Legwatch2017.doc. 3-17.

LR 1CA: Murante. A constitutional amendment to ask voters in 2018 to add voter ID requirements to the state constitution. ID presented to vote must include a photo, up to legislators to define details and exemptions of a required ID. State would provide free IDs to those unable to afford one. Those unable to provide such ID could fill out a provisional ballot. This resolution would deter voter fraud and ensure the integrity of state elections. Important enough that voters should decide the issue at the ballot box. Liberal Sen. Justin Wayne introduced a motion to kill this resolution. GOOD RESOLUTION/ GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE

LR 26: Vargas. That the Legislature opposes federal action to rescind or rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or add restrictions that would act as barriers to the continued residence in NE of these illegal aliens. About 3,300 of these illegals reside in NE. The Omaha and Lincoln city administrations support this resolution. The chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Ebke, praised the resolution. BAD RESOLUTION/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE

LB 12: Krist. To decrease annual certification paperwork for obtaining a homestead exemption on property taxes for veterans and surviving spouses. GOOD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 15: Craighead. To allow a first-time home buyer savings account for house payments and closing costs. Individuals could contribute up to $14,000 per year and those filing joint tax returns could contribute up to $28,000 annually. Total contributions per year limited to $50,000, the account capped at $150,000. Earned interest and other income in the account not subject to state income tax if money used to pay for purchase and closing costs of a single family home. Parents and grandparents could set aside money for their kids or grandkids to buy a house. Home ownership in NE is at a 50-yr. low, probably because of high property taxes. This bill would induce young folks to remain here instead of moving to states with such incentives. GOOD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 19: Kolterman. To remove a requirement under current law that a patient receive a referral from a doctor before seeking services from an licensed acupuncturist. Referral by a doctor only means more expensive treatment. GOOD BILL/ SELECT FILE
LB 22: Scheer. To reduce and eliminate previous appropriations for state operations from the budget to cut the budget. $137 million in cuts through specific, across the board cuts, and repossessing unspent monies. The state supreme court budget lost $4 million. There still exists a $760 million deficit. GOOD BILL/ PASSED
LB 26: Murante. To make it simpler to enforce harassment protection orders. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 30: Kolterman. To require metropolitan cities like Omaha to provide retirement benefits for police officers and firefighters hired after a certain date as cash balance plans. All contributions deposited in a defined contribution or cash balance account invested and administered by city retirement plan. The City of Omaha new civilian employees union already is in this plan. Retired employee pension payout based on amount of an annuity that could be purchased with money employee has placed into the system. The City of Omaha police and fire pension system has $630 million in unfunded liabilities, Lincoln $44 million. Omaha pensions now funded at 50%, Lincoln at 80%. However, pension funds are not earning 7.5%-8% as estimated. The longer this problem remains, the more debt that taxpayers accumulate. GOOD BILL/ RETIREMENT COMMITTEE
LB 33: Ebke. To require registers of deeds to give customers up to 6 certified copies of the same death certificate document requested at the same time at current $16 cost apiece but only $5 for every additional certified copy. GOOD BILL/ HHS COMMITTEE
LB 36: Harr. To require state agencies to review rules and regulations regarding issuance of occupational credentials on a regular basis. Beginning next January, reviews required every 5 years. Agencies must determine if a rule or reg has achieved its purpose without impeding entrepreneurship and commerce. The assessment must include an estimate of the rule cost to an agency and people it regulates. Agencies must conduct a public hearing on each rule assessment before submitting a final version to the executive board. Without assessment, a rule disappears. GOOD BILL/ GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
LB 38: Harr. To allow digital or electronic signatures for recording in register of deeds offices. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 43: Hilkemann. To prevent government subdivisions from charging more than $1 per month for uniform 911 service surcharges. GOOD BILL/ TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
LB 45: Watermeier. To allow members of the military reserves to obtain license plates to honor the reserve branches of the armed forces. 5 new designs for these plates. Most of the revenue raised would go to fund operations of state veteran cemeteries. GOOD BILL/ PASSED
LB 46: Watermeier. To allow pro-life license plates, with $5 additional fee for regular plates and $40 for personal plates, beginning in 2018. 29 states currently offer such plates. Ernie Chambers opposed the bill GOOD BILL/ SELECT FILE
LB 47: Watermeier. To require the state to pay costs now paid by counties for inmates, such as witness compensation and autopsies, averaging $2,800 per inmate, if such inmates in state prison. The NE Association of County Officials supports this bill. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 59: Murante. To require the websites of abortion clinics to link to information about fetal development, abortion alternatives, and free ultrasound videos maintained by the state welfare dept. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 60: Lindstrom. Registered sex offenders found guilty of felony child sexual abuse cannot gain unsupervised parental access to a child, unless a judge finds that he presents no significant risk to a child. Written notice of visitation must go to all others with custody or access rights, before such offender allowed to have unsupervised access or reside in the same home as a child. The only person testifying against the bill during the public hearing was a registered sex offender. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 62: Scheer. To allow public school teachers to wear religious clothing. The original, archaic statute based on the flawed belief that such allowance would establish an official religion in a school. The current law discriminates against religions. Ernie Chambers opposes the bill. GOOD BILL/ SELECT FILE
LB 68: Hilgers. To require that the carrying, registration, transfer, and storage of firearms have state regulation, not local ordinance regulation. The current 50+ various ordinances are confusing. Gun owners from rural NE unknowingly violate city ordinances while transporting their firearms within city limits. State law already prohibits those under 21 from having concealed carry permits. The NRA supports this bill. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 80: Blood. To designate law clerks and law students who work for county attorneys or defenders unclassified employees, making it easier for the former to recruit and retain them. The clerks and students more easily could transition to full-time employment. GOOD BILL/ SELECT FILE
LB 84: Blood. To allow admission of evidence of drunken driving in civil lawsuits regarding civil liability, negligence, etc. It would make easier drunken driver victims and families to win court judgments. Juries deserve to know the details of accidents. The NE Association of Trial Attorneys supports the bill. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 93: Hansen. To prohibit misuse of automatic license plate readers by unauthorized parties, in order to insure privacy. Violators will face civil liability. These automated readers allow law enforcement to pursue criminal warrants and enforce parking and traffic laws. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 94: Kolterman. To increase amount of funds offered by state investment officer to financial institutions as deposits under the NE Capital Expansion Act from $6 million to $16 million. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 100: Stinner. To require clear and convincing standards of proof for easier access to firearms by citizens cleared by state mental health board. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 102: Hilkemann. To increase penalty of up to 50 yrs. in prison for tampering with a witness or informant from a Class IV felony penalty to a Class II felony. Witnesses are crucial to criminal prosecutions, particularly in homicide and domestic violence cases. Witness threatening is common, especially in gang situations. Witnesses change stories or disappear from fear or intimidation, causing case dismissals. Lighter plea deals often result. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 109: Blood. To provide for a temporary 6 mo. teaching certificate for military spouses transferred to NE. This measure would give time for these individuals to meet resident requirements. GOOD BILL/ EDUCATION COMMITTEE
LB 118: Hilkemann. An NTF-originated bill that would permit families to establish education savings accounts to pay for school expenses, including private school tuition, fees, books, computers, distance learning, and college entrance exams. Contributions of up to $2,000 to accounts and interest earned would become exempt from state income taxes. Corporations, partnerships, and associations could contribute. GOOD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 119: Groene. To delay the deadline for certifying state aid to schools amounts from March 1 to June 1,2017, allowing legislators time to change the school aid formula. Such delay would allow the Legislature time to determine how much state aid money is available to public school districts. GOOD BILL/ PASSED
LB 121: Brewer. To exclude military pensions from state income tax, $10,000 each year for 5 years, totaling $50,000, the latter figure thereafter. Many military retirees leave NE for other states that do not tax military retirement benefits. NE is losing highly skilled, trained vets with strong leadership qualities. GOOD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 127: Groene. To enhance the Open Meetings Act by requiring a governing body to publish meeting notices in a newspaper in each county under the governing body jurisdiction. GOOD BILL/ GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
LB 128: Groene. To make ineligible for food stamps anyone convicted of 3 or more felonies involving sale or distribution of illegal drugs. Anyone convicted of 1 or 2 felonies involving sale or distribution of illegal drugs could not access food stamps unless enrolled in an accredited drug rehab program or submits to random and periodic drug tests. GOOD BILL/ HHS COMMITTEE
LB 134: Brasch. Licensed establishments that produce eggs and only store, package, sell, and deliver them would become exempt from some state regulations. The inspection fee for food delivery services would fall from $120 to $17.23. GOOD BILL/ PASSED
LB 140: Williams. To permit a bank to acquire the stock of another financial institution if part of a merger, consolidation, or acquisition of assets. Banks, in a state of emergency, could open a temporary office to conduct business for up to 30 months or allow a mobile branch to be a temporary emergency branch office. Director of the Department may accept an examination or report from another state of federal financial institution regulator in lieu of an examination or report required under the Act. To allow state chartered savings and loan associations and credit unions the same rights, powers, privileges, benefits, and immunities as federal institutions. To permit credit unions to opt out of licensing loan officers by the Dept. of Banking. GOOD BILL/ PASSED
