A total of 401 bills introduced by end of second week in session.
By Joseph Moore, et al
Nebraska News Service
Nebraska lawmakers introduced more than 246 legislative bills by the end of second week of the legislative session, Jan. 17, totalling 401 bills. The lawmakers have until next Thursday to introduce bills. Here are some of the week’s highlights.
• LB171: Sponsored by Sen. Dave Bloomfield of Hoskins, this bill would expedite the concealed handgun permit process–from 45 days to five days–for applicants who are victims of domestic violence.
• LB181: This bill, sponsored by Sen. Bill Avery of Lincoln, would make it illegal to operate a motorcycle with a passenger under 8 years of age.
• LB182: Also sponsored by Avery, this bill would prevent the biological father of a child who was conceived as a result of sexual assault from being considered a part of the child’s family under paternity law.
• LB190: Sponsored by Sen. John Harms of Scottsbluff, this bill would appropriate $10 million each from the general funds for 2013-14 and 2014-15 for the Early Childhood Education Endowment Cash Fund. The fund provides grants to school districts for early childhood education programs for at-risk children from birth to age three.
• LB204: This bill, sponsored by Sen. Tyson Larson of O’Neill, would increase the punishment for anyone who witnesses or suspects animal cruelty without reporting it from an infraction to a Class III misdemeanor. It also expands the responsibility to report such abuse from employees to the public.
• LB216: Sen. Amanda McGill of Lincoln would provide support for foster children transitioning to adult life with services such as Medicaid and payments for housing.
• LB217: This bill, sponsored by Sen. Bill Avery of Lincoln, would increase the salaries of Nebraska’s constitutional officers in 2015. The governor’s salary would increase from $105,000 to $126,000.
• LB225: Under this bill, sponsored by Sen. Jim Smith of Papillion, all new babies born in Nebraska would have to get screened for critical congenital heart disease if they’re born at a hospital or health care facility with birthing services.
• LB258: Sen. Kate Sullivan of Cedar Rapids sponsored this bill that would prohibit school bus drivers from using wireless devices. The drivers would still be allowed to use dispatch radios.
• LB267: Under this bill, sponsored by Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha, a prison inmate, person on parole, probation or work release would be prohibited from working as an undercover agent or employee of law enforcement.
• LB280: Sponsored by Sen. Pete Pirsch of Omaha, this bill would change the provisions in the law regarding domestic assault cases. Among the provisions, the pronouns “his or her” would be added in the language of the statutes and penalties would stiffen for violators with prior convictions.
• LB293: Under this bill, sponsored by Sen. Bill Kinter of Papillion, information regarding firearm sale, registration, use or purchase would not be a matter of public record. The information would be available upon request by any federal, state or local law enforcement agency.
• LB310: Sen. Kate Bolz of Lincoln would clarify shoulder injuries would not be compensated the same as arm loss under the Workers’ Compensation Act in Nebraska.
• LB327: Under this bill, sponsored by Sen. Pete Pirsch of Omaha, all 2014 individual income tax rates would go down by a few tenths of a percent.
• LB355: Sen. Tyson Larson of O’Neill sponsored this bill that would reduce the age of a minor from 19 to 18.
• LB393: Sen. Dave Bloomfield of Hoskins sponsored this bill that would require motorcyclists and moped drivers to wear eye protection while driving on highways in Nebraska. It also exempts people over 21 from wearing helmets while driving on the same highways.
• LB400: Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh of Omaha sponsored a bill that would appropriate $101 million for the program Aid to Community Colleges in each year from 2013 to 2015.