LINCOLN– Many notable bills have had hearings during the first week of hearings for the 2018 legislative session. While no immediate action has been taken on most of them, it was still a busy week for the Legislature.
LB321, introduced by Kearney Sen. John Lowe, would allow college students competing in shooting sports to transport their firearms on campuses. On Jan. 19, the bill advanced with a 47-1 vote by the senators. Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha was the only opponent, arguing that normalizing firearms on college campuses would increase gun violence.
LB515, introduced by Lincoln Sen. Kate Bolz, would provide grants for up to three years to eligible community college programs that provide adult education, literacy and workforce preparation. On Jan. 22, senators voted 21-12 on its advancement, four votes short of the number needed. The bill will remain on general file.
LB714, introduced by Omaha Sen. Sara Howard, would allow minors at least 16 years old to seek emancipation from their parents or guardians. The hearing was Jan. 23, and the committee took no immediate action.
LB671, introduced by Sen. Bob Krist of Omaha, would make texting while driving a primary offense. The committee took no immediate action during the hearing on Jan. 23.
LB780, introduced by Sen. Brett Lindstrom of Omaha, would change the revenue and taxation provisions for Social Security benefits, had a hearing on Jan. 24. No one testified against the bill, and the committee took no immediate action on it.
LB 589, introduced by Sen. Sue Crawford of Bellevue, which would protect children questioned as witnesses in criminal court cases, was considered by senators on Jan. 25. No vote was taken, but several amendments to the proposed bill are pending.
LB780, introduced by Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln, would ban the manufacture, sale, import and possession of the multi-burst trigger activators, also known as bump stocks).The Judiciary Committee heard the bill on Jan. 25, and no immediate action was taken.
Sen. Justin Wayne of Omaha’s bill, LB728, which would increase state income tax rates for Nebraskans with a taxable income of $2.5 million a year, was heard on Jan. 25. The bill was hotly contested. No immediate action was taken.