Senator Scheer’s Capitol Update
This has been a busy week in Lincoln as the session gets into full swing. The extended debate on marriage license fees is completed, and we moved on to several other pressing issues. Senator Bloomfield brought a bill to change the State’s concealed handgun permit application process to allow members of the United States Armed Forces, assigned to a permanent duty station in Nebraska, to be considered as residents. This change will allow those members of the armed forces to apply for concealed handgun permits in Nebraska. Senator Krist brought a bill to the floor that attracted a lot of attention. His bill, LB18, would require that students entering seventh grade, and again the following academic year after turning sixteen years old, receive an immunization against meningococcal vaccines. I voted against this bill because the facts show that out of all the meningitis cases in Nebraska over the past decade (70), only about 14% would have potentially been avoided by this bill (10). While immunizing against this deadly disease is a worthy cause, this bill misses the mark. Instead, I supported the Groene Amendment which would have required schools to provide information about the vaccination and disease to parents, but not vaccination.
Several of my bills came up for committee hearings this week, and my first bill of the session went to the floor on general file. LB52 was heard in the general file on February 5 and passed by a vote of 28 to 1. This bill will exclude sanitary drainage districts from paying state sales and use taxes. Norfolk contains a sanitary drainage district and any savings they see from this bill will go right back to the taxpayers.
This week saw five of my bills come before committees:
LB53 – Transportation and Telecommunications Committee
LB53 provides for vehicles that are manufactured to only display a rear license plate to be legally allowed to have only a rear license plate. Under current law, dealers, motorcycles, minitrucks, truck tractors, trailers, buses, apportionable vehicles, and special interest motor vehicles are allowed to only have one license plate. This law will extend the exemption to cover vehicles that are manufactured to only display one plate.
LB58 – Education
LB58 will help to maintain educational opportunities for students in school districts that lost state equalization aid between the 2013/14 and 2014/15 school years due to the new formula. Under this bill, the state will pay those districts the amount of money that they lost between the school years. This money shall be used to offset property taxes.
LB180 – Banking, Commerce, and Insurance
LB180 will expand the definition of title insurance to include personal property. Under current law, title insurers are only allowed to write polices covering real property. This bill passed through the committee by a vote of 7 yeses and 0 nos.
LB295 – Urban Affairs
LB295 will require cities to receive approval from the county that they reside in before they can enforce ordinances or build in extraterritorial zoning jurisdictions. I have heard stories from across the district of cities that decide to enforce ordinances or build in the extraterritorial jurisdictions and the individuals living in those jurisdictions have absolutely no say, because they do not live in the city. This bill will give those citizens a voice.
LB352 – Banking, Commerce, and Insurance
I introduced LB352 at the request of the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance to update state law to mirror the Residential Mortgage Licensing Act, the federal Truth-in-Lending Act, and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. This bill was passed out of committee on a 7 to 0 vote.
As this legislative session continues please do not hesitate to contact me with any comments, questions, or concerns at (402) 471-2929. I welcome the opportunity to discuss my bills, or any other bills or issues that may be of interest, with you.