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Session Review: Agriculture

Published May 8, 2014, in Agriculture, Session Review 2014

Livestock producers will operate under new procedures implemented as a result of legislation heard by the Legislature’s Agriculture Committee. Livestock management Ogallala Sen. Ken Schilz introduced LB768, which codifies practices used by the Nebraska Brand Committee for calculating annual inspection fees for feedlots and dairies participating in a voluntary registration program. The registration fee shall…

Session Review: Banking, Commerce and Insurance

Insurance coverage and banking regulation were among the issues considered by the Legislature this session. Lawmakers removed a bill’s original provisions and created an omnibus banking bill related to the processing of tangible and intangible property. As originally introduced by Columbus Sen. Paul Schumacher, LB788 originally dealt with security interest in government bond-pledged revenue sources….

Session Review: Executive Board

Published May 8, 2014, in Executive Board, Session Review 2014

The Legislature’s Executive Board initiated an in-depth investigation into the handling of a former prison inmate suspected of multiple homicides. The month after Nikko Jenkins’ July 2013 release from the Nebraska State Penitentiary, he allegedly killed four people in Omaha. Jenkins was found by an ombudsman’s report to have requested continued incarceration because he feared…

Session Review: Government, Military and Veterans Affairs

Changes to state agency reporting, election laws and voting procedures were enacted this session. Government Lawmakers approved a bill meant to strengthen state agency reporting requirements. LB719, introduced by Bellevue Sen. Sue Crawford, adds a public comment summary to the required information that a state agency must submit to the secretary of state, attorney general…

Session Review: Judiciary

Published May 8, 2014, in Judiciary, Session Review 2014

Lawmakers passed extensive changes to Nebraska’s criminal and juvenile justice systems this session. Prison reform Senators approved a measure that initiates prison reform in Nebraska. Introduced by Omaha Sen. Brad Ashford, LB907 is intended to reduce the recidivism rate of offenders released from prison. The measure appropriates to the state Office of Probation Administration $5…

Session Review: Appropriations

Published May 8, 2014, in Appropriations, Session Review 2014

Lawmakers made adjustments to the state’s two-year budget with four bills passed this session. LB905, introduced by York Sen. Greg Adams on behalf of the governor, is the mainline budget bill and passed on a 40-8 vote. Among other provisions, the bill included the following adjustments: • $25 million to the state’s Property Tax Relief…

Session Review: Business and Labor

Published May 8, 2014, in Business and Labor, Session Review 2014

Family medical leave, minimum wages and protection from wage theft were some of the business and labor issues addressed by senators this session. Employee wages Senators rejected a measure to increase the minimum wage in Nebraska. Introduced by Omaha Sen. Jeremy Nordquist, LB943 would have increased the minimum wage for all workers incrementally from $7.25…

Session Review: Education

Published May 8, 2014, in Education, Session Review 2014

Safety and accountability were priorities of the Legislature’s Education Committee while considering legislation this session. Accountability LB438, introduced by York Sen. Greg Adams, creates an intervention team appointed by the State Board of Education to assist the state’s three lowest performing school districts in diagnosing issues and designing and implementing strategies to address them. A…

Session Review: General Affairs

Published May 8, 2014, in General Affairs, Session Review 2014

Lawmakers considered several gaming and liquor law changes this session, as well as regulation of e-cigarette products. Senators passed a measure intended to pave the way for wagering on replayed horse races in Nebraska. Introduced by Omaha Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh, LR41CA will place a proposed constitutional amendment on the November 2014 general election ballot regarding…

Session Review: Health and Human Services

Child welfare, licensure requirements and a second attempt to expand Medicaid topped the list of health and human services issues considered by lawmakers this session. Child welfare Senators updated a program that provides foster care transition services and authorized a pilot program for alternative response in certain Nebraska child welfare cases. LB853, introduced by Lincoln…