LINCOLN – Hearings are coming to an end and bills are starting to advance to the floor for debate.
Lawmakers passed a bill that would clarify how a deceased tenant’s property could be retrieved. LB221, introduced by Sen. Burke Harr of Omaha, was approved on a 46-0 vote.
The bill would allow a tenant to designate a person to retrieve property under the tenant’s death. The landlord would have 10 days to contact the designated person who then would have 20 days to respond and retrieve the property.
But if the property is not retrieved within the time period, the landlord could dispose of the property without liability.
The bill also incorporates LB385, introduced by Sen. Brett Lindstrom of Omaha, which requires landlords to wait 30 days to evict a tenant after notification due to roommates and guests threatening the health, safety or peace of other tenants.
On March 1, lawmakers passed LB954, introduced by Sen. Bob Krist of Omaha.
The bill would speed up the delivery of confidential records to the inspector general of Nebraska Child Welfare.
Records include sealed records pertinent to investigations, including video testimony from abuse victims, as well as granting access to all relevant computerized records.
Under the bill the inspector general must immediately notify the probation administrator of misconduct by juvenile services division employees uncovered in an investigation.
Senators also advanced LB83, introduced by Sen. Tanya Cook of Omaha, which originally would have prohibited employers from punishing workers who voluntarily disclose their pay.
The Business and Labor Committee amended the bill, replacing Cook’s language with a provision from LB928, introduced by Sen. Heath Mello of Omaha. As amended, the new version of LB83 would remove the small business exemption that states small businesses, those with fewer than 15 employees, are exempt from providing equal pay for equal work.
Mello said Nebraska is the only state that puts the mark at 15 or more employees for equal pay. All other 45 states with forms of wage discrimination protection have a lower threshold.
The amendment would address economic security for women and their families, according to Cook.
Lawmakers also advanced a bill regarding the state’s prohibition of hazing.
LB710, introduced by Sen. Dan Hughes of Venango, would extend the prohibition of hazing for all primary and secondary students.
Hazing is defined as an activity in which a person intentionally or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health and safety of an individual for initiation, admission, affiliation or continued membership in an organization.
The Judiciary Committee amended the bill to expand the definition of hazing to include persuading another person to commit an act of public indecency.
The first-round approval was on a 31-0 vote.