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NSVFA Legislation


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Final 2014 Bill Summary – May 14, 2014 ...updated 6/11/14

       
 

Eighth Annual NSVFA Senators' Appreciation Breakfast
January 27, 2014

 

The eighth annual Nebraska Senator’s Appreciation Breakfast was hosted by the NSVFA and State Auxiliary on January 27, 2014, and was a very successful event.

Twenty-two senators and two legislative aides attended the breakfast. Thirty-five NSVFA, NVFC and E Board members and thirteen auxiliary members were in attendance. Also attending were Nebraska Attorney General, Jon Bruning; State Fire Marshal, Jim Heine; Assistant State Fire Marshal, Don Fritz and State Forester, Dr. Scott Josiah.

Banners for the NSVFA, the STRIVE Program and a banner providing a cost analysis of providing gear for one firefighter including SCBA were displayed for the Senators to view.

Many bills were discussed with the senators with particular attention given:
LB 62 – Rural and Suburban Fire District Levy
LB 402 – Novelty Lighters (Advanced to Final Reading January 31, 2014)
LB 440 – Volunteer Emergency Responders Incentive Act
LB 752 – Assault on a Health Care Professional/Emergency Responder
LB 772 – Increase Cap of Aerial Fire Suppression/Hazmat Response
LB 820 – Great Plains Interstate Fire Compact
LB 895 – Workers’ Compensation Act/Volunteer Firefighter and Emergency Medical Personnel

Support is needed from members to attend hearings. More information on this will be made available through Constant Contact or information on legislative bills, committees and hearings is always available on the internet at: http://nebraskalegislature.gov/index.php. A 2014 bill summary with the stances chosen for the bills made by the NSVFA and Nebraska Fire Chief’s Association, their Legislative and EMS Committees will be posted soon on the Legislative page of this web site.

Kevin Campbell, Gretna FD with Joel Cerny, NSVFA District 4 Director; Scott Cordes, Norfolk FD Fire Chief and Jim Horn, NSVFA, 1st Vice President studying the legislative issues. Partially hidden, Brian Schlote, Plainview FD; Scott Cordes, Norfolk FD Fire Chief; Senator Jim Sheer, Nebraska District 19; John Bomar, NSVFA/NVFC Alternate Representative discussing legislation. Jim Egr, NSVFA Legal Counsel; Senator Jerry Johnson, Nebraska District 23; Pat Moore, Dakota City FD; Jerry Stilmock, NSVFA Lobbyist and Norm Hoeft, NSVFA/NVFC Representative discussing legislation.
Kevin Campbell, Gretna FD with Joel Cerny, NSVFA District 4 Director; Scott Cordes, Norfolk FD Fire Chief and Jim Horn, NSVFA, 1st Vice President studying the legislative issues. Partially hidden, Brian Schlote, Plainview FD; Scott Cordes, Norfolk FD Fire Chief; Senator Jim Sheer, Nebraska District 19; John Bomar, NSVFA/NVFC Alternate Representative discussing legislation. Jim Egr, NSVFA Legal Counsel; Senator Jerry Johnson, Nebraska District 23; Pat Moore, Dakota City FD; Jerry Stilmock, NSVFA Lobbyist and Norm Hoeft, NSVFA/NVFC Representative discussing legislation.
Jim Woolhiser, Manley FD Fire Chief; Micheal Dwyer, Arlington FD & NSVFA Legislative Committee; and Senator Bill Kintner, Nebraska District 2 discussing a legislative bill. Justin Scamehorn, Waco FD; speaking with Greg Adams, Speaker of the Legislature and representing Nebraska District 24. NSVFA Lobbyist, Jerry Stilmock speaking with Kate Sullivan, Senator for Nebraska District 41.
Jim Woolhiser, Manley FD Fire Chief; Micheal Dwyer, Arlington FD & NSVFA Legislative Committee; and Senator Bill Kintner, Nebraska District 2 discussing a legislative bill. Justin Scamehorn, Waco FD; speaking with Greg Adams, Speaker of the Legislature and representing Nebraska District 24. NSVFA Lobbyist, Jerry Stilmock speaking with Kate Sullivan, Senator for Nebraska District 41.
Nebraska Attorney General, Jon Bruning in conversation with NSVFA 2nd Vice-President, Dell Cerny. NSVFA State Auxiliary Members who assisted in serving breakfast to the Senators.  From left to right they are: Pam Lundy (York), Taylor Anderson (Superior), Diana Stier (Blair), Kathy Barnes (York), Sandra Teegerstrom (York), Gerri Heywood (Snyder), Ruthie Bertram (North Platte), Kathy Horn (Schuyler), Ruth Krumbach (York), Kristi Rounds (Blair), Sharlene Kuhr (Blair).  Missing from the photo are Kathi Gustin and Nancy Moore both who are State Auxiliary members from Dakota City who also assisted at the breakfast. Rhonda Cerny, NSVFA Fire Prevention Committee Chair discussing legislative bills with Senator Burke Harr, Nebraska District # 8.
Nebraska Attorney General, Jon Bruning in conversation with NSVFA 2nd Vice-President, Dell Cerny. NSVFA State Auxiliary Members who assisted in serving breakfast to the Senators. Rhonda Cerny, NSVFA Fire Prevention Committee Chair discussing legislative bills with Senator Burke Harr, Nebraska District # 8.

