Speaker Scheer delivered a not unwelcome message last week. This Friday, the kids can gather up their toys and go home, a whole week early. UNLESS….the Governor nixes any bills that come to his desk this week. And he will. In that case, playtime is suspended and back the little darlings come on May 30 to consider veto overrides.
- Budget – Final Reading is first thing Tuesday. Petty squabbles aside, the budget passes and makes tracks to the guy in the big East office. We should know Saturday if the Governor drops a black ball or two. The body will then override his vetos, or not. Job done!
- Property Tax Relief – The Linehan/Groene property tax relief bill (LB289) ran into Avengers-like opposition. Three hours of The Hulk’s, “Go away” and it went away. The Revenue Committee has a brand new amendment that’s not yet posted. Look for it Monday. In Nebraska, “We don’t have to pass the bill to find out what is in it.”
- Property Tax Relief Deux – Advocates have a new superhero. Senator Tom Briese (Albion). Think of him as the Avenger’s JARVIS (Just A Rather Very Intelligent System), but without the British accent. Early in the session, this crafty senator moved a sleepy little bill (LB183) through the Revenue Committee and General File. It has been quietly dormant on Select File since March 1. Last Thursday, JARVIS filed an amendment that guts LB183, and replaces it with a whole new property tax relief plan. Brilliant! Briese’s amended LB183 is a straight-forward tax shift. Generally, it increases sales tax revenue by eliminating some sales tax exemptions. That new sales tax revenue is transferred to the Property Tax Credit Cash Fund for distribution to property taxpayers. Simple right?
- The ImagiNE Act – Senator Kolterman’s LB720 is a business incentive bill to replace the current Nebraska Advantage Act. Both have too many moving parts to explain. It was filibustered on General File (ImagiNE that), and then removed from the agenda. He has three hours on the floor to convince 33 of the 49 senators to advance the bill. Chambers of Commerce lobbyists have bloody knees, while 16 amendments are positioned for a nice, leisurely three-hour discussion.
- Medicinal Cannabis – LB110 got smoked on General File. Look for a legalization effort, in the form of a constitutional amendment, on your 2020 ballot.
APPROVED BY THE GOVERNOR
- LB57 Prohibits municipalities from adopting or enforcing ordinances/regulations that expressly or effectively prohibit the short-term rental of residential properties and restrict the ability of municipalities to regulate residential properties used as short-term rentals. The Tax Commissioner will enter into agreements with online hosting platforms and short-term rentals to permit the online housing platform to collect and remit applicable sales taxes on behalf of sellers or hotel operators otherwise required to collect such taxes for transactions consummated through the online hosting platform.
- LB203 Amends the Music Licensing Act to add the owner of a multi-family dwelling to the definition of “proprietor.” Apartment common areas (lobby, clubhouse, fitness center) are included in the Act.