NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

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Julie Slama

Sen. Julie Slama

District 1

The content of these pages is developed and maintained by, and is the sole responsibility of, the individual senator's office and may not reflect the views of the Nebraska Legislature. Questions and comments about the content should be directed to the senator's office at jslama@leg.ne.gov

Welcome
January 4th, 2023

Thank you for visiting my website. It is an honor to represent the people of the 1st legislative district in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature.

You’ll find my contact information on the right side of this page, as well as a list of the bills I’ve introduced this session and the committees on which I serve. Please feel free to contact me and my staff about proposed legislation or any other issues you would like to address.

Sincerely,
Sen. Julie Slama

Week of January 27
January 27th, 2023

Last year, I introduced LB 1110, which outlined the provisions for registering all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and utility-terrain vehicles (UTVs) for street use. Unfortunately, that bill got stuck in committee and never made it to the floor. This year, I have introduced LB 66, which has the same intent as last year’s bill.
As many of you know, ATVs and UTVs are a vital part of life in our rural communities. They are used for a variety of purposes, including checking fields, plowing snow, recreational activities, and taking quick trips into town. However, current laws regarding the use of these vehicles are often confusing and inconsistent. The existing law in Nebraska, for instance, allows communities to pass an ordinance allowing people to drive ATVs and UTVs on city streets, but only inside their respective boundaries. Numerous communities across the state, including many in my district, have passed such regulations. However, the problem starts when Nebraskans who live outside of city limits wish to drive an ATV or UTV into the city. These people would theoretically be breaking the law while traveling their route unless they stayed within the legal gray area that permits the use of ATVs and UTVs for agricultural purposes. Just by crossing the city limits, they would fall into a bubble where their use, if accepted by the municipality, would be legal again.
LB 66 would provide a clear legal framework for the use of ATVs and UTVs on county roads, similar to the regulatory framework in South Dakota. This bill would keep well-intentioned Nebraskans from being labeled as criminals for driving their preferred vehicles on county roads.
In addition to making it easier for Nebraskans to use ATVs and UTVs on county roads, this bill would also increase our state’s tourism. Currently, many Nebraskans leave our state to go to South Dakota or other states with looser restrictions on these vehicles for vacations. By opening our county roads to ATVs and UTVs with reasonable safety measures, we would also be opening our doors to tourists who want to get outdoors in their ATVs or UTVs.
Although LB 66’s public hearing has already passed, there are still ways you can make your voice heard! I encourage you or anyone else that may be interested, to visit LB 66’s webpage found on the legislature’s website which can be accessed here to submit a comment, or email members of the Transportation and Telecommunications committee to encourage their support of LB 66.

As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln NE 68509-4604; telephone: 402-471-2733; email: jslama@leg.ne.gov.

Paving The Way For District 1
January 25th, 2023

Bill introductions have concluded and committee hearings start next week! With over 800 bills introduced, the various committees will be hard at work going through the numerous bills. This column will highlight one of my bills this session that will have a direct, positive impact on District 1 – LB 212.


LB 212 allocates funds to the Department of Transportation to construct a continuous four-lane divided highway system from Plattsmouth to the Kansas border. Additionally, LB 212, paves all remaining unpaved state highways in Nebraska. My office has received numerous requests for this change, paired with personal stories of tragedy and injuries on Highway 75. This change is long, long overdue.


There are only three sections of unpaved state highways in Nebraska; 18.85 miles in Frontier County, 10.04 miles in Pawnee County, and 10.28 miles in Otoe County. In total, there are 39.17 miles of unpaved highways in the state of Nebraska, with 20.32 miles being in District 1. Paving these unpaved highways is also long, long overdue.


