This past week has been consumed with the first half of the day in session and the second half of the day involved in Committee Hearings. Amongst all the hustle and bustle of the Legislature, I have managed to introduce 12 new bills in addition to my carry over bills from the 2011 session. In the letter this week, I will focus on three bills that I have introduced on behalf of District 44 constituents.
Legislative Bill 739 will authorize the Game and Parks Commission to transfer property to Chase County. I introduced this bill on behalf of the Chase County Commissioners and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Over the year's the Nebraska Game and Parks has seen budget cuts, which has limited the number of employees that they can hire to take care of the smaller recreation areas. In order to preserve the Champion State Historical Mill Park and Recreation Area's rich history, the Game and Parks reached out to the Chase County Commissioners. It was agreed upon that the park would be better tended for, financially and physically, under the care of the County. A hearing has been set for January 25th, in the Natural Resources Committee.
Recently, LB 786 was successfully heard before the Urban Affairs Committee. Due to the current statute, Section 19-613, the McCook City Council found itself in a quandary. Currently, the statute affecting only the city management form of government, states that a city council member "convicted of a crime" while in office shall forfeit the office. In order to prevent future predicaments affecting individuals that hold an office, I have amended the statute to clarify that a council member forfeits the office if convicted of a "felony or of any public offense involving the oath of office of the incumbent," which is the standard for all other elected officials.
Lastly, I would like to acknowledge LB 1126 which will provide and change extraterritorial jurisdiction of a village. While in the process updating zoning maps for a county in the district, a Zoning Administrator discovered that villages were not included in the current statute allowing changes to extraterritorial jurisdictions. My bill amends villages into the language and if passed will allow by majority of the vote its members the ability to request a cede and transfer of extraterritorial jurisdiction over land out to the next quarter section line. This bill is simple and straight forward and I have high hopes for it.
Please contact myself or my office if you have any questions, concerns or comments regarding any bills their hearings or their status. Senator Mark R. Christensen, PO Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509, 402-471-2805, email@example.com.