GOOD & BAD BILLS IN THE 2015 LEGISLATURE

Legwatch2015.doc. 3-15.

NEBRASKA TAXPAYERS FOR FREEDOM WORKSHEET:
GOOD & BAD BILLS IN THE 2015 LEGISLATURE.

GOOD RESOLUTIONS.
LR 23: Riepe.
To win permission for NE veterans to use medical benefits at local clinics and hospitals. GOOD RESOLUTION/ IN COMMITTEE

BAD RESOLUTIONS.
LR 7CA: Schumacher.
To subvert legislative term limits by allowing senators to serve two 6-yr. terms instead of two 4-yr. terms. Ernie Chambers supports the resolution. If a senator cannot learn the workings of the legislature in 8 yrs., he probably should not serve. BAD RESOLUTION/ GENERAL FILE

GOOD BILLS.
LB 12: Krist. To suspend instead of terminate Medicaid assistance when a criminal qualified to receive such aid enters a NE prison, the same procedure governing federal law. Such suspension would last until the inmate leaves prison. The state would save millions. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 14: Krist.
Anyone who uses a fake or nonfunctioning firearm to commit a felony commits a Class III felony. Using such items constitutes a separate offense, and sentence imposed will be consecutive to other sentence imposed. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 15: Krist. To require that attorneys who serve as guardians ad litem follow specific guidelines and prepare and submit itemized billing statements to the court and subdivision that contracts for their services. Douglas County and other counties have had problems with overbilling and lack of contracted supervision of juveniles by guardians at litem. GOOD BILL/ SELECT FILE
LB 20: Krist. To exempt from state income tax Social Security and military retirement benefit income. This legislation would convince more retired veterans to remain here and attract others here. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 22: Krist. To offer immunity from liability for licensed engineers and architects performing voluntary emergency services during times of emergency or 90 days thereafter. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 29: McCoy. To allow parents or guardians to forbid a school from forcing their child to undergo height and weight obesity inspections. Statement signed by a doctor, physician assistant, advanced practice registered nurse, optometrist, or dentist could serve as health inspections. The bill prevents the welfare dept. from mandating health inspections for all school kids without legislative approval. Concerns have arisen about confidentiality regarding the screenings and storage of data. Currently, school children undergo teasing because of their weight status. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 30: McCoy. Information obtained by the State Patrol or other federal, state, or local dept. or agency regarding gun registration, ownership, sale, or use is confidential and not considered public record. The information still will be available to law enforcement agencies for specific investigation purposes. Liberal newspapers and other periodicals have published names and addresses of firearms owners, making them targets of burglars. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 31: Bloomfield. To eliminate requirement for motorcycle helmets for riders and their passengers for adults 21 or older. Eye protection still required for every rider. NE loses millions in tourism revenue annually from bikers and rallies that avoid our state, and the law infringes on personal choice. Helmets give riders a false sense of security and block peripheral vision that can spot vehicles. Education about safety and awareness is sufficient. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 52: Scheer. To exempt sanitary drainage districts from sales and use taxes. GOOD BILL/ PASSED
LB 60: Kintner. To prohibit businesses and any private or public employer from establishing, maintaining, or enforcing a policy or rule that forbids personal transportation or storage of a gun or ammo when either is hidden from ordinary view within a vehicle or locked in a trunk, glove box, or container in such vehicle. This bill reinforces and protects the right of citizens to lawfully transport and store firearms within private vehicles for lawful purposes. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 61: Bolz. The state now requires counties to pay for rental costs or provide working space to HHS for services that were given prior to this work transferred to the state. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 84: Davis. To permit rural taxing authority bodies to allow 1 member to use telephone conferencing or videoconferencing at public meetings. The bill would allow such bodies to comply with the state open meetings law, handling adverse travel conditions that make it difficult for all members to attend in person. Citizens willing to serve often are on many boards and committees and face time problems that make it difficult to personally attend each meeting. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 95: Smith. To add motorized 2 or 3-wheeled bikes reaching a speed of 20 mph to the NE definition of bicycle. Current law erroneously classifies them as vehicles, subjecting owners to licensing and helmet restrictions. GOOD BILL/ PASSED
LB 96: Smith. To eliminate the common property tax levy of the unneeded Learning Community. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 97: Smith. To eliminate additional $5 fees for Pearl Harbor and disabled veteran license plates. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 99: Sullivan. To eliminate a progress report duty for the Education Comm. of the Legislature. GOOD BILL/ PASSED
LB 104: Krist. To allow electronic notice of discontinuance of utility service, cheaper than done by mail or in person. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 105: Watermeier. To make the state instead of counties responsible for costs of autopsies, grand jury payments, and witness compensation for inmates dying while serving a sentence in a state prison, thereby eliminating an unfunded state mandate. Johnson County, since the Tecumseh prison opened, has incurred $70,000 in costs. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 113: Larson. To require jail inmates to pay co-payments of at least $10 for each nonemergency visit to a health care provider. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 114: McCoy. To require abortion clinics that perform more than 5 abortions per month or 2nd or 3rd trimester abortions to become licensed as an ambulatory surgical center. Therefore, clinic doctors must evaluate a patient recovery before the patient leaves. The facility must have a formal patient transfer agreement with an inpatient hospital. The intent is to ascertain that women have sufficient information when considering an abortion and do not seek one because of coercion. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 115: Scheer: No one can force an individual to disclose or provide a Social Security number for an activity or refuse a service or privilege because one refuses to disclose or provide such unless required by federal, state, or local law or ordinance or unless used for a criminal background check by employer or volunteer service organization. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 118: Larson. To allow cigar and pipe smoking in cigar shops. Such establishments could apply for liquor licenses, if they do not sell food, generate at least 10% of gross revenue from sales of cigars and tobacco products, and do not allow cigarette smoking. Currently, cigar bars cannot compete with online cigar vendors. Cigar bars are legal in 47 states. They represent important small businesses that serve clientele well. GOOD BILL/ PASSED
LB 120: Schumacher. To allow law officers to seize vehicle license plates if no proof of insurance. The offending motorist would receive a citation good for a 10 day period, during which he could retrieve plates from the county treasurer after paying a $50 fee after proving that he had obtained proper insurance. The fee would become waived upon provision of proof that the driver had vehicle insurance at the time of citation. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 121: Schumacher. To require county treasurers and election commissioners to adopt and use rules to remove secret ballot envelopes from return envelopes after verification of information on the return envelopes, and county ballots in a way that does not impair voter anonymity. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 126: Nordquist. To increase the population size for counties allowed to create their individual county retirement plans. GOOD BILL/ PASSED
LB 129: Harr. To require a criminal background check for applicants for initial licenses to practice as a registered or licensed practical nurse. 34 states require such checks. The NE Board of Nursing supports the bill. GOOD BILL/ PASSED
LB 131: Craighead. To prohibit SID boards from spending assets used to determine the feasibility of annexation after the SID receives notice of a city proposal to annex territory within the SID. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 132: Ebke: To require joint public agencies to follow bond issuance procedures now required by law for the participating public agency from which the JPA derives taxing authority. JPAs now can issue bonds without public hearings or votes. JPAs now have more bonding power than the entities that created them. The liberal League of NE Municipalities opposes the bill. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 133: Ebke. To control worker compensation rates. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 137: Johnson.
A Class IC felony for anyone who, from a vehicle, illegally, knowingly, and intentionally shoots at anyone exiting a dwelling or at a dwelling or occupied vehicle. The law currently applies only to Omaha and Lincoln and 1st class cities. This bill would allow county prosecutors to use this law in every county. A public safety bill that would make current law consistent around the state. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 140: Davis. To provide for primary elections for partisan county offices without party affiliation in counties having fewer than 10,000 people. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 146: Crawford. To allow crematoriums and funeral homes after 1 yr. and after determination of eligibility to give control of unclaimed remains to veterans service organizations, which then can provide a proper burial in a veteran cemetery. Our veterans deserve a dignified burial. GOOD BILL/ PASSED
LB 158: McCollister. To deny worker compensation to those who knowingly and willfully make false statements about their physical or medical condition or if employer relied on such falsehood and the reliance was a substantial factor in the hiring and that there is a causal connection between the false statement and injury. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE.
LB 160: Larson. To allow financial institutions to operate gift enterprises as rewards for deposits. GOOD BILL/ PASSED

