The Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board meets bi-annually to forecast future revenues headed to the State coffers. The Legislature then uses the board’s best guess to craft the FY2020/2021 portion of the budget.
NEFAB (another one of those clever initialisms) met last Friday and predicted state tax receipts for FY2020/2021 would be $115 million more than initially thought. What good news! Well, it likens to finding a $500 mistake on last year’s tax return, and everyone in your entire extended family, including your old freeloader Uncle Freddie, knows you have extra cash. You know they all will soon be at your front door with helpful and self-serving ideas about how to spend your newfound wealth.
The Legislature’s Appropriation Committee will consider NEFAB’s (there it is again) projections before delivering their proposed FY2020/2021 budget to the full Legislature on March 12.
Public hearings wrapped up last week. As you know, every single bill is entitled to a public hearing. And as you should also know, cockamamie bills are scheduled for the final week of hearings. They don’t advance to General File because of that cockamamie part. Even if there were a mixup in committee and a cockamamie bill did advanced, the pipeline of bills is full of 100+ priority pills and closets-full of non-cockamamie bills.
Looking forward, the kids will engage in all-day floor debate until the legislative session concludes, no later than April 23. Discussion on the budget will take place sometime between March 12 and April 1.
LB803 (Hughes) MONITOR – SPEAKER PRIORITY BILL
- Creates a new promotional checkoff program for pulse crops, including dry peas, lentils, chickpeas or garbanzo beans, faba beans, and lupine. The bill also expands a waiver of a distance limitation for overweight/oversize vehicles transporting crops to include pulse crops.
LB974 (Linehan) MONITOR – REVENUE COMMITTEE PRIORITY BILL
- A complex property tax reduction and school funding bill. As amended by AM2433, the bill would reduce property taxes as a significant source of funding for K-12 education. Unless expressly exempt:
- Real property would be valued at 95% of actual value for the tax year 2020, 91% in the tax year 2021, and 86% in 2022 and after that.
- Agricultural and horticultural land would be valued at 65% of actual value in the tax year 2020, for purposes of taxes levied by a school district and 75% of actual value for taxes levied by other political subdivisions.
- Agricultural and horticultural land would be valued at 60% of actual value in the tax year 2021, for purposes of taxes levied by a school district and 75% of actual value for taxes levied by other political subdivisions.
- Agricultural and horticultural land would be valued at 55% of actual value in the tax year 2022, and each tax year after that, for purposes of taxes levied by a school district and 75% of actual value for taxes levied by other political subdivisions.
LB1159 (Stinner) SUPPORT
- Extends the initial training period for a noncertified pesticide applicator from 60 to 120 days prior to obtaining an initial commercial or noncommercial applicator license. The bill also authorizes unlimited exam attempts for the noncertified applicator during that training period.
LB919 (Wayne / MONITOR)
- Hemp cultivator, processor-handler, and broker license and renewal applications shall only be denied if they are incomplete or deficient, including for nonpayment of the required application and registration fees, or if the applicant does not meet minimum qualifications.
LB946 (Briese / MONITOR)
- The bill lowers the sales tax rate and eliminates exemptions on services. Service includes all activities that are engaged in for other persons for a consideration and that involve predominantly the performance of a service as distinguished from selling or leasing tangible personal property.
LB1084 (Kolterman / MONITOR) THIS BILL WILL ADVANCE
- The Nebraska Transformational Project Act would provide $300 million in state funding to the University of Nebraska Medical Center for their NExT Project. Before receiving $300 million, UNMC must show the economic impact to Nebraska is at least $2.7 billion during the planning and construction period and at least $4.9 billion over ten years.
- NExT Project has two components: a state of the art academic medical center facility and a federal all-hazard disaster response military and civilian partnership.