Debate Transcripts

LB 719A (1992)

Final Reading

April 13, 1992


PRESIDENT MOUL:  Would the senators please be seated so we can proceed with Final Reading.  Senator Moore.


SENATOR MOORE:  I just inquire of the Chair of the precedent setting of reading the A bill before the bill itself.  Is there some rule that needs to be suspended to do this?  I haven't had a chance to look at my rule book.  I just saw this and I just want to ask a ruling of the Chair, do we need to suspend a rule or...  I know we need to suspend a rule to read a bill that needs an A bill but I don't know about reading an A bill first.  I don't know if there is a precedent there.  I'm just inquiring of the Chair if there is anything we need to do.


PRESIDENT MOUL:  Thank you, Senator Moore.  Senator Moore, you are correct.  The rules do require that the authorization bill be first considered Speaker Baack.


SPEAKER BAACK:  Yes, Madam President and colleagues, I would make that motion to suspend the rules so that that would allow us to read LB 719A.


PRESIDENT MOUL:  Thank you, Speaker Baack.  Does anyone wish to speak to the motion to suspend the rules?  Senator Withem.


SENATOR WITHEM:  Yes, I would speak to the motion to suspend the rules.  First of all, 719A no longer has anything whatsoever to do with LB 719 and if Senator Hall were here, I could go through LB 511 and 719 and the whole rigamarole that 719 is currently a




bill dealing with the education issue.  LB 719A is a bill dealing with the property tax situation, so it's not a precedent setting..  sort of thing where we're passing a bill appropriating money to carry out a program that would be passing before the bill itself, number one.  Number two, and maybe the Speaker would want to speak to this, I don't know, but 719A is' a fairly lengthy bill.  We don't have a lot on the agenda today and it would be a lot better to get the reading of that bill out of the way on a short day where tomorrow might be a little more, lengthy, so I certainly support the motion to suspend the rule to read this bill today.


PRESIDENT MOUL:  Thank you, Senator Withem.  Senator Moore.


SENATOR MOORE:  Madam President, I, too, rise to support the rule suspension motion.  I'm not a big fan of 719AE, but Senator Withem is right, the A bill has nothing to do with LB 719 anymore, but still our rules are the same and I just urge the body, if you don't like 719AE, take it out and vote no on the bill, but at this point in time just for the sake so we can read the bill, I'd urge the body to suspend the rules.


PRESIDENT MOUL:  Thank you, Senator Moore.  Does anyone else wish to speak to this motion?  Speaker Baack, do you have closing?  Closing is waived.  We'll now vote on the motion to suspend, the rules.  All those in favor please vote aye, opposed nay.  Have you all voted.  Please record, Mr. Clerk.


CLERK:  31 ayes, 0 nays, Madam President,, on the motion to suspend the rule.


PRESIDENT MOUL:  The motion is adopted.


CLERK:  Madam President, Senator Wesely would move to return the bill for a specific amendment.  (Senator Wesely's amendment AM4030 to LB 719A is found on page 1942-43 of the Legislative Journal.


PRESIDENT MOUL:  Senator Wesely.


SENATOR WESELY:  Thank you, Madam President and members.  I realize that we can't amend this legislation today and have any chance of dealing with it, so I'm using this amendment to make a point and will be withdrawing the amendment.  There has been a concern expressed in Lancaster County now for a number of weeks.




regarding a decision recently by the Lancaster County Assessor saying that certain special housing units that are put in place to serve the disabled will no longer have a tax exemption that they've had.  In.  addition, nonprofit child care in churches in this city and in this county may lose their tax exemptions that they've had as a result of the county assessor's decision, which is going to be considered by the Lancaster County Board before a hearing on April 28.  There is a great deal of concern in Lancaster County about the assessor's decision.  It is unique.  No other county we know of has taken this step or is contemplating taking this step.  The inequities between our county and other counties is of great concern.  In addition, the inequities and unfairness of taking away these exemptions to these particular activities is of great concern as well.  As we all know, child care is of great concern and the churches have come forward and provided facilities for child care in our city and cities Across the State of Nebraska.  They have done so under the auspices of their church activities and have been granted tax exemptions in this activity.  These are nonprofit centers, not existing to provide profit back to the church or to providers of the care, but rather to facilitate and assist the community and the families and children through those day care services.  In addition, the special housing that has been put in place to help people with disabilities is there to help people that are disadvantaged and would, perhaps, otherwise have a difficult time finding housing.  They're nonprofit and yet,.  again, they're looking at a potential loss of their tax exemption status.  I'm very concerned about this and I did draft this amendment to 719A.  There has been some uncertainty about exactly how to word this and also I had to, when the bill came Up, had to leave for a funeral for L.K.  Emry and wasn't here when the issue came up and so it's not at a point where we can actually amend and take action on this, but it certainly is my hope to send a message back to Lancaster County that their actions are of concerti and that I would prefer having tax policy established by this Legislature and done for the whole state, not having exemptions taken away for one county and that inequity being forced Upon this one county here in Lancaster County.  My hope is that the Revenue Committee and the Legislature will continue to look at this issue.  If the county board takes the action of not approving the loss of exemptions that the county assessor is suggesting, perhaps the issue will go away and we won't have to work or worry about it.  On the other hand, if the county board should uphold the assessor and take away these exemptions, I, for one, plan to work a great




