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Sen. Tyson Larson

Sen. Tyson Larson

District 40

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Dear Residents of the 40th District,

The first session of the 103rd Legislature is almost to the halfway mark. This week on the floor we wrapped up a lengthy debate on horseracing and advanced a constitutional amendment on that subject to select file. We will also begin debate on bills that senators have prioritized this session. I have decided to prioritize LB57, which is a bill that would expand the oversight authority of the Nebraska Environmental Trust (NET) when its funds are used by grantees to purchase real property. It would also provide that counties would be reimbursed for lost tax revenue when NET-funded property is ever sold or transferred to a federal land management agency.

This week I introduced three bills to the Judiciary Committee, including LB204, which is a bill that creates stricter requirements for reporting cases of animal abuse. Any observed incident of animal mistreatment, cruelty, or neglect would have to be reported within 24 hours of witnessing the abuse. The bill creates penalties for individuals who try and gain employment at an animal facility with the intent to disrupt the operations of that facility. The purpose of this bill is to prevent applicants from misrepresenting themselves to get jobs that would allow them to cause economic harm to an animal facility’s operations.

Additionally, I introduced LB247 and LB355 to the Judiciary Committee on Friday. LB247 would allow judges additional flexibility when it comes to ordering parents to pay child support for a child who is placed with a state agency or is ordered to undergo medical or psychological treatment. LB355 would change the age of majority from its current nineteen years old to eighteen years old. Nebraska is one of only three states that has an age of majority over eighteen years old. I believe that if you are able to vote, enlist in the military, and make other major life choices at eighteen, you should have the all of the rights afforded to adults in Nebraska as well.

Another one of my bills, LB354, was voted out of the Agriculture Committee on Tuesday and was selected as a priority bill for Senator Scott Lautenbaugh of Omaha. LB354 is a bill to restructure the Nebraska Corn Board. It will allow grower members to elect their board members and would create a right to a refund on any checkoff dollars paid by a corn grower. LB354 would also allow corn grower members to raise the checkoff through a referendum. This bill would make significant and important changes to the Corn Board and would provide additional accountability and oversight to the Board as a whole.

I enjoy hearing your comments or feedback on issues that are important to the people of Legislative District 40. Please feel free to call, write, or visit the office that is here to represent and serve you at 402-471-2801 or at tlarson@leg.ne.gov.

Best Wishes,

Senator Tyson Larson

Dear Residents of the 40th District,

On Monday, I introduced LB168 to the Banking, Commerce, and Insurance Committee. LB168 would allow limited liability companies the opportunity to subdivide and create series limited liability companies within their overall business structure. The Committee had a lot of good questions about series LLCs and why Nebraska should allow for this kind of business model. I believe that our state needs to be proactive about generating business and economic opportunities and I hope that the Committee advances this bill to the floor for further debate.

The Legislature held makeup hearings on Tuesday for those hearings that were cancelled due to the snowstorm. I introduced LB598 to the Natural Resources Committee, which would raise the capacity limits for those systems that can participate in Nebraska’s net metering program. I was also fortunate to meet with a social studies class from Hartington Public Schools on Tuesday and was impressed with the questions they asked and the overall discussion we had about state and national issues.

Next Wednesday I will be introducing LB204 to the Judiciary Committee. LB204 creates stricter requirements for reporting cases of animal abuse. Any observed incident of animal mistreatment, cruelty, or neglect would have to be reported within 24 hours of witnessing the abuse. The bill also creates penalties for individuals who try and gain employment at an animal facility with the intent to disrupt the operations of that facility. The purpose of this bill is to prevent applicants from misrepresenting themselves to get jobs that would allow them to cause economic harm to an animal facility’s operations. I believe this is a very important bill and I look forward to its hearing next week.

Another one of my bills, LB597, was voted out of the Agriculture Committee and will move to the floor for further debate. LB597 would change some of the statutes governing county agricultural societies, allowing county agricultural societies to purchase equipment and lease their property. I look forward to introducing this bill on the floor and am optimistic about its progress.

I enjoy hearing your comments or feedback on issues that are important to the people of Legislative District 40. Please feel welcome to call, write, or visit the office that is here to represent and serve you at (402) 471-2801 or a tlarson@leg.ne.gov.

