Legislative Up-date

By Russ Karpisek

This week the Legislature finished our lengthy debate on a bill (LB613) that would create a committee to study and suggest changes to the Nebraska tax code.  The bill faced staunch opposition and questions from a few senators, including Sen. Ernie Chambers, who committed to filibustering the bill for the full eight hours.  After a successful vote for cloture, the bill advanced to second-round debate.

Also on General File we debated a bill by Sen. Brad Ashford that would change how juveniles are prosecuted.  Currently, prosecutors can file charges against a person under age 18 in either juvenile or adult court.  LB464 would require that these be filed first in juvenile court.  If a sound basis exists, cases could then be transferred to adult court upon a petition by the prosecutor and a hearing before the juvenile court.  The bill advanced to second-round debate.

I introduced LB618 before the Revenue Committee this week.  This bill would create the Agricultural Land Valuation Task Force to look at the possibility of an income capitalization approach to the valuation of agricultural land.  This type of method would value land differently based on the productivity of the land.  I have heard a lot of feedback from people about the inequity and confusion of land valuation, and I think this is a very important discussion to have, especially as we are focusing on tax reform this year.

A complete hearing schedule as well as other session information can be found on the Nebraska Legislature homepage: www.nebraskalegislature.gov. Please contact my office with any comments, concerns or questions, and feel free to stop by if you are visiting the Capitol.

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