We’ve only got a couple of more days of bill introductions, and you can tell that by the sheer numbers that are getting tossed into the bin. Lots of bills were introduced today. Two that we’re watching especially closely right now: LR 292, a legislative resolution sponsored by Sen. Tony Fulton; and LB 261 sponsored by Sen. Rogert.
LR 292 is a “sovereignty resolution” which will have little real effect–but which is a nice step in the direction of getting people to talk about states’ rights and state sovereignty. We generally support this, and encourage our friends and members to let their Senators know that they’d like to see this resolution passed.
LB 261 is potentially dangerous–it provides for machine reading of drivers’ license information (found on the scan bar on the back of the license) by retailers. While in and of itself it seems harmless enough, since anytime you write a check, or if you are carded buying liquor or tobacco, you will show the clerk your license, one worry is that this becomes an easy way to create a database by businesses that perhaps shouldn’t have that access.
Welcome back to NebraskaLiberty’s Unicam Watch. We’ve got a group of a dozen concerned citizens reading bills as they’re introduced, and will soon start posting here regularly.
Our freedoms at the national level are being threatened, but early bill readings suggest that we need to pay careful attention to what’s going on in Lincoln. Legislators who don’t have money to spend, seem to be intent on creating new regulations that will affect all of us, and impose unfunded mandates on other levels of government. Be sure to check back often!
Two bills relating to the learning community (ok “learning communities” but we all know there’s only one) are being discussed in a Revenue Committee hearing this Thursday.
One is Sen. Scott Price’s LB418, which I have blogged about before here. I encourage everyone who cares about tax fairness in Douglas and Sarpy counties to attend the hearing and support this bill or at least contct your senator and register your support.
LB521, introduced by Sen. Dave Pankonin of District 2 (Louisville) authorizes the Learning Community to levy another quarter cent of property tax per 100,000 valuation, on top of the levies they are already authorised, for “general fund” purposes. It also changes the current reduction in state aid for school districts in the learning community from 50% to 10%. It appears to me that the net effect of this is that the learning community school districts will get more money from the state at large (although still not as much as before the learning community was thrust upon us) while Douglas and Sarpy property owners will have their property taxes hiked for the learning community’s “general fund” purposes. There’s no statement of intent posted for this bill so I’m not quite sure what Sen. Pankonin is trying to achieve here.
Hearing details are: Thursday, March 26th at 1:30pm in room 1524.
Government-business partnerships are the bane of liberty, but some people in the Unicameral don’t seem to understand this. Several bills before the Revenue Committee today are aimed at enabling counties to set up special districts with tax authority to fund the building of “Entertainment and Sports Attractions”. They also want to let these districts get some of the revenue from cigarette taxes.
These bills are tailor-made for Sarpy County’s latest boondoggle. Wake up Sarpy County! Those who wish to ride you are trying to saddle you with a stadium, and they’re trying to get help from the Unicameral to do it.
The bills are LB615, 616, 617, and 618, introduced by Abbie Cornett of Bellevue. The hearing is today! If you have a senator on this committee, let them know what you think of this government-corporate cronyism.
Update 3/23/09: This a good summary of the hearing for these bills. There is some establishment opposition so they are not a done deal.
Now they want to outlaw smoking in your car. Not to worry though, it’s For The Children.
According to LB93, it “shall be unlawful for an individual to operate or be an occupant in a motor vehicle while smoking if an individual under sixteen years of age is an occupant in the motor vehicle.” This classic piece of nanny-state nazism, introduced by Sen. Gwen Howard of District 9 (Omaha), would impose a $50-to-$150 fine on anyone who violates this law and it appears to be a primary offense, meaning that you can be pulled over specifically for this.
This bill will be discussed by the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee at a hearing tomorrow, March 10, at 1:30pm in room 1113.
Resist the encroaching Totalitarian State! Contact your senator and let them know you won’t tolerate this tyranny! Better yet, go to the hearing and have your say!
FYI, LB260 – Nebraska Claims for Wrongful Conviction and Imprisonment Act, is at the top of the agenda for a vote on Monday.
Motorcycle and moped riders will no longer be required to wear helmets in Nebraska under a new helmet law introduced by Sen. Charlie Janssen of District 15 (Fremont). Show your support for biker liberty at a hearing on LB200 before the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee this Tuesday, March 3, at 1:30pm in room 1113.