U.S. Highway 75 is the highway system that runs for 1,239 miles from Dallas, Texas to Kittson County, Minnesota – ending just short of the Canada-United States border. Within the state of Nebraska, it enters on the Kansas state border, 9 miles south of Dawson, traveling north across the extreme eastern portion of the state, to the Nebraska-Iowa border in South Sioux City, crossing the Missouri river along a concurrency with Interstate 129. Currently, Highway 75 is four lanes south of Omaha until it reaches the southern edge of Plattsmouth. From the southern edge of Plattsmouth through Nebraska City, Auburn, and down to the Kansas border, Highway 75 is mainly two lanes. LB 212 seeks to expand that stretch of highway 75 to 4 lanes.

Highways play a vital role in our daily lives, and the benefits they bring to our state and its residents cannot be overstated. From 2016-2020, US-75 from Plattsmouth to Nebraska City had 10 fatalities, 114 injuries, and 222 crashes and from 2016-2020, US-75 from Nebraska City to the Kansas Border had 12 fatalities, 144 injuries, and 326 crashes. The safety of Nebraskans is an everlasting high priority of mine and those driving on Highway 75 should feel safe during their travels.

It is time for the state to prioritize the roads in rural Nebraska. The quality of roads in rural Southeast Nebraska deserves as much attention as the roads running through cities such as Lincoln or Omaha.

As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln NE 68509-4604; telephone: 402-471-2733; email: jslama@leg.ne.gov.

Growing Rural Nebraska
January 19th, 2023

On January 4th, the 108th Nebraska Legislature convened for its first regular session. This
legislative session is in full swing, and we are nearly through the bill introduction period!
One of my bills introduced this session is LB 213, a major economic development bill for
District 1 and all of rural Nebraska. This bill targets villages and cities of the second class, which
include any community or city under 5,000 residents. This bill makes 2 changes: lowers the
match from .5:1 to .25:1 for Rural Workforce Housing and expands the Mainstreet Revitalization
Act specifically for communities under 5,000 residents.
Rural Workforce Housing provides grants for the construction of workforce housing. Right now,
RWHF grants require 50% of the RWHF award in matching funds such as dollars contributed by
individuals, businesses, political subdivisions, etc. into a single investment fund administered by
the eligible nonprofit development organization. With this change, this match would be lowered
to 25% for communities under 5,000 residents. With this bill, Nebraskans in smaller rural
communities will be put on a more level playing field with the larger communities that are able
to reach the percentage of matching funds easier.
Additionally, the Nebraska Job Creation and Mainstreet Revitalization Act, which without the
passage of LB 213, this program would cease to exist this year. LB 213 would create a credit
against Nebraska income tax for investment in the rehabilitation of historic buildings or
buildings that contribute to a historic district. State historic tax credits have been shown to be
effective at promoting both economic growth and historic preservation in small communities.
Such credits are available in more than 30 states, most notably in the states bordering Nebraska.
Both parts of LB 213 were inspired by my summer tour of every community in District 1. Every
village and town had at least a handful of highly-motivated people who wanted to grow and
improve their hometown. I pointed them toward our current rural development programs, but
these programs are built to serve larger cities in rural areas with a full-time economic
development director and strong private investment. Our smallest towns most in need of these
programs are constantly left out because they don’t have the private money for a match or they
can’t take time off their full-time job for an application that is going to a larger town anyway. I’m
working to fix this with LB 213.
As your State Senator, I am committed to crafting and supporting bills that help promote the
economic development of rural communities in Southeast Nebraska. With this said, I am also
working on crafting legislation that seeks to address rural clean water accessibility and cut more
unfunded mandates. Stay tuned!
As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and
Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at

Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln NE 68509-4604;
telephone: 402-471-2733; email: jslama@leg.ne.gov.

Session Beginnings
January 9th, 2023

January 3 marked the first day of the 2023 legislative session. I am more eager than ever to be in Lincoln fighting for District 1. There are many new faces throughout the building, including newly elected Senators and staff, new leadership within the legislative body, and new committee assignments. With this said, I am thrilled to announce that I was elected to serve as the Chairman of the Banking, Commerce, and Insurance committee! My experience growing up with my mom as a teller at Auburn State Bank, focus on insurance law during law school, and two years of service drew me to lead this committee.

