NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE
The official site of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Sen. Matt Hansen

Sen. Matt Hansen

District 26

The content of these pages is developed and maintained by, and is the sole responsibility of, the individual senator's office and may not reflect the views of the Nebraska Legislature. Questions and comments about the content should be directed to the senator's office at mhansen@leg.ne.gov

News for the 26th

March 29th, 2018

Greetings Northeast Lincoln!


The Nebraska Legislature has been in full swing as the session winds down. With eight days left in the 105th Legislature, Second Session, before we adjourn sine die on April 18th, there is still much to be done and many bills still left to be debated. We have been working “late nights” lately, an opportunity to work into the evening and accomplish more in our short time left.

Prairie Wolves Championship Resolution

To congratulate Nebraska Wesleyan University men’s basketball team on winning the 2018 NCAA Division III Championship, I introduced LR 367. Senator Bolz, Senator Hilkemann, and Senator Howard co-signed LR367. Congratulations to the Prairie Wolves!

 

Interim Study Resolution Introduction

As the interim approaches, senators have introduced interim study resolutions stating their intent and authorizing committees to perform an interim study on a particular topic or question. Interim studies allow us to dive deeply into topics during the interim, and determine effective policy solutions to potentially introduce as bills during the next legislative session. This year, I have introduced six interim study resolutions.
LR370 is an interim study to conduct a review of issues arising from the lack of mental health treatment for those in the criminal justice system. LR391 is an interim study to examine the effects on elections should Nebraska switch to an all vote-by-mail system. LR392 is an interim study to examine neighborhood issues and potential neighborhood improvement tools. LR415 is an interim study to examine the effectiveness of current law  as it relates to the imposition of bail and the requiring of money bonds for misdemeanors and city ordinance violations. LR432 is an interim study to examine issues faced by renters in Nebraska including rental deposits and fees, recourse for renters when rights are violated, and other issues. LR433 is an interim study to evaluate the availability of affordable housing in Nebraska municipalities with an emphasis on rental housing.

 

 

News for the 26th

February 28th, 2018

Greetings Northeast Lincoln!


February was a busy month, consisting of morning debate and afternoon committee hearings. Committee hearings ended yesterday, on February 27th, and starting today we will have debate on the floor in the morning and the afternoon until we adjourn in mid-April. Priority bills have been selected, as well. Each senator gets to prioritize one bill, each committee two bills, and the Speaker can prioritize 25 bills. Bills without a priority designation are unlikely to be heard on the floor of the Legislature this year.

Bills Passed On Final Reading

This month, the Legislature passed LB 146 and LB 93 on final reading. The Governor signed both bills into law on February 14th. LB146 will allow anyone guilty of an infraction to petition the court to set aside the conviction after paying the requisite fine or completing the assigned probation. Prior to LB 146, this was only allowed for misdemeanors and felonies. I appreciate the work of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law Civil Clinic students and faculty who identified the problem and worked with us on the bill. The Legislature also passed LB 93 this month. LB 93 will adopt the Automatic License Plate Reader Privacy Act. You can read more about LB 93 in the Unicameral Update article, here. I appreciate the help of my fellow state senators in passing these important pieces of legislation this session.

Priority Bill
This year, I have selected LB 986 as my personal priority bill. I introduced LB 986, which would authorize Neighborhood Improvement Districts (NIDs) in Nebraska. Based on successful Business Improvement Districts, NIDs would provide another tool for neighborhood improvement in Lincoln. You can read more about LB 986 in the Unicameral Update article, here. I am excited about all of the possibilities NIDs provide, and hope to advance LB 986 this session.

February Hearings
This month, we held hearings on our remaining bills: LB 1056, LB 986, LB 1083, LB 930, LB 1029 and LB 1010. For more information on LB 930, see the Unicameral Update article here; and an article on LB 1056 here. Thank you to all who came out to testify on these bills.

My colleague, Senator Dan Quick from Grand Island, and I happened to accidentally coordinate our outfits.

Due to the record number of bills heard in the Judiciary Committee this year, we scheduled a rare recess day hearing and heard nine bills. My colleague from Lincoln, Senator Patty Pansing Brooks, brought us cookies to celebrate.


