The Legislature and LB284

March 13, 2019

Last week, the Legislature moved Sen. John McCollister’s priority bill, LB284, onto final reading.

LB284 would adopt the Remote Seller and Marketplace Facilitator Act which would require out of state retailers, who sell goods over the internet, to collect and remit sales tax to the State of Nebraska if their annual sales exceed $100,000 or if they make 200 or more sales into Nebraska. According to the Legislative Fiscal Office, this bill would result in an additional amount of approximately $10 million in tax revenue for the state every year. This revenue is much needed for the state as it could be used towards property tax relief.

Also last week, I had a committee hearing for my bill, LB700, which would require any person owning, operating or managing a wind energy conversion system in the state be responsible for all decommissioning or reclamation costs necessary for removal of such system including any above ground or underground equipment and restoration of the land to the natural state. Currently, when wind turbines are decommissioned, the main tower, blades, and three or four feet of the 16’x20’ concrete footing is removed. However, 10-12 feet of the footing is left in place and is covered with dirt. This leaves the restored land susceptible to erosion and sometimes impossible to farm. What this bill would do is require wind companies to completely remove the concrete footing from the ground and return the land to its natural pre-industrialized state so that the landowner may use that land for whatever they may see fit.

Registration is now open for the Unicameral Youth Legislature. The Youth Legislature is open for any High School students who have an interest in government, debate, and public policy and is a four day simulation in which the students will play the role as a state lawmaker. The students will be presented with bills from the previous legislative session and will then have the opportunity to conduct committee hearings and debate the legislation presented to them. They will also work with State Senators and Staff to better understand the workings of the Unicameral. Students who participate will stay in the University of Nebraska East Campus dorms and will also have a chance to meet and dine with Gov. Ricketts at the Governor’s Mansion. For students wishing to apply, please visit nebraskalegislature.gov/uyl before the May 15 deadline. Also, those who do apply it is encouraged to apply for the Speaker Greg Adams Civic Scholarship Award which covers the full cost of admission.

This past week, the Schuyler Middle School band performed in the Rotunda. This was a special opportunity for these students. They did a fantastic job and their music was enjoyed by many.

I appreciate hearing from constituents on issues affecting District 23 and encourage you to contact my office on legislation at 402-471-2719 or bbostelman@leg.ne.gov.

Bruce Bostelman is a Nebraska state senator representing Butler and Saunders counties, as well as most of Colfax County, in Legislative District 23.