A Look Ahead: Bills Proposed For 2015 Nebraska Legislature

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WOWT 6 News dug into more than 150 bills introduced at the first session of the Nebraska legislature and selected proposals to look out for in 2015.

A controversial bill has been proposed to remove the height and weight tests from Nebraska's school health screenings. It's been proposed by Senator Beau McCoy of Omaha, and proponents of the bill say it protects students from potentially embarrassing experiences.

In the screening, a body mass index (BMI) and physical fitness test is given. Supporters of the screenings say it provides critical data for schools and for families about childhood obesity, which affects 17% of children across the nation.

A Lincoln Public Schools health official says the data is critical for two reasons: for parents -- many of whom do not know their child is obese according to recent data -- who can implement lifestyle changes. And for schools, who use the data to create campaigns around fitness, health, and obesity prevention.

"Schools do have an interest in keeping kids healthy. We actually have solid data even with our own Lincoln Public Schools that kids who are more healthy and fit do better in their math, reading and science classes," said Dr. Bob Rauner, who is a school health official in Lincoln Public Schools and Chair of the Nebraska Medical Association Public Health Committee.

A bill proposes reducing the price of marriage licenses from potential increase to the cost of a marriage license from $15 to $50 dollars.

On elections, a hot button issue nationally, voter ID laws is back on the ballot.This requires voters to show identification at the polling place.

On the roads -- a new bill would get rid of a traffic violation for not wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle or moped. With the deaths of motorcyclists last year, this is sure to be a controversial vote.

Among the many bills on taxes, property taxes in particular, a proposal to provide a tax credit for agricultural and horticultural land. Some lawmakers believe this will help farmers who don't make as much as they used to still afford their land.

And on guns, two controversial bills. One making it an offense if a person uses a fake gun to commit a felony. Even more timely after last weekend, where an Omaha Police officer tweeted a picture of an airsoft pellet gun in comparison to a real gun.

Another bill proposes a ban on releasing gun registration information to the public. There is already a law stating concealed carry permits are not public record -- this would include all registrations now and even applications.