Introductions embrace property tax reduction, schooling, and broadband

LINCOLN – Nebraska State Senators introduced various bills during the first eight days of the 2021 legislature.

During last year’s session, property tax relief was high on the list for many Senators, and that focus will continue into the 2021 session. Property tax relief invoices included the following:

  • LB292, introduced by Senator Curt Friesen of Henderson, would allow the district treasurer to accept partial payments for relief from current or delinquent property taxes, personal property taxes, or both.
  • LR22CA, introduced by Elkhorn Senator Lou Ann Linehan, would amend the state constitution to limit the total amount of property tax revenue generated by political subdivisions.
  • LB454, introduced by Friesen, would pass the Property Tax Stabilization Act for stabilizing payments to each eligible school district. This bill would also change the valuation of agricultural land to 75% of its real value, with the exception of school district taxation.
  • LR13CA, introduced by Senator Tom Brewer of Gordon, would amend the Nebraska Constitution to limit the funding of schools derived from property taxes.

Some of the bills introduced concerned education.

  • LB281, introduced by Senator Joni Albrecht of Thurston, would require educational programs for the prevention of child sexual abuse for students and staff.
  • LB322, introduced by Gothenburg Senator Matt Williams, would enact law to set up a nationwide, anonymous reporting system called Safe2HelpNE to assist threat assessment teams. It would also reduce the risk and incidence of violence resulting in harm to people, others or school property.
  • LR21CA, introduced by Senator Tom Briese of Albion, would amend the state constitution to require the state to pay for tuition related to public elementary and secondary schools.
  • LB396, introduced by Senator Tom Brandt of Plymouth, would pass the Nebraska Farm-to-School Program Act. The program would connect elementary and secondary schools with local farmers to provide schools with minimally processed food. Brandt’s suggestion includes encouraging students to develop healthy eating habits while increasing the incomes of farmers in Nebraska.

Healthcare-related bill includes:

  • LB52, introduced by Omaha Senator Steve Lathrop, would mean no one would be held liable in a civil lawsuit for injury or death resulting from exposure to COVID-19.
  • LB314, introduced by Omaha Senator Rich Pahls, would change the rules related to telemedicine insurance coverage so that the reimbursement rate for a telemedicine consultation is at least the same as for a comparable in-person consultation.

Additional billing introductions included:

  • LB241, introduced by Omaha Senator Tony Vargas, would pass the COVID-19 Protection Act for Meat Packing Workers. The law would require 6 feet of work space, personal protective equipment, and paid sick leave for all meat pack workers.
  • LB388, introduced by Friesen, would pass the Nebraska Broadband Bridge Act to facilitate and fund the development of broadband networks in unserved and underserved areas of the state.
  • LR2CA, introduced by Omaha Senator Justin Wayne, would amend the Nebraska Constitution to legalize cannabis for those ages 21 and older and to require laws.
  • LB481, introduced by Omaha Senator Terrell McKinney, would pass the Marijuana Conviction Clean Slate Act and decriminalize the possession of crimes against marijuana and synthetic cannabinoids, as well as drug paraphernalia.
  • LB472, introduced by Bennington Senator Wendy DeBoer, would require law enforcement officers to step in to prevent or prevent another officer from using excessive force against an individual.
  • LB230, introduced by Omaha Senator Megan Hunt, would prohibit discrimination in public housing, employment, and under the Nebraska Fair Housing Act based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • LB266, introduced by Senator John McCollister of Omaha, would pass the Renewable Energy Standards Act to encourage the development of renewable electrical energy generation and the use of renewable electrical energy to meet consumer needs.
  • LB349, introduced by McKinney, would create El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, Malcolm X Day slated for May 19 to recognize his contribution to society.