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Sesquicentennial commission created

Published March 31, 2014, in Government Military and Veterans Affairs

Senators gave final approval March 31 to a bill that establishes a planning commission for the 150th anniversary of Nebraska statehood. Under LB744, introduced by Lincoln Sen. Bill Avery, the governor will appoint 17 members to the Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commission. The commission will work with state agencies, boards and commissions to develop programs to celebrate…

Changes to livestock brand inspection procedures adopted

Published March 31, 2014, in Agriculture

A bill that creates brand inspection service areas was passed by lawmakers March 31. LB768, introduced by Ogallala Sen. Ken Schilz, 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 base the calculation on capacity only upon…

Mountain lion hunting repeal approved, vetoed

Published March 28, 2014, in Natural Resources

Senators passed a bill March 24 that would have prohibited the hunting of mountain lions. Gov. Dave Heineman vetoed the bill on March 28. LB671, introduced by Omaha Sen. Ernie Chambers, would repeal the law passed in 2012 that authorized the state Game and Parks Commission to hold a mountain lion hunting season. The bill…

Prison reform measures advanced

Published March 28, 2014, in Judiciary

The Legislature’s effort to initiate prison reform advanced from general file March 26. Introduced by Omaha Sen. Brad Ashford, LB907 is intended to reduce the recidivism rate of offenders released from prison. A Judiciary Committee amendment, adopted 36-0, replaced the initial draft of the bill and primarily would: • appropriate to the state Office of…

Election guideline changes passed

Published March 28, 2014, in Government Military and Veterans Affairs

Lawmakers passed a bill March 27 that establishes new guidelines for election practices. LB946, introduced by Gretna Sen. John Murante, makes numerous changes to the Election Act, including: • delaying from noon to 8 p.m. on election day the deadline for a voter to return the statement declaring the original early ballot was lost; •…

Workers’ comp, firefighting compact bill amended, advanced

Published April 8, 2014, in Business and Labor

Lawmakers amended and advanced a bill from select file April 8 that would affect workers’ compensation and other policies. LB961, as introduced by Omaha Sen. Tanya Cook, originally would have enabled workers injured due to willful negligence of their employers to seek damages outside of the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Act. Numerous other bills replaced the…

Replayed horse racing measure approved

Published April 7, 2014, in General Affairs

Following a motion to reconsider a final reading vote taken last week, senators voted April 7 to pass a measure intended to pave the way for wagering on replayed horse races in Nebraska. The measure failed April 3 on a 28-18 vote and introducer Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh of Omaha filed a motion to reconsider that…

Replayed horse racing measure stalls

Published April 3, 2014, in General Affairs

Senators declined to pass a measure April 3 intended to pave the way for wagering on replayed horse races in Nebraska. The proposal is a carry-over measure that was introduced and advanced from general file last session. LR41CA, introduced by Omaha Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh, would place a proposed constitutional amendment on the November 2014 general…

Priority school designation adopted

Published April 3, 2014, in Education

Senators passed a bill April 3 that provides special assistance to the state’s three lowest performing schools. Under LB438, introduced by York Sen. Greg Adams, an intervention team appointed by the State Board of Education will assist the school district and school staff in diagnosing issues and designing and implementing strategies to address them. A…

Nebraska Advantage Act extensions approved

Published April 3, 2014, in Revenue

A bill that extends sunset dates for the Nebraska Advantage Act was passed by the Legislature April 3. LB1067, introduced by Kearney Sen. Galen Hadley, extends the date for first claiming the credit for Tier 1 and Tier 3 projects under the Nebraska Advantage Act from Dec. 31, 2015 to Dec. 31, 2017. The date…