NSVFA State Auxiliary members above) from left to right they are: Pam Lundy (York), Taylor Anderson (Superior), Diana Stier (Blair), Kathy Barnes (York), Sandra Teegerstrom (York), Gerri Heywood (Snyder), Ruthie Bertram (North Platte), Kathy Horn (Schuyler), Ruth Krumbach (York), Kristi Rounds (Blair), Sharlene Kuhr (Blair). Missing from the photo are Kathi Gustin and Nancy Moore both who are State Auxiliary members from Dakota City who also assisted at the breakfast.

 

 

2013 Legislative Bills carried forward as NSVFA 2014 Legislative Goals

Goals for the 2014 Legislative Session were named at a Legislative Planning meeting of the NSVFA and Nebraska Fire Chiefs’ E Boards as well as their Legislative and EMS Committees on September 8, 2013.

LB 62 – Rural and Suburban Fire District Levy

        Introducer: Senator Ken Schilz

        Committee: Revenue

        Remains “In Committee” to be carried forward in 2014

LB 403 – Novelty Lighters
        Introducer: Senator Les Seiler
        Committee: Judiciary
       
#12 of 85 “General File” bills to be scheduled early in 2014.

LB 440 – Volunteer Emergency Responders Incentive Act
        Introducer: Senator Mike Gloor
        Co-Sponsors: Senators Kathy Campbell and Annette Dubas
        Committee: Revenue

 

New Legislative Items Suggested for 2014 at September 8, 2013 Planning Meeting

  1. Legislative Action to establish EMS Jurisdiction in the State of Nebraska should a community lose its EMS. The NSVFA and NFCA pursue active participation and recommendation for any legislative action concerning state statutes directing EMS services and responsibilities.
     

  2. Response to the November 1, 2013 NEMA Study. All members of the fire service are encouraged to attend the Legislature's interim study hearing regarding the 2012 wildland fires. The hearing is scheduled for Friday, November 1, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. Central Time at the State Capitol with remote video conference sites established in Chadron and Ainsworth.

    Legislative Resolution 341 was introduced to study the powers and duties of the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) due to several issues which arose during the 2012 wildland fires and during the legislative work-up of LB 634, the Wildfire Control Act of 2013 introduced by Senator Davis and passed into law this year.
     

  3. Pursuit of Legislative Support for the Great Plains Interstate Compact
     

  4. Pursuit of Legislation to create a standard POLST, Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment form and education of physicians, patients and EMS Personnel for its use.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

  1. Attend the Senator’s Appreciation Breakfast (Details Above)
     

  2. Become informed by joining the Constant Contact email list by clicking on the button titled “Join Our Email List” in the right hand column of the Home Page. The NSVFA and Nebraska Fire Chiefs Association sends emails via this email system informing members of legislative bills and events.
     

  3. Contact Nebraska senators and Nebraska congressmen regarding various bills at both the state and federal level using information provided in the Constant Contact emails.
     