Best Wishes,

Senator Tyson Larson

February 15, 2013 Legislative Update

Dear Residents of the 40th District,

Committee hearings and floor debate have continued throughout this fifth full week of session.  On Monday, we saw the first round of bills complete the legislative process, which were then signed into law by the Governor.  As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I have been attending meetings with my fellow Committee members every afternoon to go over the proposed state budget and various agency spending requests.  The Appropriations Committee will begin to hold hearings on appropriations bills soon and I look forward to the work this Committee will continue to bring over the next few months.

This week I had a hearing in front of the Natural Resources Committee on LB57.  LB 57 requires that the Nebraska Environmental Trust approve any use of its funds given to grant recipients to buy and sell property.  The Nebraska Environmental Trust would also have to approve any transfer of property purchased with the Trust’s funds to the federal government and provide a sum of money to the county to make up for any lost property tax income.  The intent of this bill is to provide the Environmental Trust with additional oversight mechanisms so it can ensure that its state funds are being used appropriately.  LB57 will be put to a vote by the members of the Natural Resources Committee soon and I hope this bill advances to the floor for further debate.

Next Tuesday, I will be introducing LB59 to the Banking, Commerce, and Insurance Committee.  LB59 would raise the percentage of business a crop insurance agent can undertake with himself or herself, immediate relatives, or employers and employees from 10% of an agent’s total business to 30% of an agent’s total business.  The idea for this bill was brought to me by an individual who owns his own crop insurance agency and wanted to see these percentage requirements raised to meet both what the Federal Crop Insurance Act allows and what most other states allow.

I enjoy hearing your comments or feedback on issues that are important to the people of Legislative District 40.  Please feel welcome to call, write, or visit the office that is here to represent and serve you at (402) 471-2801 or a tlarson@leg.ne.gov.

Best Wishes,

Senator Tyson Larson

February 8, 2013 Legislative Update

Dear Residents of District 40,

This has been a busy week for both my office and the Legislature as a whole.  Four of the bills I introduced had hearings, including LB354, which is a bill that would restructure the Nebraska Corn Board.  Right now, the Corn Board is a state agency.  Its board members are appointed by the Governor and the participation in its checkoff program is mandatory.  LB354 would allow for the Corn Board’s board members to be elected by corn growers and would provide a refund option for those who have to pay the half-cent assessment to the state.  This bill will give the Corn Board additional accountability to its members and will allow it to operate more efficiently.  Everyone who testified at the hearing supported this bill and I hope to have it advance to the floor for further debate.

Another one of my bills, LB246, had a hearing in front of the Judiciary Committee on Thursday.  LB246 would create an inmate copayment program.  An inmate would have to pay $10 for any self-initiated, non-emergency visit to a health care provider.  This would help deter inmates from abusing the free health care services they receive while incarcerated in a state or county correctional facility.  Thirty-eight states and the federal government already have inmate copayment programs and I believe Nebraska should follow the fiscally responsible models these programs have set across the country.  Sheriff Matchett of Holt County brought this idea to me and came to help support the bill at the hearing.  It generated some interesting discussion and will be up for a vote in the Judiciary Committee soon.

There were two hearings held this week on LB405 and LB406, which are the two bills that put forth the Governor’s proposed tax policy.  Those bills would eliminate the individual and corporate income tax and would also eliminate certain sales tax exemptions.  On Wednesday, the Revenue Committee’s hearing lasted for nine and a half hours, during which they listened to both proponents and opponents to the Governor’s tax plan.  Many of you have called and emailed me with your concerns about these bills.  I share your concerns and I will work to ensure that agricultural interests and the interests of our district are thoroughly contemplated when discussing this issue.

Next week there will be a hearing on LB57,  which is a bill I introduced to give additional oversight to the Nebraska Environmental Trust over its projects.  LB57 requires that the Nebraska Environmental Trust approve the use of its funds to buy and sell real property acquired by Environmental Trust grant recipients. The Nebraska Environmental Trust would also have to approve any transfer of property purchased with the Trust’s funds to the federal government and provide a sum of money to the county to make up for any lost property tax income.  I look forward to the hearing on this bill in front of the Natural Resources Committee on Thursday.

