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106th Nebraska Legislature, Second Session

The Second Session of the 106th Nebraska Legislature convened on January 3, 2020.  Bill introduction concluded on January 23, 2020.  The deadline for Speaker Priority designation is February 19.  The deadline for Senator and Committee priorities is February 21. 

A chart of bills related to economic development, municipal law, real estate, renewable energy, taxation and water/natural resources law is available here.  We have identified eleven bills that warrant particular attention.  We describe those bills below:

LB310 (Vargas).  This bill would amend the Nebraska Job Creation and Mainstreet Revitalization Act to create a deadline for the Department of Revenue to determine the amount of tax credits it will issue to the person filing the request for credits.  The Legislature passed LB310 and presented it to the Governor on February 13, 2020. 

LB731 (Hunt).  This bill removes the perceived sunset date for cities to include an energy element in new or updated comprehensive plans of January 1, 2015.  The Legislature passed this bill on February 6, 2020, and the Governor approved LB731 on February 12, 2020.

LB767 (Lindstrom).  This bill would amend the Nebraska Condominium Act to encourage condominium housing development.  Specifically, this bill, with the pending Committee amendment, would allow a developer at least three months to cure alleged defects before a person living within a condominium may commence a judicial proceeding.  The Legislature referred this bill to the Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee, which held a hearing on February 11, 2020. 

LB794 (Hansen, M.).  This bill would create the Missing Middle Housing Act.  This Act would create affordable housing in municipalities in the form of middle housing, which includes duplexes, triplexes, quadraplexes and other types of townhomes.  Specifically, this Act would require cities of the metropolitan, primary and first class to amend building and zoning ordinance to allow middle housing.  The Legislature referred this bill to the Urban Affairs Committee, which held a hearing on February 4, 2020.  On February 5, 2020, Senator Hunt added her name to this bill. 

LB801 (Urban Affairs Committee).  This bill would change the Community Development Law by amending notice requirements for any hearing regarding a redevelopment plan.  Specifically, the notice requirements will create more stringent notice requirements.  LB801 also makes relatively minimal changes to the Act.  The Legislature referred this bill to the Urban Affairs Committee.  The Committee will hear this bill on February 18, 2020.

LB818 (Brewer).  This bill would adjust renewable energy generation facilities’ nameplate capacity tax for inflation based on the change in the Consumer Price Index beginning in 2021.  The Legislature referred this bill to the Revenue Committee, which held a hearing on January 24, 2020.  The Committee has not taken action on this bill, and we do not expect they will.   

LB866 (Wayne).  This bill would create the Density Bonus and Inclusionary Housing Act.  This Act would encourage affordable housing projects in cities of the metropolitan, primary and first class.  This Act would incentivize developers to develop housing developments in substandard and blighted areas by providing concessions such as reduction in site development standards, modification of architectural design requirements and relaxing zoning code requirements.  The Legislature referred this bill to the Urban Affairs Committee, which held a hearing on February 4, 2020.  On February 5, 2020, Senator Hunt added her name to this bill. 

LB961 (Friesen).  This bill would create the Peer-to-Peer Vehicle Sharing Program Act.  This Act would regulate car sharing by mandating certain requirements, such as minimum insurance and liability coverage, consumer disclosure, safety and recall procedures, and liability for damages to car sharing equipment.  The Legislature referred this bill to the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee, which held a hearing on January 28, 2020.  LB961 advanced to General File with an amendment. 

LB1021 (Groene).  This bill would amend the Community Development Law to create an expedited review process for certain types of redevelopment projects.  Redevelopment plans eligible for expedited review must:

  • Include only one redevelopment project;
  • Involve the repair, rehabilitation or replacement of an existing structure located within a substandard and blighted area;
  • Be located in a county with a population of less than 100,000 inhabitants or in an area that is extremely blighted; and
  • Include a project of no more than:
    • $250,000 for a single-family residential structure;
    • $1,000,000 for a project involving a multifamily residential structure of commercial structure; or
    • $10,000,000 for a structure included on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Legislature referred this bill to the Urban Affairs Committee.  The Committee will hold a hearing on this bill on February 18, 2020.

LB1084 (Kolterman).  This bill would create the Nebraska Transformational Projects Act.  This Act would establish the Nebraska Transformational Project Fund, which would allow for any public post-secondary institution having a college of medicine located in Nebraska (the “Applicant”) to apply for $300,000,000 of state matching funds to fund a project with an economic impact of at least $2,700,000,000 during project construction and at least $4,900,000,000 during the ten-year period beginning after the Applicant completes construction or after the Applicant receives approval for funding.  The Legislature referred this bill to the Revenue Committee, which held a hearing on February 6, 2020.  Senators McDonnell, Hunt, Lowe, Crawford, and Kolowski have added their names to this bill. 

LB1132 (Wayne).  This bill would redefine a qualified facility for net metering purposes.  A qualified facility would mean a generator that generates 110 percent of the generator’s average annual use.  The Legislature referred this bill to the Natural Resources Committee.  The Committee will hear this bill on February 19, 2020.  

LB1205 (McCollister).  This bill would create the Renewable Energy Standards Act.  The Act would require public power suppliers to construct or acquire ownership of renewable energy production facilities, or to purchase renewable energy.  The bill mandates that by 2030, at least 75 percent of public power supplier’s energy will be renewable energy.  In the meantime, these levels are 35 percent by the end of 2022 and 50 percent by the end of 2026.  The Legislature referred this bill to the Natural Resources Committee, which considered this bill on February 13, 2020.

All bills are available on the 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
Addison E. Fairchild

1700 Farnam Street | Suite 1500 | Omaha, NE 68102 | 402.344.0500