary of State for persons who wish to electronically notarize documents. The bill will take effect on July 1, 2017.
LB686 requires the Revisor of Statutes to update the Nebraska Constitution after each legislative session if there are changes and publish a certified version with annotations. The annual session laws must contain a certified copy of the Nebraska Constitution.
LB698 enacts some of the recommendations from the Aging Nebraskans Task Force regarding home care services, Alzheimer's care, and other issues.
LB699 clarifies membership on land bank boards, including adding a member of the governing body of the creating municipality as a non-voting member.

LB952 changes membership on the Board of Emergency Medical Services. As introduced, the bill would also have required counties to ensure that emergency medical services are available to county residents. A committee amendment removed this requirement and the bill passed with only the membership change.
LB722 authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services to designate hospitals as comprehensive stroke centers, primary stroke centers, and acute stroke-ready hospitals based on standards maintained by a nationally-recognized organization. Beginning January 1, 2017, hospitals without a designation must have a predetermined plan for the triage and transfer of acute stroke patients.
LB745 increases the maximum fee that may be charged by the Game and Parks Commission for permits. The fee increases will generate an estimated $2.5 million in FY16-17 and an additional $5 million in FY17-18.
LB884 expands the distance used to determine the collection of "turnback tax" - a portion of state sales tax generated from hotels and businesses near sports arenas and convention centers.
LB285 revises the distribution of "turnback" taxes that are distributed to cities that build qualifying sports arenas.
LB886 authorizes a $250 refundable income tax credit for volunteer firefighters and rescue squad members. The credits would be available to volunteers who accumulate at least 50 points, which are awarded based on their level of activity with the volunteer department. The credits would start in 2017.
LB887 extends the date for eligible reimbursement claims from the Petroleum Release Remedial Action Cash Fund from 2016 to 2020. The fund is used to help pay remediation costs for leaking petroleum tanks.
LB712 eliminates duplicate requirements for registering the location of permanently located above-ground storage tanks used for hazardous substances.
LB913 exempts out-of-state businesses from income taxes and certain sales taxes when they conduct operations in Nebraska as part of a declared state disaster or emergency.
LB1101 directs the Department of Environmental Quality to conduct a study to examine the status of solid waste management programs operated by the Department. Among the enumerated issues to consider are methods to partner with political subdivisions to successfully address solid waste management in the state.
LB1105 is an omnibus revision of liquor laws, including establishing a liquor license class for small boutiques to sell a limited amount of alcohol and allowing employees who are at least 16 years of age to sell alcohol in the course of their employment as long as they are not handling or serving alcohol.
LR378CA, a proposed constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to farm in Nebraska, was debated but bracketed. An interim study, LR498, will continue examination of the issue.
LB1032, the Transitional Health Insurance Program Act, which was sometimes referred to as this year's Medicaid expansion bill, was also bracketed.  
interimInterim 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, a brief description of the issue, and the committee that will conduct the hearing. 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. 

LR439 (Crawford) Interim study to examine the use of tax-increment financing by municipalities for residential development. Urban Affairs
LR483 (Kolterman) Interim study to examine the public employees retirement systems administered by the Public Employees Retirement Board. Nebraska Retirement Systems
LR490 (Crawford) Interim study to examine the enforcement of state and local building codes. Urban Affairs
LR498 (Johnson) Interim study to examine the Nebraska Right to Farm Act. Agriculture
LR499 (Campbell) Interim study to examine any issues within the jurisdiction of the Health and Human Services Committee. Health and Human Services
LR504 (Murante) Interim study to examine the numerous deadlines involved in the election process. Government, Military and Veterans Affairs
LR506 (Seiler) Interim study to examine the efficacy of testing and monitoring programs, particularly the 24/7 sobriety program, in reducing recidivism for driving under the influence and controlled substance offenses. Judiciary
LR507 (Davis) Interim study to examine the development of a public notification system to broadcast alerts when vulnerable adults go missing. Health and Human Services
LR509 (Mello) Interim study to examine the funding history, programs, and services offered by the Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Nebraska. Appropriations
LR512 (Business and Labor Committee) Interim study to examine the Commission of Industrial Relations. Business and Labor
LR513 (Howard) Interim study to examine workforce issues within the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Health and Human Services
LR514 (Bolz) Interim study to examine the availability of transition services for youth who will leave or have left the juvenile justice system while in an out-of-home placement. Health and Human Services
LR519 (Smith) Interim study to examine whether the One-Call Notification System Act should be updated. Transportation and Telecommunications
LR520 (Harr) Interim study to provide a review of the administration and enforcement of the Employee Classification Act by the Dept. of Labor. Business and Labor
LR527 (Schumacher) Interim study to examine possible legislative reforms to Nebraska's mandatory minimum sentencing laws. Judiciary

