NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE
The official site of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Sen. Carol Blood

Sen. Carol Blood

District 3

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 cblood@leg.ne.gov

Welcome

January 3rd, 2017

Thank you for visiting my website. It is an honor to represent the people of the 3rd 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. Carol Blood

While I have been saying that we were nearing the finish line, we are now basically there. There are just a hand full of days left in the legislative session and that means we’ve been plenty busy passing bills that need passing and making sure those that shouldn’t are shelved for this year.

It’s been an active week for my bills especially. On Monday, two of my bills moved through the first round of debate by being attached to committee priority bills. My interlocal agreement bill, LB735 was part of a broader package from the Urban Affairs committee. LB873 went through General File and will likely be coming to the floor next week.

My Psychologist’s compact was also made a piece of a committee priority. It was attached to LB1034 and it was able to move through the first round of debate without any dissection at all.

On Wednesday, my military member’s civil relief bill, LB682 moved through Select File in what is called the Consent Calendar. This is a list of bills that are slated to be moving quickly because there is no opposition to the bills. That bill is now on Final Reading and should become law before the session is over.

Finally, my priority bill from this session, LB685 was signed into law by the Governor this week. LB685 provides a funding priority for special-needs military dependents under the Developmental Disabilities Services Act and it does so without jumping the line or cutting anyone else who might need funding priority through the Department of Health and Human Services. I’m thrilled this was passed and signed, as I believe it will indeed help those who need our help most.

Monday is the 57th day of the legislative session. We truly are almost done for this year. We will have three days of session next week, then we will take four weekdays off, then come back for the final day of the session. This is to make sure that if the Governor vetoes or line-item vetoes any legislation during that four day period, we can take up the override on day 60 should it be required.

The session drawing to a close doesn’t mean our work is done. I’ve already started working on and researching legislation for next session. My office will, of course, be open all interim so if you have a question or need help with something, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll also be out in the district plenty this summer so keep checking my Facebook page on where you can stop on by and say hello.
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Children are our future, especially when it comes to the Nebraska legislature. This is why I so love the work that is put in every year when it comes to the Youth Legislature. This is a program that is open to all Nebraska high school students and allows them to walk in the footsteps of a state legislator for a day. They will sit on a committee, hold a hearing on bills and then take up floor debate in the same chamber where we do the state’s business. It’s a great experience for kids who have a real interest in government.

The Unicameral Youth Legislature takes place from June 10-13 and the deadline to sign up is May 15. While there is a $350 fee for anyone who wants to participate, there are some scholarships that are available. You can get more information on the official website for the event. If anyone knows any high school students who might be interested please tell them about this opportunity. It’s a great time for the kids and for the legislative staffers and Senators who get to help out.

We have Friday and Monday off but next Tuesday is the 53rd day of the session. That means there are just seven days left on the legislative calendar. Time is running out to make your voice heard on issues that are important to you. If you have any questions or comments about my bills or any legislation in front of the legislature, please don’t hesitate to email or call my office at cblood@leg.ne.gov or 402-471-2627.

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There are currently many opportunities to serve on boards and commissions spanning a variety of open positions. This is a great chance to give back and be involved in our community. Application forms can be found and completed at https://governor.nebraska.gov/ under “Constituent Services.” If you feel so inclined and might be interested in serving, please review the opportunities that are available and consider sharing this message with others who might share this interest as well.
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Did you know that there is a long list of items available for free to the public relating to the Nebraska Legislature? Here is a list of only a few that you might find interesting. If you are receiving this email digitally, you should be able to link to the information from your newsletter.

1. Unicameral Update
2. About the Legislature
3. Unicam Kids
4. Inside Our Nation’s Only Unicameral
5. Poster of Nebraska Senators
6. Membership & Committees Card
7. Lines of Government

Some of these links have documents that can be printed. If you would like a hard copy of one or more of these documents, please call my office at 402-471-2627 and we will be happy to place it in the mail to your home address

We have just a few more weeks in the legislative session and we are busy. We’ve had multiple nights where we’ve been in debate from 9 in the morning until 10 at night. The state’s business must be done though and while I don’t agree with everything that has passed, everyone is working hard in their own way to make sure they are representing their constituents. When you look at the partisan gridlock that is going on in Washington, we clearly don’t have those kinds of problems going on here. Now we just need to get on the same page on many of they things we should be supporting.

