Lawmakers submitted 114 bills and two resolutions seeking constitutional amendments Thursday during the first day of bill introductions in the Nebraska Legislature. Among them:
» End taxes on Social Security and veterans benefits. Sens. Bob Krist and Jeremy Nordquist of Omaha and Sen. Charlie Janssen of Fremont all introduced bills to exempt Social Security benefits from taxation (Legislative Bills 5, 17 and 74.) Krist and Janssen also sponsored bills to exempt military retirement income (LBs 5 and 75).
» No state insurance for lawmakers. LB 18, sponsored by Nordquist, would prohibit members of the Legislature and certain constitutional officers from participating in the state insurance program.
» Holding firearm owners responsible. Sen. Brad Ashford of Omaha introduced LB 50 to get more firearm owners to safely store their guns. Gun owners could be held civilly liable if their unsecured firearms were used by children or the mentally ill.
» Better disclosure on political donations. Sen. Bill Avery of Lincoln sponsored LB 79 to repeal the Campaign Finance Limitation Act, which was declared unconstitutional. Funds collected under the act would allow the Accountability and Disclosure Commission to create an electronic filing system for political contributions. It also would lower the dollar amounts that would trigger disclosure.
» Immunity for storm shelter providers. LB 89, introduced by Sen. Ken Haar of Lincoln, would provide liability immunity for those who provide emergency storm shelters for people who lack safe places to wait out severe storms, such as trailer park residents.
» Allow teens to run for the Legislature. Legislative Resolution 1CA, sponsored by Sen. Tyson Larson of O'Neill, would make 18 the minimum age to run for the Legislature to match the federal voting age. The current minimum age is 21. Because the change would involve a constitutional amendment, it would require a vote of the people.
» Majority plus four to raise taxes. Sen. Pete Pirsch of Omaha introduced another constitutional amendment, LR 2CA, requiring the vote of at least 29 senators to enact a new tax or raise an existing tax. Currently, passing such a proposal would require a simple majority, 25 of the 49 senators.
— Joe Duggan
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