Turnin’ Up The Heat
It’s hot in the Capitol. Yes, it’s literally hot in the building! Happens every year. Seasons change, temperatures fluctuate, and the building’s heating and cooling system (patented by the Romans) cannot be adjusted without either a proclamation by the Governor, or a thumbs up from Tom Osborne.
Last June, workers began a 10-year, $100 million project to bring the Old Girl’s HVAC, windows and attitude up to snuff. With plywood covering all the Southwest quadrant windows, the place looks like the aftermath of Hurricane Herby.
Twenty-one days remain in the session, and the Speaker just turned up his own kind of heat! Starting April 29, he may extend floor debate to 9pm, or even 11:59pm. Not a big deal for those of you who doze off mid-afternoon. Oh, and we know who you are! Rather, this is an incentive for the kids to play nice and go home for supper.
Be assured, a balanced budget will be approved by Day 80. On the other hand, the revenue picture is a tough call right now. Agriculture and homeowners just want their Top 10 nationally ranked property taxes to be lower. K-12 education wants more money and the University usually gets more money. The Chamber of Commerce wants lower income taxes and a new economic development incentive plan; which translates to more money.
The Revenue Committee should shake something loose this week that is General File debate worthy. The jury is out on significantly lowering property taxes by shifting more funding for schools to sales taxes. The Governor remains solid that he will not sign a tax increase on anybody. Meaning any bill with tax consequences will need 30 votes to override his veto.
This is my favorite time of year! You too??
State Treasurer, Tony Fulton reported that Fiscal Year Net Receipts of $3.267 billion, are 0.4% above the certified forecast of $3.255 billion.
NeABA Bills In Play
- LB227 (Hughes) Nuisance bill. If a farming operation existed prior to changes in surrounding land use remains unchanged a farm or warehouse could retain right-to-farm protections for changes to the farming operation or public grain warehouse operations. A farm or warehouse shall not be found to be a nuisance if reasonable measures are employed to minimize dust, odors, etc. and the farm or grain warehouse complies with applicable laws and regulations, including zoning; and there is no significant change in the operation, the farm or warehouse has been in operation more than 1 year and was not a nuisance when it began.
- LB320 (Albrecht) Brings provisions of the Pesticide Act into alignment with revisions to the Certification of Pesticide Applicators Rule, which establishes standards for state programs to certify persons applying restricted use pesticides (RUPs), training/competency to be demonstrated by applicators to obtain certification and licensure, and related record keeping. The revisions increase Federal applicator certification program standards, enhance pesticide safety training and standards for supervision of noncertified applicators, and establish a minimum age requirement for noncertified applicators using RUPs under the direct supervision of a certified applicator. States have until March, 2020 to submit to EPA revised certification plans that comply with the updated rule requirements.
Advanced to the Governor
- LB243 (Gragert) Creates the Healthy Soils Task Force to develop a comprehensive healthy soils initiative, and an action plan to carry out the initiative using specified standards as measures to assess improved soil health. With the assistance from outside resources, the task force shall examine how to provide farmers with research, education, technical assistance, and demonstration projects; examine options for financial incentives to improve soil health; and examine the contribution of livestock to soil health. The task force is to create a timeline to improve soil health within 5 years after completion of the action plan. The task force shall submit its action plan, as well as their findings and recommendations, by January 1, 2021. There are two slots on the committee for agribusiness members.
Approved by the Governor
- LB284 (McCollister) Internet sales tax collection bill requires remote sellers (those without a physical presence in the state) and/or “marketplace facilitators” to collect and remit sales tax beginning July 1, 2019 if their gross revenue from sales into the state exceed $100,000, and sales into the state exceed 200 or more separate transaction in the same time period.