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10th day of Nebraska Legislative session marks deadline for bill introduction PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Friday, 20 January 2012 15:20

By Russ Pankonin

The Imperial Republican


With the 60-day session of the 102nd Legislature now underway, any new bills that senators want to introduce must be done by today (Thursday), the 10th day of the session.

44th District Senator Mark Christensen of Imperial said he plans to introduce one more bill before the deadline. The bill will change the way that unions and other dues-collecting organizations can use those dues for political purposes.

Presently, a member of a union or organization must choose to opt out of having a portion of dues used for political activity.

Christensen’s bill would reverse that so the members would automatically be opted out. If a member wanted a portion of their dues used for political purposes, they would instead have to opt in.

While Christensen plans to introduce it, he said it’s not a bill he’s likely to spend much political capital on and he questions whether the bill will get out of committee.

He also plans to introduce a bill that would exempt certified irrigated acres enrolled in a local, state or national irrigation retirement program to be exempt from the occupation tax.

If irrigation does not occur because the acres are being temporarily or permanently retired, then those acres will qualify for non-irrigated status, he said, and therefore not subject to the occupation tax.


HHS bills expected

Christensen said he’s expecting to see at least six bills introduced by Sen. Kathy Campbell of Lincoln to address issues with Health and Human Services (HHS).

Campbell told Christensen that language from some of his bills last year have been rolled into the new bills.

It’s likely the bills will seek to return the responsibility for foster care to the state. Under a massive reorganization, that role was privatized and turned over to several companies.

Christensen said the process has proved to be a disaster. It’s not saved the state any money and complaints abound.

Christensen has already introduced several other bills for this session.

LB 739 would allow the Game & Parks Commission to turn over ownership of the Champion Mill and park to Chase County. The bill carries an emergency clause and will take effect on passage.

LB 739 seeks to protect the right of individuals to transport and store firearms for lawful use in their vehicles wherever a motor vehicle is allowed to be.

Christensen said the law will require the firearm to be out of ordinary sight and locked within the trunk, glove box, or interior of the vehicle.

LB 736 was introduced on behalf of the City of McCook. Under current statute in a city that uses the city manager form of government, any council member convicted of a crime must forfeit office.

The term “crime” is not defined. McCook had to remove two members for minor violations.

Christensen’s bill will clarify that the office must be forfeited only if convicted of any felony or other public offense in violation of the oath of office of the council member.

The hearing on this bill was held Tuesday. Christensen said it affects as many as 13 cities in the state.


Senator MARK CHRISTENSEN holds weekly teleconferences at 7 a.m. MT/8 a.m. CT each Tuesday morning. The public is invited to attend the conference calls. Hosts of the conference calls are Imperial Republican in Imperial, Southwest Public Power District in Palisade and Midwest Electric in Grant. Christensen can be reached at 402-471-2805, or by mail at P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509, or via e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Last Updated on Friday, 20 January 2012 15:22