Nebraska lawmakers introduced 85 bills and one proposed constitutional amendment Tuesday, the next-to-last day of bill introduction. Among them:
» School aid: The state school aid formula would be modified to control the growth of aid under LB 407, introduced by Sen. Kate Sullivan of Cedar Rapids. The bill would phase out restrictions on spending growth and on property tax levies that had been imposed to help the state balance its budget two years ago. Estimates of the financial impact of the bill are not yet available.
» Problem schools: The state could intervene with up to five of Nebraska's lowest performing schools under LB 438, introduced by Sen. Greg Adams of York. The bill would require the State Board of Education to name intervention teams to work with schools on plans for improving student test scores. The bill also requires those schools to form local operating councils to advise the principal.
» Career education: Students at Nebraska community colleges in high-need fields could get grants to help pay for their studies under LB 480, introduced by Sen. Steve Lathrop of Omaha. The bill creates a public-private program that would provide grants worth up to $1,000 per year.
» Student vaccines: Students going into the seventh grade and again at age 16 would have to get a vaccine booster for meningococcal diseases under LB 460, introduced by Sen. Bob Krist of Omaha. Meningococcal diseases include meningitis and serious blood infections and can be fatal.
» Discrimination: Nebraska employers would be prohibited from discriminating based on sexual orientation under LB 485, introduced by Sen. Danielle Conrad of Lincoln. The bill also bars discrimination based on marital status, adding both characteristics to current laws barring discrimination in employment matters based on race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion and disability.
» Flying lanterns: The flying lanterns containing an open flame that have become popular at Independence Day celebrations in recent years would be banned under LB 472, introduced by Sen. Russ Karpisek of Wilber. He has said the lanterns are a fire danger.
» Drone spying: Law enforcement would be barred from using unmanned drones to collect evidence under LB 412, introduced by Sen. Paul Schumacher of Columbus. The bill is titled the “Freedom From Unwarranted Surveillance Act.”
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