LB 149: Stinner. To reduce Legislative Council appropriations by $1.6 million. GOOD BILL/ APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
LB 151: Stinner. Any department or agency audited by the State Auditor and subject to auditor report will before 6 months after report give auditor a detailed description of corrective action taken in response to report. Auditor may investigate and evaluate the corrective action at entity expense. Auditor will send report to Governor and Appropriations Committee for entry into the record during this committee budget hearing process. Currently, agencies sometimes ignore audit reports, its findings not corrected from one audit to the next. GOOD BILL/ GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
LB 154: Geist. To exempt from $10 filing fee a completion certificate for new or reconstructed dam and reservoir or enlargement of a dam and reservoir. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 162: Krist. To increase from a Class IV felony to a Class III or Class IIA tampering with a witness or informant, jury tampering, or juror vote bribery. A juror commits a Class III or Class IIA felony, up from a Class IV felony, for vote bribery. LB162 allows for one acting recklessly to be charged with up to a Class IV felony depending upon the monetary loss caused by the reckless person. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 165: Brewer. To require all private NE businesses to obtain an employer ID number and use the E-Verify system to screen out illegal aliens from employment, beginning Jan. 1, 2018. Businesses that knowingly employ new illegal aliens will suffer ID number suspension or revocation. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 166: Kolterman. To allow hospital dispensation of a legal RX in an emergency situation in which prescribing practitioner determines that no appropriate alternative treatment is available, immediate administration of the drug is necessary, and not possible to provide a signed prescription. GOOD BILL/ HHS COMMITTEE
LB 172: Albrecht. To make NE employment law more easily understood by employers and claimants. GOOD BILL/ BUSINESS COMMITTEE
LB 178: Bolz. To allow protection orders against rapists and prohibit them from contacting their victims. The order would stand for 4 yrs. Violators would face a Class I misdemeanor, with penalty of up to 1 yr. in jail and $1,000 fine or both. Subsequent violations would merit a Class IV felony, with up to 2 yrs. in prison and $10,000 fine, or both. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 184: Lindstrom. To allow 5 instead of 3 business days to cancel an agreement with a loan broker. This provision accommodates the increase in online brokerages. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 185: Lindstrom. If an applicant for a financial license does not complete filling it out and fails to respond to renewal notices to correct the deficiency within 120 days, a department can consider the license abandoned. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 187: Schumacher. To increase the dollar threshold for financial transactions exempt from registration from $250,000 to $750,000 and provide an annual adjustment of dollar amount. The bill applies to professionals engaged in assisting the private financing of small businesses. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 188: Howard. In a family that includes a child conceived by a victim of rape, and a biological parent convicted of the rape, such biological parent not considered for purpose of requiring reasonable efforts to preserve and reunify family. 22 states have similar laws. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 190: Kintner. That maximum tax levied on expensive cigars is 50c apiece. GOOD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 191: Pansing Brooks. To allow renewal of domestic violence protection orders for 1 year. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE.
LB 198: McCollister. To terminate the unneeded Crimes Against Children Fund and transfer its money to the General Fund. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 203: Kuehn. To restrict maximum annual unemployment benefits and benefit disqualification. To require an individual who voluntarily leaves a job without good cause to earn 4 times their weekly benefit amount in insured work to be eligible for unemployment benefits and has separated from the most recent subsequent employment under non-disqualifying conditions. A temporary employee of a temp firm is defined as leaving work voluntarily without good cause if that employee. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 207: Krist. To protect whistleblowers who contact the Office of Inspector General of NE Child Welfare and disclose information of wrongdoing. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 210: Watermeier. To protect taxpayer confidentiality regarding tax incentive performance audits. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 214: Halloran. To terminate the unneeded Master Teacher Program. The Unicameral provided $500,000 to the program in FY 2015-16 and in FY 2016-17. No other profession gleans such appropriations. GOOD BILL/ EDUCATION COMMITTEE
LB 221: Stinner. To return over $400,000 in previous appropriations from the Water Sustainability Fund to the General Fund. GOOD BILL/ APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
LB 240: Baker. To allow videoconferencing and phone conferences for public school board meetings. GOOD BILL/ GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
LB 241: Craighead. An exception to the annual privacy notice requirement under the Privacy of Insurance Consumer Act for companies that have not changed policies and practices regarding disclosing nonpublic personal information from most recent previous disclosure. The legislation matches recent changes to the federal privacy rule. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 243: To require administrators of state institutions to inform staff who have suffered assault of disciplinary action taken against assailants. The county attorney would decide on charges filed. GOOD BILL/ HHS COMMITTEE
LB 250: Harr. In a motion to revoke probation, probationer not entitled to prompt consideration of such charge by sentencing court, if he failed or refused to report to his probation officer as ordered by a court. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 262: Groene. To prohibit use of tax increment financing for buying, planning, or preparing for development undeveloped vacant land that is not depressed or blighted. Clarify TIF not allowed on undeveloped vacant land outside city limits or within city limits for less than 40 years. GOOD BILL/ URBAN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
LB 263: Transportation Comm. To allow vehicle dealers to utilize electronic dealer services to process vehicle titles and registrations. GOOD BILL/ TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
LB 280: Crawford. To allow sex trafficking victims to obtain address confidentiality. GOOD BILL/ GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
LB 282: Riepe. To allow medical telehealth services for behavioral health. GOOD BILL/ HHS COMMITTEE
LB 283: Riepe. To allow licensed practical nurses to provide IV therapy, if they complete an 8-hr. class within 5 years. These nurses are vital to critical access and long-term care facilities, especially in rural NE. NE is only 1 of few states that still require a separate credential for IV therapy. With no reciprocity, our current law is an impediment to LPNs coming from other states with IV credentials and skills. GOOD BILL/ HHS COMMITTEE
LB 289: Pansing Brooks. To increase the penalty for pandering and sex trafficking to a Class II felony, facing 20 yrs. to life imprisonment. Anyone physically harming a sex trafficking victim would face up to 50 yrs. in prison. Anyone who benefits from such venture faces a Class IIA felony. LB289 increases felony classifications for sex trafficking of a minor from Class IIA to Class IC, trafficking of a minor with use of threat of force from a Class II to a Class IB felony, earning from 5 to 50 years in prison, trafficking an adult with use of threat of force from a Class IIA to a Class ID, meriting 3 to 50 years in prison, trafficking of an adult from a Class III to a Class II, pandering from a Class III to a Class II and solicitation of a trafficked adult from no regulation to a Class II. These crimes are separate and distinct offenses, and sentences will be consecutive to any other sentence imposed. Conservative Att.-Gen. Peterson endorsed this bill. After Montana substantially increased penalties, sex trafficking stopped. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 293: Larson. To add U-47700, a synthetic opioid, as an illegal drug. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 295: Smith. To allow organizations to apply to the Revenue Dept. to become certified as a scholarship-granting organization under the Opportunity Scholarships Act. Groups must be non-profit, offer one or more scholarships to eligible poor students to more than 1 K-12 school and will become certified for tax credits. Individual taxpayers who make one or more cash contributions to one or more organizations during a tax year can gain a state income tax credit. This bill would offer parents educational choice for their children at private or parochial elementary and secondary schools. Estates, trusts and corporations also could make contributions and claim tax credits. Total credits allowed first year: $10 million, with incremental increases annually. Public school districts would save money as children gravitated to alternative schools. The NE Association of School Boards and leftist Open Sky Institute oppose the bill. GOOD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 296: McCollister. To hold immune from civil liability doctors or other health care professionals who prescribe and any pharmacist who dispenses non-patient-specific medication to a school for emergency responses to asthma or allergic reactions, unless damage or injury caused by willful or wanton act or omission. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 300: Krist. To end the statute of limitations on civil suits for sexual assault on a child. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 301: Albrecht. To provide either electronic or mailed notices of determinations of claims under the state unemployment law. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 308: Brasch. To ascertain that any curriculum recommended or approved by the committee on Americanism is made readily accessible to the public. GOOD BILL/ EDUCATION COMMITTEE
LB 318: Hughes. To allow phone conferencing instead of face to face meetings of the NE Brand Committee. GOOD BILL/ GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
LB 321: Lowe. To allow all public school clubs to practice with any firearm. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 322: Craighead. The bill would require county assessors to notify each property owner of an increased valuation. At least 1 Tax Equalization Review Commissioner must have a real estate background, another have an appraising background. The TERC must process appeals and dispense rulings more quickly. If the TERC increases or decreases a class of real property, a county must receive a rehearing, if additional evidence discovered. This provision will help stop the TERC from unilaterally raising property valuations. An amendment requires assessors in the most populous counties to submit a form describing the methodology/models used to determine preliminary valuations (January). A standard of uniformity provision offers the TERC a necessary option to freeze valuation spikes and order revaluations if found that the county assessor standard of uniformity revealed on the submitted form was out of line. This is not a comprehensive valuation reform bill. It is only a stopgap measure. GOOD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 331: Scheer. To transfer surplus funds from the Legal Education for Public Service and Rural Practice Loan Repayment Assistance Fund to the General Fund. GOOD BILL/ APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
