Piles of Money
The Appropriations Committee sent their $9.7 billion biennial budget to the printer. That means floor debate will soon turn to the distribution of piles-o-money over the next two fiscal years.
K-12 education stands at the head of that line. Their $2.65 billion stake is 27% of the state’s budget (not to mention their cut of property taxes), so their lobbyists and administrators will “be available” to lend senators a hand.
Good news for property owners! The property tax credit program for residential and commercial property should increase to $108.95 (FY 21/22) and $110.95 (FY 22/23) per $100,000 of valuation. Agricultural & horticultural land tax credits will likely increase to $130.73 (21/22) and $135.86 (22/23). It’s anybody’s guess what the gambling tax will do for property tax relief.
Rumor has it that Governor Rickett’s $230ish million appropriation for a new prison is included in the proposed budget. The ACLU passed a kidney stone upon learning of the appropriation. Prepare for a doozie of a filibuster during floor debate.
Senator Tom Briese’s LB283 may not sit atop anyone’s list, but Speaker Hilgers awarded it one of his 25 priorities. If passed, the bill would implement year-round Daylight Saving Time in Nebraska, but not until the Federal Government allows states to do so, and two neighboring states adopt similar year-round time legislation. So far, fifteen states have agreed to switch upon approval by the Feds. Bet you could argue either side of this one, Sunshine
- LB59 (Stinner) SUPPORT – Amends the Nebraska Tourism Commission’s powers to allow the Commission to engage directly with retailers to sell 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 harmonizes a section of the statute governing the handling of sales revenue received by the Commission and in a section of statute describing the Commission’s powers.
- LB258 (Vargas) (M. Hansen Priority) MONITOR – Requires employers with four or more employees to provide access to paid sick and safe leave.
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) (Slama Priority) SUPPORT – Adopts the COVID-19 Liability Protection Act.
- LB290 (M.Cavanaugh) OPPOSE – Adopts the Paid Family & Medical Leave Insurance Act.
- LB422 (Briese) 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.