Senator Colby Coash of District 27 introduced two bills which may affect the Nebraska Judiciary, LB 790 and LB 862. LB 790 would amend Neb.Rev.Stat. § 24-503 by transferring the vacant County Court Judge position from District 5 (Merrick, Platte, Colfax, Boone, Nance, Hamilton, Polk, York, Butler, Seward and Saunders Counties) to District 3 (Lancaster County). As Neb.Rev.Stat. § 24-503 currently exists, both Districts have six County Court Judges. The basis for the proposed amendment is a study performed by the Judicial Resources Commission which concluded District 5 requires 4.8 County Court Judges and District 3 requires 8.4 County Court Judges. LB 790 was heard by the Judiciary Committee on January 18, 2012 and was placed on General File on January 27, 2012.
LB 862 was submitted to amend Neb.Rev.Stat. § 24-201.01 and increase the salaries of the Nebraska Supreme Court Justices effective July 1, 2012. As introduced, LB 862 did not provide an amount of compensation. The bill was heard by the Judiciary Committee on January 20, 2012 and was subsequently amended on January 26, 2012 to provide $145,614.47 in compensation. The bill was placed on General File on January 27, 2012.
A bill drawing media attention is LB 783 introduced by Senator John Wightmann from District 36 on behalf of the Nebraska Bar Association. In sum, the bill provides a personal representative with the power to “take control of, conduct, continue or terminate” a decedent’s social networking activities. In response, Facebook has hired a lobbyist to attempt to make sure the language of the bill is workable. The main concern appears to be protecting social networking companies privacy policies, the discovery of private information which could sully the reputation of the decedent and litigation. The bill was heard by the Judiciary Committee on January 18, 2012. According to testimony during the hearing, amendments to LB 783 are in the works.