LB 165: Lindstrom. To exempt Social Security benefits from state income taxation, ratcheting down the percentage until reaching 0% in 2019. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 177: Haar. To prohibit full-time or part-time employed high-level managers of a public power district from serving as a member of the board of directors of any public power district. GOOD BILL/ PASSED

LB 178: Watermeier. To decrease the valuation percentage on ag and horticultural land for school district taxation from 75% to 55% by FY 2019-2020. Farmers and ranchers now pay a disproportionate amount of property tax to schools. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 181: Smith. To allow utility vehicles to use blue and amber rotating and flashing lights. GOOD BILL/PASSED
LB 184: Ebke. To allow private individuals to carry concealed firearms in private and parochial elementary, secondary, and post-secondary institutions, an alternative to hiring private security or off-duty law officers. Written notice provided to parents and students. Armed staff keep schools safer, because perpetrators of mass shootings usually continue firing until confronted. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 187: Kintner. To require facilities that conduct abortions, other than those necessary to prevent the death of a woman, to post a sign clearly visible to patients, informing them that it is illegal for anyone to force one to undergo an abortion, that by law, abortion providers cannot perform an abortion unless with express consent freely and voluntarily given. To require the welfare dept. to post videos and other information about fetal development on its website and require abortuary websites to link to that information. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 188: Watermeier. Third parties who voluntarily enter a vehicle in which illegal activity is occurring and fails to request the driver to stop, with law enforcement in pursuit, cannot claim to be innocent third parties injured during a chase. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 190: Bloomfield. To allow legal aliens and military spouses of those stationed here to apply for concealed handgun permits. GOOD BILL/ KILLED
LB 202: Davis. To allow independent voters to vote in primary elections for local, county, and state offices with a partisan ballot. Independents currently can vote in party primaries for federal offices only. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 208: Schilz. Any reservoir with a maximum water storage capacity of 50 acre feet or less and built before 1973 is exempt from water storage reservoir permit requirements if maintained under dept. safety guidelines, not altered to increase its storage capacity, and not used for irrigation. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 219: Crawford. To provide a legal framework for parents and judges regarding care for kids when a divorced military parent deploys and returns. The bill would minimize the amount of disruption in a young life when a military parent with custodial responsibility deploys. It clarifies options available to military parents with custody disputes. The bill will help kids stay in contact with deployed parents and extended family members. GOOD BILL/ PASSED

LB 220: Smith. To authorize special license plates to celebrate our state 150th anniversary in 2017. A $70 application and renewal fee would apply. This money would help fund our statehood celebrations. GOOD BILL/ PASSED

LB 221: Harr. By request of a landlord, a tenant must provide and update name and contact information of a person authorized by tenant to enter tenant residence to retrieve and store tenant personal property, if tenant dies. If a tenant dies, the landlord must make a reasonable attempt to contact the authorized person within 10 days after death. The authorized person has 10 days after contact to notify landlord that he will claim tenant property and have 20 days thereafter to remove tenant personal property from residence. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 228: Watermeier. To lower state corporate income tax rates beginning in Jan. 2015, an incentive for business expansion and location in NE. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 238: Groene. To limit use of TIF in only urban blighted zones, the original intent of the TIF law. TIF bonds may not have an interest rate above the prime rate plus 2%. Proceeds from bond issuance can become used only for expenditures by a city for land purchases and site preparation and on public works or to improve substandard public facilities. In 2014, schools and other local governments lost $61 million in property tax revenues to help fund TIFs. Good neighborhoods like the 72nd & Dodge Streets and Old Mill areas were declared blighted and substandard, so that NE Furniture Mart and TD Ameritrade could obtain TIFs, leaving area homeowners and commercial building owners with properties worth less. TIFs increasingly are used for economic development in stable areas, not for urban renewal. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 254: Morfeld. To apply perjury statute to oaths made outside U.S. territory, with a Class III felony for such perjury. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 269: Hughes. To eliminate a bureaucratic requirement to prepare and distribute a roster of all registered abstracters. GOOD BILL/ PASSED

