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Over the Fence at the Legislature: Medicare sidetrackedTell North Platte what you think
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Sen. Tom Hansen

After 10.5 hours of debate, Speaker Adams removed LB 577 (the bill that would expand Medicaid) from the legislative agenda.

The bill would require the state Department of Health and Human Services to add the adult population newly eligible (between 55,000 and 94,000) under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care

Act to the state's Medicaid state plan amendment.

It most likely won't be back for discussion this year.

Here is a partial list of bills we dealt with in the last two weeks that I think are of most interest to my constituents.

Passed into Law:

LB 79 changes political accountability and disclosure provisions and repeals campaign finance law.

LB 153 expands the Civic and Community Center Financing Act by adding projects that would qualify for funding under the act.

LB 158 requires those convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicle for a minimum of one year.

LB 388 changes provisions relating to public power and provides for construction of certain transmission lines by an incumbent power district.

LB 495 changes the allocation of the Education Innovation Fund to the Early Childhood Education Endowment.

LB 528 provides for undiagnosed partner treatment relating to sexually transmitted diseases.

Advanced to Final Reading:

LB 69 amends the Pesticide Act by changing the calculation of pesticide registration fees.

LB 240 eliminates the requirement that an applicant be under 24 years of age to access educational opportunities to meet the self-sufficiency contract and work activity requirement in Aid to Dependent Children.

LB 423 amends the Livestock Animal Welfare Act by inserting protocols for the disposition of livestock animals seized under warranted entry in cruelty/neglect instances.

It also adds the provisions of LB 544, my bill that requires notification of a confirmed diagnosis of bovine trichomoniasis.

LB 553 creates a reduced tier of retirement benefits that applies to all school employees hired on or after June 1, 2013.

LB 595 gives the Public Service Commission authority to study Next-generation 911.

Advanced to Second Round:

LB 23 revises and improves the operation of the provider tax for intermediate care facilities for people with developmental disabilities; it includes removing the term “mental retardation” with a contemporary expression “intellectual disability” in state law.

LB 104 gives incentives to companies to develop renewable energy in rural Nebraska.

Sources of renewable energy are defined as wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, biomass, and transmutation of elements.

LB 140 amends the Airport Zoning Act by redefining airport hazard to include any structure or tree or use of land that penetrates any approach, operation, transition or turning zone.

LB 296 changes provisions of the educational savings plan relating to income tax reductions and participation agreements.

LB 407 changes calculation provisions under the school aid formula – the Tax Equity and Educational Opportunities Support Act – TEEOSA. TEEOSA distributes equalized aid to schools using an equation that determines the schools' needs, then subtracts their resources.

LB 476 builds on an existing state program, which awards matching grants to qualified companies that offer college internships.

LB 483 would let the state take over an existing inmate parenting program that was created by a nonprofit in 2009. Parents in the program are taught relationship and parenting skills.

LB 522 requires the state to provide financial assistance to irrigation districts affected by the Dept. of Natural Resources' adoption of a regulation prohibiting surface water appropriators from storing or diverting instream flows in order to comply with an interstate compact.

LB 561 expands the Nebraska Juvenile Service Delivery Project statewide.

LB 579 allows the Nebraska State Patrol to hire six new patrol officers and, from the Patrol, designate a minimum of six officers who will spend a majority of their time in enforcement of the Nebraska Liquor Control Act.

LB 583 updates the composition of the Climate Assessment Response Committee and provides duties for the committee.

LB 623 increases dollar limits for county bridge construction and road improvements exempt from the formal bidding requirement, from $60,000 to $100,000; increases dollar limits for county bridge construction and road improvement materials exempt from the formal bidding requirement, from $10,000 to $20,000.

Consent calendar bills advanced to second round:

(A portion of the Agenda in which relatively noncontroversial bills are considered and quickly advanced to the next legislative stage.)

LB 435, my bill that authorizes owners to apply a brand registered in another state provided the cattle are purchased at a licensed livestock auction market, the cattle are branded at that location, the cattle are immediately removed from the state, and an out-of-state brand permit is obtained.

LB 477 changes the sunset for the Riparian Vegetation Management Task Force.

Failed to advance:

LB 281 amends the Angel Investment Tax Credit Act, which helps ensure that money exists early for small businesses and start-ups. It increases the annual cap for credits from $3 million to $5 million for qualified investors.

Sen. Tom Hansen represents Lincoln County in the Nebraska Legislature. He reports every two weeks while the Legislature is in session.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 4/25/2013
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