LB 333: Riepe. To end funding for the short-term disability program, saving $4.2 million annually. GOOD BILL/ HHS COMMITTEE
LB 334: Riepe. To eliminate an unneeded welfare pilot program for child wards of the state, attempting to locate and engage family members. The state can save $883,800 annually. GOOD BILL/ HHS COMMITTEE
LB 335: Riepe. To delay an increase in state provider rates for 2 years for child care subsidies, saving $9 million. GOOD BILL/ SELECT FILE
LB 337: Smith. To cut the top individual income tax rate from 6.4% to 5.99% in 8 increments, beginning in 2020. Individuals earning over $29,830 or couples earning over $59,660 would benefit. However, each step would apply only if state revenues grew by at least 3.5% that fiscal year. Our high income taxes drive out college graduates and dissuade companies from locating here. The bill will provide real tax relief to small businesses, most of whom pay the individual income tax rate, a higher rate than the corporate tax rate. 90% of NE businesses pay the individual rate. It is difficult to attract skilled workers under the present tax structure. The NE Federation of Independent Businesses supports the bill. GOOD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 338: Brasch. To value ag and horticultural land at its earning potential value, as in Iowa, Kansas and South Dakota. This method, beginning in 2019, pegs taxes considering ag land yield and prices for crops and livestock. The bill imposes a 3.5% annual cap on statewide ag land valuation hikes, and valuations could not rise above 75% of market value. The calculation also includes land sales from the previous 3 years. The state property tax administrator would ensure that the capitalization rates result in a statewide ag use value between 60% and 75% of actual value for each class of land. It would slow the growth of ag land value and cut valuations by about 5%. Farmland property valuations rose by 264% between 2006 and 2016. Spiraling property taxes and land values have made farming an undesirable profession for younger Nebraskans. The NE Farm Bureau supports the bill. GOOD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 339: Friesen. To merge the Dept. of Aeronautics into the Dept. of Roads and rename merger as Dept. of Transportation, saving taxpayers $93,000 and implementing efficiencies. NE is the only state without a unified Dept. of Transportation. GOOD BILL/ TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
LB 340: Murante. To transfer duties, programs, and services from Division of Veterans Homes in Dept. of Health & Human Services to Dept. of Veterans Affairs, streamlining services for veterans and saving taxpayer money. The change would bring more efficient handling of purchasing, payroll, and administration. GOOD BILL/ GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
LB 342: Erdman. To allow temporary streamlined nursing licenses for military spouses to help fill state nurse shortage. Unnecessary and duplicative occupational licenses dampen job growth and prevent people from advancing their careers or starting small businesses. These redundancies stifle upward economic mobility. A White House Council of Economic Advisors report stated unnecessary occupational license requirements can depress employment and raise consumer prices by up to 16%. License fees really are only a tax. NE would join an enhanced multi-state nursing compact that would allow increased communication regarding disciplinary cases. NE would retain autonomy and authority to enforce our nurse practice acts. The NE Nurses Assoc. supports the bill. GOOD BILL/ HHS COMMITTEE
LB 343: Riepe. To eliminate unneeded state licenses for several occupations like barbers, cosmetologists, and hairdressers. Such regulations only create barriers for new, small businesses. GOOD BILL/ HHS COMMITTEE
LB 345: Craighead. To eliminate an experience requirement for registered abstractors. GOOD BILL/ BANKING COMMITTEE
LB 346: Lowe. To eliminate unneeded licensing for vehicle and motorcycle salespersons, which is only a tax. GOOD BILL/ TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
LB 347: Geist. To eliminate duplicative fees and requirements for school bus permits, to remove unnecessary occupational licensing. School bus drivers already must obtain commercial drivers licenses. Bus drivers still must undergo a criminal background check, drug and alcohol testing, and an annual physical exam. NE currently is the only state that requires a school bus permit, a duplicative process that places extra burdens on drivers and the DMV. GOOD BILL/ TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
LB 351: McCollister. To allow veteran drivers license plates for those who served in the army, army reserve, navy, navy reserve, marine corps, marine corps reserve, coast guard, coast guard reserve, air force, air force reserve, or National Guard. GOOD BILL/ TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
LB 362: Riepe. To establish health savings accounts with income tax deduction. GOOD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 368: Lowe. To repeal mandatory motorcycle or moped helmets for those at least 21 but still require eye protection. NE annually loses tourism money, because motorcyclists select alternate routes to get to rallies. It is a matter of personal freedom. NE remains only 1 of 19 states requiring helmets. GOOD BILL/ KILLED
LB 376: Scheer. To require the state to donate excess land at the closed Norfolk Regional Center to NE Community College, which would develop a technology park. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 385: Lindstrom. If the assessed value of a property increases by over 5% from the previous year, the county board of equalization must prove by a preponderance of evidence that the assessed value is the true value. To allow legal representatives of individuals, a trustee, or someone with power of attorney to appeal property tax valuation increases. GOOD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 388: Lindstrom. To authorize remote electronic notary acts for convenience. GOOD BILL/ GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
LB 390: Albrecht. To remove the word exclusive from the language in the Papio NRD current general obligation bonding statute.  By removing the word exclusive, County Boards will now pass a resolution of disapproval if the Papio NRD seeks to issue bonds for dams within their zoning jurisdiction.  The existing language states that the County Boards have a say if the dam is within their “exclusive” zoning jurisdiction; currently none of the proposed dams are within a County’s exclusive area, so the current language is irrelevant.  During the 2009 debate on LB 160, the NRD assured senators that county boards would have influence in the building of dams in their counties; however, the NRD maneuvered to add the word exclusive which ultimately negated county influence. GOOD BILL/ NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE
LB 400: Hilkemann. To refund motor vehicle registration fee for the number of unexpired days in the registration period. GOOD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 408: Lowe. Workers compensation court could adopt a list of approve RX drugs dispensed for worker compensation claims. A similar Texas plan lowered costs, the number of prescriptions written, and number of worker compensation claims for drugs needing pre-authorization. The bill would minimize the risk of opioid drug problems. The NE AFL-CIO opposes the bill. GOOD BILL/ BUSINESS COMMITTEE
LB 409: Groene. To tighten public school district spending limits. GOOD BILL/ EDUCATION COMMITTEE
LB 410: Smith. To increase number of Public Service Commissioners from 5 to 7. To eliminate the $75,000 annual salary of commissioners and replace it with a per diem of $150 per day, not to exceed $22,500 annually. No other compensation or benefits allowed. LB 410 removes the prohibition for commissioners to engage in other occupations. GOOD BILL/ TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
LB 431: Erdman. The purpose of this bill is to correct the relationship between taxes levied and cash reserved. LB431 intends to cap cash reserves at 50% of the total amount received from personal and real property taxes, instead of through projected budgeting. Furthermore, the bill intends to strip governing bodies from their ability to build-up exorbitant cash reserves which exceed 50% of their total tax asking ability. The change in the wording of 2 statutes will limit incoming cash reserves to 50% of the governing body tax asking ability and cap the total amount of these cash reserves at this same amount. There is no reason for a governing body to hold more than 50% of its operating costs in cash reserves. GOOD BILL/ GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
LB 432: Erdman. Several taxing authorities abuse their taxing authority by adding delinquent taxes to their taxing ability. Such a practice constitutes an abuse of taxpayer monies, particularly when less than 0.05% of real estate taxes go unpaid. This bill would prevent taxing authorities from adding delinquent taxes to their tax asking ability. GOOD BILL/ GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
LB 435: Ebke. To increase the penalty from a Class III felony to a Class II penalty for escaping from prison with force, threat, or deadly weapon. The penalty would reach up to 20 yrs. in prison. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 440: Wishart. To provide immunity from civil or criminal liability for removing or rescuing an animal from a vehicle by forced entry, if animal is at imminent risk of suffering harm or death. Individual must contact law enforcement agency or emergency service before entering vehicle. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 453: Lindstrom. To exempt social security benefits from state income tax in increments and at different levels. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 466: Brasch. To allow nurse-midwives to practice independently without direct physician supervision. GOOD BILL/ HHS COMMITTEE
LB 472: Bostelman. To not require Dept. of Roads fees for permits to erect signs or displays on state highway right of ways. GOOD BILL/ TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
LB 475: Schumacher. To eliminate the NE Job Creation & Mainstream Revitalization Act, which provides up to $15 million annually in tax credits for rehab, preservation, and restoration of historical buildings. Credits for each project capped at $1 million. Its complex application process makes it difficult for small town developers to compete. GOOD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 479: Groene. To schedule public hearings on the state budget on a day other than regularly scheduled hearing days and for an indefinite length of time so that the public may speak. Copies of the budget available to the public. Budget explained in detail. GOOD BILL/ IN COMMITTEE