It was an active week for all and an active week for my bills, including my priority bill, LB 685, which passed Final Reading. Considering the bill has never received “no” vote at any stage, it appears it’s headed for passage once the Governor signs it. LB685 provides a funding priority for special-needs military dependents under the Developmental Disabilities Services Act. This would specifically add dependents of active duty military members who are severely developmentally disabled to the list of treatment priorities kept by the DHHS. In essence, this would allow prioritized treatment for those who need it most but are not covered by Tricare. We were very careful to make sure this isn’t coming at the detriment of others who also need services.

One of my other bills,  LB735 , is part of the Urban Affair’s Committee priority bill, LB873. My part of the bill would provide for interlocal agreements regarding nuisances. Currently, municipalities have the authority to regulate and enforce nuisances within their borders. This would build on this legislative authority by allowing municipalities to enter interlocal agreements with a county to provide for cooperative action to remove or prevent nuisances. Interlocal agreements have always been a great way to save manpower and funds here in Sarpy County. We had a good debate on LB873 and it appears that my little section of that bill is something that is acceptable to the body as a whole. Because LB873 has so many moving parts, there will be another day of debate next week before it moves onto the next round.

Another of my bills, the Physical Therapists Compact bill, was attached to LB731 – which is one of the Health and Human Services Committee’s priority bills. My part of that bill was LB 681. This is very similar to my nursing compact from a year ago. It allows physical therapists from compact states to come into Nebraska and practice here without applying for an entirely new license. Should it pass, this will be another tool for helping military spouses who are therapists and want to get to work as soon possible. The bill passed the first round of debate and is now headed for Select File.

LB692 was a bill I brought forward that requires the Department of Corrections to start doing a regular staffing analysis. LB 692 was amended into a broader Judiciary Committee package folded into LB841. The bills requires the Department to complete a comprehensive analysis of its system-wide staffing needs and provide a report of such analysis to the Legislature by September 15, 2020, and asks for a revised analysis at least every 6 years thereafter. It advanced to Select File on Thursday morning. In order to identify future budget items, such as staffing, it is important that the department “measure what they treasure,” and have a keen understanding of current and future employee needs. Ultimately, this will help with the safety and security of both staff and inmates as well as set a firm foundation of information for future budgets.

Another bill that is very important to me is LB 682. This bill was placed on our “consent calendar” because it is so common sense and non-controversial. It has gone through the first round of debate and I fully expect it to eventually become law. LB682 provides consumer protection and civil relief for service members and provides a duty for active duty military and the National Guard: This bill would make it so that an active duty member of the military or National Guard that receives order to move out of Nebraska may do so without having to worry about paying early termination fees on contracts for services like cable, phone or gym memberships. It’s only fair that if a service member has no choice in their deployment, he or she should not be held accountable for the decisions of their superiors.

Off the legislature floor, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Thursday, March 29th is Vietnam Veterans Memorial Day. This country wouldn’t be the same without them and I applaud their service and their sacrifice. I would also like to personally say, “welcome home.”

As President Nixon once said,  “No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now.”

The home stretch of the legislative session means some very long nights and some very tense moments on the floor of the legislature. As you know, we have been debating the state budget this week and there are some things in the budget that have gotten more attention than others, but it’s important to note that before this session is over, we will have a budget agreement. I’ve heard from some who are worried that we would adjourn without the budget being passed and I just want everyone to know that can’t and won’t happen.

On a personal note, my priority bill, LB 685 advanced through Select file and enrollment and review and is soon to be placed on Final Reading. Considering the bill hasn’t gotten a “no” vote at any stage, it appears it’s on track for the Governor’s desk and then will hopefully become law. LB685 provides a funding priority for special-needs military dependents under the Developmental Disabilities Services Act. This would specifically add dependents of active duty military members who are severely developmentally disabled to the list of treatment priorities kept by the DHHS. In essence, this would allow prioritized treatment for those who need it most but are not covered by Tricare. We were very careful to make sure this isn’t coming at the detriment of others who also need services.

