This week, the Judiciary Committee will close out their final public hearings of the session while Speaker Hilgers continues to prep the kids for full-day floor debate.
A large majority of bills remain in committees. This week sets up perfectly for committees to do their work and dispatch their bills. It’s Legislating 101: (a) kick decent bills out to General File, (b) kick bills to the dirt that still need work, or (c) kick really dumb bills to kingdom come where maybe no one will ever introduce them again.
Priority Bills play a big part in the legislative process. Senators each get one Priority. Each committee two, and the Speaker wields twenty-five of the little sweethearts. A Priority Bill is not guaranteed a successful outcome. It must first advance from a committee to General File. Once there, a Priority Bill is assured to be scheduled for floor debate and not get lost in the shuffle. Thursday, senators, and committees must designate their priority bills. The Speaker will announce his 25 picks on St. Patrick’s Day. There’s a joke in there somewhere.
Chair of the Revenue Committee, Sen. Lou Ann Linehan, is steering the tax reform bus this session. She has help from her committee, the Governor, and the Nebraska Chamber. It appears the committee will introduce tax shifts and adjustments (likely income tax reductions) and take the plan on the road between this session and next. We will know their vision soon, so hold onto your billfold.
- LB59 (Stinner) SUPPORT – Amends the Nebraska Tourism Commission’s powers 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 Commission’s powers.
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) 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.