106th Nebraska Legislature, First Session
The First Session of the 106th Nebraska Legislature convened on January 9, 2019. As of Friday, February 22, the session is one-third of the way through. That said, more than two-thirds of the business of the session remains.
Bill introduction concluded on January 23, 2019. At the conclusion of bill introduction, we identified 28 bills warranting attention. Summaries of those available bills are available here and here. Thus far, some of those bills have had notable activity. Below is an update of those bills:
LB 29 (allows healthcare providers to establish provider-patient relationships and prescribe medications via telecommunication services): While on General File, the Legislature adopted two amendments to LB 29. The amendments, AM 86 and AM 367, added language to specify certain legislative acts referenced, but did not alter the substance of LB 29. The Legislature advanced LB 29 to Select File on February 21.
LB 110 (legalizes medical marijuana in Nebraska via adoption of the Medical Cannabis Act): Since our last update, Senator Wishart designated LB 110 as her priority bill. A priority bill is one that the Legislature must consider ahead of other bills in debate, and each senator may select one priority bill each legislative session. On January 25, Senator Wishart filed an amendment to LB 110, which
- creates a system for who can qualify and get a card for access to medical cannabis,
- allows designated caregivers to provide access to medical cannabis,
- limits how much medical cannabis a person can have,
- prohibits the use of marijuana while driving,
- provides legal protections for patients,
- permits out of state cardholders access to their medication while in Nebraska,
- permits local control of medical cannabis by counties, and
- establishes a Medical Cannabis Board to oversee an independent regulatory department.
The Judiciary Committee heard LB 110 on January 25, but the Committee has not yet advanced the bill.
LB 155 (eliminates the legislative declaration that the use of eminent domain by a governmental entity to provide transmission lines and other facilities for privately-developed renewable energy facilities is a public use): Senator Brewer designated LB155 as his priority bill. LB155 advanced to General File on February 14, 2019. The full Legislature will debate LB 155 this week. LB 155 would have a significant negative impact on commercial wind energy development in Nebraska.
LB 302 (merges the Nebraska State Energy Office with the Department of Environmental Quality under a newly-formed Department of Environment and Energy and merges the statutes relating to the governance and operations of the separate departments): Since our last update, LB 302 has advanced to Final Reading.
LB 614 (amends revenue and tax provisions by increasing the tax on alcohol and spirits manufactured and sold by wholesalers in Nebraska). Since our last update, Senator Pansing Brooks added her name to the bill. Senator Crawford filed an amendment on February 11 that has no substantive impact on the bill.
LB 720 (adopts the ImagiNE Nebraska Act, which would modernize Nebraska’s economic development platform): Since our last update, Senator Ben Hansen added his name to LB 720 and Senator Kolterman designated LB 720 as his priority bill. However, the Revenue Committee has not yet scheduled a hearing for LB 720.
LB 724 (amends the Nebraska Advantage Act to require that at least one-half of a domestic corporation’s board of directors are women): Since our last update, Senator Morfeld added his name to LB 724.
An updated chart of all First Session bills related to related to municipal law, real estate, renewable energy, liquor, finance, healthcare and taxation is located here.
All bills are available on the Nebraska Legislature’s website at http://www.nebraskalegislature.gov/bills/. Please contact us if you have any questions about these bills or any others the Nebraska Legislature is currently considering. Thank you.
David C. Levy
Michael D. Sands
Addison E. Fairchild