News for the 26th

January 31st, 2018

Greetings Northeast Lincoln!


The Second Session of the 105th Legislature officially began on January 4th. My office hit the ground running, working on bills from last session that were held over, and introducing 12 new bills in the first 10 days of session. Four of the bills I introduced this session have already had hearings, with the rest scheduled for February. In this newsletter, I’ve updated the status of bills carried over from the 2017 session, briefly explained the 12 bills I introduced this year, and introduced the newest member of our office.

First Day of Session

The first day of session always has a bit of a “back to school” feel to it, so in that spirit, my staff and I took a first day photo in the library here at the State Capitol. My staff is always available to assist you, and all three of us are excited to be back serving the citizens of District 26. From left to right, Sarah Wagelie, my administrative assistant; myself; and Courtney Lyons, my legislative aide.

Committees

Just like last session, I serve on the Business & Labor Committee, the Urban Affairs Committee, and the Judiciary Committee. New this year, if you plan to submit written testimony for a hearing on a legislative bill, committees require it by 5pm the day before the hearing (or 5pm on Friday for Monday hearings). My staff would be happy to assist you with testifying on a bill or submitting written testimony. The Judiciary Committee has a record number of bills to hear this session at 102.

Status of Bills Carried Over From 2017
Legislative bills that are not passed or indefinitely postponed in long session years are still available to be debated in a short session, but any bills not acted upon at the end of this session are considered dead.

  • LB93, which would adopt the Automatic License Plate Reader Privacy Act, advanced to the third round of debate this month. Each bill gets three rounds of debate, so I’m very excited that LB93 has advanced to Final Reading, the third round. LB93 would protect citizens privacy by implementing best practices on ALPR databases. You can find more information on the bill in the Unicameral Update, here.
  • LB146, which would provide for set-asides of convictions for infractions, passed the first and second rounds of debate this month, and is now on to Final Reading, the third round.
  • LB211, a bill which would raise the minimum wage for tipped workers, is on General File, the first round of debate. It is on the agenda, and hopefully will be debated this week.
  • LB258 passed the first round of debate this month, and is now on Select File (the second round of debate). It would give people being released from Corrections access to state IDs earlier and quicker. LB258 builds upon a Department of Corrections pilot program started here in Lincoln after the bill was introduced last session. I appreciate all of the hard work from the Department of Corrections and the DMV on the pilot program, and for working with me on LB258.

2018 Legislative Bills

 

  • LB748 updates several statutes related to city population. It is a follow-up to LB113, which passed last year, and is intended as cleanup work before the 2020 census. LB748 was first heard in the Urban Affairs Committee on January 16th.
  • LB858 adjusts Workers Compensation disability payments for inflation.
  • LB859 provides information to families of public employees who are killed on the job. This is intended to be much like the information families of private employees receive from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. LB859 was heard by the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee on January 18th. It was a great hearing with lots of powerful testimony from families who had lost a loved one and would be helped by the bill.
  • LB880 would ask cities to include early childhood education in their comprehensive plans. Those plans already include things such as schools, housing, and employment. This is important planning to help support our families and children. The Unicameral Update posted an article about LB880, and the Holland Children’s Movement has more information, as well as a fact sheet, available here. LB880 was heard by the Urban Affairs Committee on January 23rd.
  • LB916 would prohibit retaliation under the Nebraska Wage Payment Collection Act and the Wage and Hour Act. This means employers wouldn’t be able to punish employees for acts such as filing a complaint that they are not being paid minimum wage, providing regular paychecks, or paying owed wages after you leave employment.
  • LB930 clarifies parents’ and their children’s rights when a child is questioned by law enforcement. It requires that a parent or guardian be present and that the child and parent/guardian waive their right to an attorney before being interrogated.
  • LB954 would give a tax credit to renters, as we often overlook people who rent their homes and apartments in our tax debates.
  • LB986 would create Neighborhood Improvement Districts. This would provide a set of tools for neighborhoods to come together to solve issues together. LB986 is modeled on the successful Business Improvement DIstricts we allow for commercial property. I had the opportunity to talk with Fox42 News about LB986, and you can find the story here.
  • LB1010 is an attempt to speed up and improve access to mental health care in the county jail. It would allow some who have been found incompetent to stand trial to get treatment at an outpatient provider rather than having to wait for treatment behind bars.
  • LB1029 is a cleanup of our Uniform Power of Attorney Act, which was suggested by the Nebraska State Bar Association.
  • LB1056 would provide for collection of data from schools on student disciplinary actions, including the number of suspensions, expulsions, and arrests in order to better examine the school-to-prison pipeline.
  • LB1083 would provide for discovery of telephone numbers and email addresses of witnesses in criminal cases.

