Iron Eyes

This characterization of Iron Eyes Cody (Keep America Beautiful) sums-up the emotions of those who paid attention to floor debate last week. There was sincere partisanship, a genuine adversity for compromise and rules abuse by senators of every persuasion. Sound historically familiar?

BTW, did you know that good ole Iron Eyes was actually Italian-American? He was born Espera Oscar de Corti in Louisiana to a Sicilian mother and southern Italian father. He changed his name to Tony Cody in Hollywood. Falso Indiano.

The mainline budget bill (LB944) failed to advance to Select File – for a second time. It’s still hung-up on Title X funding for organizations that perform, counsel or refer for abortions. According to the “Rules of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature” appropriations bills shall be passed no later than the 50th legislative day in a 60 day session. If this deadline is not met, the Legislature shall consider the appropriations bills as introduced by the Governor. AND, TUESDAY IS DAY 50!!

Other priority bills blocked by dissenters included: tax credits for private school scholarship donations; school building fund levy restrictions; Urban Affairs Committee omnibus bill (8 bills); neighborhood improvement districts.

In addition to bringing back the budget bill LB944 until it passes, Speaker Scheer intends to debate the following bills this week:

LB 841 (Pansing Brooks) Provide duties relating to correctional overcrowding emergencies
LB 1089 (Smith) Change provisions relating to confidential tax information, refundable income tax credits, and homestead exemptions
LB 994 (Friesen) Create the Rural Broadband Study Task Force, change provisions relating to the Nebraska Telecommunications Universal Service Fund, and change powers and duties of the Public Service Commission as prescribed
LB 994A (Friesen) Appropriations Bill
LB 731 (Williams) Provide for licensure of remote dispensing pharmacies

LB 947 (Smith, at the request of the Governor) Adopt the Nebraska Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act, change income tax rates, and eliminate certain exemptions and credits
LB 1040 (Albrecht) Provide for certificates of nonviable birth
LB 902 (Bostelman) Authorize the withholding from the public of information regarding firearm registration, possession, sale, or use
LB 640 (Groene) Change provisions of the Property Tax Credit Act and provide school district property tax relief
LB 738 (Lindstrom) Change revenue and taxation provisions relating to an adjustment to income for social security benefits
LB 845 (Briese) Provide for supportive services relating to child custody

Primary Election Races

Bills of Interest

LB873 (Urban Affairs Committee)  GENERAL FILE This omnibus committee bill (8 bills combined) stalled on General File debate. Prior to stalling, Senator Morfeld’s short-term rental bill (LB756) was successfully amended into LB873.

As amended, LB873 would allow a municipality to adopt or enforce an ordinance or other regulation that imposes a sales tax or an occupation tax on short-term rentals. Also, an online hosting platform may enter into an agreement with the Tax Commissioner to permit the online hosting platform to collect and remit applicable sales taxes on behalf of the seller or hotel operator otherwise required to collect such taxes for transactions consummated between the seller or hotel operator and the purchaser or occupant through the online hosting platform. The fate of regulating short-term rentals depends upon the passage of LB873.

LB1067 (Quick) In Committee – DEAD. Something similar will come back next year.

Expands Nebraska’s Business Improvement District Act to enable municipalities to promote tourism and construct or renovate tourist attractions using a special tourism surcharge on tourism-related products or services. The legislation requires notice to businesses that would be affected by such surcharge. If more than 50% of such businesses protest the proposed surcharge, it would not be adopted. The bill would not permit use of funds generated by the surcharge to be used for other purposes such as a municipality’s general fund operations.

LB1084 (Briese) In Committee and Prioritized

Among other provisions, the bill eliminates sales tax exemption for many items including: cleaning of clothing, landscape services, pet services, taxi, limousine, parking lot services.  It appears that LB1084 does not have five votes to advance from committee.