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Judges’ salary increases advance

Published April 11, 2013, in Judiciary

Nebraska judges would receive a salary increase under a bill advanced from general file April 10. LB232, introduced by Omaha Sen. Steve Lathrop, would increase Nebraska Supreme Court judges’ salaries for fiscal year 2013-14 and FY2014-15. The current salary is $145,600. District, county, juvenile, appellate and workers’ compensation court judges’ salaries statutorily are based on…

Changes to public power elections advance

Published April 10, 2013, in Government Military and Veterans Affairs

A bill that would change election provisions for certain public power districts advanced from general file April 10. LB646, introduced by Gretna Sen. John Murante, would change election subdivisions and terms of public power district board members in a service area containing a city of the metropolitan class. Omaha currently is the only metropolitan class…

Nursery license consolidation advanced

Published April 10, 2013, in Agriculture

Senators gave first-round approval April 9 to a bill that would update provisions of the Plant Protection and Plant Pest Act. Currently, there are three categories of commercial nursery licenses under the act: growers, dealers and brokers. LB68, introduced by Ogallala Sen. Ken Schilz, would consolidate all three types of licenses into a single nursery…

Exemptions for small security transactions advanced

Published April 9, 2013, in Banking Commerce and Insurance

Senators gave first-round approval April 9 to a bill that would change provisions relating to small securities transactions. As introduced, LB205, sponsored by Columbus Sen. Paul Schumacher, would have added a new section to the Securities Act of Nebraska to exempt certain small offers and sales of securities. Schumacher said securities law in Nebraska is…

Thirty-year alternative to juvenile life sentences discussed

Published April 8, 2013, in Judiciary

Senators began discussing a bill April 8 that would expand sentencing options for juveniles convicted of Class IA felonies. LB44, introduced by Omaha Sen. Brad Ashford, would establish a minimum sentencing option for a juvenile convicted of a Class IA felony. The only sentencing option currently available for juveniles convicted of such offenses is life…

Children’s behavioral health bill advances

Published May 16, 2013, in Health and Human Services

Senators gave first-round approval May 16 to a bill intended to expand the use of telehealth services to address children’s behavioral health needs in Nebraska. Lincoln Sen. Amanda McGill, introducer of LB556, said one out of five children in the United States suffers from a mental health condition. Of those children, she said, only 20…

Alternative minimum tax repeal discussed

Published May 16, 2013, in Revenue

Senators began debate May 16 on a bill that would make changes to the computation of income taxes. LB308, introduced by Columbus Sen. Paul Schumacher, would eliminate the federal alternative minimum tax (AMT) calculation for individual state income tax purposes for taxable years beginning Jan. 1, 2014. Schumacher said the AMT originally was intended to…

Budget package clears second round

Published May 15, 2013, in Appropriations

Lawmakers gave second-round approval May 14 to the eight bills comprising the state’s $7.8 billion budget package. The state budget is structured on a two-year basis, with the budget enacted during legislative sessions held in odd-numbered years. Among the amendments considered on select file was a change to LB195, offered by Omaha Sen. Ernie Chambers,…

New public school funding adjustments adopted

Published May 15, 2013, in Education

Lawmakers passed a bill May 15 that adjusts the state aid funding formula for public schools under the Tax Equity and Educational Opportunities Support Act (TEEOSA). LB407, introduced by Cedar Rapids Sen. Kate Sullivan, reduces the base limitation rate for school districts from 2.5 percent to 1.5 percent for the 2013-14 school year. The rate…

Senators override veto; school retirement plan changes adopted

Published May 14, 2013, in Retirement Systems

Lawmakers successfully overrode a veto May 14 of a bill that makes changes to the state’s school retirement plans. LB553, introduced by Omaha Sen. Jeremy Nordquist, creates a new tier of reduced benefits for employees under the School Employees Retirement System (SERS) who begin work for the first time on or after July 1, 2013….