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Advocacy Committee

Link to the Legislature website: www.nebraskalegislature.gov

 

The Nebraska Legislature has adjourned for the year.

 

The Nebraska Legislature adjourned for the year on Thursday, August 13. The 106th Legislature, Second Session, looked unlike any other—the 60-day legislative session stretched over eight months rather than the four we were all expecting. There was name calling, cursing on the mic, and tears of frustration, but the real surprises were the compromise packages that were forged, the bills that were passed, and the budget that was relatively unscathed all despite the break in action caused by the pandemic. Notwithstanding a number of very contentious days and some extended time delays, the Legislature addressed all priority bills and achieved consensus on the major issues of property tax relief and business tax incentives.

 

Term Limits:

As is customary, the six out-going, term-limited Senators were honored by their colleagues for their work over their eight-year (and in one instance, 46-year) careers on Wednesday morning. Senator Kate Bolz, Senator Ernie Chambers, Senator Sue Crawford, Senator Sara Howard, Senator Rick Kolowski, and Speaker of the Legislature Senator Jim Scheer have completed their legislative service, all having passed meaningful legislation and supported important causes.

 

A Big Last Week of Work:

In the three final days of the session, the Legislature passed 38 bills, which have now all been sent to the Governor for his action. Governor Ricketts has five days after the passage of each bill to sign the bill into law, veto the bill, or let the bill become law without his signature. Because the Legislature is now finally adjourned, the Legislature will not be able to take any action to undo any vetoes, should the Governor choose to reject any of the bills recently sent to his desk. Included in the bills passed by the Legislature this week:

 

  • Scope of Practice and other EMS Changes: On Tuesday evening the Legislature passed LB1002 – legislation introduced at the request of the EMS Board to update EMS Scope of Practice statues and allow emergency medical service providers to restock prescription medications from local hospital pharmacies. The Scope of Practice provisions were originally included in LB893, also introduced by Bostelman. The bill adds community care paramedic and critical care paramedic practices as EMS providers. Bostelman said the two new licensure classifications are necessary for public safety. A big thank you to Senator Bostelman for his tireless support of EMS in Nebraska – and to NEMSA members who worked in support of the bill. The bill has now been presented to Governor Ricketts for his signature.
  • Resilience Training and PTSD Injury Claims for First Responders: Senators gave final legislative approval this week to a NEMSA-supported bill meant to address the mental health strain experienced by emergency first responders. Senator Brewer’s LB963 would provide first responders with opportunities to receive resilience training to help prevent or mitigate the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder. The bill would allow first responders to establish a presumptive case of PTSD from cumulative injury or stress as a personal injury for workers’ compensation purposes. 
  • Making Raffle Easier:  The Legislature gave passed a bill (LB1056) that makes updates to the Nebraska Lottery and Raffle Act, which governs lotteries and raffles conducted by non-profit organizations or volunteer fire, first-aid, rescue, ambulance, or emergency squads. The bill extends the validity of a special permit from the Revenue Department to conduct a lottery or raffle from three months to one year. The bill allows an organization to file its required paperwork and payment of gross proceeds tax annually instead of quarterly. As amended it will allow raffle tickets to be sold online, using a debit card (not credit card).

 

While this will be our final ZW Weekly for 2020, we will soon be sending a complete legislative wrap-up noting what passed, what didn’t, and what to anticipate over the interim. We are so thankful for the final sine die adjournment, but even more than that, we are thankful for the opportunity to work with and represent you through these challenging and unprecedented times.

 

Cheers,

Katie and Michelle

 

Cheers,

Michelle and Katie

  Zulkoski ▪ Weber

  725 South 14th Street

  Lincoln, Nebraska 68508

  (402) 975-2195

   www.zulkoskiweber.com

Lobbyist Firm

Zulkoski Weber LLC | 725 South 14th StreetLincoln, NE 68508

Katie Zulkoski
Katie@zulkoskiweber.com

Michelle Weber
Michelle@zulkoskiweber.com

 

Nebraska Emergency
Medical Services Association

PO Box 102  \\  Ord, NE 68862
Contact us at info@nemsa.org

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