Week seven brings us just under halfway through the short session lasting 60 days total.
LB 105, a bill I introduced changing provisions in bankruptcy cases, was presented to the Governor on February 8th and approved by the Governor on February 14th.
Three bills received their hearing Monday, February 12th before the General Affairs committee I serve on. LB 1102 was introduced to change biennial licensing fees for lottery operators, increasing the biennial fee of $500 to an annual fee of $1000. LR 294CA, a constitutional amendment to expand gambling by authorizing any game of chance, any lottery, or any gift enterprise in Nebraska, and LB 984, a bill that would allow organizations to keep greater proceeds from raffles were also heard.
The Appropriations Committee held its hearing on the University System’s budget Wednesday, February 14th in light of a budget forecast projecting a $200 million shortfall for the budget period ending June 30th, 2019. The Governor’s budget proposal includes a 2% midyear cut to the University of Nebraska as well as the state and community college system. Nebraska has a constitutional amendment to balance the budget, reflecting the fiscal responsibility that its citizens utilize in their personal lives in the state’s government. A new revenue projection is anticipated at the end of February.
The Revenue Committee heard testimony Wednesday on a proposed constitutional amendment introduced by Senator Kuehn of District 38. LR 290CA would amend the constitution to state that all real property in the state be assessed at the property’s market value at the time of transfer for the purpose of property taxes. This change would require a fair level of harmonizing of state law, but is an interesting approach to various property tax reform efforts the committee has heard this session.
The legislature debated a bill to change laws related to indoor tanning Thursday, February 15th. LB 838, introduced by Senator Wishart and prioritized by Senator Kolowski, would prohibit any person under the age of 18 from using tanning equipment at a tanning facility. Current statute allows individuals to use tanning equipment at the age of 16 with permission and the presence of a parent or guardian.
In the Revenue Committee, we heard testimony on five bills Thursday. LB 926, introduced by Senator Crawford, would exempt Nebraska residents who are members of the armed forces and their spouses from motor vehicle taxes while they are on active duty.
Friday, February 16th was a recess day at the Capitol. The Legislature reconvenes on Tuesday, February 20th after a state holiday for President’s Day on February 19th. February 20th is also the last day for Senators to decide on which bills they will take up as their priority bill. Much of the remainder of the legislative session will be dedicated to the debate of Senator and Committee priority bills. The last day of public hearings is February 27th, and then we will start full days of debate on the floor of the legislature.
A special thanks goes to Janine Hansen, State President of Nevada Families for Freedom, who traveled all the way to Nebraska to speak about the concerns regarding the proposed Convention
of States on Thursday. Her time, efforts, and expertise were well appreciated by those in attendance.
Please contact me; my Administrative Aide, Courtney McClellen; my Legislative Aide, Jacob Campbell; or the Agriculture Committee Research Analyst, Rick Leonard, with questions or concerns at (402) 471-2728, or by email at email@example.com. You may also visit my office, Room 1022, in the Capitol. If you would like to follow the Legislature online please visit
netnebraska.org and click on the “Live & On Demand” button .