“Th-th-th-that’s all folks!”
The 107th Legislature, First Session adjourned sine die. The Governor rightly labeled this session “historic” as tax cuts headline a long list of legislative accomplishments. Nebraskans wholeheartedly agree, notwithstanding that, legalizing “Cocktails to Go” may also have buoyed their enthusiasm. See the Governor’s list.
Big Deal Bills Passed
- LB432 Amended by LB680 to cut the corporate income tax:
- In 2022, on the first $100K of corporate income from 7.5% to 5.58%. The tax rate over $100K remains 7.75%.
- In 2023, the tax on the first $100K of corporate income remains 5.58%. The tax rate over $100K reduces to 7.25%.
- The bill intends to cut the corporate tax rate over $100K to 7% in 2024 and 6.84% in 2025.
- LB139 Adopts the COVID-19 Liability Protection Act. A person may not bring or maintain a civil action seeking recovery for any injuries or damages sustained from exposure or potential exposure to COVID-19 on or after the effective date of this act if the act or omission alleged to violate a duty of care was in substantial compliance with any federal public health guidance that was applicable to the person, place, or activity at issue at the time of the alleged exposure or potential exposure.
- LB59 is resting on General File.The bill would allow the Nebraska Tourism Commission to engage directly with retailers to sell tourism promotional products. Look for this one to be in play early next year.
One More Thing
Governor Ricketts will call the kids back for a special session in mid-September to complete the decennial redistricting. At-risk are district boundaries for three seats in the U.S. House of Representatives (particularly Omaha’s District 2), 49 State Senators (moving rural districts to Omaha and Lincoln), 7 Supreme Court Justices, 8 University of Nebraska Regents, 5 Nebraska Public Service Commissioners, and eight members of the State Board of Education.
Redistricting is high drama yet highly entertaining at the same time. Senators already approved the nine members of the Redistricting Committee and the rules for drawing district boundaries.
On paper, Republicans outnumber Democrats 33 – 16. Coincidentally, 33 votes are required to end a filibuster. Yes, the Legislature has RINOs and perhaps a couple of DINOs, but only fools cross their party line when it comes to redistricting.
Approved by the Governor
- LB139 (Briese) (Slama Priority) SUPPORT – Adopts the COVID-19 Liability Protection Act.
- LB432 (Revenue Committee Priority Bill) – MONITOR – An omnibus committee bill.
- AM774 Amends the following bills into LB432:
- LB680 (Linehan) Cuts the corporate tax rate beginning 2022 from 7.5% to 5.58% on the first $100K of taxable income and remains 7.75% over $100K. In 2023 the first $100K tax rate will be 5.58% and 7.25% over $100K. Intent language would then cut the taxable rate over $100K to 7% in 2024 and 6.84% in 2025.
- LB564 (McDonnell) Adds apprenticeship programs to the definition of qualified higher education expense in the Nebraska Educational Savings Plan Trust (NEST).
- 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 a section of statute describing the Commission’s powers.
- LB290 (M.Cavanaugh) OPPOSE – Adopts the Paid Family & Medical Leave Insurance Act to create a paid family and medical leave insurance program to provide partial wage replacement for eligible workers to care for themselves or family members.
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 – Would adopt a consumption tax.
- LB422 (Briese) MONITOR – Reduces sales tax rate from 5.5% to 5% and eliminates some sales tax exemptions.
Failed to Advance
- LB258 (Vargas) (M. Hansen Priority) OPPOSE – Requires employers with four or more employees to provide access to paid sick and safe leave.
- LR11CA (Erdman Priority Resolution) MONITOR – A resolution for a constitutional amendment and consumption tax. Changes the way taxes are collected, replaces the income tax, the sales tax, the property tax, and the inheritance tax with a consumption tax, directs the Legislature to enact a consumption tax.