Of particular interest was the hearing on LB 255 (Morfeld) which would provide state income tax credits for only construction apprenticeships. Beginning  in 2016, a tax credit of up to two thousand dollars or fifty percent of the total wages paid to such apprentice during the taxable year, whichever is less, shall be applied as a nonrefundable credit the for wages paid by the taxpayer to apprentices against the employer’s income tax imposed by the State of Nebraska.  It is limited to apprenticeships accredited by the US Bureau of Apprenticeship, plus it requires that the apprenticeship program be jointly administered by labor and management trustees.  It was referred to Revenue Committee.
 
At the State Chamber’s bill review, the Taxation Council along with the Labor Relations Council agreed with the concept but not the requirement to be “jointly administered by labor and management trustees” and recommended testifying in support if amended. When the ABC Cornhusker Chapter had their bill review they thought if the “joint” requirement was amended out then it would be something that the employers who have apprentices in the ABC Training Academies could benefit from. Our position was to oppose the bill unless the “joint” requirement was amended out. 
 
This message was communicated at the public hearing.  At the hearing it was obvious that a number of Revenue Committee members were also interested in this concept provided that the “joint” language was amended out.  Later the Chairman of the Revenue Committee requested that Senator Morfeld work on the bill some more and remove the “joint” language and consider expanding the scope, in a limited manner, beyond construction.
 
Where it stands today. Senator Morfeld has agreed to the amendment and he has requested of the State Chamber language to expand the scope, in a limited manner, beyond construction.  What that will be remains to be seen.
 
Also what remains to be seen is how such a Fiscal Note will fit in to the larger picture of tax relief, property tax relief, and a plan to deal with the Corrections issue in the state.
 
I trust that you can appreciate and hope that the efforts made by the Cornhusker Chapter will bear some fruit at a later date.