Nebraska State Legislature
Legislative Bills of interest to the NSA that were passed:
• LB 3 introduced by Senator Bob Krist that clarifies that a nonconsensual common-law lien is not binding or enforceable at law or in equity and, if recorded, would be void and unenforceable. Those who fraudulently file a nonconsensual lien, financing statement, or document that attempts to harass an entity, individual, or public official, or obstruct a government operation or judicial proceeding will be guilty of a Class IV felony. The bill also establishes filing and notification provisions for commercial real estate liens (effective May 16).
• LB 99 introduced by Senator Heath Mello that changes provisions related to racial profiling by extending the sunset date for the Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice to collect racial profiling data to April 1, 2018. Also requires the commission to: (1) establish that anti-profiling laws extend to any detentions in addition to trafficstops; (2) include in the annual report any data suggesting racial profiling has occurred; and
(3) allow the commission’s Racial Profiling Advisory Committee to advise the commission’s executive director and the commission itself on the annual review and collection of data, completeness and acceptability of the submitted anti-racial profiling policies and the need for enforcement by the Nebraska Department of Justice if agencies fail to supply the required reporting or comply with the prohibition on racial profiling. Law enforcement agencies must provide a written anti-racial profiling minimum standard policy, a copy of which must be sent to the commission. The commission’s model policy would be mandated if an agency refuses to submit a policy (effective September 6).
• LB 158 introduced by Senator Les Seiler that changes provisions relating to eligibility for and use of ignition interlock devices. The bill requires a driver convicted of DUI to receive a mandatory 45-day driver’s license revocation after which he or she would be required to install an ignition interlock device into his or her vehicle for a full year. The bill also requires the offender’s license not be reinstated until after the court-ordered ignition interlock device installation period. Offenders who have prior convictions or who are serving probation would have their licenses revoked for 18 months from the court-ordered date and must have an ignition interlock device installed for at least one year (effective April 24).
• LB 423 introduced by the Agriculture Committee that changes provisions relating to the seizure of livestock animals. The bill authorizes law enforcement officials to enter into an agreement with livestock owners and custodians outlining interventions to be undertaken to avoid seizure of neglected livestock. In the event that a seizure of livestock occurred, the bill would authorize livestock to be kept on the premises of the owner or custodian. The bill would also establish procedures for determining the need to euthanize livestock experiencing extreme suffering. Upon seizure of the livestock, the law enforcement agency taking custody would have 7 days to petition for a hearing before the district court, which would be scheduled within 10 days of the date of petition. If a court determined that abandonment or cruel neglect had occurred, then the court could order immediate forfeiture of livestock and authorize euthanasia, detail conditions that must be met to restore custody to the owner, or order a bond or security to pay for the seizing agency’s cost for care of the livestock (effective September 6).
• LB 434 introduced by Senator Scott Price that provides for emergency management registries for persons with special needs. The bill allows emergency management and other public agencies to voluntarily create registries for the purpose of planning assistance for people with special needs before, during, and after a disaster or emergency. Information obtained for such purposes would not be considered a public record. The bill specifies that a registry would include individuals with functional needs and that information may be shared only with agencies that have a legitimate and specific interest in the information. Improper release of registry information would be a Class III misdemeanor (effective September 6).
• LB 538 introduced by Senator Chambers that changes provisions relating to the revocation and suspension of law enforcement training certificates or diplomas. The bill defines incapacity relating to a law enforcement officer as “incapable of or lacking the ability to perform or carry out the usual duties of a law enforcement officer in accordance with the standards established by the commission due to physical, mental or emotional factors.” The bill provides that a law enforcement officer will not be deemed incapacitated if he or she remains employed as a law enforcement officer in a restricted or limited duty status. Law enforcement agencies will be required to report to the Nebraska Police Standards Advisory Council an officer who is separated from the agency due to a physical, mental or emotional incapacity. The officer’s law enforcement certificate will be suspended until such incapacity no longer prevents him or her from performing essential duties (effective September 6).
• LB 561 introduced by Senator Brad Ashford that reforms the juvenile justice system. The bill requires the Children’s Commission to make recommendations on the role of Youth Rehabilitation Treatment Centers in the juvenile justice system and any needs for additional juvenile mental and behavioral health services. The bill clarifies that juveniles could not be sent to YRTCs unless it was necessary for the protection of the juvenile and the public or because the juvenile would likely flee the court’s jurisdiction. The Office of Probation Administration, in cooperation with the Office of Juvenile Services, would be required to implement a family- and community-involved re-entry process for juveniles leaving the YRTC. The bill: (1) expresses intent to appropriate $10 million annually to the County Juvenile Services Aid Program and rename it the Community-Based Juvenile Services Aid Program, to promote the development of community-based care across the state; (2) eliminates the Office of Juvenile Service’s community supervision, parole and evaluation authority and transfer those services to the Office of Probation Administration on July 1, 2014; (3) creates Intensive Supervised Probation for cases in which all levels of probation supervision and options for community-based services have been exhausted and committing the juvenile to the YRTC is necessary; (4) creates the director of Juvenile Diversion Programs position within the Crime Commission to assist in the creation and maintenance of juvenile pre-trial diversion programs and community-based services; (5) expands the Nebraska Juvenile Services Delivery Project to include community supervision, evaluations and the re-entry process for juveniles leaving the YRTCs—the project would be implemented statewide in a three-step process starting July 1, 2013 through July 1, 2014; and (6) requires that juveniles complete evaluations and return to the court within 21 days after adjudication of jurisdiction (effective May 29).
• LB 595 introduced by Senator Scott Price requires the Public Service Commission (PSC) to study next-generation 911. The bill authorizes the PSC to use Enhanced Wireless 911 (E911) to conduct a study of the implications, costs and consideration of statewide implementation of next generation emergency telephone communications. The PSC would be required to report its findings to the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee. The criteria for the initial study includes an assessment of the current E911 system, identification of authorities, examination of NG911 in Nebraska and other states, agencies and governing bodies necessary for implementation of NG911, and any other issues the commission deems necessary. The PSC would be allowed to contract with an independent third party to assist with the study (effective May 8).
The 2014 Legislative Session will be here before we know it, and the quote from Julius Caesar suggests that while we may not have the support of the Legislature, the NSA continues to have the responsibility to professionally and respectably participate in the legislative process.