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Greetings Northeast Lincoln! In the last month, the legislature has been busy working to advance bills from committee to the legislative floor. So far, the legislature has passed over two dozen bills, including three Urban Affairs committee bills described below.
The passage of a bill from introduction to law is a complex process. Once a bill is heard in committee, members of the committee vote on whether or not to advance the bill to the legislative floor. If the bill is advanced, it is voted on three times by the legislative body; first on General File, then on Select File, and finally on Final Reading. If passed by the legislative body, the bill must be signed by the Governor to become Nebraska law.
LB314 on Final Reading–
State matters subject to county court jurisdiction for clarification and to clean-up current Nebraska Statute.
LB304 on General File–
Adopt the Municipal Custodianship for Dissolved Homeowners Association Act. This bill would help the city with maintenance costs for dissolved properties.
LB149 Passed– Change provisions relating to election procedures for sanitary and improvement districts (SIDs) to allow for more time to prepare for elections.
LB150 Passed– Redefine terms under the Local Option Municipal Economic Development Act to clarify that grants and loans may not be made to political subdivisions, agencies, or other governmental entities.
LB151 Passed– Provide for a person designated to accept city or village notices in cases of mortgaged property or trust deed default to improve accountability.
General Affairs has wrapped up after hearing 14 bills referred to the committee. So far, the only bill from this committee to be passed is LB118, which exempts cigar shops from smoking restrictions in the Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act. To the Lincoln community, this means that downtown Jakes Cigar Bar patrons will be able to enjoy cigars indoors once again. Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs will likely continue with committee hearings through the end of this week. Bills that have been heard so far include LB10 which would change the election of presidential electors, LB514 which would allow persons to register to vote and request an early voting ballot at the same time, and LR26CA which is a constitutional amendment to lower the age to run for public office from 21 to 18. In Urban Affairs, legislation has primarily involved municipalities, political subdivisions and local associations. The Urban Affairs committee has sponsored several good government bills with the focus of improving accountability and efficiency.
The General Affairs committee has concluded it’s hearings for the 2015 Session. This committee is responsible for processing legislation involving theState Electrical Act, liquor, gambling, cemeteries, libraries, rates for legal notices, and the Nebraska Arts Council.
The Urban Affairs committee deals with natural gas regulation, cities and villages, SIDs, Metropolitan Utilities District, housing authorities, community antenna television service, and tax increment financing.
The Government, Military, and Veteran Affairs committee is responsible for bills related to state government department and agencies, county governments or political subdivisions, elections, political campaigns and finance, emergency response, public meetings and public building standards, administrative rules and regulations, public records, and of course military and veterans affairs.
In committee and on the floor, I strive to provide a strong voice for my district, my community, and the State of Nebraska. The bills that I have introduced this session are meant to strengthen education, encourage better health, and increase government efficiency. My office has kept busy talking with community leaders to provide common sense solutions for our state. In the past months, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with Governor Ricketts, Congressman Fortenberry, Supreme Court Justice Heavican, LPS Superintendent Dr Steve Joel, UNL President Dr. James Linder, and I intend to hear from many more!
As always, thanks for reading.