LB 273: Sullivan. To allow voters to decide partisan status of county offices for voting purposes. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 275: Friesen. To revoke drivers license for 15 yrs. after conviction of driving during license revocation. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 276: Harr. To exempt truly certified independent contractors from workers compensation provisions but criminalize falsifying such status in order to avoid taxes. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 286: Craighead. To allow state banks, buildings, loan associations, and credit unions the same authority as federal equivalents. GOOD BILL/ PASSED

LB 288: Ebke. To prohibit public employers from deducting union dues from paychecks. The bill would prohibit collective bargaining agreements that demand such deductions. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 289: Ebke. To prohibit cities and villages from prohibiting the carrying, transportation, registration, transfer of concealed firearms or the storage of firearms, ammo, and accessories. The bill would override the burdensome Omaha gun ordinance, which Mayor Stothert opposes. She believes that Omaha ordinance requires too many steps, whereby an Omaha gunowner must be certified by the county sheriff and registered with the Omaha police department, though both require the identical background checks. Passed to prevent illegal firearms possession, it has not reduced gun crimes. The bill terminates a patchwork of gun laws across the state, making it difficult for lawful citizens to avoid violating local laws. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 293: Schnoor. To lower property valuation for horticultural and agricultural land from 75% of market value to 59%-65%. High land values and valuations do not guarantee ag profitability. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 294: Scheer. A sex trafficking victim or a parent or legal guardian who suffered or continues to suffer personal or psychological injury as a result of such trafficking can sue in civil court anyone who knowingly trafficked him or her or anyone who assisted with the trafficking within NE. Victims could receive a minimum of $150,000 plus attorney fees and costs. Forfeited assets would go to a victim assistance fund. Anyone who knowingly engages in sex trafficking or labor trafficking will face a Class IIIA felony. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 295: Scheer. To require municipalities to win county board approval before enforcing ordinances, rules, and regulations in municipal extraterritorial zoning jurisdictions. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 296: Kolterman. To require the HHS dept. to provide parental notification after removing a child from a home. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 302: Campbell. To criminalize the selling or transferring a child to another person or entity for money or anything of value or to receive such child for money or anything of value. Anyone who commits this offense is guilty of a Class IV felony. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 305: Schnoor. To allow veteran aid funds to pay local transportation costs for veterans, adding it to the list of funeral expenses provided by the director of veterans affairs. A vet must have served on active duty and won discharge under honorable or general discharge, and died while in or as a direct result of service. GOOD BILL/ PASSED

LB 307: Kolowski. To revise criminalize stalking for anyone who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly stalks anyone or a family. Courts must offer penalties consistent with the numbers of prior convictions. Specifies that Internet communication is a form of stalking. New technology creates new means for harassment. Venue for prosecution and trial for violation of this law can occur in any county in which an element of the offense occurred. Felony penalties would increase. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 316: Kintner. That NE cannot enter into an interstate compact to provide another state or government entity in another state information used to impose or collect a civil fine that results from an alleged violation captured by a red light or speed camera. Our citizens should not be revenue generators for other states. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 317: Kintner. To repeal the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Compact that required NE to participate in this heavily taxpayer-subsidized rail system through the Midwest. Such subsidization will not generate riders in NE. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 326: Williams. To criminalize as a felony marijuana in food and drink and increase penalty for having synthetic drugs to a Class IV felony. Manufacture of edible marijuana would be a Class III felony, carrying up to 20 yrs. in prison and a $25,000 fine or both. Possession of such products would be a Class IV felony, carrying up to 5 yrs. in prison and a $10,000 fine or both. Marijuana smoke contains over 50 carcinogens. The bill updates the definition of marijuana. Marijuana edibles can be fatal to children. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 327: Williams. To allow for a garnishment fee levied against defendant. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 329: Schilz. Rural landowners who allow tourists on their property for agritourism activities would not be legally liable for injury or death resulting from inherent risk. Landowners must warn visitors of potential dangers by a sign or contract if charging a fee. Threat of potential lawsuits prevents many landowners from opening their properties to tourists. Owners would be liable for actions that constitute willful or intentional gross negligence. The NE Assoc. of Trial Attorneys opposed the bill. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 350: Brasch. To lower property valuation for horticultural and agricultural land from 75% of market value to 59%-65%. Property taxes on ag land have risen 160% in the last decade. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 354: McCollister. To increase the maximum compensation amount to crime victims from $10,000 to $25,000. A cap of $20,000 for medical expenses. A limit of $10,000 for funeral expenses. A limit of $5,000 for related costs. A victim compensation claim no longer would require notarization. Many crime victims struggle financially from their mental and physical injuries, and this bill would help keep victims debt-free. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 357: Smith. To ratchet down in future years the individual and corporate state income tax rates. The top income tax bracket would drop from 6.84% to 5.92%. The bill would offer $40 million in each of 2 yrs. from the cash reserve fund to lower the top and lowest brackets of personal and corporate income taxes, the latter from 7.81%to 6.41%. . In years 3-8, reduced state expenditures would fund the plan with a 1% reduction in the growth of state government. The brackets would continue to drop, benefiting all taxpayers. A trigger would take effect after 8 yrs. If state revenue receipts outpace estimates from the fiscal office, top and lower tax brackets would continue to drop by 1/15th. $40 million would fund property tax credits in year 1. In year 2, $40 million each for income and property tax relief. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 358: Garrett. If a family includes a child conceived by the victim of rape and the biological father is convicted of a crime, such biological father is not part of this family for purposes of requiring efforts to preserve and reunify the family. A court will end paternity action if there exists a pending criminal allegation of rape against the alleged father. If found guilty, the paternity of the child is established by the conviction, and parental rights of the biological father are terminated. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 365: Baker. To allow school districts and educational units to retain books, papers, documents, reports, records and meeting minutes as electronic records. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 367: Groene. To allow payment to petition circulators based on number of signatures. The current ban has caused the costs of petition drives to skyrocket, making it almost impossible for aggrieved citizens to exercise constitutional petition rights. When circulators receive pay by the hour, the cost rises, because productivity decreases. The NE petition process now is available only to millionaires and unions, witness the minimum wage petition. GOOD BILL/ SELECT FILE

