Sen Albrecht’s Weekly Update

Sen Albrecht’s Weekly Update
October 9th, 2021 | Office of State Senator Joni Albrecht

107TH LEGISLATURE INTERIM

What a delightful time to gather with friends and family to celebrate the abundant blessings of harvest. I never get more pleasure in life than to take a meal out to my guys in the field and enjoy the progress they are making. I pray for safety not only my own family, but all Nebraskan families who are busy this time of year. Now that Redistricting is completed my staff and I are taking a deep dive into the Legislative Bills I still have in Committee or potential new legislation.

INTERIM STUDIES

There are many Interim Studies taking place this Session. I sit on the Revenue Committee which held several key hearings this week:
LR23- Senator Dave Murmon introduced a Legislative Research Interim Study to examine a potential Constitutional amendment to limit property taxation for schools to residential property
only.

LR232- Senator Curt Friesen introduced an Interim Study to examine the assessment procedures of county assessors throughout the state of Nebraska.

Interim studies heard from other Committees include:

LR145- Senator John Stinner introduced an Interim Study of the adequacy of current aged and disabled Medicaid waiver assisted-living provider rates. LR180- Senator Lynne Walz introduced an Interim Study to examine the identification of at-risk and economically disadvantaged students as a qualification factor for state-funded, education-related programs.

LR182- Senator Lynne Walz introduced an Interim Study to examine the school enrollment
options available to students.

LR209- Senator Mike McDonnell introduced an Interim Study to examine the appropriations necessary for creating public health crisis zones.

LR212- Senator Mike McDonnell introduced an Interim Study to examine the healthcare workforce shortage in Nebraska.

Together my staff and I are paying close attention to all Legislative Studies in order to discern how each issue could impact Nebraska. We don’t agree with every topic, but we are careful to stay on top of the issues because generally a Bill will follow each Legislative Study.

BILLS STILL IN COMMITTEE

The Legislature will enter the Second Session of the 107th Legislature in January. At that time, we will continue the legislative process with all bills introduced last year that remain in Committee with a chance to come to the Floor for debate. I still have the following Bills remaining in the process:

LB111- First Responders- defines and enacts criminal violations related to rioting, aggressive rioting, inciting riots, looting, assault on first responders; to prescribe penalties including, but not limited to, minimum sentencing, fines, and restitution.

LB112- Open Meetings- Requires that members of the public be afforded the opportunity to speak at any public meeting subject to the Open Meetings Act.

LB280- Insurance Board- amends legislation to eliminate a state residency requirement for the board of directors of an insurance company. LB282- Obscenity Law- Repeals the exemption from prosecution for those in educational institutions providing obscenity to minors in grades K-12.

LB325- Art Therapy -would provide for licensing of qualified art therapists as Licensed Mental Health Practitioners and Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioners with a credential as a Certified Art Therapist.

LB523- School Bonding Authority- Clarifies that the special tax (building fund) could not be used to build a new school building, add additional footage to an existing school building, or purchase sites upon which new buildings will be located. School districts looking to use the building fund for those purposes must receive approval through a vote of its citizens at a general or special election.

LB596- Higher Blend Ethanol- Creates the Nebraska Higher Blend Tax Credit Act for Nebraska retail dealers that sell and dispense E-15 or higher blends.

CONSIDER RUNNING FOR OFFICE
I want to strongly encourage anyone interested in running for office to make sure to take a good look at the new Redistricting maps to make certain you live in the District you are interested in representing. Candidate filing information for the 2022 election cycle will become available in November. I will keep you posted. If you have any comments or concerns, please contact me at 402-471-2716 or jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov.

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