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.
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.
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.