One of my other bills,  LB735 is part of the Urban Affair’s Committee priority bill, LB873. My part of the bill would provide for interlocal agreements regarding nuisances. Currently, municipalities have the authority to regulate and enforce nuisances within their borders. This would build on this legislative authority by allowing municipalities to enter interlocal agreements with a county to provide for cooperative action to remove or prevent nuisances. Interlocal agreements have always been a great way to save manpower and funds here in Sarpy County. We had a good debate on LB873 and it appears that my little section of that bill is something that is acceptable to the body as a whole. Because LB873 has so many moving parts, there will be another day of debate before it moves onto the next round.

Off the legislature floor I wanted to make sure and point out that the children are our future especially when it comes to the Nebraska legislature. This is why I so love the work that is put in every year when it comes to the Youth Legislature. This is a program that is open to all Nebraska high school students and allows them to walk in the footsteps of a state legislator for a day. They will sit on a committee, hold a hearing on bills and then take up floor debate in the same chamber where we do the state’s business. It’s a great experience for kids who have a real interest in government.

The Unicameral Youth Legislature takes place from June 10-13 and the deadline to sign up is May 15. While there is a $350 fee for anyone who wants to participate, there are some scholarships that are available. You can get more information on the official website for the event. If anyone knows any high school students who might be interested please tell them about this opportunity. It’s a great time for the kids and for the legislative staffers and Senators who get to help out.


Senator Sue Crawford and I will both be reading at this event for military families Friday night. The ROAR program gives books to children during wellness checks to encourage parent/child interaction and literacy. Please share this message with your military friends in our area who have children. Donations of new books are also accepted if you would like to contribute. If you don’t have any plans tonight, you should stop by.

Monday is officially the 49th day of the legislative session meaning there are just 11 days left on the legislative calendar. Time is running out to make your voice heard on issues that are important to you. If you have any questions or comments about my bills or any legislation in front of the legislature, please don’t hesitate to email or call my office at cblood@leg.ne.gov or 402-471-2627.

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There are currently many opportunities to serve on boards and commissions spanning a variety of open positions. This is a great chance to give back and be involved in our community. Application forms can be found and completed at https://governor.nebraska.gov/ under “Constituent Services.” If you feel so inclined and might be interested in serving, please review the opportunities that are available and consider sharing this message with others who might share this interest as well.
———————————————————-

Did you know that there is a long list of items available for free to the public relating to the Nebraska Legislature? Here is a list of only a few that you might find interesting. If you are receiving this email digitally, you should be able to link to the information from your newsletter.

1. Unicameral Update
2. About the Legislature
3. Unicam Kids
4. Inside Our Nation’s Only Unicameral
5. Poster of Nebraska Senators
6. Membership & Committees Card
7. Lines of Government

Some of these links have documents that can be printed. If you would like a hard copy of one or more of these documents, please call my office at 402-471-2627 and we will be happy to place it in the mail to your home address.

We are coming down the homestretch of the legislative session and that means we’re having some very long days. On Monday, we were here from 9 am to well past 11 pm. The debate has been fierce, tempers have flared at times, but in the end, we’re all working the best way we know how to represent the people of Nebraska.

On a personal note, my priority bill, LB 685 advanced through Select file and now just needs one more round of voting before it heads to the Governor’s desk and then hopefully becomes law. LB685 provides a funding priority for special-needs military dependents under the Developmental Disabilities Services Act. This would specifically add dependents of active duty military members who are severely developmentally disabled to the list of treatment priorities kept by the DHHS. In essence, this would allow prioritized treatment for those who need it most but are not covered by Tricare. We were very careful to make sure this isn’t coming at the detriment of others who also need services.

Three of my other bills have been added to committee priority bills and I’m hoping they will be moving through the process quickly. LB735 is part of the Urban Affair’s Committee priority bill, LB873. My part of the bill would provide for interlocal agreements regarding nuisances. Currently, municipalities have the authority to regulate and enforce nuisances within their borders. This would build on this legislative authority by allowing municipalities to enter interlocal agreements with a county to provide for cooperative action to remove or prevent nuisances. Interlocal agreements have always been a great way to save manpower and funds here in Sarpy County.

