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As 2019 comes to a close and we head into a new decade, I would like to share some statistics from my office for this year. Before we dive into the numbers, I’d first like to thank District 1 for the privilege of fighting for our region in the Nebraska Legislature. From attending area events to talking with constituents at the Capitol, it has been a productive year.
This year, a record 739 bills were introduced, all which had a public hearing. The busiest committee was Judiciary, which had 143 bills referenced to it in a single year. My bill passage rate was 80%, which breaks down to four of my five introduced or prioritized bills being passed. The longest filibuster of the session was 10.5 hours, which occurred during debate on Senator Albrecht’s LB 209. My bill (LB 399) to update Nebraska’s civics education statutes had the second-longest filibuster of session at 10.2 hours. Both LB 209 and LB 399 passed. The latest night of the 2019 session occurred on May 22, when the Legislature adjourned at 11:36 p.m. 257 of the 739 bills introduced this year were passed into law, for a passage rate of 35%. Three bills related to property tax relief passed, though the debate on more substantial relief will carry into 2020 as my top priority.
Throughout the interim, my focus was to cover the 2,400 square feet of District 1 and meet with as many of our 36,642 residents as possible. Between official events and informal visits, every single city, village, and unincorporated community has been visited at least once during 2019. I have visited each county in the District 1 at least 20 times and attended a total of 131 in-district events since the start of the year. Outside of in-person conversations, the most common form of outreach to my office is through email, which totaled 8,715 received as of December 8. My office has resolved an estimated 240 constituent service requests. My average hours worked per week while the Legislature was in session was 75, and in the interim, the average workload was 41 hours per week.
My office strives for effective service, both while considering bills and in constituent services. By incorporating a data-driven approach in the District 1 office, my staff and I are able to better serve you. Of course, the most impactful moments of this year can’t be found in the numbers. Listening to your experiences on subjects as wide-ranging as the impacts of year’s floods on small business owners to healthcare access in rural areas stoke my passion to continue fighting for southeast Nebraska in the Legislature. My next column will preview the fast-approaching 2020 session.
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: email@example.com.