Chief Justice Michael Heavican of the Nebraska Supreme Court greets senators after delivering his State of the Judiciary address Jan. 29.
Chief Justice Michael Heavican of the Nebraska Supreme Court greets senators after delivering his State of the Judiciary address Jan. 29.
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Senator leaves farm for new field


Published January 30, 2015, in Senator Features

When Sen. Dan Hughes’ uncle ran for the District 44 legislative seat in 1974, he figured he was known well enough in the area that he didn’t need to campaign. Herb Hughes’ defeat taught his nephew a valuable lesson about how to run for office that stayed with him for 40 years. “I wasn’t going…


Bills would expand eligible evidence


Published January 30, 2015, in Judiciary

Incarcerated individuals would have more options to request new trials under two bills heard by the Judiciary Committee Jan. 30. Both were introduced by Lincoln Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks. Currently, motions may be filed only within three years of a verdict when based on discovery of new non-DNA evidence. LB244 would allow motions for new…


Biennial budget option proposed for NRDs


Published January 30, 2015, in Natural Resources

Natural resources districts (NRDs) would see expanded budget authority under a bill heard by the Natural Resources Committee Jan. 30. Currently, NRDs may operate only on an annual budget. LB164, introduced by Henderson Sen. Curt Friesen, would allow NRDs to adopt a biennial budget. Friesen said allowing for a biennial budget would allow NRDs to…


State funding of probation administration proposed


Published January 29, 2015, in Government Military and Veterans Affairs

The facility and administration costs of state probation offices would be paid with state funds under a bill heard by the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee Jan. 29. Under LB427, introduced by North Platte Sen. Mike Groene, counties would no longer be required to provide office space and necessary facilities for probation services as…


Bill would change joint public agency bonding powers


Published January 29, 2015, in Government Military and Veterans Affairs

The Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee heard testimony Jan. 29 on a bill that would change the bonding power of any joint public agency (JPA). LB132, introduced by Crete Sen. Laura Ebke, would require a JPA to follow the bond issuance procedures required by law for the participating public agency from which the JPA…


Medicaid coverage sought for additional former foster youth


Published January 30, 2015, in Health and Human Services

Young people from other states who have aged out of foster care would be eligible for extended Medicaid coverage in Nebraska under a bill considered by the Health and Human Services Committee Jan. 30. LB148, introduced by Bellevue Sen. Sue Crawford, would require the state Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to submit a…


Decreased agricultural land valuation proposed


Published January 30, 2015, in Revenue

The Revenue Committee heard testimony Jan. 29 on a bill that would decrease agricultural and horticultural land valuations. LB178, introduced by Syracuse Sen. Dan Watermeier, would decrease the valuation percentage of agricultural and horticultural land for purposes of school district taxation. Under the bill, valuation percentages, which are currently set at 75 percent for agricultural…


Property tax circuit breaker proposed


Published January 30, 2015, in Revenue

A refundable income tax credit would be available to residential property owners and renters under a bill heard by the Revenue Committee Jan 29. Under LB186, introduced by Lincoln Sen. Kate Bolz, eligible taxpayers could apply for an income tax credit from the state Department of Revenue if they have lived at their residence for…


Carbon monoxide safety considered


Published January 29, 2015, in Health and Human Services

Carbon monoxide detectors would be required in residences under legislation heard by the Health and Human Services Committee Jan. 29. LB34, introduced by Omaha Sen. Sara Howard, would require the installation and maintenance of carbon monoxide detectors in any residence sold, rented or receiving a building permit after Jan. 1, 2017. The bill would apply…


Expansion of family planning services considered


Published January 29, 2015, in Health and Human Services

Eligibility for the state’s publicly funded family planning services would be expanded under a bill heard by the Health and Human Services Committee Jan. 28. LB77, introduced by Omaha Sen. Jeremy Nordquist, would require the state Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to submit a state plan amendment to the federal Centers for Medicare…