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POLICY WATCH

Bill Introduction Complete

The introduction of legislative bills ended Wednesday, January 20. Senators introduced a total of 684 bills and 12 constitutional amendments. Nebraska Farm Bureau’s State Legislative Policy Committee (SLPC) will meet Tuesday, January 26 to review introduced bills and offer position recommendations on bills to the State Board of Directors. Nebraska Farm Bureau’s Legislative Bill Watch List can be found here.

View List of All Introduced Bills

Legislative Hearings Begin

State lawmakers will now turn their focus to legislative hearings, which will start Monday, January 25. Hearings of interest to Nebraska Farm Bureau next week include.

Tuesday, January 26
Agriculture Committee 9:30 a.m.

  • LB 90 (Halloran) Change fee provisions under the Pesticide Act and the Nebraska Commercial Fertilizer and Soil Conditioner Act.
  • LB 91 (Brandt) Change germination seed testing provisions under the Nebraska Seed Law.

Wednesday, January 27
Natural Resources Committee 9:30 a.m.

  • LB 190 (Hughes) Change provisions relating to use of the Water Sustainability Fund.

Revenue Committee 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

  • LR 22CA (Linehan, at the Request of the Governor) Constitutional amendment to limit the total amount of property tax revenue that may be raised by political subdivisions to three percent over the previous year.
  • LB 408 (Briese) Adopt the Property Tax Request Act – enact property tax asking limitations on political subdivisions.

Thursday, January 28
Natural Resources Committee 9:30 a.m.

  • LB 406 (McDonnell) Create the Lower Platte River Infrastructure Task Force and provide funding.

Legislative Hearings and COVID Protocols

Speaker of the Legislature Hilgers has outlined options for Nebraska citizens to participate in legislative hearings in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Public hearings on legislative bills begin Monday, January 25. In-person testimony will be allowed with restrictions on the number of participants allowed in the hearing room, along with other requirements. Citizens can also submit written testimony for inclusion in the public hearing record by dropping off such testimony the day of the hearing in the committee hearing room between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Submitting written testimony in this format does require other stipulations be met in terms of length of testimony and sharing of copies. A third “position letter” option will also be available. Position letters must be hand delivered to the office of the Committee Chair or emailed to the Committee’s email account by noon central time on the last workday prior to the public hearing. The Speaker also announced a new feature will be added to the Legislature’s website allowing for written statements on pending legislation at any stage of the process. Submittals to the online portal will not be considered testimony or part of any hearing record but will be available for review by senators and staff. Click below for full details and requirements for each participation option.

View Full Details

Hearing Schedules

USDA Finalizes Hemp Production Rules

Earlier this week, USDA published a final rule for producing hemp in the United States. The regulation will take effect March 22, 2021. The rule builds on interim regulations set in 2019 establishing the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program. Key provisions of the final rule address timing of sample collection and sampling methods, parameters for disposal of plants that exceed allowable THC levels, as well as allowing non-Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) labs to test hemp through January 1, 2022, due to shortage of DEA-registered laboratories.

 

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