Pace of bill movement picks up

Saturday, February 4, 2006

Members of the Legislature were encouraged by the increased pace of bill movement this past week, as one-third of the legislative session is already behind us. The advancement of three bills from General File on Monday set the stage for a productive week. LB 72 would potentially create a new section of law by adopting the Security Personnel Licensing Act while Legislative Bills 87 and 85 would revise current provisions of statute. All three pieces of legislation, as well as the corresponding appropriation bills, were discussed and advanced for review.

Business continued to progress in this manner throughout the week. Tuesday marked the first day of Final Reading this session, as five bills were read and successfully passed. Each of these proposals, upon approval from the governor, will be enacted into law. One of the aforementioned bills containing the emergency clause will take effect immediately upon his signing. Additionally, Legislative Bill 1003, introduced on behalf of the Department of Revenue and a 2006 Committee First Priority Bill, was advanced to the second stage of debate. Prior to that morning's close of business, LB 14, which would change provisions relating to the State Natural Gas Regulation Act and the Public Service Commission, was also discussed and moved to round two.

The following days of floor debate resulted in the passing of two more committee priority bills, Legislative Bills 876 and 975. LB 975, specifically, makes changes to the Livestock Waste Management Act by changing and creating permitting requirements for animal feeding operations. The advancement of LB 75 from General File was yet another victory, as debate consumed the majority of Thursday morning. This bill, if enacted into law, would authorize cities of the primary class and of the metropolitan class to make local improvements and to pay for such improvements by special assessments or special taxation. The bill received an abundant 33 votes.

Legislative deliberations ended with the quick discussing and advancing of Legislative Bill 248.

This transportation-related legislation, that I introduced to expand the motor vehicle tax schedule, finally saw the light of day after being on the legislative agenda's radar since the eighth day of session.

The bill finally moved forward to Select File on Day 20 with 32 votes.

In committee news, the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee heard a full afternoon of testimony regarding LB 1222. This bill, mentioned in previous newsletters, would primarily affect public safety access points by changing provisions of the Emergency Telephone Communications Systems Act and the Enhanced Wireless 911 Services Act.

The Revenue Committee, on the other hand, has completed all hearings that contain tax-related legislation.

In the upcoming weeks, the committee as a whole will work on a tax package to present to all members of the legislature.

Sen. Tom Baker

Legislative District 44

State Capitol Building

Room 1101

P.O. Box 94604

Lincoln, NE 68509



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