Link to the Legislature website: www.nebraskalegislature.gov
Click on the "Bill Tracker" and follow the bills below!
2015 Nebraska Unicameral
104th Legislature, First Session
Included Within Report:
Summary of Session,
Relevant Interim Studies
Prepared By: Richard Lombardi and Julie Erickson - Registered Lobbyists,
American Communications Group, Inc.
The 2015 Nebraska Unicameral Legislature adjourned sine die on May 29th, 2015. The legislature successfully passed a two year $8.7 Billion Budget reflecting a modest 3.5% average increase in spending including all legislation passed with fiscal impact. Governor Ricketts signed the budget bills with no line item vetoes of spending; rather remarkable considering over the 10-year Heineman Administration, only once were there no line item vetoes. Given the steady diet of dysfunctional political dialogue, we sometimes take for granted that the Nebraska Unicameral actually is an incredibly effective and efficient institution that resolves many contemporary disputes through either action or inaction.
In our attached spreadsheet are all actions taken this legislative session. The narrative below highlights key issues, but for more detailed information refer to the attached spreadsheet. Also listed at the beginning of your spreadsheet are interim studies that we have identified of interest to you and their priority designation by referred committee. Those issues with higher numbers (1-5) are more likely to be dealt with in the interim study process, but each committee handles studies differently. We will keep you updated as more information becomes available.
The Nebraska Emergency Medical Services Association successfully increased the amount of money allocated by the State of Nebraska to reimburse volunteer emergency medical provider with tuition and training reimbursement. Current Appropriations for this stood at $ 212,000 a year and under the new Biennium Budget for FY 16&17 the new amount is $292,000 an annual increase of $80,000. Great work.
Sometimes you have to stop bad public policy and that is what NEMSA in collaboration with the entire medical community in opposing the repeal of Nebraska’s helmet law. LB 31 did not advance this year because of a successful filibuster. It may come up again next year, but for now it is dead.
We did see some progress in the areas of health prevention with the passage of LB 34, a bill that requires carbon monoxide detectors in housing.
LB 55 increased the ability of Adjutant General to expend funds for emergencies and it was signed into law on May 13th.
LB 107, a bill that expands the independence of nurse practitioners to practice medicine, was signed into law on March 6th.
LB 264, a bill to expedite veteran’s issuance of credentials under the Uniform Credentialing Act was signed into law on May 13th.
LB 325, a bill to change the levy provisions for rural and suburban fire protection districts was signed into law on May 28th.
The bill that has the largest impact on health care in Nebraska is LB 472; the Medicaid Redesign Act was stalled early in the Session and is now the subject of an Interim Study by the Health and Human Services Committee and other members of the new class of legislators. We remain hopeful that the legislature can resolve an issue that is costing us one million dollars a day in federal funding already paid for to provide health insurance to 70,000 working poor neighbors whose employer doesn’t provide health care benefits. We are attaching some background on this issue that we believe is important to share with others in all our communities. This is an essential revenue stream for rural health care.
We welcome an opportunity to have a conference call with the NEMSA Board to conduct and brief-debrief of the session. Please let us know a time that works for the Board and we can review this past session but let us all ‘pivot’ to the interim activity that may result in legislation in January 2016.
As always please do not hesitate in calling our offices with any questions.