LB 368: Groene. To prohibit anyone from harassing, intimidating, or impeding a circulator within 200 feet. If a circulator is at a table or booth, no one may prevent the circulator from talking to anyone or prevent anyone from approaching the circulator. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 372: Craighead. To create a first-time homebuyer savings plan exempt from state income tax the first $50,000. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 378: Groene. To require cities to obtain approval by vote of the people in order to borrow money for public improvements of 1st Class cities. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 382: Cook. To provide grants to entities that offer a qualified high school equivalency training program, so that youth can have greater employment opportunities and earn higher salaries. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 385: Lindstrom. To allow landlords additional leverage to evict tenants who engage in violent, criminal, or drug-related activity or present a threat to safety or health of other tenants or landlord. Eviction litigation could begin 3 days instead of 30 days after notice of lease termination. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 391: Crawford. To allow counties to retain additional fee monies from sales tax on vehicles, as they perform the collecting. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 394: Schilz. To prohibit interference with hunting, trapping, or fishing by intimidation by phone or other communication device. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 395: Riepe. To allow individuals a credit against state income tax an amount equal to 25% of premiums paid during the taxable year for 1 or more long-term care insurance policies. One can claim such exemption for up to 3 tax years. The credit cannot exceed $250 for an individual policy or $500 for a joint policy. Unused tax credits cannot be carried forward. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 399: Smith. To adopt minimal public service commission rules for Lexus and other digital transportation networks. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 408: Kolterman. To drop a felony charge to a Class IV misdemeanor, if the amount of corporate tax due for non-payment is less than $1,000. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 409: McCollister. To raise the pet deposit for tenants from 25% to 50% of monthly rent. Only persons named in a rental agreement and their dependent children under 19 are considered tenants. Other persons permanently residing on the premises are trespassers. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 421: Kintner. To eliminate the bureaucratic Learning Community and freeze school district boundaries. All materials and property would be distributed to member school districts. OP$ opposes the bill, because it receives most of the common property tax levy. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 425: Riepe. To restrict good time earned by prison inmates. This earned time applies only to eligibility for parole or mandatory supervision. It is a privilege, not a right. Inmates who violate rules could see sentence reductions forfeited or suspended. The corrections dept. gives earned time only if the prisoner is actively engaged in a vocational, educational, industrial, or other work program, or in a treatment program. The leftist ACLU opposed the bill. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 426: Riepe. Prior to release of a violent prisoner, the prison dept. will ensure that such prisoner is enrolled in an electronic monitoring program for at least 90 days. New parolees are more likely to reoffend within 90 days of release. Whenever a parole officer believes that a violent offender has violated or will violate a condition of parole, including removal of or damage to an electronic monitoring device, the parole officer will ask a law officer to arrest the violent offender with or without a warrant. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 427: Groene. To require the state to pay for facility and administration costs of state probation offices, now an unfunded mandate placed on counties. Judicial changes will result in more mandated probation services, which will increase the cost burden on counties. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 433: Baker. A Class I misdemeanor for anyone who falsely presents, displays, or furnishes expired, cancelled, phony, or misleading evidence of vehicle liability policy, evidence of insurance, or proof of financial responsibility to a law officer, prosecutor, or other official with intent to impede a criminal investigation or proceeding, or to obtain a vehicle registration. A judge may order such person to not drive for up to 1 yr. and revoke drivers license for such period. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 444: Groene. To reverse the situation in which, if a school district lowers its property taxes, it receives less state aid money. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 445: Groene. The Dept. of Revenue, based upon new information provided by localities, must develop an audit plan for all redevelopment plans financed entirely or in part by tax increment financing. Each plan must undergo an audit at least once every 2 yrs. If the plan is not in compliance with law, the city approving such redevelopment plan must not approve additional plans until all discrepancies addressed. Local governments in 2014 lost about $61 million in local property taxes because of TIFs. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 453: Hilkemann. To prevent both buyer and seller from paying vehicle taxes during the same month. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 454: Garrett. To exclude from state income taxes military retirement benefits up to $48,000 per married couple filing jointly if both receiving military benefits or $24,000 per tax year for other returns. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 465: Harr. To provide for electronic notary publics, making it easier to do business. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 469: Smith. To allow the state environmental quality dept. to develop a state plan to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from electrical plants only restrictive in nature and factoring in cost/benefit ratio to customers and economic development. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 479: Bloomfield. To allow counties and cities to erect monuments or statues to honor armed services members in any American conflict. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 481: Kintner. Any school district may opt out of the bureaucratic Learning Community by majority vote of district board of education members. The LC is not meeting the educational needs of its local school districts. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 503: Schilz. To allow the state auditor to issue subpoenas to compel attendance of witnesses and production of documents, accounts, and testimony, and depose witnesses in and outside NE as with civil actions in district court. If someone ignores a subpoena or refuses to testify, the Lancaster county district court can compel testimony through contempt proceedings. This action is necessary to discover possible wrongdoing by state and local government entities. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 513: Craighead. A school board that determines that school district property or portion thereof is not currently needed for use but may be needed in future can lease such property, thus earning revenue. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 534: Groene. To cap the amount of General Fund appropriations every fiscal year for state aid to education at the amount expended from the General Fund the previous year plus student growth adjustment rate. The legislature must vote separately to increase funding. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 538: Watermeier. To create an ongoing evaluation process for all present and future tax incentive programs used to recruit and retain businesses in NE. Each program would undergo review at least once every 3 yrs., examining program goals, economic and fiscal impacts, and recommendations for changes to procedures that would allow easier evaluations in future. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 539: Watermeier. When the state auditor requests in writing access to information or records, a state agency must provide that office within 3 business days the requested materials, or, if there is legal basis for refusal to comply, a written denial with legal reason. For extensive requests, a 3 week limit. If the entire request cannot reasonably be complied with within 3 business days, a written explanation is necessary. A Class II misdemeanor for willful failure to comply. Prohibits and penalizes retaliation against government subdivision employees who provide materials and information to State Auditor. Such managers or supervisors would face a Class III misdemeanor and firing. The state must monitor service providers more closely. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 545: Harr. A mandatory minimum sentence imposed must be served consecutively and not concurrently with a previously imposed sentence. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 567: Johnson. To permit transfer of initial or refill RX information between pharmacies. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 575: Murante. To allow registered voters to use electronic mail for a request for an early ballot. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 577: Murante. To allow counties to regulate the conduct of peddlers within a county who harass residential owners by their aggressive conduct. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 587: McCollister. To lower vehicle property taxes. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 599: Ebke. To allow employers to pay $7.25 per hour to employers 18 or younger who are students in public or private schools. This bill would protect small businesses, especially grocers in small towns who have a tough time paying the minimum wage to entry-level teens because of the amount of time necessary to train them. The teachers union and state AFL-CIO oppose the bill. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 609: Smith. Creates a process by which the state would prioritize money from a source to counties for bridge repair. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 611: Kintner. As of 2016, every private NE employer must register with and use the federal immigration E-Verify system to determine work eligibility status of new employees. Violators face fines of up to $2,000 per offense. Contractors will not be considered liable for failure of a subcontractor to comply with this law, unless such contractor knows of this failure and knowingly overlooks it. Currently, crooked employers hire illegals and pay them substandard wages, undercutting reputable firms by submitting lower bids for projects. The Department of Labor indicates no fiscal impact as a result of LB 611. GOOD BILL/ IN BUSINESS & LABOR COMMITTEE

