AARP volunteers and staff gather at the State Capitol for our Lobby Day in March 2018. Photo credit: Megan Engel

AARP scored several important wins for 50-plus Nebraskans in the fiscally challenging 2018 legislative session. Listed below are the top priority bills that we supported and actively worked to pass on behalf of our members, their families and caregivers.

Please consider contacting the bill sponsors and thanking them for their hard work and leadership on these issues!

Aging and Disability Resource Centers

LB 793 includes creation of a permanent Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) at locations across the state. These free, one-stop information and assistance centers were first launched as a demonstration project in 2015 to connect older and disabled Nebraskans and family caregivers with the supports and services they need.

The ADRCs help people find the right service at the right time so they can stay in their homes and communities, thereby avoiding more costly institutional care at taxpayer expense.

For more information and to find an ADRC in your area, visit http://nebraska.networkofcare.org/aging/

Sponsor: Sen. Kate Bolz sponsored the original bill, LB 1004, which was later amended into LB 793, kbolz@leg.ne.gov or (402) 471-2734

LB 793 is in effect now.

Social Security Tax Relief

LB 738 annually indexes the taxation of Social Security benefits to keep pace with inflation. Currently, married Nebraska taxpayers do not pay state income taxes on Social Security benefits if they have adjusted gross income of $58,000 or less, or a single taxpayer with income of $43,000 or less. Those thresholds will rise under the inflation adjustments, so that over time, more Social Security recipients will be exempt from having to pay state taxes. Nebraska is ranked among the least tax-friendly states for retirees. LB 738 makes some progress to ease the burden.

Sponsor: Sen. Brett Lindstrom, blindstrom@leg.ne.gov or (402) 471-2618

For budget reasons, the law takes effect Jan. 1, 2020 (2021 for tax reporting.)

Health Care in Assisted Living

LB 439 removes a longstanding ban on nursing practice in assisted living.  Assisted living facilities with registered nurses will now have the option to provide a limited number of hours of nursing care each month to residents. Nurses will be able to perform tasks such as a blood draw or wound change at the assisted living facility rather than bringing in a home health agency or requiring a resident to visit a hospital or clinic to receive this care. The facilities also will have to disclose in writing whether this brief nursing care is available to residents. Read about AARP volunteer Rosalee Yeaworth’s 18-year mission to change the law.

Sponsors: Sen. Mark Kolterman, mkolterman@leg.ne.gov or (402)471-2756 and Sen. Anna Wishart, awishart@leg.ne.gov or (402) 471-2632.

LB 738 takes effect in July 2018.

Fraud Prevention

LB 757 allows Nebraskans to place, temporarily lift and remove a freeze on their credit report at no cost. A freeze prevents a credit reporting agency from releasing any information from the report without written authorization. It effectively stops identity thieves from opening credit cards in your name. For more information about how to freeze your credit, visit https://protectthegoodlife.nebraska.gov/identity-theft.

Sponsor: Sen. Adam Morfeld, amorfeld@leg.ne.gov or (402) 471-2720

LB 757 takes effect in July 2018.

Payday lending

LB 194 strengthens protections for Nebraskans who take out payday loans. Among other things, the new law:

  • Requires lenders to provide more information and notification about the terms of the payday loan to consumers.
  • Caps fees for active duty military, their spouses and dependents.
  • Allows consumers to rescind their loan by the next day with no penalty.
  • Cracks down on unfair and deceptive practices and advertising.
  • Limits the dollar amount and the number of times a payday lender can collect a fee for nonnegotiable payments.
  • Creates an extended payment plan with no additional fees or charges.
  • Requires reporting of information about consumers and payday loans from each payday lender to the Department of Banking and the Legislature.

Sponsor: Sen. Tony Vargas, tvargas@leg.ne.gov or (402) 471-2721.

LB 194 takes effect in July 2018.

For more information about any of these bills and AARP Nebraska’s legislative priorities, email Jina Ragland or call 1-866-389-5651.