The 106th Nebraska Legislature adjourned Sine Die today and with it brings the departure of several senators due to term limits. The departing senators include Ernie Chambers of Omaha, Sue Crawford of Bellevue, Jim Scheer of Norfolk, Sarah Howard of Omaha, Kate Bolz of Lincoln, and Rick Kolowski of Omaha. The issues of highest priority to the 106th Legislature included property tax reform, prison reform and overcrowding, COVID 19 funding and effect of pandemic on Nebraskans, business incentive program, and policing reform.
The 106th Legislature consisted of two legislative sessions including a ninety-day session in 2019 and sixty-day session this year. Here are some highlights from the 106th:
STOPPED LB 453 – the League took an aggressive stance against a bill introduced by Senator Robert Clements on behalf of the Nebraska Bankers Association and Nebraska Independent Community Bankers Association which would have added additional burdensome barriers to credit union growth in Nebraska. The bill would have required that direct notice be given to both banking associations whenever a Nebraska credit union applies for a field of membership expansion with the Department of Banking and Finance. During public testimony, I testified that the bill was an attempt by the banking associations to become the defacto regulator of credit unions and a direct attack on the independence of credit union boards of directors. We were successful in our opposition of the bill and it stalled in Committee.
PASSED LB 186 – the League supported this bill introduced by Senator Brett Lindstrom that created the Online Notary Public Act. The bill allows for the use of technology to verify the identity of a person whose signature is notarized in an online notarial act or who is taking an oath or affirmation other than in a capacity of a witness. The bill became extremely important this year when we were hit by the coronavirus and social distancing caused in person meetings to cease. Governor Ricketts signed an executive order to speed up the implementation of LB 186 which was to take effect in July of this year.
PASSED LB 853 & 909e – the League supported both bills which eventually merged into one bill LB 909e. The bill included the state credit union parity provision as well as authorized credit unions and banks to place a hold on certain customer transactions if they reasonably believed that financial exploitation of a vulnerable or senior adult may have occurred, may have been attempted, is occurring or may be attempted.
PASSED LB 55 – the League supported this simple bill which would allow persons eighteen years of age to acquire and convey title to real property.
PASSED LB 145 – the League supported this bill to allow financial institutions the ability to provide a power of attorney to an authorized agent so long as the financial institution’s POA terms and conditions are similar to those in the POA granting authority including the identification of the acting agent and the agents successors.
PASSED LB 258 – the League supported this bill which provided parity for state-chartered credit unions with their federally chartered counterparts.
IN COMMITTEE LB 407 – The League sought this bill which would have provided for a “super” parity for state-chartered credit unions with out of state-chartered credit unions that have one or more branches operating in Nebraska. The bill sought to ensure that Nebraska state-chartered credit unions are not at a disadvantage by chartering with the State of Nebraska. Unfortunately, the bill stalled in the Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee.
IN COMMITTEE LB 257 – the League supported this bill which would have required insurance companies when paying an auto claim in excess of $2.500 to include the name of the insured and the name of the loss payee. It further required the same for insurance claims being paid in excess of $7,500 for one-to-four family dwelling or owned commercial property.
IN COMMITTEE LB 746 – the bill would have created the Nebraska Consumer Data Privacy Act based largely on the California law. The League and the banking trades were successful in getting an exemption for Nebraska financial institutions from the bill. The bill did not advance out of committee.