LB 612: Kintner. A person may use deadly force against someone who illegally enters by force or stealth a dwelling and remains within such dwelling, business, or occupied vehicle. Such force can be used against someone unlawfully removing or attempting to remove someone against his will from a home, business or occupied vehicle, or to protect from arson, robbery, or burglary. Defenders would have immunity from civil and criminal prosecution. They would not have to retreat from a potentially dangerous situation. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 613: Kintner.If the federal government forces businesses to collect Internet taxes, the revenue will go for state income tax relief. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 614: Kintner. To exempt in 2015 from state income tax $11,000 for each individual listed in a tax return who receives military benefits, $22,000 in 2016, and $33,000 in 2017. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 624: Larson. Vehicles carrying livestock or any other ag product may exceed the maximum load lawfully permitted on one axle. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 646: Kintner. To require state senators to vote publicly for Speaker and committee chairmen. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 649: Kintner. To require all votes by public officials to be public record. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE


BAD BILLS.
LB 28: Krist.
After 1-1-2018, all new construction in NE must include radon resistant construction. A building code task force will make recommendations for minimum standards. BAD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 34: Howard. All homes built, renovated, or sold after 1-1-2017 and rentals that have a fuel-fired heater or appliance, a fireplace, or an attached garage must have a carbon monoxide alarm installed and maintained on each floor in locations specified by state or local building codes. Another state government mandate. People normally are intelligent enough to buy these devices on their own. BAD BILL/ PASSED
LB 36: Bolz. To create the Obama-inspired community college aid program to provide state funding to NE community colleges to offer financial aid to students in eligible programs. Applicants must come from families whose income is at or below 200% of federal poverty guidelines and be NE residents. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 70: Schumacher. In addition to current occupation taxes imposed on mechanical amusement devices, a city, village, or county may levy another occupation tax on businesses operating a mechanical amusement device that awards monetary prizes. The amount of tax will equal 10% of the gross revenue derived from the operation of the device. Levying a new tax is not a fair means to control expanded gambling. BAD BILL/ SELECT FILE
LB 79: Gloor. To force insurance companies to cover renewals of prescription eye drops. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 81: Cook. To expand eligibility for child care welfare assistance. At redetermination of eligibility, if a family income exceeds 140% of the federal poverty level, the family can receive transitional child care aid for up to 24 consecutive months or until the family income exceeds 185% of the fed poverty level. If the family income falls to 140% of the fed poverty level or below, the 24 mo. time limit will not apply until the family become eligible for transitional child care aid. BAD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 82: Cook. To appropriate over $1 million in FY 2015-16 and $1 million in FY 2016-17 to expand welfare dental services for 7 NE community health centers. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 85: Davis. To increase the brand inspection fee per head from 75c to $1.25. The bill would add costs to meat processors and eventually consumers. BAD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 88: Campbell. To raise the county marriage license fee from $15 to $25. The fee for making a certified copy of a marriage license would increase from $5 to $9. BAD BILL/ PASSED
LB 89: Campbell. To increase the maximum amount of ADC from 60% of the standard of need to at least 70%. BAD BILL/ SELECT FILE