LB 491: McCollister. Anyone who fraudulently misrepresents a pet as a service animal will face a Class III misdemeanor with penalty up to 3 months in jail, a $500 fine, or both. Later offenses would earn a Class II misdemeanor, with penalty up to 6 months in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both. Landlords now must accept tenants with service animals, even if they have no-pet policies, and cannot charge an additional pet fee. Dishonest tenants now misrepresent their pets as service animals, when they are not. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 494: Briese. To allow public utilities to withhold from the public information related to critical physical or cyber assets of energy infrastructure like computer programs, data, and personnel identities, disclosing of which might pose a threat to public safety or critical infrastructure security and subject employees or their families to risk. The leftist Sierra Club opposes the bill. GOOD BILL/ GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
LB 500: Brewer. To allow law enforcement officers and retired officers with employment photo ID and firearms training to carry a concealed weapon anywhere in the state where they could carry these weapons while on duty. Most off-duty and retired officers carry guns anyway, and allowing them to carry them concealed could increase public safety if an active shooter. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 502: Brewer. To allow citizens 21 years old or older to carry concealed firearms without having to pay $100 for a permit. Several other states, including neighboring Wyoming, Kansas, and Missouri, already have such laws. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 503: Brewer. To prohibit public employer labor union agreements for public employees from requiring or allowing the deduction of dues by the public employer from employee wages on behalf of a union. This bill will require unions to collect union dues themselves. Currently, state government provides a free payroll service to union, which use much of that dues to support leftwing political candidates and political action committees. Wisconsin and Alabama already have passed such legislation. GOOD BILL/ BUSINESS COMMITTEE
LB 504: Brewer. To place a 2-year moratorium on industrial development of wind-generated energy projects and placement of wind turbines for generation of electricity within Sand Hills. Wind turbines are causing noise pollution and killing scores of birds in our state. GOOD BILL/ NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE
LB 505: Brewer. That the legislature require timely and adequate reporting of information from resettlement organizations, so that citizens and government officials can make better decisions regarding the cost trends and potential security risks of these resettlement programs. Each resettlement agency twice annually must submit a report to the welfare dept. that contains a list of numbers of refugees the agency has received for resettlement within the reporting period. Information must include month, nation of origin, age, sex, family status, reason for refugee or asylum status. Report must contain totals of welfare benefits for each program and amount of federal aid the agency has received from the feds by month, and amounts of federal aid received by refugees with agency help. The dept. must post reports on a web site. Reports must go to the Governor, state senators, and congressmen. Lutheran Family Services, which rakes in thousands from the feds for settling hundreds of Muslim refugees in unsuspecting neighborhoods, opposed the bill, probably because it does not wish to publicize its profits. The bill would cost taxpayers nothing The state already settles more refugees per capita than any other state. NTF testified in favor of this bill. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 507: Albrecht. To eliminate the farm labor contracts act that stifles competition. GOOD BILL/ BUSINESS COMMITTEE
LB 508: Hilgers. To apply the civil service system to all counties. GOOD BILL/GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
LB 535:Hughes. To exempt easements for oil, gas, or mineral leases from filing statements with register of deeds. GOOD BILL/REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 537: Hughes. To require applicants and recipients of welfare who test positive for illegal drug use to become ineligible for cash welfare payments. If a drug test returns positive, applicant or recipient must complete a drug abuse treatment program and job skills program. Those who fail or refuse to complete programs cannot obtain cash welfare assistance for 1 yr. or until they complete both programs. 15 states already have similar laws. The NE ACLU opposes the bill. GOOD BILL/HHS COMMITTEE
LB 545: Watermeier. To transfer from the General Fund to the Property Tax Credit Fund $424 million for 2018, $624 million for 2019, and $824 million in 2020 and each year thereafter. GOOD BILL/ APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
LB 547: Watermeier. Threat of eminent domain by state public utilities against private electric generation and transmission facilities has quashed private investment in NE. The threat of eminent domain makes it difficult for private companies to gain financing to build facilities. Private electric suppliers could sell or deliver electricity at retail throughout NE. That the state should remove restrictions on private investment and free market economics in utilities. To prohibit public utilities from using eminent domain to restrict private electric generation or transmission investment in the state that use coal and natural gas. Public power utilities argue that permitting more power plants would place them at a competitive disadvantage. If they cannot compete on the open market, too bad. GOOD BILL/ NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE
LB 549: Lindstrom. That real estate broker trust accounts can be non-interest- bearing or interest-bearing. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 553: Lowe. To allow individual employers to opt out of worker compensation coverage. Too many general contractors have had to pay workers comp for independent contractors, thereby permanently raising third party insurance coverage. GOOD BILL/ BUSINESS COMMITTEE
LB 556: Halloran. Anyone who uses a fake firearm to commit a felony commits a Class IIA felony. Use of a fake firearm is a separate offense from another felony and sentence imposed will be consecutive. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 558: Schumacher. To define a knife over 3.5″ as a dangerous weapon only if intended to kill or cause serious bodily injury. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 565: McCollister. To increase the amount of financial information on state tax incentive programs available to the public on a state website which shows how the state spends our tax dollars. Taxpayers could see how much these programs cost. Conservative State Treasurer Don Stenberg supports the bill, because, currently, the amount of info publicly reported by the state tax commissioner varies among programs. LB 565 would create a uniform list of disclosures, as many other states now list. GOOD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 566: Natural Resources Comm. To enter an interstate compact through which states assist one another by participating in a database of game law violators to prevent them from obtaining hunting and fishing permits in another member state. GOOD BILL/ NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE
LB 567: Bolz. To require the state to pay the cost for office and service facilities used for administration of state welfare programs, a cost now paid for by counties. GOOD BILL/ GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
LB 568: Erdman. To allow the state board of education to issue temporary teacher certificates valid for 5 years to those at least 21 yrs. old, who have a high school certificate, complete 24 hrs. of in-service training, pass a test on the U.S. Constitution and on the state constitution with score of 80% or higher, submit fingerprints for a criminal background check, and submit an application with fee. GOOD BILL/ EDUCATION COMMITTEE
LB 569: Friesen: To create a task force to report on community college duplication of services and the cost of funding them, then recommend alternative funding mechanisms. GOOD BILL/ EDUCATION COMMITTEE
LB 576: Brewer. To place a moratorium on local property valuations, giving time for senators to pass a comprehensive property valuation relief bill. GOOD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 577: Hilgers. To criminalize by a Class IB felony assault against a law officer, firefighter, or emergency care medic on duty by ambush and knowingly or intentionally causing serious bodily injury to them. Penalty merits a minimum 40 yr. prison sentence, a maximum life sentence, and up to $100,000 fine. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 579: McDonnell. Presently, in Omaha, an imposed occupation tax has no sunset date. To eliminate city occupation taxes unless the city council places the issue on a ballot and voters, following a city council majority approval, vote at a regular municipal election to continue it for another 12 years. Every such present and new ordinance would have a 12 yr. sunset date. If the city council decides not to bring the extension to a vote by the citizens, the occupation tax will cease 12 years after the date the tax goes into effect. Cities no longer could impose such a tax to help pay for deficits and extra city spending. Unfortunately, the legislation is not retroactive so would not affect the restaurant tax. The liberal League of NE Municipalities opposes the bill. GOOD BILL/ URBAN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
LB 588: Crawford. To exempt reflexology from licensing under the message therapy practice act, another unneeded regulation eliminated. GOOD BILL/ HHS COMMITTEE
LB 590: Crawford. To help day care centers, particularly ones in rural and minority communities, to continue business by not requiring them to have sprinkler systems and storm shelters. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 593: Hughes. To criminalize trespassing in vehicles, farm equipment, planes, and boats, a Class III misdemeanor for 1st or 2nd conviction and Class I conviction for 3rd or subsequent conviction. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 595: Groene. To permit school teachers to use physical force, restraint, or removal from a class for violent students or those showing destructive behavior. Teachers and administrators defending themselves, other teachers, administrators, or students cannot become subject to lawsuits or administrative discipline. A teacher could remove a student who seriously interferes with teacher ability to teach by being abusive or disruptive or ability of students to focus and learn. A principal cannot return such student to a classroom until teacher , principal, and parent hold a conference but may place such student in another classroom, another education program, or in-school suspension. Teachers complain of increasing numbers of violent and disruptive students. The ACLU opposes the bill. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 596: Groene. To exempt horse massage therapy from credentialing and regulation, eliminating another unneeded regulation. GOOD BILL/ HHS COMMITTEE
LB 598: Groene. To require the Commission of Industrial Relations when establishing wage rights to include local factors regarding census data on family incomes, local area and regional consumer price indices, and information from the state labor department about employer benefits in the regional business community. GOOD BILL/ BUSINESS COMMITTEE
