Urban Affairs Committee to Hold Interim Hearing in Aurora

The Nebraska Legislature’s Urban Affairs Committee will hold an interim study hearing at the Bremer Center in Aurora on Thursday, Aug.18, beginning at 1:30 p.m.  The hearing marks the second consecutive year that the Urban Affairs Committee has held hearings outside of the Capitol during the interim, following last year’s hearings in Norfolk.

At the hearing in Aurora, the committee will hold the first of two planned interim study hearings on LR 490, an interim study to examine the enforcement of state and local building codes in Nebraska.  The Urban Affairs Committee has jurisdiction over most state and local building codes, and since 2007 has heard bills dealing with a wide variety of codes, including building codes, energy codes, and plumbing codes.

State Sen. Sue Crawford, who introduced LR 490 and serves as Chairwoman of the Urban Affairs Committee, called the Aurora hearing an opportunity for committee members to receive testimony from Nebraskans who might not otherwise have the ability to travel to Lincoln for legislative hearings.  “I think the committee gains from traveling to other communities outside of the legislative session, and I look forward to hearing from city and county officials from Aurora and other communities in Central Nebraska,” said Crawford.

Enforcement of building codes in Nebraska largely falls to political subdivisions such as municipalities and counties, as there is no state agency that handles code enforcement, except in a few cases.  LR 490 will take a comprehensive look at code enforcement in Nebraska, and is designed to: 1) examine the role of the state in enforcing the state building code and state energy code; 2) review the number of political subdivisions that have adopted local building or energy codes or are enforcing state building or energy codes; and 3) consider the remedies available to property owners when their home or business is not built to meet the applicable building or energy code.

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