NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE
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Sen. Lydia Brasch

Sen. Lydia Brasch

District 16

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Week of March 10

March 17th, 2014

Weekly Legislative Update

Legislative debate and the temperature outside heated up during the second week of March, Legislative Days 40-43.  We have started to gain momentum as we prepare for the last 17 days of the 103rd Legislature.  While a majority of the 1,105 bills have failed to advance from committee, we saw a fair amount advance this past week, and the first bills of the year were signed into law by Governor Heineman.  Here are some signed bills of interest:

  • LB76e – Adopt the Health Care Transparency Act;
  • LB403 – Prohibit retail sale of novelty lighters;
  • LB446 – Define salvage to include flood damage under the Motor Vehicle Certificate of Title Act;
  • LB470e – Adopt the Superintendent Pay Transparency Act;
  • LB513 – Change notice provisions under the Nebraska Ground Water Management and Protection Act; and
  • LB588 – Change veteran employment preference provisions.

Senator Scheer bracketed his bill, LB682, which addresses statewide allied school systems, until April 17 after facing opposition from various school representatives.

Constituents asked questions and addressed issues at the town hall meetings across the district this past weekend.  Here are some of the items we discussed by general topic:

TAXES/REVENUE

  • LB145 – Change valuation of agricultural land and horticultural land (my 2014 Priority Bill)
    • Status:  Killed in committee.  Similar bills: LBs 670, 101, 813, 721, and 618
  • LB987 – Adjust individual income tax brackets for inflation and exempt social security benefits from income taxation
    • Status:  Revenue priority bill, on E&R Initial (passed from General File)
  • LB1092 – Authorize issuance of highway construction bonds
    • Status:  Dubas priority bill on General File with AM2067
    • Note:  Department of Roads Director, Randy Peters opposed LB1092, stating the “traditional ‘pay-as-we-go’ practices of our state have served us well.”

HEALTH CARE

  • LB887 – Adopt the Wellness in Nebraska Act
    • Status:  Pending debate Tuesday, March 18, 1:30 p.m.
  • LB916 – Eliminate integrated practice agreements and change provisions regarding nurse practitioners
    • Status:  Watermeier priority bill pending AM1916 on General File

AGRICULTURE

  • LB768 – Change provisions of the Livestock Brand Act and estray provisions
    • Status:  ER163 pending, Agriculture priority
  • LB597 – Change provisions relating to county agricultural societies
    • Status:  Signed by the Governor, February 13, 2014
  • SEE ALSO – Governor Heineman’s Column on Ag Conference Overview http://www.governor.nebraska.gov/columns/2014/03/07_ag_conf.html

VETERANS AFFAIRS AND ELECTIONS

  • LB805 – Change application requirements to Nebraska veterans homes
    • Status:  Killed in committee
  • LB383 – Provide for Nebraska Armed Forces Pride Plates
    • Status:  Janssen priority bill on General File
  • LB588 – Change veteran employment preference provisions
    • Status:  Signed by Governor, February 18, 2014
  • LB740 – Provide residency requirements for postsecondary education purposes for veterans and their family members
    • Status:  Final reading, March 10, 2014
  • LB75 – Exempt military retirement benefits from taxation as prescribed
    • Status:  On General File with AM2392 pending

Thank you to Chaplain Rebecca Hjelle from Blair First United Methodist Church in Blair for coming to Lincoln to lead the Wednesday morning prayer.

The Unicameral Youth Legislature will be held at the Capitol June 8-11.  I encourage all high school students interested in public office, government, politics, law, public policy, debate, or public speaking to attend.  Please contact Ami Johnson at (402) 471-0764 or ajohnson@leg.ne.gov for more details.

Please contact me, my administrative aide, Katie Wattermann, or my legislative aide, Joe Neuhaus, with questions or thoughts at (402) 471-2728 or by email at lbrasch@leg.ne.gov; or stop by Room 1016 if you are at the Capitol.

Keeping the Good Life growing in Nebraska,

Senator Lydia Brasch, District 16

Sen. Lydia Brasch

District 16
Room #1022
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2728
Email: lbrasch@leg.ne.gov
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