Session Review: Executive Board

A proposal that requires state agencies to promulgate rules and regulations within a specific time frame was approved by the Legislature this session.

LB617, introduced by Omaha Sen. Heath Mello, requires that a public hearing be held on any rule or regulation to be adopted, amended or repealed pursuant to a bill within 12 months of the legislation’s effective date. The governor may extend the time frame for up to six months with good cause and the regulation process must be completed within one year of the hearing date.

An agency that does not complete the regulation process within one year will be required to submit a written explanation to the Executive Board and the legislative committee with subject matter jurisdiction over the issue.

All agencies with pending rules and regulations will be required to submit yearly reports to the Legislature’s Performance Audit Committee, including the status of any appropriations provided to the agency to carry out the regulation process.

The bill passed 45-0.

Senators also voted to reauthorize legislative oversight of the Beatrice State Developmental Center.

LR47, sponsored by Omaha Sen. Steve Lathrop, provides for continuation of the Developmental Disabilities Special Investigative Committee, which was established three years ago in response to problems at BSDC and was extended for two years in 2009.

The resolution was adopted on a 47-0 vote.

A resolution that would establish the Health Care Reform Implementation and Oversight Committee did not advance from the Executive Board. LR30, sponsored by Lincoln Sen. Kathy Campbell, would establish a committee to research and provide recommendations for implementing new federal health care legislation.

The Executive Board considered two measures that would have placed proposals to shorten the state’s legislative sessions on the 2012 general election ballot.

LR5CA, introduced by Omaha Sen. Bob Krist, would reduce the maximum number of legislative days in odd-numbered years from 90 to 60 and cut the maximum days in even-numbered years from 60 to 45. Under LR44CA, introduced by Omaha Sen. Pete Pirsch, the Legislature would discontinue annual sessions and instead meet only in odd-numbered years.

Neither proposed constitutional amendment advanced from committee.

Finally, a bill introduced by Lincoln Sen. Danielle Conrad that would adopt the Private Attorney Retention Sunshine Act also remains in committee.

Among other provisions, LB604 would require the attorney general to file a proposed contract for private legal services exceeding $50,000 with the Appropriations Committee, which then would hold a public hearing on the proposed contract and make recommendations.

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