I will continue my service on the Executive Board and now also represent Southeast Nebraska on the Natural Resources Committee. I am grateful to District 1’s Cooper Nuclear Station and Nebraska City Station for providing low-cost, base-load energy for the state of Nebraska. I will be sure to keep our public power employees in mind on the Natural Resources Committee.

In other news, I am pleased to share that Senator Brewer introduced his Constitutional Carry bill, LB 77. The right to bear arms is a fundamental right protected by the United States Constitution which individuals should not have to pay a fee or “ask permission” to exercise. You have my word that I will continue to fight for our Second Amendment rights and am a proud co-sponsor of LB 77. I will be sure to keep you informed on the future of this legislation, such as ways to support it and when the hearing date will be scheduled.

As more issues continue to arise, remember this: Nebraska’s unique Unicameral Legislature relies heavily on the citizens of the State of Nebraska. Ensuring that members of the public have the opportunity to have their voices heard is vital to the legislative process. I will be sure to keep you informed on upcoming hot-button issues and the bills impacting Southeast Nebraska.

As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln NE 68509-4604; telephone: 402-471-2733; email: jslama@leg.ne.gov.

National First Responders Day
November 8th, 2022

October 28th marked National First Responders Day. This day signifies the importance of honoring those who sign up to run towards danger to save lives. Our communities’ first responders are tirelessly on the front lines defending our safety. These men and women devote their lives to serving the people of Nebraska and the surrounding area, and they pledge to do it with the utmost integrity. First responders are there to protect and serve all of us, and they frequently act as mentors, counselors, and/or medical professionals. Regardless of the cause, they respond around the clock, seven days a week, frequently without knowing what they will uncover and never being able to undo what they have seen. These men and women stand by us on our worst days, in trying circumstances, or in times of crisis and disaster.
First Responder includes so many community members, such as law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs, dispatchers, and correctional officers. Those that are trained and working in larger industrial companies even have their own first responder teams in-house. First responders can be professionals or volunteers, however, all striving to protect and better their communities. These first responders respond to calls all over the nation and world when disaster strikes.

I would like to also thank the families of the first responders. Family members provide the essential foundation at home which allows their first responders to have confidence in the field. First responders often miss life’s luxuries, such as a child’s baseball game, or a spouse’s birthday. These things are all sacrifices that are made for the greater good.

These brave men and women do all of this by choice. With this said, I want to give my utmost thanks to those who serve and pay tribute to the deceased today, and every day, because of our military, police, and first responders who put their lives in danger to keep ours safe. To these men and women, professional and volunteer, I want to simply say Thank You!

As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509-4604; telephone 402-471-2733; email: jslama@leg.ne.gov.

Week of June 20th
June 22nd, 2022

On Thursday, we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Title IX. This short, one-sentence provision opened the door for women’s sports across the United States. Before Title IX passed in the 1970s, only 300,000 (or 7%) of high school athletes were women. In the past 50 years, the number has risen above 3.4 million– around 43% of all high school athletes.

The effects of Title IX also extended outside of high school and college sports. Of the 400 Americans that attended the 1972 Olympics in Germany, only 84 of them were women. Forty years later, at the 2012 London Olympic Games, American women outnumbered American men for the first time in history– both in participation and in medals. Title IX indirectly contributed to the athletic dominance of the United States on a global scale.

Participation in athletics has long-lasting benefits that transcend a student’s time in school. These benefits include a stronger sense of self-confidence in building relationships, a better understanding of oneself, a foundation for lifelong fitness, and an expanded capacity for empathy. Recent surveys have even shown that participation in high school sports is a better predictor of future success than grade point averages or standardized testing scores.