LB 599: Groene. To exempt improvements on land intended for business or housing from property tax until occupied, sold, or leased. GOOD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 602: Erdman. That the value of ag and horticultural land will base on the capitalized net earning capacity of the land and its current use as ag or horticultural land. The bill will eliminate use of archaic soil survey charts. Ag land values will become assessed by an 8-yr. average of cropland income. Productivity value determined by multiplying the gross income per acre by the owner share percentage and then dividing by capitalization rate. GOOD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 603: Riepe. To require a high-deductible group health insurance plan for state employees. GOOD BILL/ GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
LB 615: Wayne. To require expunging within 90 days of criminal history record information in arrests based on mistaken identify by law enforcement agency and no charges filed. A court must expunge the record within 90 days of petition filing. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 617: Wayne. An ag commission would oversee a 5-yr. research project conducted by UNL that includes hemp seed research and the planting, cultivation, and analysis of industrial hemp demonstration plots. License holders could sell industrial hemp to an agribusiness or manufacturer to process it into hemp products. Similar Kentucky legislation created 500 jobs. About $600 million in hemp products like fabric, rope, paper, insulation, drywall, and body care products sell nationally. It also can make animal bedding, cement additives, and oil drilling fluids. Hemp is drought-resistant and suited to NE growing conditions. GOOD BILL/ AG COMMITTEE
LB 619: Wayne. To allow all NE counties to conduct elections by mail. GOOD BILL/ GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
LB 623: Wishart. To criminalize assault against a law officer, probation officer, parole officer, firefighter, emergency care provider, jail employee, or HHS dept. employee during performance of their official duties. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 624: Wishart. To withhold from the public for 5 yrs. law enforcement officer residential address in county records upon request by law enforcement officer to county assessor and register of deeds. GOOD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 629: Larson. To exempt several commercial drivers license holders, like livestock feeders and agrichemical businesses, from hazardous waste endorsement requirements. GOOD BILL/ TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
LB 635: Bostelman. To increase misdemeanor classifications and minimum fines for poaching. The minimum fine for poaching a turkey, deer, or antelope would rise from $200 to $500. The minimum for killing an elk would increase from $500 to $1,000. Fines for game birds would rise from $100 to $500. The minimum penalty for shooting from a roadway would rise from $100 to $500. The ACLU opposes the bill. GOOD BILL/ NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE
LB 636: Bostelman. To prohibit intentional interference with hunting, trapping, or fishing by intimidation using a phone or other communication device. GOOD BILL/ TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
LB 637: Bostelman. Information gathered by the state patrol or other federal, state, county, or local department or agency about gun registration, ownership, sale, or use is confidential and not part of a public record. NE already exempts owners of concealed carry permits from public record. Leftists have targeted gun owners for robbery and harassment by examining public records of firearms ownership. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 638: Bostelman. To create enhanced felonies for ambushing a police officer, firefighter, or emergency medical worker, health care workers, correctional employees, or threatening retaliation to person or property. Penalty is 5 to 50 years in prison for ambushing. Penalty is up to 3 yrs. in prison and $10,000 fine for threats against property. Retaliation that results in serious injury would earn a penalty of 5 to 50 years in prison. The Criminal Defense Attorneys Assoc. opposes the bill. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 644: Murante. To modify or eliminate 25 unneeded or moribund state board and commissions. They include the Medical Home Advisory Council, Medicaid Reform Council, Health Advisory Board, Nursing Home Advisory Board, Stem Cell Research Committee, Carbon Sequestration Advisory Committee, Potato Development Committee, Exchange Stakeholder Commission (Obama Care), Community Gardens Task Force, Intergenerational Poverty Task Force, and Aging Nebraskans Task Force. To require that all meetings and communications of the Judicial Nominating Commission become public information. GOOD BILL/ GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
LB 650: Linehan. To expand the criteria for earning a teachers certificate to additional applicants who have college credits, to someone with a doctoral degree, valid for 5 school years and renewable if applicant received satisfactory evaluations during each year and passed a subject area exam. Certificates also could issue for part-time teaching positions. GOOD BILL/ EDUCATION COMMITTEE
LB 661: Kuehn. To provide confidentiality regarding individuals and manufacturers and suppliers of chemicals or equipment or supplies used to perform a lethal injection death sentence. Radical leftists are harassing companies and individuals who provide such chemicals. Such harassment has caused shortages of the same medicines required for surgeries. 15 of 31 states that use the death penalty have such confidentiality laws. Radical death penalty opponents have harassed State Sen. John Kuehn. the bill sponsor. NE law already shields identities of the execution team and medical professionals involved. Currently, 10 murderers sit on death row. The leftist ACLU, Nebraskans for Peace, and League of Women Voters oppose the bill. GOOD BILL/ GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
LB 664: Kuehn. To prohibit political subdivisions from using tax dollars or fees to pay lobbyists, who often lobby against taxpayer interests. GOOD BILL/ GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
LB 666: Lowe. To allow owners of concealed carry firearms to transport, ship, or receive them if unloaded and stored in a case. GOOD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE

LB 10: Krist. To increase the number of juvenile court judges in Douglas County from 5 to 6, costing $1.4 million in FY 2017-18 and $726,000 in FY 2018-19. The county would have to build new chamber and courtroom space, pay for new staff, prosecutors, and public defenders. BAD BILL/ FINAL READING
LB 14: Krist. To update state Americanism statutes by de-emphasizing the importance of Americanism and eliminating requirements for teachers to teach the danger of communism. These standards actually would promote socialism. BAD BILL/ EDUCATION COMMITTEE
LB 34: Ebke. To prohibit a person from filing as a candidate for a political party, unless that party has at least 10,000 persons registered to vote with such party. This bill means to prevent 3rd party candidates from filing for offices. BAD BILL/ GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
LB 41: Hilkemann. To increase fines from $25 to $50 for failure to provide a child restraint system in a vehicle and change enforcement from a secondary to a primary offense. BAD BILL/ TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
LB 42: Hilkemann. To force drivers to place children in child restraint systems up to 8 instead of 6 years old and mandate rear-facing seats for all children up to age 2. BAD BILL/ TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
LB 44: Watermeier. To force all businesses to charge Nebraska sales tax for online sales if sales are 200+. Each online business must forward annual paperwork records to the state revenue dept. This measure would influence some online businesses to quit doing business in our state, depriving our citizens of market choices, because non-compliance would result in fines. Requiring Internet companies to remit sales taxes is a congressional issue. BAD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 52: Schumacher. To require all loan recipients to pay a .25% tax on the amount of interest paid back on their loans, burdening citizens who have home mortgages, car loans, etc. BAD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 55: Schumacher. To force landowners to mow all weeds to the middle of all public roads running along their lands 3 times instead of 2 times annually. BAD BILL/ TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
LB 69: Pansing Brooks. To increase the earned income tax credit from 10% to 20% of the federal credit allowed, another welfare benefit. BAD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 70: Pansing Brooks. Driving during license revocation is a Class II misdemeanor, punished by up to 6 months in jail , a $1,000 fine, or both. The guilty must surrender a drivers license for 1 year. The bill would allow judges to impose probation instead of license revocation. BAD BILL/ TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
LB 75: Wayne. To restore voting rights to convicted felons upon completion of prison sentence. Present law requires felons to wait 2 years after leaving prison. Former convicts vote liberal. The NE-ACLU supports the bill. BAD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 76: Wayne. To require prison officials to notify county election officials of those completing felony sentences, another state mandate. BAD BILL/ GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
LB 81: Blood. To raise from $5 to $25 the cost charged for each application for a handgun permit fee to cover the cost of a criminal history background check, a bill to target lawful gun owners. A permit fee should not be a profit maker for county governments. BAD BILL/JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 91: Hilkemann. To require all infants born in NE to become screened, at parental expense, for inherited or congenital infant or childhood diseases as specified by the state welfare department. Although the state supreme court has ruled that the state has an interest in the health and welfare of all children born here, the department has interpreted the rule to mean that parents have no right to disagree with it. There exists only a small incidence of inherited and childhood diseases. Parents should have the right to decide on testing based on family history and physician advice. Recall the Obama Care premise that government will become the means to not only control your public life but private life also. This bill offers a blank check for our state already overstepping its bounds. Recall that the state removed a nursing infant from its mother, because the family objected to medical testing for religious reasons. 49 states permit parents to opt out of state-mandated medical testing. BAD BILL/ HHS COMMITTEE
LB 92: Kolterman. To force insurance companies to provide coverage for telehealth services, regardless of patient residence in state. BAD BILL/ SELECT FILE
LB 97: Crawford. To create the Riverfront Development District Act, which would allow this district to levy an additional property tax on businesses located within its district up to 1/2 mile from a river by means of an occupation tax or special assessment. An authority could charge and collect rents and fees. The spread of these districts has disrupted commercial businesses and convinced some to move to other locations to avoid this additional tax. This bill meant to help Omaha along with 1st class and primary cities, but the Omaha government opposes the bill, testifying that its citizens want no tax increase. BAD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 98: Friesen. To extend 3c maximum property tax levying authority through FY 2025-2026 to several NRDs. BAD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 111: Hansen. To force all 93 counties to hold nonpartisan elections for county officials. BAD BILL/ GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE.
