Senator Scheer’s Capitol Update
Since my last column there has been a lot accomplished in the Legislature. Four of my bills were heard before committee (LB632, LB197, LB48, and LB56). Three of my bills passed Select File and advanced to Final Reading (LB52, LB180, and LB352). Two of my bills (LB180 and LB352) were debated and advanced through General File. And, one bill, LB111, had the potential to bring the Legislature to a screeching halt. However, it was surprisingly killed by way of a bracket motion, allowing us to move on and address other pressing issues.
My bills that were heard before committees were: LB362, LB197, LB48, and LB56.
LB632 was heard before the Banking, Commerce, and Insurance Committee on February 9. This bill would enact a new section to provide that an employer or association may enter into a contract, agreement, or arrangement with an agent or broker that provides for or results in compensation paid to the agent or broker for the sale of a health benefit plan. The bill would provide that the compensation may be collected by and passed through to the agent or broker by the carrier and shall not be considered premium.
LB197 was heard before the Urban Affairs Committee on February 10. This bill will provide additional powers to certain Sanitary and Improvement Districts (SID). These powers, subject to the approval of the municipality with jurisdiction over the SID, would allow the SID to regulate streets, parking, sidewalks, etc. There are two SIDs in Legislative District 19 that this bill will benefit. Specifically, this bill will allow them to clear the streets and sidewalks of snow and debris and regulate parking on the streets.
LB48 was heard before the Banking, Commerce, and Insurance Committee on February 17. This bill will prohibit insurance companies from dropping a policy due to weather-related casualty, unless the insured has failed to make reasonable repairs from a prior weather-related casualty. Currently, insurance companies are allowed to non-renew policies due to claims made due to weather related events that are out of the control of the insured. I have been contacted by several constituents who are dealing with this problem due to hail storms over the past few years.
LB56 was heard before the Executive Board on February 17. This bill creates a process for the State of Nebraska to gift the property that the Norfolk Regional Center currently resides on, except for the unit that is currently being used, to Northeast Community College. The college will use this property to create a technology innovation center. This center will bring companies and jobs to the Norfolk area.
Next week should see my three bills that were advanced out of committee come up for debate in General File (LB55, LB197, and LB295). I look forward to debating these bills with my colleagues and passing them through to Select File.
It is an honor to represent District 19 in the Unicameral. If you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to contact me or my staff. You can reach my office at (402) 471-2929 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Katie Linehan
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 Phone: 402-471-2929
Senator Scheer’s Capitol Update
Lincoln, NE – Greetings District 19 constituents. Six weeks ago today, I started my term as your State Senator with the commencement of the 103rd Nebraska Legislature. It is my privilege to represent the people of the 19th District. I look forward to continuing to learn about the intricacies of the legislative process and how to become the most effective representative possible.
Today I would like to talk about the committee hearing process. When a Senator introduces a bill, it is assigned to a committee and a public hearing is scheduled. In the coming week, three of the bills I introduced will be heard in committee. LB 468 is before the Revenue Committee on Friday, LB 312 is before the Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee on Monday, and LB 512 is before the Education Committee on Monday as well.
All committee hearings are open to the public. After the Senator sponsoring the bill introduces it to the members of the committee, proponent, opponent and neutral testifiers are invited to make a statement. If someone chooses to testify, that person is subject to questioning by the members of the committee. When no testifiers remain, the Senator is invited to make a closing statement. Like all testifiers, the Senator is subject to questioning by the committee. Bill sponsors and testifiers cannot question members of the committee during this process. After the sponsor finishes his or her closing remarks and answers any questions, the hearing on the bill closes.
During a single day, a committee often hears multiple bills. Some committee hearings last a couple of hours, others last several hours. Any member of the public may attend a hearing and any member of the public may testify on a bill. To testify, most committees require that the testifier fill out a simple form. Those forms are available in the hearing room on the day of the hearing.
We invite you to look at the bills that have been introduced this session my visiting www.nebraskalegislature.gov. Click on a bill to find out if and when the hearing has been scheduled and to which committee the bill has been assigned. Usually, hearings are scheduled at least ten days in advance. Hearings genearlly commence at 1:30 in the afternoon. Again, anyone is welcome to testify on any bill that is before a committee. If our office can be of any assistance to you in learning more about this process or facilitating your involvement at a hearing, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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