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The legislature continues to work on priority legislation as the session winds down. Several priority bills were debated this week including several of my own. My LB909 which was selected as committee priority bill for the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee and which included several other priority bills from the committee was heard and advanced to final reading. LB1008, my bill which was selected as a Natural Resource Priority Bill and which contained several other natural resource bills was also discussed and advanced to final reading. Another bill I introduced LB901 which would give the Nebraska National Guard a voice in and protect Terrain Flight Training Areas where the Guard trains to remain mission ready was advanced to final reading.
Other bills debated included LB841 a bill introduced by Senator Pansing Brooks which was prioritized by the Judiciary Committee. LB841 would provide duties related to correctional overcrowding emergencies. LB841 was amended to include several other judiciary committee bills. The package as a whole seeks to address justice and corrections concerns which remain a priority for the legislature. LB841 as amended by Am2092 and Am2634 advanced to select file.
The main budget bill, LB944 was discussed on select file. Compromise language on the Title X provision of the budget was reached and incorporated into the bill through AM2750. The budget as amended was advanced by the legislature to final reading.
I remain committed to addressing property taxes this session and I continue to work with various groups and Senators on the issue. Two bills that have been placed on general file which could affect property taxes are LB947 introduced by Senator Smith at the request of the Governor and LB1103 introduced by Senator Friesen. LB947 would adopt the Nebraska Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act and changes corporate tax, workforce development and certain exemptions and credits. LB947 would provide a refundable income tax credit equal to a percentage of property taxes paid. The bill allows for the credit percentage to increase per year if certain conditions are met. A cap is set on the credit amount available each year. LB1103 seeks to provide a minimum amount of state aid to every school district changing the way schools are funded and therefore affecting a school districts reliance on property tax funding.
The following bills were passed by the legislature on Final Reading on Thursday, March 29th and will be given to the governor: LB42, LB702, LB773 and LB931. LB42 by Senator Hilkemann changes provisions relating to child passenger restraint requirements in vehicles. LB702 introduced by Senator Kolterman reduces the time an incarcerated individual is considered to have an involuntary reduction of income for child support purposes from one year to one hundred eighty days. LB773 by Senator Clements prohibits intimidation by electronic communication. LB931 by Senator Howard provides requirements for opiate and controlled substance prescriptions and generally limits the number of days a medical practitioner could prescribe opioid pain relievers for a patient younger than 19 to help combat opioid abuse.