Urban Affairs

Omnibus municipal bill advanced

A bill that would update statutes governing metropolitan class cities was amended and advanced to select file March 11.

LB800, as introduced by the Urban Affairs Committee, would make grammatical and technical changes and replace outdated statute language regarding metropolitan class cities.

Sen. Justin Wayne
Sen. Justin Wayne

The committee offered an amendment to include the following bills:
• LB555, introduced by Lincoln Sen. Matt Hansen, which would require that reports filed under the Municipal Density and Missing Middle Housing Act include the percentage of residential areas a city has declared substandard and blighted or extremely blighted;
• LB724, also introduced by Hansen, which would authorize funds generated under the Local Option Municipal Economic Development Act to be used to develop and implement affordable housing action plans and authorize first and second class cities and villages to include grants, loans and construction funds as part of an affordable housing action plan;
• LB727, introduced by Hansen, which would eliminate unnecessary language in statues regarding sanitary and improvement district elections;
• LB799, introduced by the committee, which would update and clarify reporting requirements under the Municipal Density and Missing Middle Housing Act;
• LB842, introduced by Gordon Sen. Tom Brewer, which would authorize tribal governments to apply for grants under the Civic and Community Center Financing Act; and
• LB1189, introduced by Norfolk Sen. Michael Flood, which would transfer all funds, property, property rights, legal obligations, taxes or assessments owned by or owed to a sanitary drainage district that lies solely within the zoning jurisdiction of a city to that city, or a riverfront development authority created by the city, if the sanitary drainage district is discontinued.

Sen. Joni Albrecht of Thurston opposed the inclusion of provisions of LB842. She said the Ponca Tribe requested the change but does not have a reservation in the state of Nebraska.

“Yes, Ponca natives are here, but if they were to choose to put [grant money] somewhere, where would they put it? Where do they call home?” Albrecht said.

Brewer said it was appropriate to include the Ponca – one of the four federally recognized Native American tribes in Nebraska – under the bill and allow it to apply for grants.

Senators adopted the committee amendment on a 34-1 vote and advanced LB800 from general file 35-1.

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