I enjoy hearing your comments or feedback on issues that are important to the people of Legislative District 40.  Please feel welcome to call, write, or visit the office that is here to represent and serve you at (402) 471-2801 or a tlarson@leg.ne.gov.

Best Wishes,

Senator Tyson Larson

February 1, 2013 Legislative Update

Dear Residents of the 40th District,

On Monday, the Business and Labor Committee held a hearing on LB58, also known as the Workplace Privacy Act. LB58 is a bill I introduced to prohibit employers from gaining access to the private social networking accounts of their employees and job applicants. Overall, the hearing went well and generated much discussion on the issue of privacy on the Internet. The Business and Labor Committee will hold a vote to determine if LB58 moves out of committee and on to the next step of the legislative process.

Next week I will have three bills up for hearings in three different committees. LB248, which is a bill to create a seasonal employment exemption for unemployment benefits, will go before the Business and Labor Committee on Monday. LB354, which is a bill to restructure the Nebraska Corn Board, will be heard by the Agriculture Committee on Tuesday. On Thursday, the Judiciary Committee will debate LB246, which is a bill to create an inmate copayment program that would charge inmates a $10 copay for each self-initiated, non-emergency visit to a health care provider.

The Legislature will also have hearings on Governor Heineman’s tax proposals next week. LB405 and LB406 are the two bills that have been introduced on behalf of the Governor to eliminate the individual income and corporate income tax, in addition to eliminating sales tax exemptions. Many of you have reached out to me to voice your concerns about the impacts these changes would have on the agricultural community in Nebraska. I share many of the same concerns. I know how important the agricultural industry is to this State and I want to ensure that its interests are thoroughly contemplated when discussing this issue.

Finally, many constituents contacted my office about the speed limit on U.S. Highway 20 between Nebraska Highway 9 and Nebraska Highway 12. The speed limit had been set at 55 miles per hour and many of you had thought that speed to be too low for the area. I have been in frequent contact with the Department of Roads on the issue and recently received a letter from the Department stating that it will be raising the speed limit on that segment of U.S. Highway 20 to 60 miles per hour.

I enjoy hearing your comments or feedback on issues that are important to the people of District 40. I will be holding a meet and greet on Saturday, February 2, at 2pm at the Bloomfield Community Center to meet with you and answer any questions you may have. Please feel welcome to call, write, or visit the office that is here to represent you at (402) 471-2801 or at tlarson@leg.ne.gov.

Best Wishes,

Senator Tyson Larson

January 25, 2013 Legislative Update

Dear Residents of the 40th District,

Bill introduction has concluded for this session, with a total of 655 bills and 11 constitutional amendment resolutions introduced.  I have a total of fifteen bills this session and one constitutional amendment resolution that cover a wide variety of issues, including those brought to my attention by many of my constituents.  One bill I introduced this week was LB597, which makes changes to certain statutes impacting county agricultural societies.  LB597 would allow county agricultural societies to sell real estate without any restrictions.  It would also allow county agricultural societies to purchase equipment with the money levied by a society.

Committee hearings began this week on bills that have been introduced.  Two of my bills had hearings this week.  LB60, which is the bill to exclude Knox County from the brand inspection area, went before the Agriculture Committee on Tuesday.  Every Knox County resident who came to testify supported removing Knox County from the brand inspection area.  Committee members had insightful questions as to how the brand inspection area works and why it would be beneficial to remove Knox County from the brand inspection area.  The Agriculture Committee will soon hold a vote to determine if LB60 moves out of committee and on to the next step in the legislative process.

LB56 also received a hearing in front of the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.  LB56 would allow for candidates in certain county officer races to automatically advance to the general election without a primary race if there are only two candidates running for each position, regardless of party affiliation.  The Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee will hold a vote to determine the next step for this bill.