LB 102: Sullivan. To offer $1,500 scholarships to high school students enrolled in college classes. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 106: Watermeier. To allow the ag. Dept. to determine a template for county officials to determine approval or rejection of an application for a livestock operation site permit. Applicants must win approval from either a county planning commission or county board of commissioners. Denied applicants can appeal a decision to the district court. This bill would give local governments too much authority to deny permits. BAD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 108: Crawford. To appropriate $250,000 in FY 2015-16 and FY 2016-17 to establish 12 behavioral health internships in rural and underserved NE. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 125: Nordquist. To annually distribute 25% of federal Medicaid fraud settlement funds given NE to federally-qualified state health care homes for the medically underserved for distribution to federally-qualified NE health centers. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 142: Schilz. To impose a $5-$10 fee every 3 yrs. on boat registrations to monitor and sample NE waters for aquatic invasive species and conduct projects. Boats registered outside NE must buy an annual stamp for $10-$15. BAD BILL/ PASSED
LB 147: Crawford. For NE ADC eligibility, not counted are cash, funds in personal checking and savings accounts, money market accounts, and share accounts, allowing thousands more to gain eligibility. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 148: Crawford. To make eligible for Medicaid services, through a federal waiver, all those under 26 years old, currently residing in NE, and who were in foster care and enrolled in Medicaid in any state upon reaching 18 years old or older. The state welfare dept. must begin an outreach program to such individuals. This bill would cause a huge influx of dependent people who would drain our Medicaid resources. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 152: Urban Affairs Comm. To allow cities to borrow from banks, building and loan associations, and savings & loan associations. Such money would be earmarked to buy property or construct improvements. The leftist League of NE Municipalities supports the bill. Voters would not necessarily understand the uses for this money, another means to spend money without voter approval. BAD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 166: Crawford. To force every candidate committee to file an end of year balance statement, more paperwork, to the state accountability and disclosure commission and sharply increase penalties for campaign finance violations. Leftist Common Cause supports the bill. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 168: Mello. To allow city councils to expand business improvement districts that tax all businesses within a district, notwithstanding objections of businesses within the boundaries. BAD BILL/ PASSED

LB 172: Chambers. To eliminate several mandatory minimum felony prison sentence penalties of up to 50 yrs. for drug dealers, pornographers, those committing sexual assaults on children, and those using firearms in drive-by shootings, thus loosing more violent criminals into society and increasing gang violence. Such inmates thus could earlier earn good time for early release, like Nikko Jenkins, who murdered 4 people. Additional expenses would accrue for probation supervision and electronic monitoring. The ACLU and Platte Institute support the bill, the latter redefining habitual criminal to reduce sentences for felons. This bill is a negative way to solve prison overcrowding. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 173: Chambers. To eliminate some habitual criminal mandatory minimum sentences, provisions that now apply to third felony offense violent criminals. Only those convicted of 3 violent crimes would be considered a habitual criminal. BAD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 176: Schilz. To narrow the prohibition against packers feeding hog livestock. BAD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 185: Bolz. To appropriate $1 million for each of the next 2 fiscal years for an unneeded Master Teacher Program Fund, promoted by the state teachers union. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE.

LB 192: Davis. To force all freight trains to have a crew of at least two, which is unnecessary with computerization. Railroad unions support this featherbedding bill. Railroad companies, not the government, should determine appropriate crew sizes depending upon situations. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 199: Howard. To require the welfare dept., working with accredited social work educational programs at public NE colleges and universities, to establish a program to provide payments for undergrad and graduate students committed to working in the child welfare services field. BAD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 212: Chambers. To prohibit use of restraints on juveniles during juvenile court proceedings under many circumstances. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 232: Nordquist. To increase the number of state college scholarships. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 239: Haar. Requiring the Education Commissioner to appoint an unneeded Coordinator for Educator Effectiveness to support the development and implementation of an effective teacher system. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 242: Stinner. To increase the dry bean checkoff rate from 10c per 100 lbs. to 15c starting on 8-1-2015 and authorizes adjusting the rate up to 24c. The bill repealed a provision that permitted dry bean producers to apply for a refund within 30 days of sale. Producers who disagree with the checkoff or its rate have no means to dissent from the appointed board decision. BAD BILL/ SELECT FILE

LB 245: Pansing Brooks. Currently, convicts have 3 yrs. following a conviction to seek a new trial based on new, non-DNA evidence. This bill removes the time limit. Convicts also could ask for retesting if showing that DNA technology had improved greatly. To allow a motion for a new trial after discovery of new DNA evidence after more than 3 yrs. after verdict date. The ACLU-NE supports the bill. This bill will needlessly clog the courts with frivolous appeals. BAD BILL/ FINAL READING