  4. Attend legislative hearings when requests are made for your support. Your officers cannot do this alone.

Information on legislative bills, committees and hearings is always available on the internet at: http://nebraskalegislature.gov/index.php

 
 

NSVFA LEGISLATION PAYS OFF!

The NSVFA sponsors lobbying at state and national levels, supporting a Nebraska State Lobbyist and two representatives to the National Volunteer Fire Council. Each year the NSVFA and Nebraska Fire Chief’s Association executive boards meet with their Legislative and EMS Committees to choose legislative goals which senators may sponsor in the upcoming session. Each January, the NSVFA and Fire Chiefs sponsor an annual breakfast with the senators to which all members are invited where they may visit with senators about the importance of the fire and EMS services in Nebraska and to ask the senators assistance with upcoming legislative matters. A Legislative Stance meeting is held in January or early February that is open to all members of the NSVFA and Nebraska Fire Chief’s Association where upcoming legislative bills are discussed and stances developed by the two Associations.

These efforts have paid off. The following list of bills is a small sample of those approved in recent years that are important to Nebraska fire and EMS services:

APPROVED April 22, 2014, LB 811 in which LB 752 was amended expanding the provisions relating to assault of a healthcare professional to also include emergency responders, firefighters, and out-of-hospital emergency care providers.
APPROVED April 22, 2014, LB 390 in which LB 772 was amended increasing the authority of the Adjutant General to make expenditures up to $25,000 for aerial fire suppression or a hazardous materials response without a state of emergency proclamation.
APPROVED April 16, 2014, LB 961 in which LB 820 & LB 895 were amended. LB 820 authorizes Nebraska to join the Great Plains Interstate Forest Fire Compact. The Compact is contained within Section 1 of LB 961 and Section 2 of the bill sets forth requirements for Nebr. Volunteer firefighters to provide certification of insurance covering Nebraska volunteers for workers’ compensation benefits outside the boundaries of Nebraska. LB 895 clarified provisions of the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Act, which will be beneficial to volunteer firefighters and volunteer emergency medical personnel.
APPROVED February 13, 2014, LB 403 to prohibit the retail sale of Novelty Lighters.
APPROVED June 3, 2013, LB 634 and 634A, the Wildfire Control Act of 2013, and the funding bill were signed into law by Governor Heineman and because of an emergency clause became law effective immediately.  The NSVFA/NVCA through their lobbyist, Gerald Stilmock and the Nebraska Forest Service through Dr. Scott Josiah, Nebraska State Forester partnered advantageously to support these bills and move them through the legislative process.   The Act provides for a Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT) for rapid initial attack during fire seasons, funding for expanded programs in firefighter training, forest fuels reduction, federal excess property provision, burned land restoration, and wood product market development.
APPROVED April 5, 2007, LB 160 to Change fire and rescue department provisions relating to clothing, equipment, and donations
APPROVED March 31, 2008, LB 948, the Emergency Responders Job Protection Act, was incorporated into LB 1096
APPROVED April 9, 2009, LB 110, Providing for Specialty License Plates (The Department of Motor Vehicles processes and regulations for this bill are being developed.)
APPROVED April 22, 2009, LB 206, Adopt the In the Line of Duty Dependent Education Act This bill will provide education benefits for surviving children of LODDs for those attending state universities, state colleges and community colleges located in Nebraska.
APPROVED May 13, 2009, LB 92, Move-Over Bill, Serious support was provided by the NSVFA and the AAA.
APPROVED May 19, 2009, LB 198, Adopt the Reduced Cigarette Ignition Propensity Act Beginning January 1, 2010, cigarette manufacturers and cigarette retailers will be required to produce, market and sell only cigarettes that comply with the Fire-Safe Cigarette law.
APPROVED May 21, 2009, LR 182, an interim study, to research, review and possibly propose legislative solutions to the growing problem in recruiting and retaining volunteer firefighters and emergency medical care providers has been referred to the Revenue Committee.
APPROVED April 14, 2010, LB 780, Mental-Mental Workers Comp - a first responder suffering mental injury will be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits upon establishing certain criteria.  The law will expire in four years.


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