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2017 Legislative Bills of Interest


Based on bill review and decisions of the Legislative Committee on January 24, 2017.

Update as of 3-15-17 is italic.

Public hearings on bills are finishing up this week and all priority bill designations were made by March 9. The 45th day of the 90-day session has passed. The tax bill, budget bill, and those bills with priority designation will likely make up the agenda of the rest of the 2017 session.
Bill status updated as of 4-10-17.

LB 9 Krist Adopt the Radon Resistant New Construction Act.
Due to NE having the third highest radon levels by state in the US; and noting that radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers this bill creates the Radon Resistant New Construction Act on behalf of the American Cancer Society. Bill will create the Taskforce; determine who will serve on Taskforce; and identifies the work to be completed by April 2018 by the Taskforce to be reported to the Governor and Legislature. This is yr. 3 for this bill. We last left it as Neutral after our requested changes were made. Read this entire bill here:
NEUTRAL Voted out of committee and is Sen. Krist’s Priority Bill. On Final Reading 4-10-17

LB 96 Crawford + Add eligible activity to Site and Building Development Fund
This adds public and private sector initiatives that will improve the military value of military installations by making necessary improvements to buildings and infrastructure. SUPPORT On General File

LB 165 Brewer + Require Employer ID and Federal Verification System
Makes it unlawful for any employer making payment of wages/withholding to maintain an office or transact business within this state unless such employer has registered with NDR and has been assigned a state employer ID. Also, requires every employer registered with NDR to also register and use the federal immigration verification system to determine work eligibility status of new employees. Employees hired previous to date are exempt. INFORMATIONAL/MONITOR

LB174 Morfeld Adopt the Apprenticeship Training Program Tax Credit Act
Provides for nonrefundable credits against the income tax imposed on taxpayers who employ one or more apprentices as part of a qualified apprenticeship training program in amount equal to one-dollar of credit to hour worked by apprentice, not to exceed $2,000 per apprentice. The bill authorizes a total of $2.5 million in total credits per year. Tax credits not used in one year may be carried forward. SUPPORT (Note-Unofficial word out and about is that anything with a Fiscal Note will not get out of committee.) MAY get reduced to $2M and amended into the Appropriations Committee Budget Bill due out of committee on 4-20-17.

LB 262 Groene Change provisions relating to undeveloped vacant land under the Community Development Law
The bill prevents the acquisition and use of 'undeveloped vacant land' for TIF. Under the bill, "undeveloped vacant land could not be declared blighted and substandard, two of the qualifiers to use TIF." Exact same bill as he submitted last year—just new bill #. OPPOSE

LB 354 Kolowski Adopt the Wage Disclosure Act
Under this act it shall be unlawful for an employer to: screen job applicants based on current/prior wages; request/require as a condition of being interviewed or considered for an offer of employment that an applicant disclose their current/prior wages; or seek info regarding applicant’s current/prior wages from current/former employer. Employers that violate this Act shall be guilty of a Class IV misdemeanor. MONITOR

LB 420 McCollister +10 Adopt the Fair Chance Hiring Act
Act provides that employers and employment agencies shall not ask an applicant to disclose criminal record/history until the employer or agency has determined the applicant meets the minimum employment qualifications. The exceptions to this rule are: if the applicant is applying for a position for which a criminal history record check is required by federal or state law; or federal or state law specifically disqualifies an applicant with a criminal background. Also, Act does not prevent a school district or ESU from requiring an applicant to disclose a record related to sexual or physical abuse; or from preparing an employment application that clearly states a criminal history check is required by federal or state law or the employer’s policy; and this does not prevent an employer/agency from conducting a criminal history info check after the employer/agency has determined that the applicant meets the minimum employment qualifications. If an employer/agency asks about or requests disclosure of applicant’s criminal history and the applicant is still eligible for the position you must afford the applicant an opportunity to explain the circumstances regarding any conviction, including post-conviction rehabilitation. OPPOSE
On General File with Amendment pending 4-10-17

LB 459 Smith Changes provisions to the One-Call Notification System Act
Changes administration of One-Call to Board of Directors to oversee operations of Call Center. The State Fire Marshall will establish policies, rules and regulations, best practices, and determine the qualification and make-up of the Board.
(2-13-17: after further review and consideration, majority vote changed to SUPPORT of bill) LB459, is a pending amendment to LB263, which is the one of the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee Priority Bills. Sec. 86-89 contains the amended language from LB459.

