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Greetings Northeast Lincoln! We’ve just begun the final ten days of session. Upon adjournment sine die on April 20th, all bills that were not passed will be cleared from the agenda.
Last week, the body passed three bills to adjust the biennial budget. The state budget is passed during odd-numbered years with adjustments made during even-numbered years. These second session bills address the gap between projections and the $8.7 billion budget passed in 2015: LB956 makes adjustments based on a downward revision in tax receipt forecasting and increases to state aid, LB957 makes transfers from the Cash Reserve Fund, and LB981 approves agency write- offs and claims against the state.
LB742, my bill to change county population thresholds, was chosen as a speaker priority. As a speaker priority, LB742 receives priority status behind senator priority bills, and is considered ahead of other bills in debate. LB742 is based on the findings of LR196, an interim study conducted last year by the Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee, and is currently on the agenda on Select File.
My bill, LB808, has been amended into LB1059. LB1059 also changes provisions of the Local Option Municipal Economic Development Act, in addition to the Community Development law. This bill was introduced by Senator Crawford, and prioritized by the Urban Affairs committee. LB1059 was passed by the Legislature last week, pending the Governor’s approval.
Legislative update-Sen. Hansen introduces LR403 to the body.
Earlier this session, LR403, my election technology resolution, was adopted. It established the Election Technology Committee which will study the longevity of technology used by election commissioners and county clerks, and the feasibility of updating or replacing Nebraska’s election technology.
Those appointed to the committee include myself, Senator Robert Hilkemann of Omaha, Senator Dan Hughes of Venango, Senator Brett Lindstrom of Omaha, Senator Adam Morfeld of Lincoln, and Senator John Stinner of Gering. As the Chairperson of the Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee, Senator John Murante of Gretna is also the Chairperson of the Election Technology Committee.
The ACCESSNebraska Oversight committee has replaced the ACCESSNebraska Special Investigative Committee. ACCESSNebraska is the public benefits delivery system developed and implemented by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. The Special Investigative Committee was established to investigate an array of problems including long wait times for callers, high worker turnover rates, and lost paperwork. The Oversight Committee was authorized by the Legislature in February with the adoption of LR418 to continue communication with the ACCESSNebraska system.
Those appointed to the Committee include Senator Al Davis of Hyannis, Senator John Kuehn of Heartwell, Senator John McCollister of Omaha, Senator Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln, and Senator John Stinner of Gering. Senator Sara Howard of Omaha is the Chairperson, and I have been selected as the Vice- Chairperson.
My fiancé and I celebrating St. Patrick’s day!
We also enjoyed attending the Canada Day Reception, honoring the Canada-Nebraska relationship.
If you have questions of concerns about legislation or the legislative process, call (402) 471-2610 or e-mail email@example.com; our office is always happy to help.
We look forward to hearing from you! As always, thanks for reading.
Greetings Northeast Lincoln! The Legislature has just finished a week of priority bill designations. Each senator has the opportunity to choose one bill, each committee two bills, and the Speaker up to 25 bills to prioritize in a single session.
This year, my priority bill is LB947, which declares all work-authorized persons eligible to obtain a professional or commercial operating license. Those affected by LB947 are the same population granted eligibility to obtain a drivers license through LB623, a bill passed last session.
Last month, I wrote about LB808, relating to the Local Option Municipal Economic Development Act, and LB831, relating to automatic license plate readers. Both bills have advanced from the Urban Affairs committee and Judiciary committee, respectively, and have been placed on General File.
LR403 would create an Election Technology Committee as a special committee of the Legislature to address Nebraska’s aging election technology and equipment. The special committee would study the longevity of technology used by election commissioners and county clerks to conduct elections, and the feasibility of updating or replacing this technology.
LB1089 would incrementally increase the minimum wage for persons compensated by way of gratuity from the current $2.13 per hour to $4.50 per hour by January, 2017, or 50 percent of the standard minimum wage.
While the state minimum wage was increased last year through a ballot initiative, the tipped minimum wage has not changed since 1991. In 1991, it was uncoupled from the standard minimum wage which was set at $4.25.
31 states have a higher tipped minimum wage than Nebraska. Increasing Nebraska’s tipped minimum wage would set us in line with Iowa ($4.35 per hour), Colorado ($4.98 per hour), and other neighboring states.
LB1090’s hearing is scheduled for March 3rd, before the Judiciary committee. This bill would require notification of law enforcement by the Nebraska State Patrol of denials of certificates to purchase, lease, rent, or receive transfer of handgyns.
LB1090 would also require an annual written report to the Nebraska State Patrol from state or local law enforcement agencies that have received notifications. The report would include information on certificate denials, the status of any open investigations, and explanations of denials that did not lead to investigations.
This bill is intended to provide law enforcement with the information they need to help prevent the next crime from happening, and to keep our families and communities safe.
Two LPS high school students interested in a career in politics shadowed me for a day. They were able to sit in on the morning floor debate and an afternoon committee hearing.
This month, I introduced LB945 before the Agriculture committee. LB945 is the Healthy Food Financing Initiative Act, aimed at alleviating the prevalence of food deserts.
If we haven’t heard from you yet, we hope this newsletter will serve as a reminder to contact us with any questions, concerns, or support regarding state legislation.
As always, thanks for reading!