Are you kidding me?

It’s going to happen. Speaker Scheer has summoned the whole Capitol Gang to return a week from Monday, in hopes of completing the final seventeen days of this COVID interrupted legislative session by August 13.

The process will not be normal; that’s for sure. Mass quantities of plexiglass, face masks, and limited interaction with colleagues, constituents, and lobbyists should clear the legislative chamber like a school bell clears seventh-period study hall.

Daily sessions start at 9 am, and Tuesdays – Thursdays will very well run until 10 pm. Friday adjournments should be just in time for lunch.

Without going through the whole Priority Bill thing, just know that if a bill doesn’t have one, it’s dead! Also know, that any legislation that increases state spending is likely a goner as well. So, let’s focus on the living, shall we?

The following Priority Bills are selected for your viewing pleasure because each one increases the state budget. Plus, they bring a certain entertainment value to those who are still social distancing, and have an “ARE YOU KIDDING ME” attitude.

Final Reading Bills

  • LB770 Free passes to state parks for disabled veterans and changes to nonresident fees. $230,000-$250,000 annually.

Select File Bills

  • LB720 New ImagiNE business incentive package. $125 million annually. Some leading senators want this bill tied to a property tax relief bill. Some don’t. Pick a side, or pick a compromise. No matter the outcome, you will be disappointed.
  • LB912 Christmas tree of correction bills. $170,000 – $190,000 annually.
  • LB1148 New reporting requirements for juvenile abuse, neglect, placement, and treatment. $12 million annually.
  • LB1183 Data collection and disbursement by the statewide health information exchange. $2.7 – $3.1 million annually.

General File Bills

  • LB242 Sales tax turn back for municipalities and sewer and water utilities. $190,000 – $224,00 annually.
  • LB283 Climate change study. $125,000.
  • LB923 Exempts from sales tax on electric generation, transmission, distribution, and street lights owned by an electric cooperative or member association. $190,000 – $224,00 annually.
  • LB974 Property tax relief bill “número dos” replaces LB1074 that is drowning in so many cockamamie amendments that it now swims with the fishes. The big K-12 schools will hate on this bill because…that’s what they do.
  • LB1155 Urban housing grant program. $10,000,000

Tracking

GENERAL FILE

LB187 SUPPORT (Hilkeman)

  • Adds two new definitions to an eligible sports arena facility to the Sports Arena Facility Financing Assistance Act.
  • Any sports complex which includes concession areas, parking facilities and onsite administrative offices connected with operating the sports complex.
  • A multipurpose field meaning a rectangular field of grass or synthetic turf which is primarily used for competitive field sports, that may include soccer, football, flag football, lacrosse or rugby.
  • The bill repeals the occupancy requirement to receive a turn back of sales tax and replaces occupancy with project completion date.

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.
  • 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.
  • UNMC must show an economic impact to Nebraska of at least $2.7 billion during the planning and construction period and at least $4.9 billion over ten years.

FAILED TO ADVANCE

LB974 MONITOR (Linehan) REVENUE COMMITTEE PRIORITY BILL

  • This is a complex property tax and school funding bill. As amended by AM2433, the bill would reduce property taxes as a major source of funding for K-12 education.
  • Real property would be valued at 95% of actual value for tax year 2020.
  • In tax year 2021, real property would be valued at 91%of actual value.
  • In tax year 2022, and thereafter, real property would be valued at 86% of actual value.

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