2014 Legislative Report to NSRC from Registered Lobbyists
Final Legislative Report
2014 Nebraska Unicameral
103rd Legislature, Second Session
Adjourned Sine Die April 17, 2014
2014 Legislative Review Prepared For: Included Within Final Report:
Summary of Session
Bills of Significance that Passed in 2014
Relevant Interim Studies
Prepared By: Richard Lombardi and Julie Erickson Registered Lobbyists
American Communications Group, Inc.
On April 17 the Nebraska Legislature adjourned sine die. This session was most notable because of the perpetual use of the filibuster on both big and small bills. This led to a more partisan legislative session than we usually expect from the non-partisan Nebraska Unicameral. Yet despite the roadblocks and bickering, considerable progress was made in public policy.
The 2015 Legislature will feature at least seventeen new state senators. The cast of future senators will become clearer after the May 13th primary and we diligently monitor all of those legislative campaigns. We have met with almost all of the candidates vying for legislative seats and will continue until we have had one on one conversations with each of them. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any specific questions as we head into the final weeks of the primary season; attached is a spreadsheet of candidates for your review.
Unfortunately the filibuster/cloture methods worked in stopping movement on LB 887, Wellness in Nebraska Act implementing Medicaid expansion. Senator Campbell is more committed than ever to get legislation passed next year as well as the balance of the coalition fighting for passage the past two sessions.
LB 439, Senator Gloor’s effort to increase Nebraska’s tobacco tax did not advance out of the Revenue Committee this year. Unfortunately, in an election cycle where cutting taxes is the theme, senators were not willing to move the bill for full debate. Senator Gloor remains committed to the issue although it may not be a priority in his last session in 2015. We will keep you updated.
Key Legislation Passed in 2014
LB 690 / Create Aging Nebraskans Task Force
By September 1, 2014 the Department of Health and Human Services are required to apply for a grant under State Balancing Incentive Payment Program which provides states with enhanced federal match dollars to expand home and community based services. The shift from institutional care to home based care has the potential of significant savings, although at this time estimating savings is not possible. The grants are only available until September of 2015. A Task force is appointed under the legislature to develop the plan for long term care services in Nebraska and terminates June 30, 2016. Fiscal impact utilizing $2.8M of new general funds, adds more than $12M in federal funding for these services; in FY 2015-16 funding could double. The bill originally had an emergency clause, but did not have sufficient votes to pass with it – so it goes into effect 90 days after the legislature overrode the Governor’s veto on April 10th.
LB 854 / Managed Care Implementation in Long Term Care Service Delivery
Moratorium on long term care managed care RFPs until September 1, 2015, to ensure adequate planning. Delays any kind of implementation until next Governor’s term in office begins.
LB 863 / LB 861 covering E Cigarette prohibitions amended into per AM 2131
Prohibits minors from using vapor products or electronic cigarettes; requires retailers to display behind counter or in secured case except for cigar bars and tobacco specialty businesses. Amendments to the bill included definitions for alternative nicotine products and vapor products within definition for tobacco specialty shops.
LR 422 / Policy Recommendations on Nebraska Health Care System
Large group of representatives from health care organized by Health and Human Services Committee working with Dr. Rowen Zetterman, will meet this year at UNMC in September or October. Specific date and details are currently being worked out and notice will be sent out when details are complete. Anticipate legislation to evolve next session from this effort.
LB 916 / Eliminates integrated practice agreements for nurse practitioners
*Although passed by the legislature, the Governor did not sign the bill and the legislature cannot override his objection because it is not in session. Removes requirement for integrated practice agreement between nurse practitioner and collaborating physician and removes requirement nurse practitioner complete a minimum of 2,000 hours of practice under supervision of a physician. The Governor objected to the reduction in hours of supervision and indicated that it’s too soon to implement such changes after discussing at length with his Chief Medical Officer for the state.
Relevant Interim Studies
At the end of each session, every state senator has the opportunity to submit interim studies to examine issues facing Nebraska with potential legislation to be proposed the following legislative session. These studies are prioritized by their respective committee and many are not dealt with because of time constraints. Not all committees have submitted their priority designations yet. Identified below are studies we have identified of interest to you. A full list of interim studies for 2014 can be found here: http://www.nebraskalegislature.gov/session/interim.php.
Lincoln Journal Star 4/18/14 Editorial – When the embers cool
Same issues, new faces for 2015 http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Same-issues-new-faces-for-2015-Nebraska-session-5415929.php Sen. Campbell got front row view of health issues http://journalstar.com/legislature/lincoln-senator-campbell-got-front-row-view-of-health-issues/article_7bf8edd0-261a-58d3-b75e-fbaba2d4a9c1.html