LB686 has been folded into Senator Riepe’s priority bill, LB1024. LB686 adopts the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact. This is much like my nurses compact in LB88 last year, though it applies to psychologists. This bill will also go the extra mile in moving Nebraska forward when it comes to telemedicine.

LB681 has been added to one of the HHS committee’s priority bills, LB731. LB681 adopts the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact: This is very similar to my nursing compact from a year ago. It allows physical therapists from compact states to come into Nebraska and practice here without applying for an entirely new license. Should it pass, this will be a good tool for helping military spouses who are therapists who want to get to work as soon possible.

Off the legislative floor, I was fortunate enough to have a great conversation with a Nebraska State Ambassador Bliven Ayala for Mission22. This is an organization that attempts to help those combat veterans suffering from PTSD and other issues centering around depression. The organization was founded in order to attempt to counteract the fact that 20 veterans a day are committing suicide. If you’d like to help Bliven, believe Mission22 can help someone you know, or you just have questions you can contact her at 785-210-9298 and her email is bliven@mission22.com. We hope district 3 residents join us in the mission to spread awareness online and in our district.

The legislature is in recess Friday and Monday. Tuesday is officially the 45th day of the legislative session meaning there are just 15 days left on the legislative calendar. Time is running out to make your voice heard on issues that are important to you. If you have any questions or comments about my bills or any legislation in front of the legislature, please don’t hesitate to email or call my office at cblood@leg.ne.gov or 402-471-2627.

————————————————————
There are currently many opportunities to serve on boards and commissions spanning a variety of open positions. This is a great chance to give back and be involved in our community. Application forms can be found and completed at https://governor.nebraska.gov/ under “Constituent Services.” If you feel so inclined and might be interested in serving, please review the opportunities that are available and consider sharing this message with others who might share this interest as well.
———————————————————-

Did you know that there is a long list of items available for free to the public relating to the Nebraska Legislature? Here is a list of only a few that you might find interesting. If you are receiving this email digitally, you should be able to link to the information from your newsletter.

1. Unicameral Update
2. About the Legislature
3. Unicam Kids
4. Inside Our Nation’s Only Unicameral
5. Poster of Nebraska Senators
6. Membership & Committees Card
7. Lines of Government

Some of these links have documents that can be printed. If you would like a hard copy of one or more of these documents, please call my office at 402-471-2627 and we will be happy to place it in the mail to your home address.

This week was the first full week of all-day debate so we were able to cover quite a few different topics though it was a quiet week for my bills. Next week we’ll take up the budget debate and get down to the business of just how the state is going to resolve the budget shortfall.

We got word Friday morning that another one of my bills, LB690 has been advanced out of committee and onto the floor. The bill would make it a felony for repair shops to knowingly install counterfeit airbags into cars. This is a bigger problem than people realize around the country and we need to make sure the practice is stopped cold in Nebraska so we don’t have the sad case of having to name a future bill after a loved one who has been killed as a result of this practice.

We also got word that LB682 has been advanced out of committee and onto the floor. This bill provides consumer protection and civil relief for service members. This legislation will make it so that an active duty member of the military or National Guard that receives orders to move out of Nebraska may do so without having to worry about paying early termination fees on contracts for services like cable, phone or gym memberships. It’s only fair that if a service member has no choice in their deployment, he or she should not be held accountable for the decisions of their superiors. Although there is legislation at the federal level, it has not kept up with current technology. We are closing the loophole to protect Nebraska’s military.

I’m hoping to get both of these bills on the Legislative consent calendar, as neither had any kind of opposition in the hearings.