LB 112: Hansen. To allow voters who move from one county to another in NE to vote provisionally, without having to re-register, which may enhance the opportunity for voter fraud. BAD BILL/ GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
LB 116: Harr. To force insurance companies in their vehicle policies to include whoever is driving the vehicle instead of the named insured in the policy or a member of his family. BAD BILL/ BANKING COMMITTEE
LB 120: Schumacher. To force the state to offer family planning services to those at or below 185% of the federal poverty level. Services would include training in parenting and child rearing and education in finances and careers. The state would have to hire additional employees for the anticipated 15,000 new welfare enrollees, at a $1.95 million cost the first year. Studies prove that such welfare expansion does not reduce unintended pregnancies or result in eventual cost savings. Cost: $3 million for the next 2 fiscal years. BAD BILL/ HHS COMMITTEE
LB 129: Morfeld. To increase the earned income tax credit from 10% to 12% of the federal credit allowed, another welfare benefit. BAD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 158: Pansing Brooks. To require all counties to pay for legal representation for youths in juvenile court throughout the legal process, adding another expensive unfunded mandate to counties. Many counties have no attorney familiar with juvenile law and thus unable to provide adequate counsel. BAD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 163: Vargas. To force the election commissioner in the 3 largest counties to establish at least 3 locations in the county where registered voters may vote early, if they choose not to vote at their neighborhood precinct, all in different legislative districts and open at least 30 days prior to election date and open at least 4 hours on Saturdays. This bill wastes money, as ballot access and voter turnout both already are high in these counties, and voters easily can vote by mail. Each offsite location would cost about $165,000. 2 additional permanent and 10 temporary employees required. Douglas County would spend an extra $330,000 per election. Retaining the same locations for every election, given the short time needed, at reasonable prices, will be difficult. The bill would impose a rigid time frame on election commissioners that would limit their ability to make the best decisions for their voters. It is a solution seeking a problem. BAD BILL/ GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
LB 173: Morfeld. To force NE businesses to not discriminate against or fire sexual perverts, notwithstanding business owner political or religious beliefs. It would apply to all businesses employing 15 or more people, government entities, including the state, and businesses with state contracts. The bill would impinge on church businesses. Passage of this bill will lead to many frivolous lawsuits and censorship and punishment for businesses. It will require businesses to provide services unwillingly to same-sex couples and require restrooms for transgender people. The Lincoln League of Women Voters and radical NE Appleseed approve the bill. BAD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 174: Morfeld. To receive state income tax credits for employing apprentices after Jan. 1, 2018. Cost: $2.5 million annually. BAD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 179: Bolz. More welfare services for foster care youth. BAD BILL/ HHS COMMITTEE
LB 181: Quick. An employee who disputes an initial medical exam under workers comp could obtain a second opinion from a doctor of choice, reimbursed by employer or insurer, an additional unnecessary expense for them. Employees currently can use their personal doctor for the initial visit. BAD BILL/ BUSINESS COMMITTEE
LB 189: Howard. To appropriate $1 million for the next 2 fiscal years to recruit and retain caseworkers for child welfare.
Leftist NE Appleseed Center supports this bill. BAD BILL/ APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
LB 192: Pansing Brooks. To establish an expensive new jury selection bureaucracy. BAD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 194: Vargas. To cap interest rates on payday loans at 36% and cap monthly payments at 5% of borrower gross monthly income or 6% of net income. An individual loan could not exceed $500. A 6-month minimum repayment period. The leftist NE Appleseed supports the bill. Current regulations already prevent borrowers from continuing rolling over old loans when unable to pay. System already offers people small loans when no one else will loan them money. Few complaints against these companies in NE. A similar law passed in Colorado saw 2/3rds of payday loan businesses close. BAD BILL/ BANKING COMMITTEE
LB 205: Krist. To appropriate an additional $7 million to the welfare department for the developmental disabilities program because of state bungling in handling federal funding that ended. BAD BILL/ APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
LB 206: Krist. To appropriate $14 million more in state funding for developmental disabilities program. BAD BILL/ APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
LB 211: Hansen. To raise minimum wage for those compensated by tips 2 times by Jan. 2018. BAD BILL/ BUSINESS COMMITTEE
LB 215: Harr. To give state income tax credit subsidies to E-15 fuel dealers, 5c credit on each gallon sold in the previous year, total credits limited to $1 million annually. Most cars are over 11 years old and cannot run on fuels like E-15. This fuel is incompatible with most existing gas retail systems, requiring great cost to upgrade. Rural and small businesses lack the equipment for holding or pumping higher ethanol blend fuels, and demand for E-15 is minimal. BAD BILL/ TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
LB 216: Harr. To appoint a bureaucratic commission after the 2020 census to redistrict NE electoral districts, despite the state constitution specifically designating the Legislature to accomplish such. Citizens would have no opportunity to testify on the subsequent redistricting bills. BAD BILL/ EXECUTIVE BOARD
LB 224: Crawford. To allow increased welfare payments under TANF to welfare clients. BAD BILL/ HHS COMMITTEE
LB 242: Bolz. To appropriate $1.2 million for the next 2 fiscal years to UNL to recruit students who do clinical rotations and study to become behavioral health professionals. The bill sponsor worries about prison inmates not receiving the mental health care they need. BAD BILL/ APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
LB 244: Bolz. To extend mental health benefits to welfare and prison dept. employees who work with high-risk individuals. BAD BILL/ HHS COMMITTEE
LB 246: Morfeld. To allow public school districts with over 1,000 students to bust their spending lids up to $100,000 and public school districts with fewer than 1,000 student to bust their lids up to $50,000, per fiscal year, for expanded learning opportunities, including those outside the classroom, and before and after school programs. Union teachers and their allies only seek more time with our kids to propagandize them. BAD BILL/ EDUCATION COMMITTEE
LB 247: Morfeld. To allow public school districts to bust their tax levy and use their bonding authority to pay for cybersecurity for staff and students. BAD BILL/ EDUCATION COMMITTEE
LB 248: Harr. To spend funds on an unneeded youth opportunities in learning act. The state labor dept. would dispense grant funding to employers and nonprofits to teach skills. BAD BILL/ BUSINESS COMMITTEE
LB 252: Crawford. To force individuals to file electioneering reports with the accountability and disclosure commission if participating in election communications during election season and report individuals contributing over $250. Violators can face fines of up to $750 for a Class IV misdemeanor. This bill would lead to intimidation and harassment of conservative activists who spend a little of their own money to support a conservative candidate(s). The bill infringes free speech. BAD BILL/ GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
LB 253: Crawford. To allow an interlocal sewer district of cities, villages, and counties to levy local property taxes. Another new taxing authority. BAD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 256: Briese. To establish a new bureaucracy with registration database in NE cities to force owners to register residential and commercial properties vacant for 180 days or longer. Residential fees of $250, commercial fees of $1,000, levied annually or every 6 months. Unpaid fees and fines would lead to liens. Exempt are larger cities. Not exempt are properties used temporarily, as for hunting. The NE Realtors Assoc. opposes the bill. BAD BILL/URBAN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
LB 260: Hansen. To force the state ag dept. to establish and administer a state food insecurity nutrition incentive grant program to award state grants. Cost: $150,000. BAD BILL/ AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE
LB 261: Hansen. To establish funding for worker adjustment and retraining notifications that would clamp burdensome regulations on companies closing down. BAD BILL/ BUSINESS COMMITTEE
LB 267: Linehan. To force nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities annually to offer onsite vaccinations for flu and pneumococcal diseases to all residents and flu shots to employees. BAD BILL/ HHS COMMITTEE
