By Russ Karpisek, 32 Legislative District
This week at the Legislature we finished up bill introduction and started right into floor debate with a lengthy and contentious discussion of LB418. This bill, as amended, would exempt groups or individuals utilizing “robo-calls” from a requirement to register with the Public Service Commission. They would still be required to register with the Accountability and Disclosure Commission, but the bill would remove the requirement that a script be submitted to the agency within 24 hours of placing the call. Opponents drew out debate over several hours, arguing that relaxing the requirements would lead to more unwelcome and possibly late-night political calls to citizens, with no documentation on file of the content of the call. Proponents argued that the current restrictions are not equally applied to other political communications like mailings, and could be considered unconstitutional infringements on free speech.
I introduced six more bills, for a total of 14 this session. LB987 will place liquor enforcement investigators under the jurisdiction of the Liquor Control Commission; currently they are housed within the State Patrol. LB1067 seeks to give more local control to cities and villages to decide on time limits between keno games. LB1076 changes requirements for copies of public records and speaking at public meetings. LB1082 makes changes to the Police Officers Retirement Act. LB1119 prohibits selling, possessing or using flying lantern-type devices, such as Chinese lanterns, due to concerns about the fire hazard they pose. LB1120 releases bucking bull operations from liability in cases of injury, loss or death of a participant, provided it was due to the dangerous nature of the activity and not negligence on the part of the bucking bull operator. A similar release of liability currently exists for equestrian activity operators.
On Friday I presented LB931 to members of the Natural Resources Committee. This bill relates to bonding for flood protection and water quality projects within the Papio-Missouri NRD, which is comprised of Douglas, Washington, and Sarpy Counties. LB931 would give the Douglas County Board of Commissioners the authority to pass a resolution opposing the construction of a proposed reservoir, water quality basin, or other project within its zoning jurisdiction.
Please continue to contact my office with any comments, concerns or questions.