With March being Youth Art Month, we’ve had the pleasure here at the capital of seeing some of the best Bellevue students have to offer. Here are the pieces of artwork created by the four Bellevue students featured:


Lauren Stevens, 9th Grade, “Skull”,  Bellevue West High School (Teacher: Paula Yoachim)


Josephine Linhard, 11th Grade, “Worship”,  Bellevue West High School (Teacher: Paula Yoachim)


Zayda Birkel, 9th Grade, “Self Portrait”,  Bellevue East High School (Teacher: Trish Swoboda)


Emma Courvelle, 12th Grade, “Grey Beard”,  Bellevue East High School (Teacher: Trish Swoboda)

All of these young people have incredible talent. If you have the time, come down to the state capital building and check these selected works out in person!

Senator Sue Crawford and I will both be reading at this event for military families. The ROAR program gives books to children during wellness checks to encourage parent/child interaction and literacy. Please share this message with your military friends in our area who have children. Donations of new books are also accepted if you would like to contribute.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t congratulate the Omaha Bryan boys basketball team for a thrilling, buzzer-beating shot to win their first-round game in the state tournament on Thursday night. Go Bears!

Monday is officially the 41st day of the legislative session meaning there are just 20 days left on the legislative calendar. Time is running out to make your voice heard on issues that are important to you. If you have any questions or comments about my bills or any legislation in front of the legislature, please don’t hesitate to email or call my office at cblood@leg.ne.gov or 402-471-2627.

Does your car literally have a bomb ready to explode in your face? I’m not being overly dramatic when I stress the importance of my counterfeit airbag bill that was heard this past Tuesday in front of the Judiciary Committee. I’m hoping they see LB690 as important as I do and kick it out for a possible consent agenda item. The bill would make it a felony for repair shops to knowingly install counterfeit airbags into cars. This is a bigger problem than people realize around the country and we need to make sure the practice is stopped cold in Nebraska so we don’t have the sad case of having to name a future bill after a loved one who has been killed as a result of this practice.

This bill was heard on the last day of hearings and we have now moved into full-day debate. That’s generally a sign that the session is also starting to wind down, though there is still much to do. On the legislature floor, we got through the first round of debate on my priority bill for this year. LB 685 provides a funding priority for special-needs military dependents under the Developmental Disabilities Services Act. This would specifically add dependents of active duty military members who are severely developmentally disabled to the list of treatment priorities kept by the DHHS. In essence, this would allow prioritized treatment for those who need it most but do not have all of the care necessary covered by Tricare. We were very careful to make sure this isn’t coming at the detriment of others who also need services. In fact, as it’s been explained to us, the list has everyone starting out on the bottom priority and then everyone is moved up depending on the need for services. This means there really isn’t any kind of “jumping the line.”

The bill got 37 yes votes and had six senators who were present and not voting for this first round. I don’t anticipate that it will be any problem getting people to continue to support this. This type of legislation is vitally important for the community because they also underline how much we value the military community in Nebraska and in my district. Getting legislation like this passed helps identify our state as “military friendly” and that’s important considering that another round of Base Realignment and Closings (BRAC) is in our future. We cannot afford to lose Offutt, It simply has too big an impact on our local economy. I will continue to bring forward legislation in support of our military families in future sessions.

Friday and Monday are recess days so we are able to spend time with the residents in our respective districts. When we return to the session on Tuesday it will be the 37th day, meaning we’re barreling towards the finish line quite quickly.


Make sure to make some time to check out the International trade conference at Bellevue University’s John B. Muller Administrative Services Building later this month. Slated for March 22, attendees will be discussing The North American Free Trade Agreement, Britain’s departure from the European Union, doing business with foreign-owned companies and other topics. If this seems like something you’d be interested in check out, you can register for and get more details about the event here

With just over 20 days left in the session, time is running out to make your voice heard on issues that are important to you. If you have any questions or comments about my bills or any legislation in front of the legislature, please don’t hesitate to email or call my office at cblood@leg.ne.gov or 402-471-2627.

————————————————————
There are currently many opportunities to serve on boards and commissions spanning a variety of open positions. This is a great chance to give back and be involved in our community. Application forms can be found and completed at https://governor.nebraska.gov/ under “Constituent Services.” If you feel so inclined and might be interested in serving, please review the opportunities that are available and consider sharing this message with others who might share this interest as well.
———————————————————-

Did you know that there is a long list of items available for free to the public relating to the Nebraska Legislature? Here is a list of only a few that you might find interesting. If you are receiving this email digitally, you should be able to link to the information from your newsletter.

