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The legislature reconvened Tuesday following Presidents Day on Monday, February 19th. All Senator and Committee Priority Bills for the session have now been designated. The Speaker has selected his 25 Speaker Priority Bills and one of my own bills LB901 was chosen. Committee Hearings will wrap up on Tuesday February, 27th and senators will move to full day debate and begin focusing their attention on debate of these priority bills.
Several Senator and Committee Priority Bills were debated on the floor this week. LB299, a bill by Senator Ebke, was discussed on general file. LB299 would adopt the Occupational Board Reform Act and change procedures for particular rules and regulations. No vote has been taken on the bill. LB439 introduced by Senator Wishart would update the Assisted-Living Facility Act and provide clarification to distinguish care between assisted-living and nursing facilities. LB439 advanced to select file. LB776 introduced by Senator McCollister would provide requirements for inmate access to telephone or videoconferencing systems in county and city jails. A final vote has not been taken on the bill.
The legislature heard several bills on Final Reading on Friday, February 23rd. One of my own carry over bills, LB472 was heard and passed on Final Reading. LB472 would eliminate the fee for certain advertising sings along the state highway system.
My Committee Hearings wrapped up this week with several internet and broadband related bills. The Transportation and Telecommunications Committee heard LB1113 introduced by Senator Walz dealing with broadband. LB1113 would provide an exception for leasing dark fiber or providing broadband, internet, telecommunications or video services by an agency or political subdivision of the state. The Committee also heard a bill introduced by Senator Morfeld, LB856, addressing net neutrality. LB856 would create the Internet Neutrality Act which would require Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) be transparent in regards to their business practices and provides that no ISP can engage in paid prioritization. I will continue to keep everyone updated as bills move from committee to the floor for debate.
I wanted to share this information about opportunities for those who may wish to serve on any Boards and Commissions. Serving on a Board or Commission is a great way to stay involved in our state and communities and I encourage anyone interested to apply. The open positions and application form can be completed at: https://governor.nebraska.gov/ under “Constituent Services”.
The legislature was visited this week by two groups of students from District 23. Fourth grade students from David City Public Schools toured the Capitol on Friday, February 23rd. Another group of fourth grade students from Ashland Greenwood Public Schools also visited the Capitol on the 23rd. I enjoyed the opportunity to visit with both groups of students and discuss the legislative process.