The 2017 legislative session was a productive one for my bills. My priority bill, LB34, was passed. Additionally LB509 and the separate LB509A was passed. LB509A was the supplemental Appropriations bill that had to be passed in conjunction with LB509. LR6 (previously LR35) was introduced and remained on General File. LB299 was introduced and is now my priority bill for the 2018 session. I also introduced LR181 which was an important interim study. A full summary of these bills and others is below.
LB34 was my personal priority bill for 2017. This bill changed filing requirements for partisan candidates. The bill set the filing requirement by political party to include parties that have at least ten thousand persons affiliated as indicated by voter registration records in Nebraska. This bill passed 48-0-1 on April 24th, 2017, and signed by Governor Ricketts on April 27th. Third parties now have fair access to the ballot in Nebraska.
LB509 passed 47-0-2 on May 3rd, 2017. This bill changed and eliminated provisions relating to subponeas, witness fees, and compulsory proceedings. The bill revised the statute to eliminate the uncertainty about whether a district court judge can issue a subpoena and also made it explicit the court can issue the subpoena if it is the one in which the action or proceeding is pending. The bill provided that a subpoena may be served by a non-party. The bill set the minimum age for service of a subpoena at 21. The bill modernized a provision regarding documents, electronically stored information, or other things in an individual's possession. The bill provided that the Supreme Court may promulgate a rule of discovery. The bill would require witness fees to be tendered with the subpoena.
LB509A was the supplemental Approporiations bill to LB509. It was passed 46-0-3 on May 3rd, 2017.
LB299 is the Occupational Licensing Reform Act. This bill provides a review framework for licensing requirements implemented by the legislature. Over a five year period all state licensing would be reviewed. The legislature would be able to determine if these licenses are needed, can be revised, or even added to. The reviews would be conducted by existing legislative staff during the interim period between sessions. The goal is to put more Nebraskans back to work while maintaining confidence in the free market and protecting consumers. LB299 did not advance in 2017. However, the bill did move to General File in 2018 and is my personal priority bill for the 2018 session.
LB433 would require any state agency that obtains federal tax information as authorized under 26 U.S.C. 6103(d) to require a criminal history record information check of any agency employee who has been identified by the agency as being authorized to have direct access to federal tax information. LB433 did not advance out of committee.
LB436 LB 436 clarifies in Nebraska Statute that: 1. Persons who work for a franchisee are employees of only the franchisee and 2. Franchisors are not employers of franchisees and are not the employers of employees of a franchisee. This is necessary because recent national developments have suggested that franchisors may be found to be joint employers with franchisees
LR6 was the reintroduction of 2015-16 LR35 calling for Nebraska to pass a resolution calling for an Article V convention to propose amendments to the federal Constitution that would impose fiscal restraints on the federal government; address the size, scope, and jursidiction of the federal government; and consider term limits for members of congress and other federal officials. LR6 did advance from the Government Committee and recieved three hours of debate on General File before stalling. I was pleased with the progress that LR6 made. Although the resolution didn't pass in 2017 it gained valuable momentum heading into 2018. Senator Steve Halloran picked up LR6 as the title sponsor in 2018 as I felt I had done everything I could to that point to pass the resolution.
LR181 was an interim study for recommendations to the legislature for state procedures concerning Article V conventions. The study was a supplement to LR6. The recommendations covered commissioner (delegate) selection or election; communication procedures; recall procedures; and oversight; of Nebraska's participation in any Article V convention. The study recieved a full hearing in the interim on December 7th, 2017. The resulting recommendations from the hearing were put into Senator Steve Halloran's LB1058 known as the Faithful Delegate Act. LB1058 is Senator Halloran's priority bill for 2018.