Well, last Friday was the deadline to make priority designations on bills. I would like to inform you what bills of mine received a priority designation. This session I have three bills prioritized and a good chance of getting a portion of a fourth bill amended into another priority bill.
First, the Natural Resources Committee as their second committee priority bill designated Legislative Bill 862, which is a bill of mine that would make changes to the existing language regarding the current occupation tax on the activity of irrigation. I am very grateful to the Natural Resources Committee for their commitment to this important issue in our river basin. I believe we can move ahead with this issue and provide a funding source for NRDs to engage in river flow enhancement and groundwater recharge projects to keep our agricultural economies healthy and strong.
Second, is my senator priority bill, LB 443. This is a bill I introduced in the 2009 session, which carried over to the 2010 session. It is designed to lessen the negative secondary effects, such as blight and increased crime among others, to communities and neighborhoods from sexually oriented businesses such as strip clubs, adult bookstores, adult movie and video stores, etc. It would provide a uniform minimum bar of regulation across the state to protect women and children from exploitation and unwanted influences from such places.
LB 443 is stalled in the General Affairs Committee, so if this is something that is important to you, I would encourage you to contact the committee.
Third, the Speaker designated my bill LB 1051 as one of his 25 Speaker Priority Bills. LB 1051 makes needed changes to the Abstracters Act. The bill changes the renewals for Certificates of Authority from an annual to a biannual renewal, harmonizing with the rest of the act. It also provides for the roster of abstracters to bill published on a biannual basis instead of an annual. These changes should provide some small savings in administration costs and publishing costs.
Finally, neither of my bills dealing with self-defense or concealed carry changes, LB 889 (Castle Law) or LB 1033 was prioritized. However, there is a chance that I will be able to get a provision from LB 889 into LB 817, prioritized by Sen. Fulton. LB 817 would allow a Concealed Handgun Permit holder to use such permit as a permit to purchase. I am working to get the provision from LB 889 that would abolish the civil remedy for a criminal who was injured by a homeowner defending himself or family. If someone is justified in using force to defend themselves or others, they should not have to deal with a civil lawsuit from the person against whom they used force.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding these bills or any issue please call my office at 402-471-2805 or for more information you can view my legislative web site at http://news.legislature.ne.gov/dist44/.