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Sen. Curt Friesen

Sen. Curt Friesen

District 34

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Weekly Column

February 12th, 2016

As we approach the midpoint of this short session, I thought it was time for me to let you know about the bills I’ve introduced.  They are:

LB 735 – allows rapid transit buses operated by Omaha’s Metropolitan Authority to exceed the current 40 foot length limit to 65 feet.   These buses are designed for improved speed, convenience, and a benefit to passengers traveling to some of Omaha’s most congested areas.

LB 736 – amends the Community-Based Energy Development (C-BED) Act to allow all Nebraska electric utilities the option of negotiating a contract for energy from a C-BED project, by removing the limited definition of electric utility and using the term electric supplier.

LB 737 – expands eligible funded activities for public entities seeking low-interest loans through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.  The funded activities are for the purposes of constructing wastewater treatment facilities and sanitary sewer collection systems to alleviate public health and environmental problems and would also increase loan terms from 20 years to a maximum of 30 years or the useful life of the project, whichever is less.

LB 784 – harmonizes language in the County Budget Act and the Nebraska Budget Act.  Currently both acts proportionally limit expenditures from each budgeted fund between July 1 and the adoption of the budget in September.  The Nebraska Budget Act also provides a mechanism to exceed such proportional expenditures upon a finding of the governing body that the expenditures are necessary to meet statutory duties and responsibilities.  LB 784 would add this concept to the County Budget Act.  The bill would make it clear that counties can use the resources available for roads during the late summer – prime time to build and maintain roads – rather than being limited to a proportion of their road budget during this time.

LB 785 – authorizes the Department of Motor Vehicles to move to an alternate method of issuing motor vehicle operator’s licenses.  This enabling legislation will address the three main complaints from the public regarding driver licensing services: 1) very long wait times in their busiest offices; 2) not being open past “normal” business hours; and 3) why not all services are provided at all offices, i.e., CDL tests, motorcycle tests, and drive tests.

LB 814 – eliminates the requirement that an applicant for a school permit must live at least 1.5 miles or more from school to be eligible for a permit.  Applicants still must reside or attend school outside a metropolitan, primary or first class city.  I introduced this bill on behalf of a constituent who asked to have the mileage lowered.  After studying this issue I decided that to change any mileage amount would just invite other requests, so I just eliminated it altogether.

LB 996 – excludes a manufacturer who owns or operates two or fewer dealer or dealership locations within the state, who owned or operated a warranty repair or service facility as of January 1, 2016, and who is engaged in the manufacturer of engines installed in motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rate of more than 16,000 pounds, from the prohibitions placed upon manufacturers under the Nebraska Motor Vehicle Industry Licensing Act.  LB 996 was introduced to allow Cummins Inc., to operate just as they do today.

LB 1042 – gives another layer of approval to tax-increment financing (TIF) projects.  Before approval is made by the governing body of a TIF project, LB 1042 requires the county board of equalization of the county directly affected by the financing project, to approve the plan if it meets all statutory requirements for TIF imposed under the Community Development law.  LB 1042 also changes the property valuation information certified by the Property Tax Administrator to the State Department of Education, which is used to determine the adjusted valuation of school districts for purposes of allocating state aide through the Tax Equity and Educational Opportunities Support Act.  The bill requires that excess valuation for properties that qualify for TIF will be included in the assessed valuation of school districts for state aide purposes.

Sen. Curt Friesen

District 34
Room #1110
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2630
Email: cfriesen@leg.ne.gov
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