LINCOLN – Senator Lynne Walz of Fremont introduced two bills on the first day of the 105th Legislature, Second Session.
LB771 would create the Child Hunger and Workforce Readiness Act. Currently, children who come from low-income families can qualify for free or reduced breakfast and lunch through the Child Nutrition Act and the National School Lunch Program. LB771 would pay the remaining cost of the school lunch with state funds for families that qualify for reduced lunch through state funds.
“Research shows that childhood hunger has negative consequences for physical and mental health, cognition, and academic performance,” said Senator Walz. “Children must be well nourished before they are able to succeed in the classroom. This would make sure all students, regardless of income status, will be well nourished and succeed in the classroom, while also providing some relief for working families.”
Senator Walz also introduced LB772, which is a bill aimed at changing provisions to agriculture land that receives special valuation. Currently agricultural land that falls within city boundaries does not qualify for special valuation, which means land is tax at its highest value, either commercial or residential use.
Under the proposed legislation land owners would be able to apply for special valuation for ag land in counties of less than 100,000 in population that fall within city boundaries.
“I introduced this bill to make sure that we are being fair to the farmer that is paying the property taxes. It’s not fair for them to pay commercial valuation on agricultural land,” said Senator Walz. “This bill would also allow cities, like Fremont, to plan ahead for future development. This is a solution that I feel is fair for everyone.”
Senator Walz also expressed she would be introducing more legislation in the next two weeks regarding education, infrastructure, economic development, and mental and behavioral health.