Earlier this session, it appeared as though we were not going to accomplish a great deal. But in comparison to past legislative sessions, we were right at the average mark. The statistics show that 661 bills were introduced and 214 became law. The only thing we absolutely had to accomplish was to pass a budget – and we did that too.
Below is a partial listing of bills that we dealt with since my last newsletter:
Bills passed into law:
LB 93 allows eligible veterans to request that their veteran status be indicated on their driver’s licenses or state ID cards. It also requires the state Dept. of Veterans Affairs to create and maintain a registry that includes veterans’ active duty records, status, discharge and retirement information.
LB 104 changes sales and use tax increases under the Local Option Revenue Act and provides tax incentives for renewable energy projects under the Nebraska Advantage Act.
LB 225 adopts the Newborn Critical Congenital Heart Disease Screening Act. Under the provisions of this bill, all newborns in Nebraska will be required to undergo screening for critical congenital heart disease.
LB 296 provides higher tax deductions to persons making contributions to a Nebraska College Savings Program account.
LB 298 changes provisions relating to controlled substances schedules.
LB 363 will help ensure the public can access government records and data at a fair cost.
LB 366 adopts the Diploma of High School Equivalency Assistance Act and provides funding from the Education Innovation Fund. This bill provides assistance to institutions that offer high school equivalency programs.
LB 507 requires quality standards for day care providers who get the largest share of state assistance money.
LB 517 creates the Water Funding Task Force which will work on the state’s water issues such as the long-term sustainability of water resources.
LB 561 expands the Nebraska Juvenile Service Delivery Project statewide through a three-step process beginning July 1, 2013. Under LB 561, the Office of Probation Administration will take over the community supervision, juvenile parole and evaluation duties currently held by the Office of Juvenile Services.
LB 561A appropriates to the Supreme Court $20 million the first year and $44 million the second year to aid in carrying out the provisions of LB 561 .
LB 573 designates an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) as a qualified corporation, allowing its individual shareholders to exclude dividends and capital gains from their taxable incomes.
LB 634 adopts the Wildfire Control Act of 2013. The bill establishes new procedures for fighting and preventing wildfires.
LB 634A appropriates $1.545 the first year and $1.395 the second year to aid in carrying out the provisions of LB 634.
Legislative Resolution 155 creates the Tax Modernization Committee which will continually study and review the state’s tax code with the prospect of reforming it. Because I am a member of the Legislature’s Revenue Committee, I automatically become a member of the Tax Modernization Committee. Our first meeting was held this week to lay out the committee’s vision and its work. Public hearings will be conducted across the state with our focus on property, income and sales taxes.
I’m looking forward to spending more time at home and being back on the ranch. Of course, my legislative office in Lincoln will continue to be open and my staff will be available to take your calls (402-471-2729) or to forward your email to me (email@example.com). Have a great summer!