Over the Fence Bi-weekly newsletter

March 12th, 2010

Over the Fence

A bi-weekly newsletter from Senator Tom Hansen

thansen@leg.ne.gov

The first proposal under consideration this week was a bill to abolish the office of State Treasurer.  LR 284 CA is a constitutional amendment introduced by Senator Dennis Utter of Hastings.  If the resolution gets to Final Reading, it would put the proposed Constitutional Amendment on November’s general election ballot.  We advanced it on Tuesday, to the second round of debate.

Companies that hire people to provide telephone answering services out of their own home would get help for training costs under a bill that gained first round approval this week.  LB 1081, introduced by Bellevue Senator Abbie Cornett, will help ease Nebraska’s unemployment numbers and create family friendly jobs.  The bill applies to applicants who live in counties of less than 100,000 residents.

A bill that made changes to the Nebraska School Activities Association was defeated after a bracket motion was offered by Omaha Senator Scott Lautenbaugh.  LB 1021, introduced by Lincoln Senator Bill Avery had considerable debate this morning, the bracket motion was successful – which in effect kills the bill.

An amended bill that gives the Game and Parks Commission more authority in setting special depredation seasons on deer in overpopulated areas was given first round approval.  The bill, LB 836, introduced by Omaha Senator Scott Lautenbaugh gave landowners the ability to obtain an unlimited free permit during those seasons.  It also included an amendment introduced by Ellsworth Senator LeRoy Louden, that allowed Game and Parks to issue permits for landowners to kill mountain lions that are preying on livestock.

Several bills that passed on Final Reading this week include:

LB 258 – Introduced by Scottsbluff Senator John Harms, gives judges the option of suspending the driver’s licenses of people 18 and under who are convicted of possession alcohol.

LB 689 – Introduced by Schuyler Senator Chris Langemeier, would eliminate the requirement that an excise tax (three-fifths cent) be assessed on corn and grain sorghum and credited to the Water Resources Cash Fund, and would redirect funds collected. The excise tax, currently credited to the Ethanol Production Incentive Cash Fund, is scheduled to end on October 1, 2012. The tax is to go to the Water Resources Cash Fund beginning January 1, 2013.

LB 821 – Introduced by Valentine Senator Deb Fischer, requires the Department of Roads to make as their priority maintenance of Nebraska’s 10,000-mile state highway system for road funding.

LB 865 – Introduced by Valentine Senator Deb Fischer, adopts the Animal Welfare Act.  The bill creates a new section of law dealing with livestock welfare.  This measure is designed to reduce confusion in the law.  It separates animal welfare from animal rights.  It was a high priority of all the state’s livestock groups.

LB 910 – Introduced by Holdrege Senator Tom Carlson, will increase a pet license by $1.00 that will be used to help fund the state Commercial Dog and Cat Operator Inspection Act.

LB 1006 – Introduced by York Senator Greg Adams, moves the date up for children to be eligible for kindergarten from October 15 to July 31. The bill affects kindergarteners entering school in the fall of 2012.

And finally, I want to let you know that I will be holding a Town Hall Meeting on March 20th from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at the Senior Center (900 E. 10th) in North Platte.  This will give you an opportunity to express your concerns on issues the Legislature is considering or any other state-related matters.

The meeting is sponsored by the Lincoln County Farm Bureau and coffee and rolls will be served.  I hope to see you there!