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Roundup of recently introduced Legislation

January 23, 2014

LINCOLN--Dozens more legislative bills and resolutions piled up on Nebraska lawmakers' plates this week. Here are some highlights: LB861 by Sen. Russ Karpisek of Wilber aims to prevent the sales of e-cigarettes to minors. Nebraska has no law preventing the sale of e-cigarettes to those younger than 18, but many stores refuse to sell them to minors anyway. If passed, the punishment for selling e-cigarettes to minors would be the same as for selling cigarettes, cigars or chewing tobacco.

LB879 by Sen. Mark Christensen of Imperial would allow teachers to carry concealed weapons in Nebraska schools. Teachers would have to go through the usual training required to carry a concealed weapon and would have to undergo eight hours of additional training. This law would apply to both public and private schools as well as colleges and universities. Each teacher who wanted to take part would first have to get permission from his or her school or governing body.

With LB911, Sen. Annette Dubas of Fullerton hopes to put into full swing the Nebraska 911 Act, which will make it easier for 911 services to act more quickly. The bill says, "A robust and reliable statewide 911 system requires the flexibility to respond to changes in technology, funding, and local needs to meet the public's expectations of service," but that those services are not always available. This act would make those services easier to get to and would provide funding for them.

In order to help Nebraska's shrinking middle class, Sen. Jeremy Nordquist of Omaha wants to raise Nebraska's minimum wage to $9 an hour from $7.25 with LB943. The raise would take place in three steps over three years.

Sen. Amanda McGill introduced LB933 that would make any person convicted of engaging in sex trafficking or sex labor guilty of a Class IV felony. This would include inflicting serious injury on another person and causing or threatening to cause financial harm to another person including payment in sexual activity.

LB970, introduced by Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh of Omaha, would make all votes taken by public officials in the course of their public duties available in public record. Public records currently include records and documents belonging to the state from any county, city, village, political subdivision or tax-supported district in the state.

LB940, sponsored by Sen. Ken Schilz of Ogallala, would create a $50 million state Water Sustainability Fund.

LB916 would make it easier for nurse practitioners to work in Nebraska. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Sue Crawford of Bellevue. Crawford also is the sponsor of LB902, which would exempt military retirement income from taxation in Nebraska.

LB756, introduced by Sen. Jim Smith of Papillion, would define bicycles to include two- or three-wheeled, pedaled vehicles that also have a small motor capable of making the vehicle go up to 20 mph on level ground.

LB899, introduced by Sen. Russ Karpisek of Wilber, would amend the state's liquor control laws to define hard cider as being derived only from apples or apple juice concentrate or pears or pear juice concentrate.

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