The End of Committee Hearings

This week, the Nebraska legislature is turning up the heat as we move from hearings into debate. Last week was the last of committee hearings and this week we begin all-day debate. Various bills have been passed by the legislature and await the governor’s signature. This week, I will share some of the bills that were passed by the legislature. These bills give power back to local government and allow reserve members of our military to serve in government.

The legislature passed LB 190, which would allow county boards to adopt resolutions that provide for payment schedules on bridge repair and reconstruction projects. It would also vest full authority in the county boards to create the payment schedule and provide that if another provision of the law in the county conflicts with the bill, the bill will take precedence. This bill provides a solution to our infrastructure needs without seeking to increase property taxes or additional bonding authority. With construction costs only getting more expensive, it is critical to allow for longer payment terms on these essential projects to lock in current prices so bridges can be repaired immediately.

The legislature also passed LB 152 which would eliminate the registration requirement of membership campgrounds under the Membership Campground Act. Under current law, membership campgrounds must register with the Nebraska Real Estate Commission. LB 152 will remove this requirement. Initially, membership campgrounds were required to register with the Nebraska Real Estate Commission to add protections to consumers, however, this registration requirement resulted in little to no value to both the state and consumers. LB 152 would do away with the registration provisions that have consumed NREC resources, which would be better utilized for protecting consumers elsewhere.

The legislature also passed LB 731. Currently, there are laws in place that prevent public officials from violating public trust, such as “double-dipping,” conflict of interest, corruption, or poor performance by public officials. Part of this law includes the fact that one cannot have another job if they are serving as a director of various state agencies. However, service to the Nebraska National Guard, Air, or Army is currently included in this preventive measure. LB 731 would add an exception for membership in a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States.

I look forward to continuing to discuss these issues in the coming weeks on the legislative floor. As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln NE 68509-4604; telephone: 402-471-2733; email: jslama@leg.ne.gov.

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