However, I am concerned about the current landscape of women’s sports, and how actions (or a lack of action) from policymakers could destroy the future of women’s sports altogether. Last year, the Department of Education issued a “Notice of Interpretation” stating that Title IX’s protections extend to “discrimination based on gender identity.” This has led to biological men competing in women’s sports- shattering the record boards and leaving young women behind.

Every girl in Nebraska should have an opportunity for a fair playing field. I was lucky to be coached in volleyball and track by some of the trailblazers in Nebraska high school girls’ sports. There are no plaques on any walls celebrating my athletic achievements, and I was far from ever being the “best of the best.” However, the discipline, commitment, and lessons learned during my time in youth and high school sports will stick with me for the rest of my life. 

District 1, you have my commitment that I will introduce legislation next session to protect the integrity of women’s sports in Nebraska. The future generations of young women competing in high school and college athletics depend on it.

As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln NE 68509-4604; telephone: 402-471-2733; email: jslama@leg.ne.gov.

Week of June 6th
June 22nd, 2022

On May 3, 2022, a court employee leaked a draft opinion in the Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson to the media. This draft opinion, authored by Justice Samuel Alito, stated that the majority of the Supreme Court voted not only to uphold Mississippi’s 15-week ban on abortion but to completely overturn Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood. Leaking this draft opinion of Dobbs was an absolutely unprecedented attack on the Supreme Court as an institution. The confidentiality of draft opinions is of the utmost necessity, and breaking that confidentiality is (at best) an undermining of our federal institutions. Even though this leak was abhorrent, pro-abortion activists cheered because they knew that it would lead to the intimidation of our Supreme Court justices.

Indeed, the leak of the draft Dobbs v. Jackson decision endangered the lives of every Justice on the Supreme Court. This week, a 26-year-old California man went to the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh with the intent to kill him over his pro-life views. This California man believed the best way to protect Roe v. Wade was to resort to the violent assassination of one of our highest federal officials.

Although this particular event is a terrible, extreme example of how radical pro-abortion activists act, this rhetoric of violence toward pro-life officials is not new. We should not fear when we are attacked by these extremists. Instead, we should strengthen our resolve to protect the unborn from murder and be proudly pro-life. But what does it mean to be pro-life?

Being pro-life means valuing the sanctity of life and understanding that abortion unjustly ends an innocent life. Since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, we have lost 64 million Americans and 200,000 Nebraska lives to abortion. Babies in the womb are babies and have no less value due to their location and stage of development. Standard embryology textbooks state that most of the baby’s organs form within six weeks’ gestation. By this time, also, a baby’s heart is developed and beating. At ten weeks, an embryo can feel pain. At eleven weeks, the baby begins to suck its thumb. Shortly after twelve weeks, the baby begins to move around the womb and make facial expressions. Abortion stops that baby’s heart, ending a human life that should be cherished.

Being pro-life means advocating for protecting the preborn. In the Nebraska Legislature, we have passed many laws that do just that in our state. In 2019, we passed LB 209 which expanded the information required to be provided during a medication abortion. In 2020, we passed LB 814 which banned the barbaric act of dismemberment abortions in our state. We, as a Legislature, will continue to push for bills to increase protections for our most vulnerable- not only for our preborn babies, but also for our children in need of streamlined adoption processes, equal opportunities for education, and safe homes and families in which they can grow and thrive. 

As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln NE 68509-4604; telephone: 402-471-2733; email: jslama@leg.ne.gov.

Week of May 23rd
May 27th, 2022

As we observe Memorial Day each year, it’s imperative to reflect upon the sacrifices made by the brave men and women who have given their lives in service of our country. While some Americans see Memorial Day as a three-day weekend spent camping, barbecuing, and going outside, we all need to remember the importance of this holiday. Memorial Day is to honor and extend gratitude to the men and women who died serving our country.

Every Memorial Day, I’m reminded of a verse from the Bible, John 15:13, which reads: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Indeed, the brave men and women we honor on this important holiday paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, and for that, we are all forever grateful.

