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Presentation of economic development incentive reports required

Published April 18, 2013, in Executive Board

Senators passed a bill April 18 that requires the state Department of Revenue to present economic development incentive reports to two legislative committees. Columbus Sen. Paul Schumacher introduced LB612, which requires the department to appear once every two years before a joint hearing of the Legislature‚Äôs appropriations and revenue committees to present the reports. Supplemental…

Right of first refusal provided to incumbent RTO members

Published April 18, 2013, in Natural Resources

Senators gave final approval April 18 to a bill that changes the selection process for state electric transmission projects approved by a regional transmission organization (RTO). The Natural Resources Committee sponsored LB388, which provides incumbent RTO members the right of first refusal for such projects. Incumbent facilities will have 90 days to notify the Power…

Thirty day in-person early voting period passed

Published April 18, 2013, in Government Military and Veterans Affairs

Lawmakers passed a bill April 18 that shortens the in-person early voting period in Nebraska. Under LB271, introduced by Omaha Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh, any registered voter could appear in person before the election commissioner or county clerk to obtain his or her ballot not more than 30 days prior to an election. Current law provides…

Car registration fee for parks proposed

Published April 11, 2013, in Natural Resources

Nebraskans would no longer be required to purchase state park entry permits under a bill heard on general file April 10. LB362, introduced by Lincoln Sen. Bill Avery, would eliminate the current park entry permit and instead place a $7 registration fee on motor vehicle registrations. The money generated from the new fee would be…

40-year minimum alternative to juvenile life sentences advanced

Published April 11, 2013, in Judiciary

After several days of debate, senators advanced a bill April 11 that would expand sentencing options for juveniles convicted of Class IA felonies. Introduced by Omaha Sen. Brad Ashford, LB44 as currently amended would establish a new 40-year minimum sentencing option for a juvenile convicted of a Class IA felony. The only sentencing option currently…

Changes to Nebraska Advantage Act advanced

Published May 22, 2013, in Revenue

Lawmakers gave first-round approval May 21 to a bill that would revise current definitions under the Nebraska Advantage Act. Currently, the definition of taxpayer under the act includes any person who is subject to sales and use taxes and withholding. It also includes specific entities, including corporations and partnerships, that are subject to the same…

Alternative minimum tax repeal advanced

Published May 22, 2013, in Revenue

Senators advanced a bill to select file May 21 that would make changes to the computation of income taxes. Senators originally discussed LB308, introduced by Columbus Sen. Paul Schumacher, on May 16. The bill would eliminate the federal alternative minimum tax (AMT) calculation for individual state income tax purposes for taxable years beginning Jan. 1,…

Bill to ease foster care transition amended, advanced

Published May 22, 2013, in Health and Human Services

Certain state wards who have aged out of the foster care system could continue to receive services until age 21 under a bill given second-round approval May 21. LB216, introduced by Lincoln Sen. Amanda McGill, would allow eligible youth to enter into a voluntary foster care agreement with the state Department of Health and Human…

Changes to employee stock ownership plans advanced

Published May 22, 2013, in Revenue

Senators gave first-round approval May 21 to a bill that would create a state definition of shareholder for purposes of employee stock ownership plans (ESOP). Currently, individual stockholders in a qualified corporation can exclude from taxable income all extraordinary dividends paid on and the capital gain from the sale or exchange of capital stock of…

Newborn heart disease screening amended, advanced

Published May 22, 2013, in Health and Human Services

Senators amended a bill May 21 that would adopt the Nebraska Critical Congenital Heart Disease Screening Act. Under LB225, introduced by Papillion Sen. Jim Smith, all newborns in Nebraska would be required to undergo screening for critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) in accordance with standards adopted by the state Department of Health and Human Services…