Staff Update

Last December, I hired a new Legislative Aide. Courtney Lyons started just before session at the end of last year. Courtney comes to us from Nebraska Appleseed, and prior to that was the Urban Affairs Committee Clerk. Courtney’s experience in the building and nonprofit experience makes her an excellent addition to our office, and we’re excited to have her on board. Her job tasks her primarily with working upon the legislation introduced by my office. Courtney lives in Lincoln with her husband, daughter, and two dogs.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 10, 2018

Senator Hansen introduces bill to provide tax relief to renters

Statement from Senator Hansen

LINCOLN, NE – Today, Senator Matt Hansen introduced LB 954, which would
provide refundable income tax credits to individuals who rent their primary
residence.

“My goal is to bring much-needed tax relief to the nearly 250,000 Nebraska
families and nearly 50,000 Lincoln families who rent their homes,” said Sen.
Hansen. “It is important to include renters in tax relief efforts because they
contribute so much to our local economies and tend to spend disproportionately
more of their income on housing than those who own their homes.”

Renters would be eligible for a credit equal to two percent of their total rent paid
in the previous year, up to $500. Currently, home owners are eligible for a similar
claim as a result of Nebraska’s Property Tax Credit Act. The median home value
in Nebraska is $155,000. Therefore, using the non-agland tax credit rate, the
2017 median tax credit for home owners will be about $136.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 9, 2018

Senator Hansen introduces bill to protect workers from retaliation due to wage complaints

Statement from Senator Hansen

LINCOLN, NE – Today, Senator Matt Hansen introduced LB 916, which would
prevent workers from retaliation or discrimination after they file or are otherwise
involved in a complaint under the Nebraska Wage and Hour Act and the
Nebraska Wage Payment and Collection Act. Provisions of these acts ensure
compliance with the state’s minimum wage laws as well as compliance with
paying wages on regular pay periods and payment of wages owed after
employment ends.

“Today I introduced LB 916 so that workers feel able to come forward when their
employers fail to pay them wages they earned,” said Sen. Hansen. “While we
made important progress by recently increasing the state’s minimum wage, this
legislation will be serve as an effective enforcement tool to ensure all employees
actually receive their pay.”

“Protecting workers from retaliation and ensuring they do not face threats or
intimidation for exercising their rights is and should be an important priority
against discrimination,” added Susan Martin, President of the Nebraska State
AFL-CIO. “Effective laws aid in the prevention of inappropriate manipulation by
parties who seek to prevent workers from exercising their rights or retaliating
against them when they do.”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 8, 2018

Senator Hansen introduces bill to strengthen local communities through early childhood education

Statement from Senator Hansen

LINCOLN, NE – Today, Senator Matt Hansen introduced LB 880 to incorporate
an early childhood element into city planning.

The proposal would ask cities to include an assessment and evaluation of quality
licensed early childhood education programs into new comprehensive plans or
full updates to existing plans and would apply to cities of the metropolitan,
primary, and first and second classes.

“Today I introduced LB 880 because high quality and affordable child care is
important for working families in Nebraska,” said Sen. Hansen. “It is also an
essential economic driver for local communities to retain and recruit new
businesses and employees. As a state, we should support families and support
economic growth in our cities through access to strong early childhood education
programs.”

The legislation is important in helping cities create long-term plans to ensure
positive health and education outcomes for children of all ages.

Sen. Matt Hansen

District 26
Room #1017
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2610
Email: mhansen@leg.ne.gov
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