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Nicole Fox appointed to represent District 7

Published August 18, 2015, in Ceremonies

Sen. Nicole Fox of Omaha was sworn in Aug. 18 to represent legislative district 7. She is a nutrition therapist specialist with Nebraska Medicine and an adjunct instructor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. “I applied for this position because I have long been interested in public service,” she said. Gov. Pete Ricketts said…

Session Review: Agriculture

Published July 1, 2015, in Agriculture, Session Review 2015

Members of the Legislature’s Agriculture Committee considered a variety of issues this session including commercial pet breeding, competitive livestock marketing restrictions and dry beans. Introduced by Wahoo Senator Jerry Johnson, LB360 clarifies the authority of the state Department of Agriculture to assist local authorities in investigating possible cases of animal cruelty observed in licensed facilities….

Session Review: Banking, Commerce and Insurance

Changes to commerce and insurance regulation topped the list of banking issues considered by lawmakers this session. Senators approved a bill that authorizes a new insurance producer license in Nebraska. LB458, introduced by Seward Sen. Mark Kolterman, authorizes the state director of insurance to issue a limited lines travel insurance producer license. The new license…

Session Review: Executive Board

Published July 1, 2015, in Executive Board, Session Review 2015

The Legislature’s Executive Board considered several changes to state election law. Currently, a state senator can serve two consecutive four-year terms. LR7CA, introduced by Columbus Sen. Paul Schumacher, would have extended this to two six-year terms. The proposal, if approved, would have proportioned the number of senators to be elected for either a four- or…

Session Review: Government, Military and Veterans Affairs

Senators made changes this session to election laws, state and legislative auditing procedures and veterans’ funeral expenses. Government Lawmakers passed a bill intended to strengthen the audit authority of the Legislative Audit Office (LAO) and the state Auditor of Public Accounts (APA). LB539, sponsored by Syracuse Sen. Dan Watermeier, requires state agencies to respond to…

Session Review: Appropriations

Published July 1, 2015, in Appropriations, Session Review 2015

Senators passed several bills this session comprising the state’s $8.6 billion budget package. Budget growth in the Appropriations Committee’s proposal is an average of 3.1 percent over the two-year budget period. Portions of several bills relating to funding for various projects at the University of Nebraska were incorporated into the budget proposal: LB532, introduced by…

Session Review: Business and Labor

Published July 1, 2015, in Business and Labor, Session Review 2015

Senators passed bills this session providing workplace protections for pregnant employees and changing workers’ compensation. Employee benefits and wages LB627, introduced by Omaha Sen. Heath Mello, extends to pregnant workers the same reasonable accommodation standard applied to individuals with disabilities. Reasonable accommodations with respect to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions for workers outlined in…

Session Review: Education

Published July 1, 2015, in Education, Session Review 2015

School funding Cedar Rapids Sen. Kate Sullivan introduced LB525, the Education Committee’s annual “clean-up” bill. The bill clarifies that homeless students must be admitted without charge only to the district in which the student currently is located or the school where the student was last enrolled. It also allows an early childhood professional to report…

Session Review: General Affairs

Published July 1, 2015, in General Affairs, Session Review 2015

Lawmakers considered several liquor and gaming law changes this session and revisited the issue of cigar bars. Among the measures passed was the General Affairs Committee’s omnibus bill. LB330, sponsored by O’Neill Sen. Tyson Larson, makes several changes to the state’s liquor laws. The bill prohibits the possession or sale of alcohol in powdered form…

Session Review: Health and Human Services

Changes to public benefit programs, new licensure requirements, children’s issues and consideration of Medicaid reform topped the list of health and human services concerns tackled by lawmakers this session. Public benefits A bill to increase ADC payments passed this year. The bill, originally introduced as LB89 by Lincoln Sen. Kathy Campbell, was passed by the…