State Director Bob Hallstrom Reports
With only 13 working days remaining in the 2014 legislative session, much remains to be accomplished with respect to priority bills. However, the budget and tax relief measures have made their way to Final Reading. The Speaker has selected 47 non-controversial bills to be considered during “consent calendar” on March 24.
Income Tax Relief
Lawmakers gave second-round approval this week to Legislative Bill 987, introduced by the Revenue Committee, which would index state income tax brackets for inflation and reduce the amount of Social Security benefits that are included in federal adjusted gross income for income tax purposes.
During Select File debate, an amendment offered by Sen. Charlie Janssen (Fremont), excluding a portion of military retirement pay was adopted. Over the next 10 years, individuals subject to the state income tax would receive an estimated $100 million in tax savings under the bill.
An effort to expand government-funded health coverage to more low-income residents has been defeated in the Nebraska Legislature. Supporters came up short in an effort to cut off a filibuster on Legislative Bill 887. The vote was 27 to 21, with 33 votes needed to end a filibuster. LB 887, the Wellness in Nebraska Act, would combine Medicaid, private insurance, wellness incentives and cost-sharing to cover Nebraskans making up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. It was estimated that the measure would have provided insurance coverage for 54,000 uninsured Nebraskans in the first year.
Previous 2014 Legislative Reports
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