Weekly Update: March 4-8
Hello from Lincoln! We are working hard to continue to pass our introduced bills. Two of our bills had hearings this week, LB 619 and LB 620. I have designated LB 619 (Requires health care plans to pay for mental health services provided in schools) as my priority bill with AM 287. I am looking forward to working with my fellow senators on getting this important legislation and many others passed in the coming weeks.
This past week, I was fortunate to hear constituent concerns through the Black and Brown Legislative day event put on by the Urban League of Nebraska. This program aims to help communities of color to bring their concerns about legislation that affects them to Nebraska Senators. It was great to hear their concerns and how I can help their communities continue to prosper.
On Wednesday, I also attended the Economic Development Task Force lunch and learn, “Overview of Tax Incentive Programs in Nebraska.” This presentation gave me and other senators in attendance an overview of tax incentive principles. Presenters included Josh Goodman of the Pew Charitable Trusts, Anthony Circo of the Legislature’s Performance Audit Committee and Renee Fry of Open Sky.
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your Senator! I and my staff will continue working hard to serve the people of District 31. If you have any concerns about upcoming legislation or just want to give us your input, you can reach us at (402) 471-2327 or by email at email@example.com.
This session, I have introduced seven bills. The following gives the statement of intent for each bill and a brief explanation of its purpose.
- LB 140: Prohibits an operator, an owner of a tanning facility or a lessee of a tanning facility to allow any person less than eighteen years of age to use an indoor tanning device at the tanning facility.
- This bill aims to restrict the use of tanning booths by minors. People who use tanning beds before the age of 35 increase their risk of melanoma by 75 percent. The younger a person is when they begin using tanning beds, the higher their risk of developing skin cancer. Status: In Health and Human Services Committee.
- LB 409: To adopt the 2018 guidelines for design and construction of hospitals, outpatient facilities and the construction of residential health, care and support facilities.
- The purpose of this bill is to implement recent guidelines on building codes for hospitals and other health care facilities. Status: General File with amendment.
- LB 410: To exempt certain sales of clothing and footwear from sales and use taxes.
- Parents of students know the financial strain that comes around every year when back to school shopping takes place. This bill looks to create a sales tax holiday for back to school clothing and shoe shopping that would alleviate some of this strain on Nebraska families. Hearing scheduled for March 14 in Revenue Committee.
- LB 619: Requires a health insurance plan to pay for mental health services provided in a school or educational setting.
- This bill looks to assure insurance coverage of mental health services provided by a credentialed mental health professional in a school setting. This will help many Nebraska students and their families and reduce the time a student is out of the school day for such services. Status: In Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee.
- LB 620: Changes the violation of texting while driving from a secondary offense to a primary offense.
- According to the National Safety Council, cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year in the United States. This bill aims to reduce this number by changing the designation of the crime to a primary offense. Status: In Transportation and Telecommunications Committee.
- LB 621: Change provisions relating to solar energy and wind energy, declare certain instruments void and unenforceable, and provide for a civil cause of action
- Some homeowner’s association covenants prevent solar energy systems from being installed on homes and buildings. LB 621 seeks to prohibit such provisions by homeowner associations. Status: In Judiciary Committee.
- LB 733: Provide and change requirements for polling places.
- This bill aims to increase the accessibility of polling places in order to encourage more Nebraska citizens to vote in our elections. Polling places should be accessible to all Nebraskans, including those with physical disabilities. Hearing schedule for March 14 in Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.