State Sen. Mike Gloor, of Grand Island, has made a state relocation of services bill his personal priority bill for this year's legislative session -- a moved aimed at giving it a better chance at passage this year.
LB 935 would require the legislature to oversee the relocation of any state service estimated to cost $15 million or more. "Other states long ago recognized the oversight of relocation and restructuring of state agencies as a legislative duty," said Gloor.
Gloor introduced the bill as a response to the process used for the Grand Island Veterans Home, which required cities to offer proposals that were then graded on a point system. Gov. Dave Heineman then chose to move the home to Kearney based on that process.
If the bill is advanced by the Government Committee, it will be placed at the front of the line for debate due to its priority designation.
Gloor said, "Because of the high priority the people of District 35 place on
this issue, I feel that I need to do everything I possibly can to get this bill
through the Legislature."
The bill would require state agencies considering a relocation of a state service to prepare a report to describe, justify, set goals and provide cost estimates of the proposed relocation, along with any alternative plans. Additionally, the report would need to include any economic development activity undertaken or planned to fill the economic hole left in the impacted community.
The legislative committee of jurisdiction would have to hold at least one hearing on the matter and would then introduce a resolution to either approve or disapprove of the relocation, or take no position. That resolution would then go to the full legislature for one round of debate, possible amendment, and a vote.
Twenty-five votes would be needed to support the position of the committee. Less than 25 votes would also be taking no position, thereby allowing the proposed relocation.
Sen. Annette Dubas, of Fullerton, and Sen. Kate Sullivan, of Cedar Rapids, are co-signers of the bill.