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The Legislature continued debate of carry-over general file bills this week. My own carry-over bill LB472 was heard on general file on Monday, January 22 and advanced. LB472 is a bill I introduced on behalf of the Department of Transportation that would eliminate a fee for particular classes of advertising signs placed along certain Highways and Interstate systems throughout the State. Other bills discussed at length this week were LB449, LB589 and LB758. LB449 a bill introduced by Senator Chambers which would repeal the Black-Tailed Prairie Dog Management Act failed to advance. LB589 was introduced by Senator Crawford. LB589 adds certain requirements when deposing a child victim or witness in courts under certain circumstances. No vote has been taken on the bill. LB758 a Natural Resource Committee Priority bill introduced by Senator Hughes was heard on general file this week. LB758 would require natural resource districts that have acquired private land for the development of stream flow augmentation projects to collaborate with officials in the county where the project is located in an effort to lesson impacts to that county’s property tax base.
Several select file bills were heard and advanced on Friday, January 26 including my own LB177. I introduced LB177 on behalf of the Department of Motor Vehicles to update and harmonize DMV provisions. LB177 advanced to final reading.
Public Hearings continued this week on newly introduced legislation. Two of my own bills LB900 and LB901 were heard in the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee. LB900 is an annual update bill I introduced on behalf of the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Nebraska State Patrol. LB901 is a bill I introduced which would amend Nebraska Statutes to require that the Director of Aeronautics of the Department of Transportation consult with the Military Department in certain structure permitting decisions when the proposed structure is located within an area classified as a Terrain Flight Training Area. This bill would give the Nebraska National Guard a voice in structure permitting decisions to help protect their ability to utilize these Terrain Flight Training Areas and remain mission ready.
One property tax proposal had a hearing this week in the Revenue Committee. LB829 introduced by Senator Erdman was heard on Thursday, January 25. LB 829 is a property tax relief bill. The bill would enable Nebraska property owners to get a credit or refund on their State income tax return equal to 50% of that portion of their property tax bill which goes to fund K-12 education. LB829 provides property tax relief in the form of a credit and would not take any funding directly away from K-12 education. There was significant testimony on the bill which drew people from all across the state to testify.
The legislature was visited this week by high school students from Cedar Bluffs government class. I enjoyed meeting these students and discussing the legislative process and several key topics that the legislature will likely focus on this year.
Senator Bostelman and Senator Walz with Cedar Bluffs High School Students