Winner Winner Chick’n Dinner

Bill introductions concluded last Wednesday. The kids had a terrific time submitting 755 pieces of simply fabulous legislation. That’s an average of about 14 bills per senator. Every citizen in every socioeconomic class has something to celebrate and fear at the same time.

Senator Wayne lapped the field with 59 individual and committee bills, constitutional amendments and a legislative resolution. He’s our Winner Winner, Chick’n Dinner. Fellow Democrat Matt Hansen finished a distant second with 32.

Committee hearings started last week. Several bills have already found their way out of committee, and onto General File. Four measures even advanced to Select File on Friday.

Surprisingly, the longest hearing of the week was not for sales tax exemptions on menstrual hygiene products (LB170) or breast pumps and breast feeding supplies (LB13). Rather, LB110, a bill that would approve certain forms of cannabis for medical use, lasted into the night. These types of hearings are are difficult, polarizing and heart-wrenching. Suffers with severe medical conditions like cancer, glaucoma, seizures or MS are desperate for relief, or for an alternative to opioids. On the other hand, cannabis is not approved by the FDA, doctors are not familiar with chemical compounds and law enforcement must deal with the illegal use and distribution of cannabis. Interestingly, the Nebraska Medical Association is neutral on the bill.

This week holds a full slate of morning floor debate on General File bills, and afternoon committee hearings. For the morning agendas, use the Nebraska Legislature link below. Under Legislative Calendar select Today or Monthly View and then Agenda.

Committee Hearings Schedule is obvious, unless you’re under sedation by cannabis.

NH&LA Watchlist

Tuesday, January 29, the Urban Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing on Senator Morfeld’s Airbnb bill, LB57. The bill uses permissive (may vs. shall) language regarding regulation by municipalities and tax collection by the Department of Revenue. In discussions with the Department of Revenue, they fully intend to collect sales and use taxes on Airbnb rentals. The League of Nebraska Municipalities will also provide guidance to all cities and villages regarding local regulatory oversight through ordinances and resolutions.

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