April 13, 1952


deal on the matter and see if we can't find a solution to the problem that's more fair than what is being proposed.  So I'm expressing my concern and frustration.  I hope that, again, this issue didn't come up till midway through the session.  We didn't have a chance to draft legislation and didn't really have the chance to find a proper solution in the short amount of time we had, but I would -hope that the county board will recognize the problem and deal with this reasonably so that we might find a solution that's fair at all parties.  And I'd like to give some of my time to Senator Crosby at this point and then ask that I be given a chance to have the remaining time after she's done.


'PRESIDENT MOUL:  Thank you, Senator Wesely.  Senator Crosby.


SENATOR CROSBY:  Thank you, Madam Chair and members, and thank you, Senator.  Wesely, for bringing the subject up.  It does concern Me greatly that Lancaster County is looking at particularly tile child care facilities that churches are ...  sponsor in Lincoln and in other cities in Nebraska.  This is a very important part of our child care system.  Lancaster County, Lincoln, Nebraska, doesn't have enough child care, slots as it is and to put them on the spot concerning taxes right now I think is a disservice to the people who need child care.  There's.  a fine line in the description of child care and preschool and so I do think Legislature should have the privilege and opportunity of looking at the entire policy before Lancaster County does this, so I'm pleased to join with Senator Wesely and, whatever we do after the session, I want to be part of it.  Thank you.


PRESIDENT MOUL:  Thank you, Senator Crosby.  Senator Wesely.


SENATOR WESELY:  Thank you, Senator Crosby, and I do look forward, to working with you and other members of Lancaster County delegation and the Revenue Committee to look at the issue further.  With that, my concerns have been expressed.  My hope is that the county board will take action that will alleviate the problem but, if they should not, this looks like it will be a major concern next session.  I'm alerting the body that it's coming and I do hope we don't have it come, but we'll, I guess, know the answer to that in a couple of weeks.  With that, I'd ask that this amendment be withdrawn.


PRESIDENT MOUL:  Thank you, Senator Wesely.  The motion to return is withdrawn.  We are ready to proceed with Final




Reading.  Would the senators please be seated so we can proceed.  Senator Wickersham, would you please be seated so we can proceed.




SPEAKER BAACK:  Mr. Clerk, LB 719A.


CLERK:  (Began reading LB 719A.)


ASSISTANT CLERK:  (Continued reading LB 719A.)


SPEAKER BAACK:  Could I have the senators please return to their seats and check in, please.  Senators, please return to your seats and check in, please.  Senators, please check in.  Senator Schrock, would you check in, please.  Senator Wesely, would you check in, please.  Senator Lynch, would you check in, please.  We are looking for Senators Landis and Lindsay.  Senator Robinson and Senator Rod Johnson.  We are looking for Senator Rod Johnson.  All members are now present.  All provisions of law relative to procedure having been complied with, the question is, shall LB 719A with the emergency clause attached pass?  All those in favor vote aye, opposed vote no.  Record, Mr. Clerk.


ASSISTANT CLERK:  (Read record vote.  See page 2215 of the Legislative Journal.) The vote is 32 ayes, 13 nays, .1 excused and not voting, Mr. President.


SPEAKER.  BAACK:  LB 719A with the emergency clause attached does not pass..  We will now vote on LB 719A without the emergency clause.  All those in favor vote aye, opposed vote no.  Have you all voted?  Record, Mr. Clerk.


ASSISTANT CLERK:  (Read record vote.  See pages 2215-16 of the Legislative Journal.) The vote is 32 ayes, 13 nays, 4 excused and not voting.


SPEAKER BAACK:  LB 719A passes.  Vie will now go to LB 754.