2021: Nebraska Laws That Were Put Into Place This Year
Did you know that Nebraska senators approved 200 bills during their 90-day session this year (a total of 684 bills were introduced)? Most went into effect on August 28th. Here are just a few of the many that were approved this past summer.
LB64 Social Security
Older Nebraskans, including retirees, will benefit from a bill that phases out the state income tax on social security benefits. Future lawmakers are given a built-in opportunity to re-examine the tax exemption along the way. Seeks to change provisions related to social security benefits and federal adjusted gross income. The percentage is set to increase each year until 100% of social security benefits can be deducted.
LB387 Retired Military
A bill to eliminate the state income tax on military retirement benefits was approved. The purpose of this bill is to attract retiring military veterans eligible for pension to settle in Nebraska. The state Department of Revenue projects that the bill would reduce an estimated state tax revenue by about 13 million in 2022-23.
LB40 Adopt the Nebraska Rural Projects Act
A bill that provides the much needed incentive to develop industrial rail access business parks in communities of less than 100 thousand. The state will provide funds to cover the project’s development costs up to $30 million. Projects must be located in a county with a population of less than 100,000 in order to qualify.
LB51 Police Reform
Omaha Sen. Steve Lathrop included a series of police reforms, including requiring new recruits to submit psychological examinations, more annual training, and bans on chokeholds and carotid restraints. It will also require law enforcement to intervene when excessive force is being used. This bill seeks to improve standards of policing statewide, therefore improving public safety and the effectiveness of law enforcement.
LB451 Hair Discrimination
This seeks to extend protections on employment discrimination. This extension would expand the definition of race to include characteristics associated with race such as skin color, hair texture and protective hairstyles as braids, locks, and twists. This bill addresses harmful practices that work to deny job opportunities that have nothing to do with a person’s qualifications and ability to perform their duties. An employer could regulate hairstyle changes if it poses a danger in the work environment and would have to be applied equally to all employees.
LB452 School Curriculum
Introduced by Sen. Terrell McKinney and states that schools are to begin requiring students to complete a personal finance or financial literacy course before graduating. This bill acknowledges that financial literacy is a critical component to one’s knowledge of economics. Financial literacy programs must include knowledge of skills regarding budget keeping, taxes, debt, savings, insurance, and establishing and maintaining credit.
LB396 Farm to School
A bill creating a program for farmers and producers in NE to supply produce for school breakfasts and lunches. It will provide students with more healthful meal options. This bill aims to provide children with fresh, non-processed meals and introduce them to healthy eating habits. This will also introduce field trips to farms as well as new programs like gardening, cooking, and composting. This will also help increase the income for farmers in Nebraska. They will also begin building greenhouses on school grounds for said in-school gardening and composting programs. The food produced by the students will go straight to the school’s cafeteria.
LB320 Tenant Rights
This bill will allow a tenant who is a victim of domestic violence to seek early release from a rental agreement under certain conditions. They will be required to provide a copy of a protective or restraining order pertaining to the abuser. After termination, tenants will not be held reliable for property damages, fees, or future rent. These protections will not be available to domestic violence perpetrators.