NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

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Sen. Dan Hughes

Sen. Dan Hughes

District 44

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The second and final bill that received the Natural Resources Committee priority designation was LB 632, which was reported out of committee on March 6th. The bill itself is a carryover bill from the 2019 session. LB 632 is a shell bill. The original bill made no substantive changes and was only meant to serve as a vehicle for other legislation to be amended into. 

During the amendment process, LB 632 was deleted and replaced with the contents of LB 769, LB 861, LB 933, and LB 1201. Even though it contains several other pieces of legislation, the bill will still appear on the Legislature’s website and the agenda as LB 632.

The first bill included in LB 632 is LB 769. This bill requires that each member of the Natural Resources Commission be a Nebraska resident. Currently, there is no Nebraska residency requirement for serving on the Commission. This change will make the Commission eligibility requirements consistent with most other boards and commissions in Nebraska.

The second bill included in LB 632 is LB 861, which amends the Nebraska Intergovernmental Solid Waste Management Act. The bill would create a statewide regulatory regime for containers. This will help ease the burden on retailers and restaurants, who are currently forced to comply with a patchwork of city, county, and agency regulations on containers. The bill also encourages the state to promote and utilize recycling and secondary processes, specifically biomass and pyrolysis. 

The third bill included in LB 632 is LB 933, which would amend laws relating to utility disconnections and reconnections. The bill would put a cap on the fees a utility can charge for disconnection or reconnection of service. It also allows customers to postpone disconnection by showing that their household includes an ill or handicapped individual who would be harmed by disconnection. This can be done through a note from a doctor, APRN, or physician’s assistant.  The bill also requires utilities to post certain information about their disconnection and reconnection policies online. Utilities owned and operated by villages are exempt from these requirements.

LB 1201 as amended would create a plan development group to develop a stand-alone state flood plan. The state currently has a flood plan included in the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency’s larger state hazard mitigation plan, but this plan has not been updated for several years.  The group would hold two public hearings to allow the public make their voice heard. The bill would require the Department of Natural Resources to complete the state flood mitigation plan and report it to the Governor and the Legislature before December 31, 2021.

Please feel free to contact my office with any questions or concerns that you might have. My email address is dhughes@leg.ne.gov and my phone number is (402) 471-2805. You can read more about bills and other work of the Legislature at www.nebraskalegislature.gov, and you can click on the Live Video Streaming NET logo to watch sessions, hearings, and other Capitol events.

Sen. Dan Hughes

District 44
Room #1117
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2805
Email: dhughes@leg.ne.gov
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