LB 256: Bloomfield. To raise the state sales tax from 5.5% to 6% to fund property tax credits, a tax shift. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 257: Nordquist. To force insurance companies to provide descriptions of telehealth and teleconferencing provisions of all insurance policies. BAD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 268: Chambers. To replace the death penalty with life in prison without parole. The bill would apply retroactively to 11 killers on death row, several of them Chambers constituents. This is the 38th time that Chambers has introduced this bill. Proponents do not consider the costs to survivors, such as loss of parents, paying for expenses like education, and lack of companionship.BAD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 274: Hansen. To appropriate $2.5 million in FY 2015-16 and $2.5 million in FY 2016-17 to the state education dept. to implement mentor teacher programs in local school districts. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 280: Davis. A tax hike proposal promoted by the leftist Open Sky Policy think tank. To institute a local income tax for public school districts that would raise $368 million and an additional state aid bundle of $39 million to replace a portion of the property tax load. The local income tax would be 19.4% of an individual state income tax liability, raised by 29.9% by a vote of a local school board. $500 in state aid for each student in every school district. This represents a tax shift, not tax relief, merely shifting more of the total tax load to wealthier individuals and businesses, a socialist redistribution of wealth. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 297: Seiler. To raise the annual salaries for state supreme court judges from $152,895 to $175,313. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 315: Howard. To place bureaucratic burdens on private companies auditing and collecting overpayments from Medicaid providers. BAD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 320: Bolz. To establish resource centers to provide information on long-term care services for elderly and disabled people and their families. The leftist AARP supports the bill. BAD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 323: Davis. To create an unneeded School Financing Review Commission of 19 members to study current school financing, such as levying an income or sales tax for public schools. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 333: Gloor. To create the bureaucratic Health Care Transformation Act commission. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 335: Mello. To create an Intergenerational Poverty Task Force to share, examine, and analyze data and information regarding poverty in NE with a primary focus on information about kids at risk of continuing the cycle of poverty without outside intervention and to develop effective plans, programs, and recommendations to help kids escape the poverty cycle, another plan to expand welfare. BAD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 341: Howard. To force private insurance companies offering health benefit plans to reimburse for services or supplies covered by the plan and not cancel such coverage of an insured in jail, even if insured receives public funded medical care while in custody. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 343: Kolowski. To spend $3 million for public schools and educational service units to offer relevant and rigorous college prep classes and career academies. Schools could apply for grant funding from the state education dept. to offset initial costs of implementation and up to 49% of total costs. The costs: $10 million during the next 2 fiscal years. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 344: Kolowski. To allow the 23 NE natural resource districts to issue general obligation bonds to finance all or part of non-revenue producing dams. 2/3rd of NRD boards must approve such bonds. Property taxes will pay for bond principle and interest. The bill has no safeguards for taxpayers, like voter approval for bonds, which cities and counties must win, or clauses requiring districts to pay for bonds within their present property tax levy limits. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 346: Krist. To require the state welfare dept. to submit a state Medicaid plan to the federal government to provide Medicaid coverage for children day health services, a socialist health care expansion. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 359: Johnson. To raise dog license fees from $1 to $1.25. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 362: Krist. To allow school districts to seize up to 100 acres instead of the current 50 acres for school sites by eminent domain. BAD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 366: Pansing Brooks. A Medicaid expansion bill to increase the monthly personal needs allowance under Medicaid from $50 to $60 for people in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other group living sites. Cost: $1 million over 2 yrs. Families can provide for relatives’ personal needs. BAD BILL/ FINAL READING

LB 370: Riepe. To require the state welfare dept. to submit a state plan to the federal government to provide Medicaid coverage for dyslexia and related reading disorder services, expanding Medicaid. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 373: Hilkemann. To force all public schools to buy new buses equipped with lap and shoulder seat belts after 1-1-2016. Seat belts add between $16,000 and $18,000 to a bus price. High padded seats in these buses and their strong structure provide adequate safety. Use of these belts could trap kids in bus fires. The National Transportation Safety Board does not recommend installing them. Trial attorneys favor the bill. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 379: Bolz. To create an unneeded Expanded Learning Opportunity Grant program. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 381: Cook. To give $200,000 to provide subsidized housing for drug abuse disorder persons. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 410: Sullivan. To provide scholarship money to additional individuals whose annual family income is at or below 250% of the federal poverty level. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 411: Cook. To increase eligibility for food stamps to those whose gross income is up to 185% of the federal income poverty line. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 414: Harr. To exempt nonprofit fraternal benefit societies from local property taxes. Do not allow Woodmen of the World to blackmail our state by threatening to leave in order to avoid paying its $800,000 annual tax bill. Other insurance companies would request like treatment. Douglas County already denied this business tax exemption. BAD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 419: Mello. To exempt nationally-accredited NE zoos from collecting and paying state sales tax. The Omaha zoo now pays $1.4 million in sales tax to the state and $385,000 to Omaha annually. Such exemption would unfairly decrease the sales tax base, and museums and other nonprofit entities still would pay sales tax. BAD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 424: Davis. To offer tax subsidies to specific solar and biomass energy sources. BAD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 434: Cook. To force all metal recyclers to register for a metals theft alert notification system to receive alerts about thefts of metals like copper in a 100 mi. radius of a theft. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 435: Cook. An unnecessary Time to Learn Act that would waste money on planning for additional education time. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 438: Morfeld. To credit to a bureaucratic Excellence in Education Trust Fund 10% of sales and use taxes obtained from Internet purchases. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 443: Bolz. To add mental health services at school or elsewhere, including assessments and family education services, to special education. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 447: Nordquist. To alter teacher retirement contribution provisions that would give the teachers union, not school boards, final authority. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 450: Mello. To require the NE Tourism Comm. to provide marketing aid grants to localities and organizations hosting tourist events in NE that could attract out of state visitors and therefore generate favorable national or international media coverage for NE. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 472: Campbell. To expand Medicaid to 54,000 additional Nebraskans ages 19-65 with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level. Also covered are those whose income is between 50-100% of the federal poverty line, making them now ineligible for Obama Care premium subsidies. Eventually, 20% of Nebraskans would be eligible for government insurance. The bill would create 2 different classes of new Medicaid patients in different programs with different rules, resulting in chaos and vulnerable people at risk. There would be a shortage of willing medical providers to accept these new patients. To establish a bureaucratic Medicaid Redesign Task Force to conduct a comprehensive review of and make recommendations about the state Medicaid program. To establish the Health Care Support Fund, money used to support expansion of Medicaid. (see NTF issue paper). BAD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 478: Baker. To allow educational service units to levy an additional property tax in order to build buildings. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 483: Pansing Brooks. To force judges to lighten sentences for felons. The minimum sentence imposed by a court could be no more than 1/3 of the maximum sentence. Limiting such sentence restricts judicial ability to fit punishment to a crime. The ACLU supports the bill. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 491: Morfeld. To allow election day voting registration, that would lead to ineligible people voting. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 493: Nordquist. Employers must give employees a minimum of 1 hr. of paid sick leave for each 30 hrs. worked, beginning on the 60th day following first employment day, an unwarranted government mandate. The NE Chamber of Commerce opposes this bill; NE Appleseed supports it. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 494: Nordquist. To establish a minimum wage for employees compensated by tips at $3 per hour, raising the amount eventually to $4.50 per hr. With tips, most restaurant waiters are the highest-paid employees there, making $10-$23 per hour. Passage would cause service industries like restaurants to raise their prices and increase pay disparity among employees. BAD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 495: Pansing Brooks. To increase the earned income tax credit for lower income people, allowing more of them to not pay any state income tax. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 500: Howard. To require the welfare dept. to ask the federal welfare dept. for permission to provide state taxpayer money to pay for multisystemic therapy and functional family therapy for juvenile criminals on probation at home or otherwise eligible for medical assistance and subsidized insurance. BAD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 506: Krist. To appropriate $50.6 million in the next 2 fiscal years to fund additional developmental disability services. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 509: Cook. To decrease poverty allowances under the state school aid formula to allow easier access to welfare payments. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 510: Cook. To offer a state income tax credit to employers of welfare recipients. BAD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 517: Riepe. To prohibit using cell phones while driving. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 521: Sullivan. That unneeded programs funded by the Education Innovation Fund prior to its termination should continue as state programs funded by the General Fund. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 523: Sullivan. To increase the state income tax rates to fund public education, supposedly shifting the load from property taxes. No guarantee that our property taxes would decrease. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 524: Sullivan. To expand eligibility for free and reduced-price school meals. All students in high poverty schools could eat free breakfasts and lunches without filling out eligibility applications. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 527: Sullivan. To forgive additional teacher loan repayments for teachers teaching in poverty areas. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 528: Sullivan. To fund focus schools in Douglas and Sarpy County school districts at up to $500,000 annually, a huge expansion of public education. State aid to schools would rise by $3.8 million in FY 2016-2017. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 556: Kolowski. To allow employees collecting under workers compensation to also sue an employer for damages from injuries. Employers surrender specific defenses in court under the workers compensation act, so this bill would cause them to jeopardize themselves. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 557: Kolowski. To prohibit smoking in vehicles transporting day care children. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 562: Morfeld. To create a bureaucratic NE Treasures Fund and appropriate $4 million yearly from the General Fund each year until the legislature determines that the tourism sites approved for grants are fully developed and operationally stable. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 572: Davis. To expand the duties of the unneeded state school security director to include making recommendations on curricular and extracurricular materials to school districts regarding cyberbullying. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 579: Murante. To raise from $1,000 to $5,000 the estimated damage amount in a vehicle accident required for a law officer to submit a report to the Dept. of Roads. Facts and witness accounts about such accidents often differ, thus, this bill would lead to additional lawsuits. Police sorting out information is beneficial in these accidents. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 581: Nordquist. To require the state energy office to offer a financial rebate for clean-burning vehicle fuel property, discriminating against other fuel operations. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 586: Morfeld. To criminalize public or private employment discrimination based on sexual preference, although state law already covers this area. Covered are government subdivisions, employers with 15 or more employees, employment agencies, and unions. The government should not force employers to accept lifestyles and behaviors with which they disagree. Employers in other states having such law have faced frivolous but costly lawsuits. BAD BILL/GENERAL FILE