LR529 (Howard) Interim study to examine the ongoing implementation of the federal Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act of 2014 and related state law and policy. Health and Human Services
LR530 (Howard) Interim study to examine the voting processes and procedures available for citizens who are hospitalized or who reside in nursing homes or extended care facilities. Government, Military and Veterans Affairs
LR536 (Johnson) Interim study to complete the work of the LR 309 committee which investigated ways to avoid and mitigate conflicts arising from herbicide drift damage to sensitive crops. Agriculture
LR541 (Larson) Interim study to examine the economic benefits of keno. General Affairs
LR549 (Garrett) Interim study to examine issues relating to utilization of the U visa program in Nebraska. Judiciary
LR550 (Schumacher) Interim study to examine the feasibility of creating a common data collection site for county jail information necessary to receive funding under the County Justice Reinvestment Grant Program. Judiciary
LR551 (Krist) Interim study to explore and assess the use of congregate care in Nebraska for youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Health and Human Services
LR552 (Haar) Interim study to develop a plan to address funding and budgetary issues relating to climate change. Appropriations
LR555 (Lindstrom) Interim study to examine the process and procedures used in appeals before the Tax Equalization and Review Commission. Revenue
LR560 (Krist) Interim study to examine the origins and utility of using court fees as a source of funding in Nebraska. Judiciary
LR561 (Krist) Interim study to examine the effectiveness, economic stability, and long-term viability of the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center in Kearney and the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center in Geneva. Judiciary
LR562 (Garrett) Interim study to examine why LB 20, LB 357, and LB 454 failed to pass during the 104th legislative session. Revenue
LR563 (Garrett)Interim study to examine the reasons for the substantial tax rates on wireless telephone service in Nebraska. Revenue
LR566 (Pansing Brooks) Interim study to examine the availability of education, rehabilitation, and reentry support for incarcerated men and women. Judiciary
LR567 (Pansing Brooks) Interim study to examine and review the sale of alcohol in Whiteclay and the need for additional funding for law enforcement. General Affairs
LR568 (Pansing Brooks) Interim study to examine the membership, role, and duties of the Nebraska Police Standards Advisory Council. Judiciary
LR571 (Nebraska Retirement Systems Committee) Interim study to examine local political subdivision retirement plans for public employees. Nebraska Retirement Systems
LR572 (Riepe) Interim study to examine issues surrounding the Division of Veterans' Homes of the Dept. of Health and Human Services and wait times for admission to the veterans' homes system. Health and Human Services
LR575 (McCollister) Interim study to continue the ongoing study of access to healthcare in Nebraska. Health and Human Services
LR576 (Pansing Brooks) Interim study to examine children's access to legal counsel in juvenile proceedings across the state of Nebraska. Judiciary
LR578 (Coash) Interim study to examine the Developmental Disabilities Court-Ordered Custody Act. Judiciary
LR582 (Riepe) Interim study to examine how, through better coordination of health services, the state can better assist low-income individuals currently without insurance. Health and Human Services
LR584 (Morfeld) Interim study to examine the possibility of providing direct and statewide funding for legal representation in order to provide more equitable access to civil justice in Nebraska. Judiciary
LR588 (Harr) Interim study to determine best practices in drafting tax legislation and determining the fiscal impact of tax policies. Appropriations
LR589 (Seiler) Interim study to examine issues within the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee. Judiciary
LR593 (Gloor) Interim study to examine the structure, compliance, and administration of real and personal property taxes. Revenue
LR594 (Gloor) Interim study to examine the structure, compliance, and administration of state and local sales and use taxes and any other miscellaneous taxes. Revenue
LR595 (Hansen) Interim study to examine the topic of food deserts and issues relating to access to healthy food in Nebraska. Agriculture
LR596 (Murante) Interim study to examine issues within the jurisdiction of the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. Government, Military and Veterans Affairs
LR597 (Murante) Interim study to examine financing mechanisms available to various political subdivisions to issue bonds or assume future payment obligations without a direct vote of taxpayers. Government, Military and Veterans Affairs
LR600 (Johnson) Interim study to examine alternatives for valuing agricultural land for property tax purposes. Revenue

 LR601 (Hilkemann) Review present facilities and determine the needs and options for developing a regional certified crime laboratory in the Omaha area. Select Committee of the Legislature
LR604 (Davis) Interim study to examine inconsistencies in the practices utilized by county assessors in determining agricultural land value.

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