So many of our neighbors in District One either are a member of the armed forces or have a family member or friend in the military. Some of these neighbors have loved ones that made the ultimate sacrifice for our country or have lost friends during their service. Memorial Day is the perfect time to say an extra prayer for those around us that might be struggling during this time.

Around 1.4 million members of our military have died since the Civil War.  That number is just slightly less than our state’s population. These soldiers were our sons, our daughters, our husbands or wives, grandparents, parents, and our friends. These soldiers were members of our communities and are missed. The grief that comes with this loss will never be forgotten. 

Memorial Day weekend is a time that many of us spend with friends and family, hosting barbeques and visiting cemeteries. We cannot forget the true meaning of this special day and may we never forget the freedoms we enjoy because of those soldiers who have died fighting for their country. There are many ways that we can honor the lost, from local events hosted across District 1 to a simple moment of prayer. The brave men and women that we recognize annually on Memorial Day are ultimate heroes, and I pray for their families and friends that they may find comfort knowing their loved one’s passing is a result of the utmost act of selflessness.  

As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln NE 68509-4604; telephone: 402-471-2733; email: jslama@leg.ne.gov

 

We have one more day until the 107th Legislature, Second Session, ends. Through the late nights, the long weeks, and feisty legislative debates, the past sixty days flew by and we can claim many wins for District 1.

First, we passed my bill, LB 887 which would help Peru State College. Before the passage of LB 887, Peru State was the only state college limited to two different graduate programs. It did not make sense that PSC had to come to the Legislature for the approval of new programs. Now, Peru State will be able to have the flexibility they need to offer more degree programs and better serve the needs of Southeast Nebraska.

Next, LB 977 passed, appropriating $15 million dollars to Falls City to expand and strengthen its electrical grid. The electrical grid in Falls City has kept away many potential development prospects over the past couple of years and has hurt residents in the city. By investing this money into Falls City, we will be able to bring more businesses to the area, creating jobs and strengthening the economy of District 1.

In our annual budget, we allocated $5 million dollars to repair the Peru Levee. The Army Corps of Engineers designated the levee in Peru as eligible for federal funding to repair the damages from the 2019 flood. However, Peru needed to put in some local funding for this project to be successful. With the funding in the budget, Peru can bring those $ 5 million dollars to the table without having to raise taxes on its residents. Also, in our ARPA budget, we appropriated $20 million dollars to replace ambulances in rural areas. This will greatly benefit our volunteer EMTs and paramedics as they do their work to keep our communities healthy.

Finally, the Legislature passed LB 1241, which would help out rural law enforcement agencies statewide. This bill would remove the monotonous reciprocity program that out-of-state law enforcement officers must attend and replace it with a monthly reciprocity test. With this change, agencies will be able to get out-of-state officers employed more quickly. LB 1241 also included Senator Clement’s bill, LB 1270, which would adopt the Law Enforcement Attraction and Retention Act. LB 1270 would give cash bonuses to law enforcement officers in smaller agencies, which would give officers $1,500 dollars for staying with a smaller agency for one year, $2,500 dollars for staying for three years, and end at a $3,000 dollar bonus for five years of service. Although LB 1241 is a good start, there is still much to be done to help our rural law enforcement agencies and I plan on continuing my work supporting our men and women in blue.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will be highlighting some of the big wins and losses that we experienced this year. Much got done this session, but there is much more to do next year.

As always, I welcome your input on issues important to you. Follow along on my Facebook and Twitter pages, both entitled “Senator Julie Slama” for more updates, or contact me directly at Senator Julie Slama, District 1 State Capitol, PO Box 94604, Lincoln NE 68509-4604; telephone: 402-471-2733; email: jslama@leg.ne.gov

Sen. Julie Slama

District 1
Room 1401
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2733
Email: jslama@leg.ne.gov
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