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The Judiciary Committee advanced a bill I introduced, LB721, to general file. LB721 expands the definition of police animal to include police dogs and horses owned by cities, counties, and villages. I look forward to debate on this bill before the full Legislature and passage of this legislation.
The public hearing for LB915, a bill I introduced to change the animal abuse reporting statutes and create a new criminal offense of obtaining employment at an animal facility with the intent to disrupt the normal operations of that business, was held in the Agriculture Committee on Tuesday, January 31. While some concerns were raised about the language in the bill, I am working with members of the committee to address the concerns and move this legislation forward because of the importance of stopping certain practices employed by animal activist groups.
The Legislature debated and advanced LB391, introduced by Senator Ken Schilz of Ogallala, which increases awareness of invasive species in Nebraska with the creation of the Nebraska Invasive Species Council. The Council would develop an integrated management plan for the state, facilitate governmental coordination for prevention and management, and provide public outreach. This Council will help local governments in their efforts to stem the infestation of these species and I support this legislation.
LB946, introduced by Senator Greg Adams of York, was advanced through both rounds of debate to final readings. LB946 adopts the Community College Aid Act, which changes the formula for state aid to community colleges beginning in Fiscal Year 2013-2014. The initial allocation of state aid will be appropriated along the current guidelines. However, allocations beyond that, up to $500,000, would be allocated to the Nebraska Community College Student Performance and Occupational Education Grant Fund where a committee would determine the appropriate allocations. Any remaining allocations would be then distributed based upon the total number of community college areas, the number of students, and the number of reimbursable educational units offered at the community colleges. This bill authorizes continued support for our state’s community colleges and will better allocate funds according to need.
Senator Tyson Larson