1. Unicameral Update
2. About the Legislature
3. Unicam Kids
4. Inside Our Nation’s Only Unicameral
5. Poster of Nebraska Senators
6. Membership & Committees Card
7. Lines of Government

Some of these links have documents that can be printed. If you would like a hard copy of one or more of these documents, please call my office at 402-471-2627 and we will be happy to place it in the mail to your home address.

This week was a busy one, as I had hearings on four different bills over the course of the week. I also officially chose my priority bill to be LB685 (Military Medicaid Waiver). I had originally planned for my priorities to be a combination of two of my smart contract and blockchain bills but I was informed there was not a likelihood that they would both get out of committee. The fact of the matter is that there is still a great deal of confusion over this technology (some confusion deliberately pushed by opponents) and it’s going to take some work to get that confusion cleared up. I feel this state needs legislation that will codify how digital ledger technology and everything that comes with it works and I’ll be bringing this issue back next session.

Having said that, LB685 is an important piece of legislation in its own right and I’ll be working hard to make sure that it gets across the goal line. LB 685 provides a funding priority for special-needs military dependents under the Developmental Disabilities Services Act. This would specifically add dependents of active duty military members who are severely developmentally disabled to the list of treatment priorities kept by the DHHS. In essence, this would allow prioritized treatment for those who need it most but are not covered by Tricare. We were very careful to make sure this isn’t coming at the detriment of others who also need services. I have talked to the Department of Health and Human services a number of times on this bill. The way it was explained to me, everyone starts at the bottom of the list of treatment priorities and then moves up the list depending on the services they require. This means that no one would “jump the line” under my bill, but they would have a better chance of getting the services they need.

We also had hearings on LB686  which is a Psychologist compact. This is much like my nurses compact in LB88 last year, though it applies to psychologists. This bill moves Nebraska forward in the areas of telemedicine. We also heard my drone bill. LB 693 regulates and creates criminal offenses regarding the use of unmanned aircraft systems. This is the drone bill you might have read about in numerous articles over the past couple of months. We’re looking to make sure that people are not using drones for criminal activity. This is a public safety bill and I would encourage you to read the document in its entirety. It’s another one that is technologically advanced and complicated, though most who have read it fully have come away understanding the need for it. We have been very careful to protect the livelihood of Nebraska’s professional drone pilots. Finally, the Government committee heard LB 682 which provides consumer protection and civil relief for service members, active duty military, and the National Guard. This bill would make it so that an active duty member of the military or National Guard that receives an order to move out of Nebraska may do so without having to worry about paying early termination fees on contracts for services like cable, phone or gym memberships. It’s only fair that if a service member has no choice in their deployment, he or she should not be held accountable for the decisions of their superiors. There is currently federal law that addresses much of this, but a loophole needed to be closed at the state level to be sure all are protected and the language catches up with current technology.

Next week is the final week of committee hearings and it is also when my final bill will be heard this year. LB 690 which adopts the Counterfeit Airbag Prevention Act is a bill that will make it a felony for repair shops to knowingly install counterfeit airbags into cars. The counterfeit industry is a $600 billion a year industry and it is thought to be more profitable than the sale of narcotics. This is a bigger problem than people realize around the country and we need to make sure the practice is stopped cold in Nebraska so we don’t have the sad case of having to name a future bill after a loved one who has been killed as a result of this practice.

On February 28, the Legislature begins having full-day debate so there is still plenty to do before we wrap up the Session in April. Monday will be the 33rd day of the session, so we have officially moved past the halfway point.

If you have any questions about my bills or any legislation in front of the legislature, please don’t hesitate to email or call my office at cblood@leg.ne.gov or 402-471-2627.

————————————————————
There are currently many opportunities to serve on boards and commissions spanning a variety of open positions. This is a great chance to give back and be involved in our community. Application forms can be found and completed at https://governor.nebraska.gov/ under “Constituent Services.” If you feel so inclined and might be interested in serving, please review the opportunities that are available and consider sharing this message with others who might share this interest as well.
———————————————————-

Did you know that there is a long list of items available for free to the public relating to the Nebraska Legislature? Here is a list of only a few that you might find interesting. If you are receiving this email digitally, you should be able to link to the information from your newsletter.