LB 269: Watermeier. To force movie theaters with 5 or more screens at 1 location to provide open movie captioning during at least 2 shows per week of each movie. Violators would face a penalty of up to 30 days in jail and up to a $100 fine or both. BAD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 270: Kolowski. To appropriate an additional $1.5 million from the General Fund to the state education department for its unneeded expanded learning opportunity grant program for children in non-school hours. BAD BILL/ APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
LB 277: Wayne. To force election commissioners and county clerks to increase the number of voting precincts, adding costs to their offices and taxpayers. BAD BILL/ GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
LB 279: Hilkemann. To force all new public school buses transporting students after Jan. 2018 to become equipped with seat belts, an added cost for school districts. BAD BILL/ TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
LB 290: Vargas. To provide automatic voter registration when applying for or renewing a drivers license or state ID card. The bill also would automatically register applying for or renewing welfare applications. This automatic voter registration would flood the system with ineligible voters and those already legally registered. Those eligible for a drivers license or state ID card could be under 18 or convicted felons. Such bill would facilitate illegal aliens voting. The bill would cost $200,000 annually. The radical leftist Nebraskans for Civic Reform supports the bill. BAD BILL/ GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
LB 305: Crawford. To begin a paid 6-12 week family leave/ medical leave insurance program costing $12 million and beginning in 2020. Eligible employees would receive 2/3rds of their regular pay for up to 12 weeks for their own health, pregnancy, or birth/adoption and up to 6 weeks for family member care. Labor unions support the bill; business groups oppose it. The bill would cripple small businesses with few employees. Payroll deductions would not cover the $300 million annual benefit amounts, forcing taxpayers to subsidize it. The state labor dept. would have to develop a new info technology system to collect the payroll tax and process claims. BAD BILL/ BUSINESS COMMITTEE
LB 311: Morfeld. To allow those convicted of drug felonies to regain access to food stamps. The current ban on eligibility is an incentive for convicts to complete treatment programs. The HHS dept. would have to hire more employees to handle the estimated 746 newly eligible recipients. BAD BILL/ HHS COMMITTEE
LB 312: Briese. To raise the state sales tax. BAD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 313: Briese. To raise the state sales tax from 5.5c to 6.5 c and increase the earned income tax credit, a welfare program. BAD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 325: Harr. To exempt from sales and use taxes during a sales tax-free weekend purchases of energy-equipment items worth $1,500 or less for home or personal use. BAD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 326: Kolowski. To allow public school districts to levy an additional 3c per $100 of property valuation if approved for a fiscal year by a 2/3rds majority vote of a school board after a public hearing, another budget-busting bill. BAD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 350: McCollister. To permit convicted felons to petition judges to erase their convictions after leaving prison instead of petitioning the Board of Pardons. The bill would apply retroactively. Such measure would result in businesses inadvertently hiring convicted felons, not knowing of their criminal background. The ACLU supports this bill. BAD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 354: Kolowski. To prohibit employers from asking potential employees or their previous employers about their current or prior wages. Violators face a Class IV misdemeanor. BAD BILL/ BUSINESS COMMITTEE
LB 356: Bolz. To transfer $75,000 annually to a Civic Engagement Cash Fund for community research and education grants relating to voter registration and leadership development, another cash cow for leftist groups. BAD BILL/ APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
LB 357: Bolz. To increase fees from $10 to $25 for 2nd and subsequent titling of vehicles and trailers from another state. BAD BILL/ TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
LB 358: McCollister. To increase eligibility for food stamps for those earning gross income up to 185% of the federal poverty level. The bill would require additional welfare dept. employees to handle the increase in recipients. Cost: $300,000 in FY 2017-18 and $1 million in FY 2018-19. BAD BILL/ HHS COMMITTEE
LB 372: Crawford. To prohibit employers from discriminating against employees who care for a family member. Anything could qualify as a caregiving responsibility, opening the way for more time off work and frivolous lawsuits. The leftist NE Appleseed Center supports this bill. BAD BILL/ BUSINESS COMMITTEE
LB 392: Larson. To force the Dept. of Agriculture to establish criteria and standards for designating counties embracing wind farms upon county official request and public hearing. Such would help counties create, maintain, or expand wind energy development. Wind farms offer only sporadic energy and cause noise pollution in rural areas. The leftist Sierra Club supports the bill. BAD BILL/ NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE
LB 412: Bolz. To encourage the state investment office to invest funds in renewable energy companies instead of fossil fuel companies. The bill would require the state investment officer to report on supposed volatility and risk associated with fossil fuel investments and invest in unreliable solar and wind energy. The leftist Sierra Club supports the bill. The sponsor apparently ignores great gains from investments in the oil and gas industries. These stocks constitute 4%of the top 10 public pension funds and 8% of those fund returns between 2005 and 2013. BAD BILL/ RETIREMENT COMMITTEE
LB 416: Vargas. To spend $250,000 in FY 2017-18 and FY-2018-19 to hire 2 bilingual investigators to enforce employee classifications for non-English speakers. The 85 yearly complaints to the Labor Dept. do not justify 2 new slots. Taxpayers should not shoulder financial costs for non-English speakers. BAD BILL/ APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
LB 420: McCollister. To prevent employers and employment agencies from asking prospective employees about a criminal background on employment applications, thereby blocking employers from learning about the entire criminal history of a prospective employee. Hiring and then having to fire a convicted criminal would cost businesses time and money. Private and parochial schools exempted. No business would hire a thief to control a cash register or a convicted sex offender to work in a day care center. This bill would cause frivolous lawsuits from job applicants alleging rejection because of criminal records and needlessly delay the hiring process. BAD BILL/BUSINESS COMMITTEE
LB 427: Vargas. To force public, private, and parochial schools to allow students to breast-feed their babies and store breast milk in an appropriate private setting. This bill introduced apparently because there are so many pregnant high school girls in the sponsor’s district. BAD BILL/ EDUCATION COMMITTEE
LB 428: Vargas. To force every NE school district to have a written policy having standards and guidelines to accommodate pregnant students conforming to minimum standards established by the state education department. To provide such students with tutoring assistance, breast-feeding facilities, and assistance to access child care facilities. The Dept. of Education must promulgate a model that districts can follow. Schools must provide online classes and tutoring for such students. BAD BILL/ EDUCATION COMMITTEE
LB 429: Wishart. To offer tax credits to individuals who hold shares in renewable energy generation facilities. BAD BILL/ NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE
LB 438: Howard. To increase the tax on a pack of cigarettes from 64c to $2.14 and raise taxes on other tobacco products from 20% of purchase price to 65%. Raising the tax so high would only drive smokers to Iowa and Missouri, which have lower cigarette taxes, depriving NE of the expected revenue increase. BAD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 441: Morfeld. To expand Obama Care Medicaid coverage to 99,000 additional Nebraskans. The new Congress will repeal Obama Care, thus making such coverage impossible anyway. The leftist NE Appleseed Center supports his bill, which would cost NE $600 million in 10 years, not including funding for provider rate increases for new enrolleees. BAD BILL/ HHS COMMITTEE
LB 442: Bolz. To establish an unneeded medical assistance managed care organization oversight committee for behavioral and physical health services and to study inadequacies in our medical welfare system. The leftist Appleseed Center supports the bill. An HHS director stated that the bill duplicates current oversight and would add to the bureaucracy. BAD BILL/ EXECUTIVE BOARD
LB 446: Chambers. His annual bill to eliminate the death penalty, despite Nebraska voters overwhelmingly re-establishing it. Criminals serving minimum sentences are not eligible for good time programs, which reduce sentences by 50%. Felons released too early will endanger the public. The NE Criminal Defense Attorneys Assoc. supports the bill. BAD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 447: Chambers. Eliminate mandatory minimum penalties for several felonies. These felonies include selling large amounts of cocaine, heroin, or meth, especially to kids. Many of the worst offenders would return to our communities in a short time or avoid prison. Passing this law would not lessen prison overcrowding, because these felons constitute a small number of prisoners. The leftist Nebraskans for Peace supports the bill. The NE Att.-Gen. opposes LB 447. With only 19-27 fewer prison inmates, the bill would not solve overcrowding. Criminals serving mandatory minimums are ineligible for good time programs that cut sentences by 50%. BAD BILL/ SELECT FILE
