106th Nebraska Legislature, First Session
The First Session of the 106th Nebraska Legislature convened on January 9, 2019. This Dirt Alert provides an update on certain bills introduced during the last five days of bill introduction related to municipal law, real estate, renewable energy, liquor, finance, healthcare and taxation. The Legislature completed bill introductions on January 23, 2019, and will not introduce any more bills this Session. After the first five days of bill introductions, we identified ten bills warranting particular attention. Summaries of these bills are available here. Here is a comprehensive list of the bills we are tracking and their current status.
During the last five days of bill introduction, we identified 18 bills that warrant particular attention. These bills are:
LB597 would require administrators of assisted-living facilities to report any incident involving violence, any injury that requires urgent medical treatment, and any incident involving bed bugs to the Division of Behavioral Health in the Department of Health and Human Services. The Legislature referred LB597 to the Health and Human Services Committee.
LB601 would change the property tax exemption relating to education, religious, charitable and cemetery organizations by eliminating an exclusion for property used for the sale of alcohol for more than twenty hours per week. The Legislature referred LB601 to the Revenue Committee.
LB602 would adopt the Domestic Stock Insurance Company Division Act. The act would create employment opportunities by improving the competitive position of domestic stock insurance companies. Specifically, the act would permit a domestic stock insurance company to divide into two or more resulting companies pursuant to a plan of division. The Legislature referred LB502 to the Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee.
LB604 would adopt the High-Wage Jobs and Capital Investment Creation Fund. The State Treasurer would use the fund for grants, loans, or other types of economic assistance to “High-Wage Jobs” and “Capital Investment Creation Fund” entities. Eligible entities would include rural investment companies that have received equity investments from investors who are not affiliates of the companies in an amount equal to at least seventy-five million dollars. The Legislature referred LB604 to the Business and Labor Committee.
LB604 would change the sunset provisions for tax credits under the New Markets Job Growth Investment Act and the Nebraska Job Creation and Mainstreet Revitalization Act from December 31, 2022, to July 1, 2019. The Legislature referred LB613 to the Revenue Committee.
LB614 would amend revenue and tax provisions. Specifically, it would increase the tax on alcohol and spirits manufactured and sold by wholesalers in Nebraska. It would also create supplemental aid to school districts equal to 0.0433 percent of the statewide average general fund operating expenditures. The Legislature referred LB614 to the Revenue Committee.
LB621 would prevent homeowners associations from adopting and enforcing covenants that prohibit installation of a solar energy collector or solar energy system. The bill would also provide a civil cause of action for violations by homeowners associations. The Legislature referred LB621 to the Judiciary Committee.
LB633 would amend provisions related to public information about real property that counties have an interest in. The bill would prevent disclosure of residential addresses and the names of owners of such real property, and would require that the county registers of deeds keep such information confidential unless requested in writing. The Legislature referred LB633 to the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.
LB648 would amend the Community Development Law to provide that a redevelopment authority may not prepare a redevelopment plan that would divide ad valorem taxes for a period of more than fifteen years unless the municipality declares more than fifty percent of the property in the redevelopment area to be extremely blighted. The Legislature referred LB648 to the Urban Affairs Committee.
LB659 would amend the Uniform Controlled Substances Act. Specifically, it would remove cannabidiol from the definition of marijuana. The Legislature referred LB659 to the Judiciary Committee.
LB689 would prohibit sellers and lessors of real estate from refusing to sell or lease property based upon sexual orientation, gender identity, or citizenship status. The Legislature referred LB689 to the Judiciary Committee.
LB700 would require that any person that owns, operates, or manages a wind energy conversion system be responsible for all decommissioning or reclamation costs necessary for the removal of the system. The Legislature referred LB700 to the Natural Resources Committee.
LB704 would allow the State Energy Office to continue implementing energy efficiency and consumption policy for the state and for the Department of Administrative Services to use an appropriation of $50,000 for the fiscal year 2021-22. The appropriation would be used to analyze and assess utilization of instate renewable energy generation for state-owned buildings. Further, it would permit the Department of Administrative Services to issue a request for proposals to help all state-owned buildings purchase at least fifty percent of their energy from renewable energy sources by 2022, at least sixty percent by 2025, at least seventy percent by 2028, and at least eighty percent by 2031. The Legislature referred LB704 to the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.
LB720 would adopt the ImagiNE Nebraska Act. The Act would modernize Nebraska’s economic development platform to encourage new business to relocate in Nebraska and retain existing business, amongst other things. The act would provide tax incentives to applicant businesses. The Legislature referred LB720 to the Revenue Committee.
LB724 would amend the Nebraska Advantage Act to require that at least one half of domestic corporations’ board of directors are women. Further, the bill would require that the application for tax benefits include information regarding the gender of members on the board of directors at the time of the application and if less than half are women, a plan to meet the requirement. The Legislature referred LB724 to the Revenue Committee.
LB731 would require cities of the metropolitan class to include an energy element in a comprehensive plan when adopting or updating a comprehensive plan. The Legislature referred LB731 to the Urban Affairs Committee.
LB736 would provide that after January 1, 2020, a city council may not impose an occupation tax or license fee greater than twenty-five dollars annually. Additionally, a city council could not impose an occupation tax or license fee on a profession or business that provides goods or services unless the profession or business was subject to an occupation tax or license fee on January 1, 2020. The Legislature referred LB736 to the Government, Military and Veterans Committee.
LR14CA would amend the Nebraska Constitution to authorize municipalities to pledge property taxes for up to twenty years if more than one-half of property in a redevelopment project is extremely blighted. The Legislature referred LR14CA to the Urban Affairs Committee.
Copies of all bills are available on the Nebraska Legislature’s website at http://www.nebraskalegislature.gov/bills/. We will continue to provide updates on these bills and others as the Session progresses. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions. Thank you.
David C. Levy
Michael D. Sands
Addison E. Fairchild