Full-day sessions of floor debate start March 4
In his latest report from Lincoln, NFIB/Nebraska State Director Bob Hallstrom says priority bill designations have been completed by individual senators, committees and the speaker of the Legislature, essentially setting the agenda for the balance of the session. Committee hearings conclude the week February 24-28 and full-day sessions of floor debate commence March 4.
NFIB Testifies on Labor Bills
NFIB presented testimony in opposition to each of the following bills:
Legislative Bill 955-Paid Family Medical Leave: A negative bill for small business has been introduced by Sen. Annette Dubas (Fullerton) in the form of LB 955. Under the measure, employees in Nebraska would be entitled to up to six weeks’ worth of paid leave to care for a new baby, a sick spouse or an elderly parent. Funding for the paid family medical leave would come out of a statewide pool funded with a new payroll tax.
Legislative Bill 1090–Healthy Families and Workplaces Act/Paid Sick Leave: Sen. Danielle Conrad (Lincoln) has introduced LB 1090 which would allow employees to accrue a minimum of one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, with a maximum of 40 hours of paid sick time accrued in a calendar year. Under the measure, employees would be entitled to use accrued paid sick time beginning on the 90th calendar day following commencement of employment. Paid sick leave would be authorized for
- an employee's mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition
- an employee's need for medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition
- an employee's need for preventative medical care
- care of a family member with a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition
- care of a family member who needs medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition
- care of a family member who needs preventative medical care.
The Business and Labor Committee has designated Legislative Bill 961 as a committee priority bill. The legislation, introduced by Sen. Tanya Cook (Omaha), would waive workers’ compensation as the exclusive remedy if an employer is guilty of willful negligence. The bill would also deem a finding by the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court that an employee has been injured by reason of the willful negligence of the employer to be determinative and binding on the parties in any subsequent action for damages at law. NFIB is opposed to LB 961 in its current form.
Although LB 961 has been designated as a committee priority bill, the chairman of the committee, Sen. Steve Lathrop (Omaha), has expressed interest in trying to craft a compromise that would contain provisions benefitting both employers and employees. NFIB has participated in a number of meetings involving representatives of the trial lawyers and labor unions in an effort to agree upon amendments that will bring about positive workers’ compensation reform.
Other Priority Bills of Interest
Legislative Bill 145--Sen. Lydia Brasch: Change valuation of agricultural land and horticultural land. NFIB Position: Support
Legislative Bill 560--Business and Labor Committee: Provide enforcement provisions to certain labor and employment acts. NFIB Position: Watch as Amended
Legislative Bill 670--Sen. Beau McCoy: Change property tax valuations of agricultural land and horticultural land. NFIB Position: Support
Legislative Bill 943--Sen. Jeremy Nordquist: Change the minimum wage rate. NFIB Position: Oppose
Legislative Bill 961--Business and Labor Committee: Change exclusive remedy provisions of the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act. NFIB Position: Oppose
Legislative Bill 987--Revenue Committee: Adjust individual income tax brackets for inflation and exempt social security benefits from income taxation. NFIB Position: Support
Legislative Bill 1097 – Sen. Ken Haar: Change individual income tax brackets and rates and corporate income tax rates. NFIB Position: Support
Previous 2014 Legislative Reports
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