LB 448: Chambers. To outlaw hunting of mountain lions, though hunting safeguards livestock. BAD BILL/ NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE
LB 449: Chambers. To outlaw hunting of black-tailed prairie dogs that pose a danger to livestock and horses. Counties now can coordinate efforts to address prairie dog towns scattered over hundreds of acres owned by several landowners. BAD BILL/ AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE
LB 450: Chambers. To allow physician-assisted suicide for those with less than 6 months to live. Such patients could request death medication in writing from a doctor. This bill would force taxpayers who oppose assisted suicide to pay for suicide medications for those on Medicare and Medicaid. BAD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 452: Lindstrom. To impose a state sales tax on services and phase out personal exemption credits. Services include taxis, hair cuts and other care, dry cleaning and laundry services, and newspapers. This sales tax would expand to additional services. Targets of such tax complain that it would be difficult to collect and erode thin profit margins. The Platte Institute supports this bill. The Lincoln Independent Business Assoc. opposes LB 452. The bill only shifts taxes but does not reform the tax structure. BAD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 484: Kolowski. To create an unneeded School Finance Review Commission to examine the option of using income and sales taxes to finance public schools and examine options for funding pre-K services. Cost: $100,000. The leftist NE State Education Association supports this bill. The bill is a prelude to liberals calls for a school income tax and further competition with private pr-K businesses. BAD BILL/ EDUCATION COMMITTEE
LB 485: Pansing Brooks. To replace Columbus Day state holiday with one including 2 Nebraska Indian chiefs, another bill to discredit traditional history. Columbus Day has been a federal holiday since 1937 and was celebrated unofficially for many years previously. BAD BILL/ GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
LB 490: Walz. To establish another college grant program for poor kids to attend not for profit private colleges, discriminating against for profit private institutions. The NE Opportunity Grant Program already provides assistance to these students. BAD BILL/ EDUCATION COMMITTEE
LB 514: Bolz. To appropriate $100,000 to UNO for FY 2017-2018 to fund an unneeded position of justice initiative coordinator. BAD BILL/ APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
LB 515: Bolz. To create a bureaucratic state integrated education and training grant program. BAD BILL/ BUSINESS COMMITTEE
LB 518: Williams. To permit counties with under 100,000 population to adopt an unneeded rural workforce housing investment program. Equal local grants necessary. BAD BILL/ BUSINESS COMMITTEE
LB 521: Walz. To expand early childhood education with additional funding, thus competing with both private entities and parents. BAD BILL/ EDUCATION COMMITTEE
LB 523: Walz. To give additional financing aid from the NE Internet Enhancement Fund to private providers without requiring from them a contribution of at least 25% of total project cost. BAD BILL/ TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
LB 524: Walz. To appropriate $100,000 for FY 2017-18 and $100,000 for FY 2018-19 to give additional subsidies for the NE Internet Enhancement Fund. BAD BILL/ APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
LB 526: Morfeld. To make it more difficult for creditors to collect from debtors and keep more of their earnings from deserved garnishment. BAD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 533: Vargas. To require at least $5 million in liability insurance before the NE Oil & Gas Conservation Comm. Could issue a permit to an oil or gas company to drill a recovery injection well or wastewater disposal well. Commercial disposal facilities that dispose of injection well wastewater also must provide at least $5million in liability insurance. The bill sponsor states that NE should protect itself against a financial weight caused by accidental pollution from oil and gas drilling. The bill is ludicrous, because no accidents ever have happened. There has occurred no contamination of drinking water during the decades that oil and gas producers have drilled in NE. The design of wells, which includes multiple steel pipes and concrete casings, make them safe against leaks. Companies already must post a surety bond of $100,000 for each well. If an operator fails to plug and clean up wells after closing them, the commission can garnish these funds to finish the job. LB 533 would literally ban oil and gas production in the western 2/3rds of NE. BAD BILL/ NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE
LB 534: Vargas. To require hiring a housing coordinator within the welfare dept. to work with welfare-funded behavior health regions to locate in residential neighborhoods individuals transitioning out of civil commitment. Included are those with serious mental illness transitioning out of prison or on probation and drug abuse problems, just the kind of neighbors you want next door! Cost: $1,100,000. BAD BILL/ HHS COMMITTEE
LB 538: Wishart. To appropriate $151,500 for each of the next 2 fiscal years legal aid education and rural loan repayment assistance aid. BAD BILL/ APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
LB 552: Walz. To create an unneeded and bureaucratic Children’s Connection program. BAD BILL/ HHS COMMITTEE
LB 557: Harr. To spend a bundle on an unneeded Great Opportunities Nebraska Act. It would offer businesses property tax exemptions, thereby loading property taxes onto others. There exists little correlation between business incentives and employment and economic growth. BAD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 560: Schumacher. To allow prison inmates the right to review their solitary confinement by sending a request to a district court. To make categories of inmates like those 18 or younger or mentally ill immune to solitary confinement. This bill is one among others meant to coddle prison inmates. BAD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
LB 563: McCollister. To impose a state sales tax on many services. BAD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 564: McCollister. To require sales tax levied on online purchasing, forcing citizens to pay sales tax on everything ordered via the Internet, for sales over $25,000 annually. Each failure to notify the Revenue Dept. would result in a $5 penalty. At the end of every year, online retailers must send buyers notification detailing their purchases and how to file an annual statement for each purchase, a paperwork nightmare. Failure to do either of these provisions means a $10 fine for each instance. BAD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 575: Kolowski. Provide $2 million for funding for public school additional non-basic programs and classes. BAD BILL/ EDUCATION COMMITTEE
LB 580: McDonnell. To appropriate $1 million to the Office of Violence Prevention, which already receives $350,000 annually. BAD BILL/ APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
LB 610: Kolowski. To allow public power districts, nonprofits, or political subdivisions to apply for grants from the NE Environmental Trust to help pay for community solar projects. Grants would pay for up to 25% of costs. Funds from this trust were not meant for such projects. BAD BILL/ NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE
LB 614: Wayne. To allow cities to use more than the current 4/10ths of 1% of taxable valuation of the city to spend local dollars on economic development programs, thus allowing cities to splurge additional tax money on schemes favoring only specific constituents. The liberal League of NE Municipalities supports the bill. BAD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 633: Kolowski. To authorize school districts by 2/3rds majority a school board, to levy an additional property tax and bust their budget lids for school security measures and student technology. BAD BILL/ REVENUE COMMITTEE
LB 643: Krist. To double the current liability insurance on cars required of drivers. 87.9% of all liability claims for bodily injury settle for less than the present minimum limit. The average payment on property damage claims is $2,790, 99% of claims resolved for less than the minimum limit. This bill would hike the number of drivers not obtaining insurance, because they cannot afford higher premiums. BAD BILL/ BANKING COMMITTEE
LB 647: Pansing Brooks. To increase salaries for Chief Justice and judges of the NE Supreme Court 2 years in a row, $173,693 and then $176,299. Other judges whose salaries tie to these raises also would receive raises. BAD BILL/ GENERAL FILE
LB 648: Pansing Brooks. To create a superfluous new machine age task force to enhance job creation. BAD BILL/ EXECUTIVE BOARD
LB 658: Wayne. To force counties to pay for expert witnesses for a juvenile defendant if parents or guardians cannot afford to pay for one. BAD BILL/ JUDICIARY COMMITTEE

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