LB 592: Bolz. To require the prisons dept. to administer a mental health evaluation to all inmates within the first 2 weeks of their incarceration. The bill expands the definition of mental illness to create a large population of potential patients that could overwhelm the prison system. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 595: Davis. To create an unnecessary task force on school construction assistance with a huge database, an unfunded mandate with removal of local school district control. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 602: Retirement Comm. To raise court fees from $6 to $8 for judges retirement fund and expand the fee to an additional service. BAD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 608: Mello. To exempt from tangible personal property tax that acquired by anyone operating within a workforce development zone, discriminating against all other businesses. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 610: Smith. To increase the state wholesale motor fuel excise tax by 6c per gallon by 2019, accruing $47+ million split among cities, counties, and state. The average driver would pay about $45 more annually. BAD BILL/ GENERAL FILE

LB 617: Larson. To place additional state reading mandates on local school districts. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 623: Nordquist. To give valid NE drivers licenses to 2,700 young illegal aliens amnestied by Obama. This measure could allow these illegals to fraudulently register to vote, serve on a jury, and collect welfare. Sen. John McCollister designated LB 623 as his priority bill. The ACLU supports the bill.(see NTF issue paper). BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 626: Campbell. To raise vehicle fees and taxes for a bridge repair and replacement fund. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 627: Campbell. To treat pregnancy as a disability in work environment and hiring, a costly increase for employers. Employers must provide pregnant employees periodic rest, special equipment for sitting, light duty assignments, longer breaks, modified work schedules, temporary transfers to less strenuous work, and job restructuring. This legislation, which applies to businesses with more than 15 employees, would encourage employers to not hire pregnant women. The ACLU supports the bill. BAD BILL/ SELECT FILE

LB 631: Scheer. To require all NE Medicaid assistance to abide by Obama Care provisions. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 645: Nordquist. To provide state income tax credits to businesses that contribute to early childhood workforce development. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 647: Nordquist. To allow unmarried homosexuals and lesbians to be foster care parents and not discriminate against such in issuing foster home licenses. Current welfare dept. policy prohibits children from placement with such couples. The ACLU supports this bill. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 648: Howard. To allow unmarried homosexuals and lesbians to adopt children. As written, the bill could permit roommates or co-workers who have no legal connection to a child to adopt. The ACLU supports the bill. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 653: Johnson. To remove sales and use taxes on the first $2,500 of the sales price on the purchase of energy efficient products used for noncommercial home or personal use, discriminating against all other businesses. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

LB 663: Hadley. To raise the salaries of the state supreme court chief justice and judges from $145,614 to $168,092. BAD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE

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