As hearings continue for the next few months, I appreciate any comment or feedback you have on bills that are important to you.  I will be hosting a meet and greet on Saturday, February 2, at 2pm at the Bloomfield Community Center to listen and discuss any questions or concerns that you have or any input you wish to give regarding bills that have been introduced this session.  My office is always available to listen to your questions and concerns regarding issues that impact District 40.  Please feel welcome to call, write, or visit the office that is here to represent and serve you at (402) 471-2801 or at tlarson@leg.ne.gov.

Best Wishes,

Senator Tyson Larson

January 18th, 2013 Legislative Update

Dear Residents of the 40th District,

As the first full week of session comes to a close, I wanted to give you an update on the progress the Legislature has made.  So far, there have been 401 new bills and seven constitutional amendment resolutions introduced since session began last Wednesday.  Governor Heineman submitted his budget proposal on Tuesday and my fellow Appropriations Committee members and I will be reviewing his spending requests over the next few weeks.  The Legislature heard the State of the State and the State of the Judiciary addresses and began setting schedules for committee hearings which start on January 22.

Overall, it has been a productive week for the Legislature and for my office as well.  As of today, I have introduced twelve bills and one constitutional amendment resolution, including LB204, which is a bill that creates stricter requirements for reporting cases of animal abuse.  Any observed incident of animal mistreatment, cruelty, or neglect would have to be reported within 24 hours of witnessing the abuse.  The bill creates penalties for individuals who try and gain employment at an animal facility with the intent to disrupt the operations of that facility.  The purpose of this bill is to prevent applicants from misrepresenting themselves to get jobs that would allow them to cause economic harm to an animal facility’s operations.

LB204 also encourages those who witness animal abuse to report it right away, so that the harm to animals and business operations is minimal and a proper investigation can be completed. I know that 99% of farmers in this state treat their animals well and with respect, and this bill’s intent is to prevent the other 1% from giving those farmers a bad name.

In addition to LB204, I have also introduced LB168, which allows limited liability companies the opportunity to create series limited liability companies within the overall structure of their company.   The series LLC model gives companies additional options to choose from when deciding how they want to structure their business.  Allowing the creation of series LLCs also incentivizes businesses who benefit from a series LLC model to organize in Nebraska and generate business and economic benefits within our State.

You can visit, call, or email my office at any time regarding bills I’ve introduced or bills other Senators have introduced that interest you.  I will be hosting a meet and greet on Saturday, February 2, at 2pm at the Bloomfield Community Center to listen and discuss any questions or concerns that you have or any input you wish to give regarding bills that have been introduced this session.  Additionally, my office is available to assist you with any questions, concerns, or ideas at (402) 471-2801 or at tlarson@leg.ne.gov.

Best Wishes,

Senator Tyson Larson

 

January 11th, 2013 Legislative Update

Dear Residents of the 40th District,

On January 9, 2013, the first session of the 103rd Legislature convened and I began my third year representing our district.  The first few days of session have been busy ones as the Legislature has finalized committee assignments and has started the bill introduction process.  For the next two years, I have been selected to serve as a member of the Appropriations Committee.  This committee is responsible for processing legislation that impacts the State’s budget and its spending.  I look forward to the work this committee will undergo throughout the next ninety days.

Senators are allowed the first ten days of session to introduce new bills.  This week I introduced five bills and one constitutional amendment resolution, including LB58, also known as the Workplace Privacy Act.  This bill restricts employers from asking that an employee or applicant grant the employer access to his or her private social networking profile or account information.   Laws similar to this bill have recently been passed in several other states. If passed, this law will prevent employers from turning down applicants simply for refusing to provide the employer access to their private social networking information.

In addition, I have introduced LB60 which would remove Knox County from the brand inspection area.  Currently, Knox County is the one county in Nebraska that is split, with only a portion of the county inside the brand inspection area.  In October, a town hall meeting was held in Bloomfield where the overwhelming majority of those in attendance vocalized their preference that all of Knox County be removed from the brand inspection area.

The Legislature will continue bill introduction until January 23 and will begin public hearings on bills that have been introduced starting January 22.

If you have any questions regarding legislation introduced or any other issue, please contact my office at (402) 471-2801 or at tlarson@leg.ne.gov.

Best Wishes,

Senator Tyson Larson

Sen. Tyson Larson

District 40
Room #1019
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2801
Email: tlarson@leg.ne.gov
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