Nebraska Legislative Update………..
- The 106th Nebraska Legislature’s 2nd Session convened on January 8, 2020 and is considered a short session (60-day).
- Bill introductions were allowed to be submitted through January 23rd (476 Legislative Bills & 25 Legislative Resolutions). Priority bill deadline is February 21st. Last day of hearings is February 27th. Last day of Session is tentatively scheduled for April 23rd.
- The Nebraska Legislature did NOT pass the ImagiNE Nebraska/business incentive legislation (LB720) last year (2019); the bill is considered carryover legislation into the 2020 Session, with a special hearing scheduled for this Thursday (February 6th) related to Amendment 2207 (AM2207).
For additional information about the legislative session, please go to the Nebraska Legislature link at http://www.nebraskalegislature.gov/.
ImagiNE Nebraska (LB 720) Last year, the bill received first-round approval (37-8), but failed to advance a second time, after an unsuccessful cloture vote 30-18 (33 votes needed to stop filibuster). The bill (LB720) is on Select File and this Thursday, does have a special hearing related to AM2207. The amendment has three primary components:
- Manufacturing Enhancements – Targeted changes, in employment levels and required wages, for manufacturers statewide, with special consideration to rural Nebraska.
- Retention Tool – Key employer and retention incentives, which are triggered in special situations when a business, in Nebraska, is at high risk of leaving Nebraska.
- Technical Provisions – Technical changes that were identified in the interim.
NOTE: LB 720 and the most recent amendment do represent significant changes to prior legislation (Nebraska Advantage Act). If you have questions or would like more details about circumstances specific to your business activity in Nebraska, please contact us. GENERALLY SPEAKING, significant-positive changes related to administration, qualified activities, city/local transparency, and utilization of credits. Related to jobs/wages, the focus of the new program is full time jobs (only) with benefits, at significantly higher wage thresholds (over current NAA levels).
The Business Innovation Act, under LB879, would appropriate an additional $2M, to further fund programs under the Business Innovation Act. The additional funding would be the result of eliminating the Nebraska Advantage Microenterprise Tax Credit Act.
LB 1084 (Nebraska Transformational Project Act, aka NExT) would allow for the expansion of the UNMC and Nebraska Medicine, through a joint partnership with the Department of Defense and Homeland Security. Preliminary estimates indicate it will entail $2.6B public-private investments, which would result in 8,700 net new permanent high-wage jobs and significant ROI opportunities.
Economic Development around the Country……….
Memphis Tennessee is getting a new state-of-the-art fulfillment center via Amazon, in which Amazon will create 1,000 net new full-time jobs. The Company already has multiple fulfillment and sortation centers, in the state, and is currently building an “Operations Center of Excellence” in downtown Nashville, under the Amazon Retail Operations Division. The ‘two towers’, that will be located in Nashville’s Yards development, will have capacity for approximately 5,000 Amazon employees.
DXC Technology, a Fortune 500 Company that specializes in IT outsourcing, is bringing an additional 1,200 jobs to Jonesboro, Arkansas. The expansion, which is expected to occur over the next 3 years, is the result of an existing business, with 450 employees, and their plans to establish a Center of Excellence.
In a sign of the future in automobiles, General Motors has committed to invest at least $3.5B, over the next 10 years, at its Detroit/MI Hamtramck facility. The facility, which will participate in the Michigan Strategic Fund, will produce a battery electric truck and other electric vehicles.
In December 2019, Microsoft reached an agreement, with the State of North Carolina, to create 500 net new jobs and invest more than $47M, related to its expansion in Morrisville, NC. In the month prior, Microsoft identified that it would expand at its Charlotte facility too, creating an additional 430 jobs in Charlotte.
Newell Brands, a manufacturer and distributor of consumer goods, plans to invest $11 million at its current Shelbyville, TN site. The project will result in 115 net new jobs, over the next five years, and include the relocation of the Packaging Operations Center and expansion at its current distribution center.
UPS and Pennsylvania officials announced a $1.4B investment, involving 4 different locations within the commonwealth state, that is intended to add 1,721 full-time jobs, and retain another 6,458 full-time jobs. The State has identified the Company’s intent to obtain business incentive assistance through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.
Waste handling equipment manufacturer (Wastequip) and the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority are proceeding forward with a performance-based business incentive package that will help enable a new distribution center at/near Mt. Sterling, Kentucky. The Company intends to invest $7.2M and hire 100 full-time associates.