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Direct primary care bill introduced


Published February 9, 2016, in Banking Commerce and Insurance

Members of the Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee heard testimony Feb. 9 on a bill that would specify the requirements of a direct primary care agreement and clarify that direct primary care agreements are not insurance. Ralston Sen. Merv Riepe introduced LB817 and has made it his priority bill for the session. He said the…


Special legislative committees proposed


Published February 8, 2016, in Executive Board

The Executive Board heard three proposals Feb. 8 to create special committees of the Legislature. LR403, introduced by Lincoln Sen. Matt Hansen, would establish the Election Technology Committee to study the longevity of technology used by election commissioners and county clerks to conduct elections as of Jan. 1, 2016. The committee also would study the…


Expansion of veteran treatment courts discussed


Published February 5, 2016, in Judiciary

Members of the Judiciary Committee heard testimony Feb. 5 on a bill that would expand the use of problem solving court programs. LB915, introduced by Omaha Sen. John McCollister, would establish a three-year pilot project to create a veterans’ treatment problem-solving court program for any county in which a city of the metropolitan class is…


Pork production bill passes


Published February 5, 2016, in Agriculture

Lawmakers passed a bill after two hours of final-round debate Feb. 5 that will allow meatpacking companies to own hogs. Under LB176, introduced by Ogallala Sen. Ken Schilz last session, a person who owns, leases or holds a legal interest in a swine production operation can enter into a contract to produce swine for a…


Changes to police pursuit liability discussed


Published February 5, 2016, in Judiciary

Lawmakers considered a bill on general file Feb. 4 and 5 that would lessen the liability facing the state and political subdivisions in the event of a police pursuit. Currently, the state and subdivisions are held liable for the death, injury or property damage to any innocent third party caused by the action of a…


Bill would address distracted driving


Published February 9, 2016, in Transportation and Telecommunications

Texting while driving would be a primary offense under a bill heard by the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee Feb. 9. Under LB668, introduced by Omaha Sen. Bob Krist, a driver with a provisional operator’s permit, learner’s permit or school permit and school bus drivers could be ticketed by law enforcement for talking on a cell…


Divestment from fossil fuels sought


Published February 9, 2016, in Retirement Systems

A bill seeking divestment of state funds from fossil fuels was heard by the Retirement Systems Committee Feb. 9. LB1069, introduced by Malcolm Sen. Ken Haar, would require the state investment officer to review the investment of state funds in both fossil fuels and clean energy and, to the extent that it is prudent, begin…


Funding proposed for virtual schools


Published February 9, 2016, in Education

Students who attend virtual schools would be included in the state’s school aid formula under a bill heard by the Education Committee Feb. 8. LB1049, introduced by Omaha Sen. Burke Harr, would define “virtual school” as any school or educational program that is offered for credit and uses primarily Internet-based distance learning technologies. Students in…


Bill would require seatbelts for all vehicle occupants


Published February 9, 2016, in Transportation and Telecommunications

All occupants in a vehicle would be required to wear seatbelts under a bill heard by the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee Feb. 9. Currently, not wearing a seatbelt is enforced only as a secondary offense when the driver is pulled over for a primary offense, such as speeding. LB669, introduced by Omaha Sen. Bob Krist,…


Schools would maintain aid for free meals


Published February 9, 2016, in Education

The Education Committee heard two bills Feb. 8 that are intended to maintain state aid to schools for free student meals. LB1004, introduced by Omaha Sen. Tanya Cook, and LB1065, introduced by Cedar Rapids Sen. Kate Sullivan, would help Nebraska schools implement a federal provision that allows schools with high poverty rates to provide free…