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At Legislature: Consent agenda quickly moves billsTell North Platte what you think

Special strategies move some bills through the legislative process. As you know, priority designations increase the chance that bills of particular importance to senators, committees and the speaker will be debated.

“Christmas Trees” include several bills of like-subject matter merged into a single proposal for simultaneous floor debate.

Recently I had an opportunity to use another procedure known as Consent Calendar to manage bills I introduced this year.

Bills advanced by a committee without dissenting votes are eligible for the Calendar.

Bills on the Calendar are announced at least 24 hours before debate is scheduled. A bill on Consent Calendar is assigned 15 minutes for introduction and debate. When debate ends or time expires, a vote is taken.

A bill can be removed from the Calendar by a written request of at least three senators before debate begins or during its 15-minute time allotment.

This year, the Calendar included three bills I introduced.

Dealing with weeds

I proposed LB 643 at the request of a city in District 43.

The bill would give first and second class cities, and villages more local control over the regulation of excessive growth of weeds, grasses and worthless vegetation.

LB 643 would eliminate the current 12 inch standard and allow these cities and villages to determine at what height the weeds and grasses become a nuisance. Each community could also determine how to notify a property owner. LB 643 would clarify the procedure a property owner could use to appeal a nuisance citation.

Cowboy trail

LB 493 would allow the Game and Parks Commission to lease or transfer portions of the Cowboy Trail to a political subdivision or lease portions to a nonprofit organization.

Any entity that assumed responsibility for a portion of the Trail would be required to do so at its own expense. Terms of the lease or transfer would require that the Trail remain available for conversion back to a railroad bed, if the need developed.

Last year Sheridan County residents said they wanted a voice in how the Cowboy Trail could be completed and maintained.

I introduced LB 493 to provide these residents, and others along the entire length of the Trail, an opportunity to assume local control for a recreational feature that spans eight counties in northern Nebraska.

Animal ID

Under LB 647 Nebraska would not require individual animal identification for cattle imported into Nebraska from a state with a registered brand inspection program provided the animals were accompanied by the brand clearance document from the home state and a certificate of health inspection by a veterinarian in that state.

The bill would not prevent the Nebraska Department of Agriculture from requiring individual identification under specific circumstances. It would also give the state veterinarian authority to issue additional requirements for cattle imported into Nebraska.

LB 647 is a unique economic development bill. It would benefit the entire state by adding jobs without any new costs, rebates or incentives.

Out-of-state revenue would flow into Nebraska. Ancillary income would be generated through sale barn transactions such as trucking jobs and sale of feed to the auction facilities.

LB 647 would maintain existing regulations and better ensure the health and traceability of cattle that are shipped into our state.

The Consent Calendar moved 36 bills rapidly through the first two rounds of debate in less than a week's time.

As always, I value your input, and welcome phone calls, emails and personal visits from you.

Sen. Al Davis, State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509, (402) 471-2628 or email adavis@leg.ne.gov

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 4/25/2013
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