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Williams makes Capitol investment


Published April 23, 2015, in Senator Features

Sen. Matt Williams has been actively involved in local and state business communities since taking on the family bank in Gothenburg in 1973. Maybe a little too involved if you ask his wife, Susan. After his appointment as chairman of the American Bankers Association in 2012, Susan gently suggested that Matt pare down his list…


Updates to native children placements advanced


Published April 23, 2015, in Judiciary

Native foster children would have more culturally appropriate placement opportunities under a bill amended and advanced April 23. Introduced by Lincoln Sen. Colby Coash, LB566 would change provisions of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) to clarify the responsibilities of Nebraska child welfare providers. The bill would ensure that Native American tribes have a…


Evidence testing measure passed


Published April 23, 2015, in Judiciary

Incarcerated individuals can request that a court reconsider evidence used in their trials under a bill passed April 23. Introduced by Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln, LB245 allows a person in custody to request DNA testing of previously tested material if current technology could provide more accurate or probative results. Previously, material could be…


Election law changes advance


Published April 23, 2015, in Government Military and Veterans Affairs

A bill that makes a number of technical changes to the state’s election laws advanced from general file April 23. Gretna Sen. John Murante, sponsor of LB575, said the bill is a “clean up” effort on behalf of the secretary of state, election commissioners and county clerks across Nebraska. “It is the compilation of a…


Procedures for juvenile offenders passed


Published April 23, 2015, in Judiciary

Lawmakers passed a bill April 23 relating to the treatment of juveniles charged with certain crimes. Under LB482, introduced by Omaha Sen. Bob Krist, juveniles charged with running away or being uncontrollable or truant could not be fingerprinted or placed in a juvenile detention facility or out-of-home care unless certain factors exist. County attorneys must…


Withdrawal from rail compact membership advanced


Published April 23, 2015, in Transportation and Telecommunications

A bill that would withdraw Nebraska’s membership in the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Compact advanced from general file April 23. Papillion Sen. Bill Kintner, sponsor of LB317, said Nebraska’s dues outweigh any benefits the state gains from membership in the compact. Nebraska has paid $197,650 in membership dues over 14 years, he said. Kintner said…


Aid to dependent children changes approved


Published April 23, 2015, in Health and Human Services

A bill intended to remove the “cliff effect” in the state’s Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) program passed April 23. LB89, introduced by Lincoln Sen. Kathy Campbell, increases the maximum ADC benefit each year through 2019, after which it will be set at 70 percent of the standard need. The bill also changes the amount…


Borrowing authority for municipalities approved


Published April 23, 2015, in Urban Affairs

Cities and towns in Nebraska have the express authority to borrow funds to purchase property or construct improvements under a bill given final approval April 23. LB152, introduced by the Urban Affairs Committee, allows municipalities to borrow from state- or federally-chartered banks, savings banks, building and loan associations and savings and loan associations. The bill…


Rights for disabled pedestrians passed


Published April 23, 2015, in Transportation and Telecommunications

Senators passed a bill April 23 concerning the rights of disabled pedestrians. Introduced by Bellevue Sen. Tommy Garrett, LB641 permits a person operating a manual or motorized wheelchair on a sidewalk, in a crosswalk or across a roadway the same rights as other pedestrians. Senators passed the bill on a 45-0 vote.


Expanded SID authority passed


Published April 23, 2015, in Urban Affairs

A bill that expands the authority of sanitary and improvement districts (SIDs) was passed by the Legislature April 23. When a property developer buys land for a housing development, an SID is created to install streets, sewers and power, as well as buy land for public parks. The SID is vested with taxing authority to…