LB 482 Smith Adopt the Government Neutrality in Contracting Act
The Act provides for the efficient procurement of goods and service by governmental units and to promote the economical, nondiscriminatory completion of publicly-funded construction projects. The bill ensures that all RFPs, bid specifications, or any other controlling document for public contracts does not include: terms that requires, prohibits, etc. bidders/contractors from entering into or adhering to agreements with a labor organization; or a term that discriminates against bidders/contractors based on status as party or nonparty to or refusal to enter into an agreement with a labor organization relating to a project. This is pretty much the exact same bill Sen. Smith introduced in 2012 session. SUPPORT

LB 489 Groene Redefines redevelopment project
Bill changes the definition of redevelopment by eliminating wording on line 12, p. 5. MONITOR

LB 591 Crawford Make changes to Contractor Registration Act to provide for enforcement of certain Codes
This bill is an attempt to solve a random, couple of possible violations might occur once every 5-6 years, situation that came up at an Energy Code Interim Hearing this past fall. This “fix” is to give property owners an option for dealing with codes violations in rural parts of the state that are not covered by city code jurisdictions and no one is inspecting and providing certificates of occupancy. It’s kind of a patch job—but the best we could come up with. Hearing 2-7-17 NEUTRAL

LB 95 Crawford+ To change provisions relating to Community Development Law
Addresses how governing bodies of community development authorities operate and approve redevelopment plans.

LB 97 Crawford To adopt the Riverfront Development District Act

On Select File 4-10-17

LB 518 Williams To adopt the Rural Workforce Housing Investment Act
An answer to the rural town housing shortage in some areas where it is limiting the area employer’s ability to hire quality employees.

On Final Reading 4-10-17

LB 461 Revenue Committee Committee’s negotiated revenue bill that combines LB 337, 338 & 452

The best explanation of bill is the committee statement:
The New Markets Job Growth Investment Act and the Nebraska Job Creation and Mainstreet Revitalization Act did get immediate sunset when this bill takes effect. Bill does have emergency clause. Other piece of Revenue Package is LB 640

LB 312 Briese + Takes away some current sales tax exemptions to help offset property tax exemptions
The items that would be subject to sales tax if LB 312 were to pass would be: Legal services; accounting services and other real estate services; motor vehicle cleaning, maintenance, and repair services; Nebraska lottery; newspapers; motor vehicles and motorboat trade-ins; soft drinks, candy or bottled water; maintenance, painting and repair of real property; entertainment admissions; laundromats; personal care services; telefloral deliveries; lawn care, gardening and landscaping services; school lunches; pet-related services; storage and moving services; admissions to school events; utilities and certain other personal services; fine art purchases by a museum; taxi, limousine and other transportation services; cleaning and repair of clothing; cleaning, maintenance, repair of tangible personal property; and prepaid calling arrangements.

LB 373 Schumaucher To make technical changes to tax provide tax relief
Was introduced for purposes of reviewing numerous revenue related exemptions, credits, and deductions, most of which were enacted over the last 10 years and impacted General Fund revenues by five million dollars or more. The bill could raise necessary revenue by eliminating the associated programs to fund the State’s nearly $900 Million budget shortfall. Was prioritized by Planning Committee—but original rules stayed in play—so not prioritized bill.

LB 452 Lindstrom To provide income tax relief
Seeks to eliminate a broad number of sales tax exemptions, such as: newspapers; laundromats; lottery tickets, maintenance, and repair services; storage and moving services; taxi, limousine, and other transportation services; vehicle repair; motor vehicle repair and maintenance labor; storage and moving services; personal care services, including hair care, hair removal, massage, nail care, skin care, tanning, tattoos, other body modifications, and other beauty and personal care services; local taxi, limousine, or other luxury vehicle services and any other local ground transportation services provided by motor vehicle; and dry cleaning and other laundry services, including any coin-operated machines used for dry cleaning or other laundry services, but to provide income tax relief, with the caveat that general fund receipts expected rate of net growth must be at least 3.5%. If net growth receipts are less than 3.5% then income tax relief is deferred.