The Legislature spent the week moving many bills. LB184 advanced to Select File, this bill introduced by Sen. Friesen adopts the Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act, which allows for greater investment by wireless communication providers in small cells which are low powered towers that can produce a wireless connections over a few meters to miles.
LB460 introduced by the HHS Committee advanced to Select File. This bill authorizes the DHHS to require FBI fingerprint background checks for all adults working in a child care institution. LB460 also states that families can receive child care assistance in Nebraska if their income is less than 130% of the federal poverty guidelines.
LB222 introduced by Sen. Albrecht advanced from Final Reading and is awaiting the Governor’s Signature. This bill amends the language to simplify the administration of the tax credit in the Volunteer Emergency Responders Incentive Act allowing for a refundable $250 income tax credit.
LB700, a bill I introduced and a Natural Resources Committee priority bill, was debated on General File. LB700 would require that wind turbines be completely decommissioned, entirely removed above and below ground, and the land returned to its original natural state at the end of a turbines useful life. This would include removing the entire concrete foundation for the wind turbine. LB700 was filibustered and reached the three hour time limit and did not get a vote.
The Revenue, Education and Retirement Systems Committees held a joint hearing to discuss LB289, a property tax relief plan. Many citizens, think tanks, and lobbyist groups testified voiced their support or opposition to different aspects of the bill. LB289 would address property taxes by increasing school aid funding through an increase of the state sales tax from 5.5% to 6.25% while also eliminating a sales tax exemption for a variety of goods. The committees will now decide how to move forward.
As we continue to recover and rebuild, FEMA has have approved approximately $48 million in federal funding towards individual assistance. They ask that everyone check with their local governments on the permit requirements before rebuilding. These permits would include building permits, permits for development in floodplains, septic system permits, and others. In order to find local permit requirements visit the Department of Natural Resources website at dnr.nebraska.gov/floodplain.
Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services asks that everyone affected by the flood continue to take precautions for possible mold in homes. Should you suspect a serious mold problem please contact a professional to remove the mold before it can adversely affect your health.
Finally, the Department of Environmental Quality is asking Nebraskans to report orphaned containers from the flood to their office. Should someone find an orphaned container of potentially hazardous material, please photograph and report the container to your county emergency manager or call the NDEQ hotline at 1-877-253-2603.