Over the Fence

April 5th, 2012

Over the Fence
A bi-weekly newsletter from Senator Tom Hansen
thansen@leg.ne.gov

April 5, 2012

We are heading into the final days of the 2012 legislative session and what an eventful week it has been!

First, the Governor signed all three of the budget bills (LB’s 131, 968, and 969). We were successful in overriding his line-item veto of LB 1072, the bill that would have paid $2.4 million of claims submitted by subcontractors of the Boys and Girls home. And after many hours of debate, LB 239, the bill that required a government-issued ID to vote in elections, failed on a cloture motion, and so LB 239 will not be back on our agenda this session.

Speaker Flood noted that he may change the end date for the last day of the session, for Final Reading passage thus allowing the Governor to veto any bills and making it possible for Legislature to override them.

BILLS PASSED INTO LAW INCLUDE:

LB 66 clarifies provisions as to who is responsible in collecting DNA samples from felons.

LB 357 authorizes a one half percent increase in local option sales and use tax.

LB 799 (my priority bill) increases the penalty for child abuse committed negligently resulting in serious bodily injury to a Class IIIA felony and increases the penalty for child abuse committed negligently resulting in death to a Class III felony. A Class IIIA felony carries a maximum of five years imprisonment or $10,000 fine or both; a Class III felony carries a maximum of twenty years imprisonment or $25,000 fine or both and a minimum of one year imprisonment.

LB 804 changes provisions relating to justification for use of force – also known as the Castle Doctrine.

LB 806 authorizes the State Racing Commission to regulate wagering on historic horseraces.

LB 820 creates the Title IV-E Demonstration Project Committee and the Foster Care Reimbursement Rate Committee, provide a temporary foster care stipend, and change foster care licensure requirements.

LB 821 creates the Nebraska Children’s Commission and adopts the Office of Inspector General of the Nebraska Child Welfare Act.

LB 825 establishes local offices for access to public benefit programs.

LB 830 provides a sales and use tax exemption for biochips.

LB 845 provides reclamation requirements for the Oil Pipeline Reclamation Act.

LB 882 will allow oral chemotherapy to be treated the same as intravenous cancer treatment for insurance purposes.

LB 905 makes changes the Nebraska Wheat Board checkoff.

LB 933 changes provisions relating to truancy.

LB 949 requires reports and a strategic plan by the Division of Children and Family Services of the Department of Health and Human Services.

LB 961 changes provisions relating to case management, caseloads, contracts, and contract extensions for child welfare services.

LB 970 is the Governor’s tax cuts for the middle class.

LB 972 changes provisions relating to youth rehabilitation and treatment centers.

LB 985 provides for a juvenile justice pilot program, which will include Lincoln County.

LB 996 changes provisions relating to compulsory attendance.

LB 998 creates the Foster Care Review Office and eliminates the State Foster Care Review Board.

LB 1030 my bill I introduced on behalf of several constituents in my district, would require motor vehicle drivers when passing bicyclists, pedestrians and personal assistive mobility devices, a minimum of three feet clearance.

LB 1039 helps clarify when a driver is required to stop when encountering a school bus.

LB 1053 creates the Nebraska Tourism Commission and transfers powers and duties from the Travel and Tourism Division to the Department of Economic Development.

LB 1057 changes the Nebraska Corn Board checkoff to one half cent per bushel.

LB 1063 clarifies the meaning of the term medically necessary for the purposes of the medical assistance program for children under twenty-one years of age.

LB 1080 provides a property tax exemption and a sales and use tax exemption relating to data centers.

LB 1090 provides for the awarding of grants and the distribution of information relating to the Summer Food Service Program by the Department of Education.

LB 1115 authorizes construction and operation of natural gas pipeline facilities by jurisdictional utilities.

LB 1145 changes the penalty for pandering and creates a task force and requires training of certain officials regarding human trafficking.

LB 1160 requires the Department of Health and Human Services to develop an information system and provides for reports and an evaluation.

LR 358CA a Constitutional Amendment changes legislative term limits to three terms instead of the current two. Will be placed on the ballot for voters to decide.

LR 373CA a Constitutional Amendment changes the annual legislative salary to $21,500 from the current $12,000. Will be placed on the ballot for voters to decide.

BILLS ADVANCED TO THE FINAL STAGE OF DEBATE:

LB 599 provides prenatal care to mothers who lost Medicaid coverage in 2010, including undocumented mothers.

LB 793 limits frivolous civil actions filed by prisoners.

LB 807 changes Concealed Handgun Permit Act application provisions.

LB 928 provides for mountain lion hunting permits and a deer donation program.

LB 1161 changes provisions relating to oil pipelines and provide for an evaluation of routes.

Our office will be closed on Good Friday and the following Monday for the Easter holiday. Have a Happy Easter!