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The legislature returned to debate on several select file bills this week. LB757 introduced by Senator Morfeld which provides for additional consumer protections regarding personal and financial data was advanced to final reading. LB758 introduced by Senator Hughes which would require collaboration between natural resource districts and counties under the Nebraska Ground water Management and Protection Act also advanced to final reading. Senator Baker’s LB710 allowing for the recovery of court costs and attorney’s fees in certain civil claims advanced to final reading. My own bill, LB472 was heard on select file this week. LB472 is a bill I introduced on behalf of the Department of Transportation and would eliminate a fee for particular advertisement signs along the Highway Beautification Control System. The bill did advance.
Two Priority Bills were heard on general file this week. LB838 a bill by Senator Wishart that would prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from use of tanning equipment at a tanning facility was debated on the floor. No vote has been taken on the bill. An Urban Affairs Committee Priority Bill, LB874, was discussed on general file. LB874 would make a number of changes to the Community Development law related to tax-increment financing (TIF). LB874 advanced to select file with 33 votes.
There was a great deal of testimony on several bills in the Transportation and Telecommunication Committee this week. LB1063 introduced by Senator McDonnell was heard by the Committee on February 13. This bill would increase certain driver’s license fees to provide funding to assist victims of traumatic brain injuries. LB1031 introduced by Senator Friesen had its public hearing this week. The bill would change excavation notification and marking requirements and provide for large project planning meetings, rulemaking authority and allocation under the One-call Notification System Act. The Committee also heard two bills LB989 by Senator Wishart and LB1122 by Senator Larson regarding authorization of testing for automated and autonomous vehicles.
One of my own bills, LB1008 had a public hearing this week. LB1008 was heard in the Natural Resource Committee on Wednesday, February 14th. The bill would amend Nebraska Statute 37-613 to increase amounts of liquidated damages for certain violations of Game Law. LB1008 aims to help deter illegal killing of wildlife and protect a great natural resource in our state.
The Appropriations Committee heard testimony related to the status of the University of Nebraska system and the effect of current and potential future budget cuts on Wednesday, February 14th. There was significant testimony at the hearing. I will continue to keep everyone updated on the budget as this session progresses.
The Legislature will reconvene for session on Tuesday, February 20th following President’s Day on Monday. All Senator Priority Bills must be designated by adjournment on February 20th and the Legislature will then begin to focus debate on priority bills. I look forward to floor discussion of the new legislation.