Photo by George Lauby
Sen. Tom Hansen
Today was the deadline scheduled by the Speaker of the Legislature for senators to select their personal priority bills. I selected LB 96, a bill that exempts purchases of repair and replacement parts for agricultural equipment from sales taxes. LB 96 was introduced by Sen. Annette Dubas of Fullerton.
I chose to prioritize LB 96 because it gives something back to the people of Nebraska and more money is left in the hands of rural Nebraska.
Public hearings of interest included:
LB 181 prohibits motorcycle passengers less than eight years old.
LB 308 changes income tax calculations relating to the federal alternative minimum tax; includes the provisions of LB 457 which changes state law on carry forward and calculation of net operating losses by extending the time period.
LB 393 requires motorcycle or moped operators over 21 to have eye protection; and also allows motorcycle or moped operators over 21 the choice on whether or not to wear a protective helmet. Operators or riders under 21 would still be required to wear a helmet.
LB 436 my bill that redefines franchisee by clarifying that they are not employees, but independent contractors based on the Federal Trade Commission's definition of a franchise relationship.
LB 439 increases the cigarette tax from the current level of $.64 per pack to $1.36 per pack and increases the tax on tobacco products other than snuff from 20% of the wholesale price to 31%. The bill also changes the distribution of tax revenue.
LB 447 - provides for sales tax on soft drinks, changes the distribution of sales tax proceeds, and provides funding for projects to help children.
LB 474 - changes provisions relating to occupation taxes. The original bill was amended by the Revenue Committee. The change included having a moratorium on local option sales taxes. In addition, the amendment extended the moratorium on occupation taxes on municipalities.
LB 533 requires any person, company, corporation, or association which has been conveyed the power of eminent domain must provide notice of specific information to property owners 10 days prior to negotiations.
LB 543 changes a penalty from death to life imprisonment or life imprisonment without possibility of parole. Senator Chambers has introduced this bill 37 times.
LB 636 requires individuals applying 2, 4 -D herbicide within the state and outside a village or city between April 15 and September 15 to notify the Department of Agriculture prior to the application.
LB 651 repeals the property tax levying authority of Nebraska's six community colleges. The community colleges would be funded by state general funds in the same manner as the University of Nebraska and the Nebraska State Colleges.
Bills indefinitely postponed:
LB 191 Nebraska Job Creation and Mainstreet Revitalization Act. This bill would have provided an incentive for redevelopment and preservation of historic properties, creating jobs and driving economic development in both rural and urban communities across the state.
Floor Debate included: (Advancement to second-round debate)
LB 153 - expands the uses of the Civic and Community Center Financing Fund to include recreational centers as well as the type of expenses the fund can be used for; and changes the criteria used by the Dept. of Economic Development in evaluating applications.
LB 530 adopts the Foster Care Reimbursement Rate Committee's recommended rates for foster care reimbursement. It also directs the Division of Children and Family Services of the Dept. of Health and Human Services to create a pilot program implementing the standardized level of care assessment tools recommended by the Foster Care Reimbursement Rate Committee.
LR41CA a Constitutional Amendment that would allow betting on historical horse races at Nebraska's thoroughbred race tracks. If this measure is passed by the Legislature, it would be placed on the ballot for voter approval.
Full day floor debate is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, March 27.