West central Nebraska’s five senators introduced 46 new bills for the 2020 Legislature to consider — or at least hear through their mandatory public hearings — before lawmakers adjourn in April.
Another 39 “carryover” bills from 2019 offered by one or more of the quintet also remain alive. Most will likely die before session’s end, along with many of the bills thrown into the hopper this month.
Because Unicameral rules guarantee every bill a public hearing, however, senators historically have used the Legislature’s 60-day “short” session to try out new ideas as bills in order to revise them for future sessions.
Telegraph stories earlier this month reported on several bills offered by regional senators in the first days of the 10-day introduction period.
Among other bills offered among the group before that period ended Thursday:
» Legislative Bill 1067, introduced by Sen. Steve Erdman of Bayard, would allow ATVs or utility-type vehicles used for agricultural purposes to cross controlled-access highways with more than two lanes.
» LB 1173, also offered by Erdman, would enable people who own or lease 320 or more acres of agricultural land to receive a “limited transferable permit” to hunt antelope, deer or elk if one or more damages their property.
» Gordon Sen. Tom Brewer’s LB 1200 would rename the Nebraska Brand Committee as the Nebraska Livestock Identification Agency and allow for electronic as well as physical brand inspections.
Brewer’s bill goes in the opposite direction from LB 1165, offered by Sen. John Stinner of Gering, which would eliminate the Brand Committee and transfer its duties to the state Department of Agriculture.
» Nebraska’s eight Game and Parks Commission districts would be reorganized to eliminate separate districts for Nebraska’s two largest counties under LB 860, introduced by Sen. Dan Hughes of Venango.
If passed, Douglas (District 2) and Lancaster (District 8) counties would no longer be single-county Game and Parks districts but would be combined with other counties.
Lincoln County would be in a district with Arthur, Deuel, Garden, Keith, Logan, McPherson, Perkins and Thomas counties.
» Another Hughes bill (LB 863) would forbid Game and Parks to acquire additional property if it would increase the total amount of property controlled by the commission on Sept. 1, 2020.