Even though the first session of the 105th Legislature is over, Nebraska senators still have work to do before the next session.Each committee in the legislature is responsible for interim studies to learn about the effects of bills that were passed, consider bills for next session or study the current operations of programs under the committees' authority.
The studies are introduced as legislative resolutions during the session and headed by the chair of the corresponding committee. The committee then prioritizes the resolutions, and completes them in the interim if there is enough time.
Here are the committees' highest priority studies for the interim:
LR 171, introduced by Sen. Tom Brewer of Gordon, will examine the means necessary to carry out LB 499, a bill introduced earlier this year. It would allow beekeepers to register their apiary with the state and would then prohibit any commercial out-of-state apiaries within three miles of the registered apiary.
LR 113, introduced by Sen. Matt Hansen of Lincoln, will examine the long-term financial stability of the Nebraska Health Care Cash Fund and its ability to pay for health care services.
LR 139, introduced by Sen. Kate Bolz of Lincoln, will analyze Nebraska's child welfare system. It will consider its financial stability and whether funds are being used to protect the children in the system.
Banking, Commerce and Insurance
LR 158, introduced by Sen. Matt Williams of Gothenburg, will examine whether unclaimed property laws in Nebraska need to be updated. This bill investigates LB 141, also introduced by Williams, which proposes changes to the Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act.
Business and Labor Committee
LR 168, introduced by Sen. John Lowe of Kearney, will examine the feasibility of adopting a workers' compensation drug formulary, a list of specific medications to be used in workers' comp cases. Specifically, it will examine whether these prescriptions could help or hinder opioid addictions and whether it would provide savings in worker compensation claims.
LR 170, introduced by Sen. Mike Groene of North Platte, will examine any issues that may arise in the interim concerning the Education Committee.
LR 130, also introduced by Groene, will examine the use of substitute teachers. Specifically, it will focus on why substitutes are being used, how often they are used and the fiscal impact of substitutes.
LR 204, introduced by Sen. Tyson Larson of O'Neill, will examine the current structure of license fees for the Nebraska Liquor Control Act. It will also examine whether the fees are adequate and examine comparisons with other states' license fees.
Government, Military and Veterans Affairs
LR182, introduced by Sen. John Murante of Gretna, will examine the amount and impact of voter fraud in Nebraska.
Health and Human Services
LR 233, introduced by the Health and Human Services Committee, will examine the current long-term care services provided to Medicaid-eligible people. It will review the services and seek input from "interested parties" on changes to services. It will also examine how people in other states experience Medicaid-managed long-term care services.
LR 196, introduced by Sen. Laura Ebke of Crete, will track the progress of the Department of Correctional Services. Specifically, it will review inmate rehabilitation programs, availability of mental health care services for inmates, the use of solitary confinement or segregation, and all policies concerning the facilities, staff and inmates.
LR 198, introduced by Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln, will examine the impact of incarceration of minors. It will also examine the best policies for visitation and parental relationships for the minors.
LR 126, introduced by Sen. Dan Hughes of Venango, will examine the Nebraska Cooperative Republican Platte Enhancement Project. This project was developed to support the Republican River Compact, which helps Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska use the waters of the Republican River Basin efficiently and cooperatively.
LR 202, introduced by Sen. Mark Kolterman, will examine bona fide severance of employment under the Nebraska Public Employees Retirement Systems. This is also a follow-up to Kolterman's LB 415, which tries to prevent teachers from "double dipping" by returning as substitutes immediately after retirement.
LR 163, introduced by Sen. Jim Smith of Papillion, will examine Nebraska's property tax system.
Transportation and Telecommunications
LR 176, introduced by Sen. Curt Friesen of Henderson, will examine availability, quality and affordability of broadband telecommunications in the state. It will also examine the feasibility of establishing municipal broadband authorities for services by political subdivisions.
LR 60, introduced by the Urban Affairs Committee, will examine issues with tax-increment financing (TIF). It will review requirements for TIF, definitions of "blighted" or "substandard area," and it will review cost-benefit analysis required for TIF projects.