The way it is
Nebraska’s 2020 legislative session and all public hearings are suspended until the Speaker of the Legislature deems it safe to reconvene. Senators and their offices continue their work from remote locations.
Governor Ricketts has repeatedly said, “staying at home is a really good idea, but it’s not part of our plan.” Nebraska adopted the 10-person rule relatively early, the Governor said, ahead of action by most other states. With 321 confirmed coronavirus cases, and eight deaths, Nebraska ranks 44th in the country.
All 93 counties are now under the State Directed Health Measures to reduce morbidity and mortality; minimize disease transmission; protect health care personnel, and preserve health care system functioning:
- Imposes an enforceable, 10-person limit on public gatherings
- Prohibits medical and dental elective surgeries and procedures
- Requires all schools to operate without students through 5/31/2020
- Cancels school-related extracurricular activities through 5/31/2020
- Requires restaurants and bars to close their dining areas and move to takeout, delivery, and/or curbside service only. On a positive note, we can purchase up to a gallon of cocktails to go!
- Requires individuals to home quarantine for at least 14 days if:
- They have tested positive for COVID-19
- They have a fever of 100.4° F or above
- They have experienced a sudden onset of a cough and/or shortness of breath
- They reside or have resided with individuals who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 or have the above symptoms
- Some individuals in-home quarantine may not experience the onset of symptoms until the latter half of their 14-day quarantine period. In this case, the length of their quarantine may exceed 14 days. Individuals should remain in quarantine until seven days have passed since the onset of symptoms, symptoms have improved, and they have been fever-free for at least 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication
- The DHM’s limitation on public gatherings does not apply to:
- Retail or grocery stores where people should maintain six feet of distance from one another
- Daycares that may be operated at a school per the Governor’s executive order regarding childcare
- Other locations detailed in the DHM
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.
LB1084 (Kolterman / MONITOR)
- 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.
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.
Held In Committee
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.
Failed to Advance
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