Flush with Cash

Our state economic prognosticators met last week. It seems their “wet index finger in the air” formula worked. State tax revenue will be higher than they predicted only four months ago. $462 million higher in fiscal years 20/21 ($204M), 21/22 ($165M), and 22/23 ($93M). $462 MILLION in just four months. It will take another four months for them to explain why.

But for the Judiciary Committee, all committee hearings end on Thursday. Judiciary has nine more bill hearings next week to close out their schedule. And then? Wait for it…All-Day Floor Debate!

About 700 bills were introduced this year. 79 bills advanced from committees to General File (Round 1), and 24 bills moved to Select File (Round 2).

Recent legislators are a kinder, gentler, and more thoughtful lot. They prefer to have a conversation about bills, especially before they cast a no vote. They just feel better. Not that long ago, when a crumby bill was referenced to a committee, they didn’t hold onto the stinker because someone’s feelings would be hurt. They killed the thing to keep it from wasting more time. The procedure is called Indefinitely Postpone (IPP).

It’s refreshing that so far, eleven bills are IPPd by committees. Heck, one senator IPPd his own bill. That’s what stand-up people do, for crying out loud.

There was an IPP conversation during the floor debate last week. A couple of swells felt picked-on and find IPP to be unfriendly.

Bill Tracker

General File

  • LB59 (Stinner) SUPPORT – Amends the powers of the Nebraska Tourism Commission to provide that the Commission may engage directly with retailers for the sale of tourism promotional products. It further provides that retailers who pay in full for merchandise have no further reporting requirements to the Commission. The bill also makes harmonizing changes in a section of statute governing the handling of sales revenue received by the Commission and in a section of statute describing the powers of the Commission.

 

Held In Committee

  • LB52 (Lathrop) MONITOR – Provides immunity from injury or death resulting from COVID-19 exposure.
  • LB79 (Briese) MONITOR – Change the minimum amount of relief provided under the Property Tax Credit Act.
  • LB122 (Hunt) OPPOSE – Eliminates the tipped minimum wage of $2.13 plus tips. Tipped workers would be paid the state minimum wage of 9.00 an hour.
  • LB133 (Erdman) MONITOR – Adopts a consumption tax.
  • LB139 (Briese) SUPPORT – Adopts the COVID-19 Liability Protection Act.
  • LB258 (Vargas) (Monitor) Requires employers with four or more employees to provide access to paid sick and safe leave.
  • LB290 (M.Cavanaugh) OPPOSE – Adopts the Paid Family & Medical Leave Insurance Act.
  • LB422 (Briese) Hearing 2/3 (Monitor) Reduces sales tax rate from 5.5% to 5% and eliminates some sales tax exemptions.
  • LR11CA (Erdman) MONITOR – Constitutional amendment requires a consumption tax and prohibits certain other forms of taxation.

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