Speaker Scheer delivered a not unwelcome message last week. This Friday, the kids can gather up their toys and go home, a whole week early. UNLESS….the Governor nixes any bills that come to his desk this week. And he will. In that case, playtime is suspended and back the little darlings come on May 30 to consider veto overrides.
- Budget – Final Reading is first thing Tuesday. Petty squabbles aside, the budget passes and makes tracks to the guy in the big East office. We should know Saturday if the Governor drops a black ball or two. The body will then override his vetos, or not. Job done!
- Property Tax Relief – The Linehan/Groene property tax relief bill (LB289) ran into Avengers-like opposition. Three hours of The Hulk’s, “Go away” and it went away. The Revenue Committee has a brand new amendment that’s not yet posted. Look for it Monday. In Nebraska, “We don’t have to pass the bill to find out what is in it.”
- Property Tax Relief Deux – Advocates have a new superhero. Senator Tom Briese (Albion). Think of him as the Avenger’s JARVIS (Just A Rather Very Intelligent System), but without the British accent. Early in the session, this crafty senator moved a sleepy little bill (LB183) through the Revenue Committee and General File. It has been quietly dormant on Select File since March 1. Last Thursday, JARVIS filed an amendment that guts LB183, and replaces it with a whole new property tax relief plan. Brilliant! Briese’s amended LB183 is a straight-forward tax shift. Generally, it increases sales tax revenue by eliminating some sales tax exemptions. That new sales tax revenue is transferred to the Property Tax Credit Cash Fund for distribution to property taxpayers. Simple right?
- The ImagiNE Act – Senator Kolterman’s LB720 is a business incentive bill to replace the current Nebraska Advantage Act. Both have too many moving parts to explain. It was filibustered on General File (ImagiNE that), and then removed from the agenda. He has three hours on the floor to convince 33 of the 49 senators to advance the bill. Chambers of Commerce lobbyists have bloody knees, while 16 amendments are positioned for a nice, leisurely three-hour discussion.
- Medicinal Cannabis – LB110 got smoked on General File. Look for a legalization effort, in the form of a constitutional amendment, on your 2020 ballot.
NeABA Bills In Play
- LB303 (Lindstrom) Would transfer $51 million each year from the General Fund tot he Property Tax Credit Fund
Advanced to the Governor
- LB184 (Friesen) Creates the Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act for the next generation of wireless communications – 5G
Approved by the Governor
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.