Link to the Legislature website: www.nebraskalegislature.gov
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2012 Nebraska Unicameral
102nd Legislature, Second Session
Adjourned Sine Die April 18, 2012
The 102nd Legislature, Second Session adjourned April 18, 2012 completing their two year budget and policy cycle. All legislation introduced but not acted upon during the past two years is hereby declared "dead".
During the next eight months at least nine new state senators will be elected, as half the legislature will be up for election. Two Constitutional Amendments will be on the ballot for your consideration. One will increase the salary of Nebraska State Senators from the current $12,000 to $24,000 and the second amendment would change the term limit law to recognize three, four year terms, rather than the current two, four year terms. We encourage you to study these two amendments and inform others about them. Additionally, the Legislature will be engaged in interim activity much of which will lay the ground work for legislative bill introduction in the 2013 Legislative Session New Legislative Leadership positions will be elected in January of 2013.
Once again, this session has demonstrated that your vigilance and investment in legislative advocacy and lobbying has provided you and your organization a significant return on investment. During the next couple of months we will meet with you to discuss your planning process for the 2013 Nebraska Unicameral Session.
The following is an outline of the results of your advocacy activity during this past session.
Please do not hesitate in calling us with any specific questions.
Clearly the passage of LB 646 was the major issue for NEMSA during the past legislative session. The redefining of emergency medical service may help in our ongoing search to find new and innovative ways to fund voluntary emergency medical services in Nebraska’s rural communities.
No major changes in Appropriations has occurred during this year’s budget deliberations and a comprehensive review of expenditures and needs from the State’s Health Care Cash Fund is imminent during the interim study process. The Health Care Cash Fund is primarily funded through the tobacco settlement funds that were derived by estimating the economic damage that tobacco has caused the citizens of Nebraska and paid for through tax supported Medicaid. We derive a small amount of money from this fund; however, the future may allow us to expand those receipts.
Local funding for county and city operations was spared another draconian cut when the Legislature’s Revenue Committee declined to support the Governor’s recommendation to cut inheritance taxes (which is a major financial support for local counties).
Some minor changes to the State’s health care licensure process known as the 407 process were enacted with the passage of LB 834. Time will tell whether these changes will have a significant impact on the manner in which Nebraska’s health care licensees define their scope of practice.
Significant funding for nursing and allied health professions was secured by the University for the Kearney Campus as well as a cancer research center in Omaha.
As is customary during the interim period between the adjournment of this Session and the beginning of the next the Legislature engages in a series of studies to develop new legislation for the 2013 Session. A number of these interim studies have been introduced that have an impact on emergency medical services. The Transportation Committee continues its review of 911 notification systems, while the Appropriations Committee will look at funding for health care issues, the Insurance and Health and Human Services Committee will be determining how Nebraska law and the Federal Affordable Care Act are going to work together. Too that end, depending upon the outcome of the national court case on the Affordable Care Act, it is likely that the Nebraska Legislature will convene in Special Session this summer.
During the interim we recommend that the leadership of NEMSA convene a strategic planning session to map out its advocacy goals. Please let us know how we might help in making this a successful organizational activity.
2012 Interim Studies: http://www.nebraskalegislature.gov/pdf/reports/interim/2012_interim_study.pdf
Below you will find a table with all the bills that NEMSA is monitoring for this session. More information is available on the legislative web site at http://nebraskalegislature.gov/
As always if you have any questions or concerns about any legislation, you may contact any NEMSA officer or myself at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chair of the Advocacy Committee
Click on the NEMSA Legislative Report to open up the pdf file to find which bills to support and which ones to watch in 2012. We need everyone's support!! (Updated 5/2012)