As of March 31, Gov. Pete Ricketts approved 16 bills to become state laws. The bills include topics varying from transportation, health care, to government and military affairs.
Here is an overview of what some of the new state laws will entail. View the full list of bills that received approval on the Nebraska Legislature.
LB 14: Adopt the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact
Sen. Carol Blood of Bellevue introduced LB 14, which will join Nebraska in an interstate compact to make it easier for audiologists and speech-language pathologists to practice in multiple states.
Under the agreement individuals with a license will be able to practice in other states that are a part of the compact without having to obtain a separate license. Currently, licensing requirements don’t transfer from one state to another making it especially challenging for military spouses according to Blood.
Ten states must join the compact for it to take effect and according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, ten states have now joined.
Read more on the bill here.
LB 337: Adopt the Step-Therapy Reform Act
Health care providers will have a greater ability to prescribe treatments under LB 337. This bill was introduced by Sen. Mark Kolterman of Seward.
“Step therapy” is an insurance practice in which a patient is required to try and fail a treatment selected by the insurance company before the insurance company will cover the original treatment prescribed by his or her health care provider.
The bill provides a clear process for health care providers to request a step therapy override. The override may be applied if all of the standards are met including:
- Provider believes a drug prescribed under step therapy will be ineffective
- A patient previously was prescribed a drug that was ineffective
- A drug required under step therapy is contradicted by the drug manufacturers prescribing information
- The drug is likely to cause a poor reaction or decrease the patient’s ability to perform daily activities or cause mental or physical harm to the patient
LB 368: Auditor’s office to enforce fees for late reports
LB 368 provides a late fee for cities, counties and other political subdivisions that fail to file a report to the auditor’s office by the due date.
Sen. Rita Sanders of Bellevue introduced the bill. She said there is no current enforcement mechanism for those who choose to ignore the set deadline, and in 2019, 309 reports were filed late.
The bill will allow the auditor’s office to charge the political subdivision a late fee of $20 a day, up to $2,000 total per filing.
“Chasing these reports down can be frustrating and expensive for the auditor’s office, and it prevents the public from seeing the results of an audit in a timely manner,” Sanders said.
LB 113: Change laws relating to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
LB 113, proposed by Sen. Joni Albrecht of Thurston will change certain laws relating to titling, licensing, registration and different fees with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Some of the changes include:
- Changing the drivers education/training course from eight hours to four hours
- Annual revalidation from the DMV for restricted drivers licenses for those that want the same seasonal permit over the five-year term
- Removing of a fee to reinstate vehicle registration after suspension or revocation
- DMV charging the cost of postage and handling to mail specialty license plates
- Removing the temporary farm permit
- Allowing third-party test examiners to administer skills test
- Allowing replacement of motor carrier services to handle the issuance of motor carrier registrations and assessment of motor carrier fuel tax
- Changing apportionable vehicle registration fees
LB 297: Adopt the Nebraska Protection of Vulnerable Adults from Financial Exploitation Act
LB 297, proposed by Sen. Brett Lindstrom of Omaha, will allow financial professionals to delay suspicious financial transactions for seniors and vulnerable adults.
Broker-dealers and investment advisers will be required to notify the protective services in order to delay a transaction and conduct an internal review.
LB 389: Require the issuance of teaching certificates and permits to military spouses
LB 389 was introduced by Sen. Rita Sanders of Bellevue at the request of Gov. Pete Ricketts. Bill 389 will better support military families by updating Nebraska’s teacher certification laws to be more accommodating to military spouses.
“Teacher certification is designed to be long term; however, military spouses are only often in one place for only two or three years,” Sanders said.
The State Board of Education will be required to expedite applications for teaching certifications to ensure spouses of active-duty members will be able to teach as soon as possible.
More details about the bill are explained here.