For The Legislative Week Ending January 30

Date: February 01, 2015

Floor Debate Stalls Early
After advancing a handful of bills from General File to Select File in early action on the floor of the Legislature, the process slowed considerably as lawmakers began debate on Legislative Bill 88 to increase the fees for issuing a marriage license.  
As the week drew to a close, it appeared that the body was likely to have to invoke cloture (a motion to cease debate and immediately vote on advancement of the bill) after completing eight hours of debate on the bill, in order to allow for its advancement to Select File.
Committee Hearing Action  
  • Legislative Bill 259–Personal Property Tax Relief Act: NFIB joined the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nebraska Farm Bureau and Nebraska Bankers Association in presenting testimony before the Revenue Committee on January 29, in support of LB 259. Introduced by Sen. Mike Gloor (Grand Island), LB 259 would exempt the first $25,000 of depreciable tangible personal property from the Personal Property Tax. The bill would also provide for reimbursement to counties by the state for revenues lost due to the personal property tax exemption.
  • Legislative Bill 73–Modern Tax Act: NFIB also submitted testimony in opposition to LB 73, which was heard before the Revenue Committee on January 30. Introduced by Sen. Paul Schumacher (Columbus), LB 73, beginning January 1, 2016, would impose a tax of 5½ percent on the amount of interest paid by a qualified debtor (resident of Nebraska, trust created under Nebraska law or business entity organized under Nebraska law or which has its principal office located in Nebraska) on any eligible loan (loan secured by real estate located in Nebraska, loan secured by filing Uniform Commercial Code filing, loan secured by a security or commercial paper held in or delivered to a creditor in Nebraska, loan secured by a vehicle titled in Nebraska or loan over which Nebraska courts have jurisdiction and venue in any action for default in payment).  The bill would require the borrower to pay the tax to the lender at the time any regularly scheduled payment on the loan is due.  

Upcoming Hearings
February 2—Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee
Legislative Bill 226–Securities Act/Crowd Funding: NFIB will express support for LB 226 introduced by Sen. Colby Coash (Lincoln), that would exempt crowdfunding from registration under the Securities Act of Nebraska (issuer of the security is a business entity organized under the laws of Nebraska and authorized to do business in Nebraska; transaction meets requirements for federal exemption for interstate offerings under the Securities Act of 1933; the sum to be received for all sales of the security, excluding sales to any accredited investor: (a) does not exceed $1 million in cases in which the issuer has not made documentation from a financial audit available to each prospective investor; or (b) $2 million if such disclosure has been made).  The bill would limit the maximum amount of sales of the security to a single purchaser to $5,000 other than purchases by accredited investors.  
February 2 – Business and Labor Committee
NFIB will present testimony on the following bills to be heard by the Business and Labor Committee on February 2. 
  • Legislative Bill 494–Minimum Wage: LB 494, introduced by Sen. Jeremy Nordquist (Omaha), would gradually increase the state minimum wage rate for tipped employees from the current rate of $2.13 per hour to $3.00 in 2015-16, with annual increases of 95 cents per hour until the wage rate reaches 50 percent of the state minimum wage. NFIB is opposed to LB 494.
  • Legislative Bill 599–Minimum Wage: LB 599 introduced by Sen. Laura Ebke (Crete) would authorize employers to pay young student workers (18 years of age or younger, attending any public or private high school, not eligible for the student learners vocational training wage) to be paid at a rate of $7.25 per hour, with no more than one-fourth of the total hours paid by the employer to be at the $7.25 rate. NFIB will support LB 599.
  • Legislative Bill 611-Mandated Use of E-Verify Program: Sen. Bill Kintner (Papillion) has introduced LB 611, which would require, beginning January 1, 2016, private employers to register with and use a federal immigration verification system to determine the work eligibility status of new employees physically performing services within the state of Nebraska.  
February 5 – Revenue Committee
  • Legislative Bill 156–Angel Investment Tax Credit Act: NFIB is supporting legislation introduced by Sen. John Stinner (Gering), LB 156 would increase from $3 million to $5 million the amount of tax credits allowed annually under the Angel Investment Tax Credit Act.
February 6 – Revenue Committee
  • Legislative Bill 278–Sales and Use Taxation: NFIB will also support LB 278, introduced by Sen. Burke Harr (Omaha), that would exempt motor vehicle washing and waxing services from the sales and use tax.

Small Business Day at the Captiol

NFIB/Nebraska will co-sponsor Small Business Day at the Capitol, March 31, in Lincoln.

NFIB’s co-sponsors are the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, the Lincoln Independent Business Association and Nebraskans For Workers’ Compensation Equity and Fairness.

Small Business Day gives NFIB members an opportunity to network with other small-business owners. Gov. Pete Ricketts is expected to speak, and there will be a legislative briefing by state senators.
Details on the time and location of Small Business Day at the Capitol will be released soon. Check for the latest information.

Past Reports

For the legislative week ending January 23

Related Content: Small Business News | Nebraska

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