1. Unicameral Update
2. About the Legislature
3. Unicam Kids
4. Inside Our Nation’s Only Unicameral
5. Poster of Nebraska Senators
6. Membership & Committees Card
7. Lines of Government

Some of these links have documents that can be printed. If you would like a hard copy of one or more of these documents, please call my office at 402-471-2627 and we will be happy to place it in the mail to your home address.

This week was an interesting one because it signified the calm before another storm of bill hearings for me. While I didn’t have any of my bills scheduled for hearing, I spent the time getting ready for next week, when hearings for four bills will be taking place. Those bills include one that will be part of my priority bill: LB694.

LB694 prohibits cities, villages, and counties from taxing or regulating distributed ledger technology. This is one of two important blockchain technology bills. These bills combined makes sure that Nebraska will be an attractive landing spot for entrepreneurs and be yet another tool to address Nebraska’s brain drain. We need to be sure that these business professionals are not running into a maze of different regulations put in place by cities and counties. Blockchain is going to revolutionize how we do business because it is precise, saves money, saves time, is autonomous, transparent, versatile and extremely safe since the information is on a shared (distributed) ledger.

It is my intention to combine that bill with LB695, which authorizes and defines smart contracts and authorizes the use of distributed ledger technology as prescribed. Smart contracts use code and math to to be sure that conditions are met. The funds are then transferred automatically. With the dawn of self-driving delivery vehicles, governments looking to streamline efficiency and save costs, banks looking for safer ways to do business and industries like healthcare and insurance, smart contracts are a fast-moving reality in business, agriculture and government. At the moment, both bills are still in committee but I hope to get them out shortly after the hearing for LB694, which will be on February 21.

Things only pick up from there as the hearing for my third compact bill is on February 22. LB686 is a Psychologist compact. This is much like my nurses compact in LB88 last year, though it applies to psychologists. This bill moves Nebraska forward in the areas of telemedicine.

On February 23, the Judiciary Committee will hold its hearing on my drone bill. LB 693 regulates and creates criminal offenses regarding the use of unmanned aircraft systems. This is the drone bill you might have read about in numerous articles over the past couple of months. We’re looking to make sure that people are not using drones for criminal activity. This is a public safety bill and I would encourage you to read the document in its entirety. It’s another one that is technologically advanced and complicated, though most who have read it fully have come away understanding the need for it. We have been very careful to protect the livelihood of Nebraska’s professional drone pilots.

That same day, the Government committee will be hearing LB 682 which provides consumer protection and civil relief for service members, active duty military and the National Guard. This bill would make it so that an active duty member of the military or National Guard that receives order to move out of Nebraska may do so without having to worry about paying early termination fees on contracts for services like cable, phone or gym memberships. It’s only fair that if a service member has no choice in their deployment, he or she should not be held accountable for the decisions of their superiors. There is currently federal law that addresses much of this, but a loop hole needed to be closed at the state level to be sure all are protected.

Friday is a recess day and Monday is President’s day so I am spending my time back in my district meeting with various constituents. Tuesday will be the 29th day of the session, meaning we will have almost hit the halfway point.

If you have any questions about my bills or any legislation in front of the legislature, please don’t hesitate to email or call my office at cblood@leg.ne.gov or 402-471-2627.

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Senator Sue Crawford and I will be partnering together for the second year in a row to do a combined City Hall at the Bellevue Public Library on Saturday, February 17th at 10:00 a.m. We will discuss our bills and highlight legislation that may be of interest to our residents. It’s free to the public and all are welcome.

This past week was an important one for me, as one of the bills that I expect to make part of my final priority bill was heard. On Wednesdayafternoon, the judiciary committee had its hearing on LB695. LB695 has to deal with making sure the state is recognizing smart contracts, secured using digital ledger technology, in the same manner as it does other legally binding contracts. Before the hearing, I had a press conference as a way to raise awareness on how important this bill and my other Blockchain/Digital Ledger bill, LB694 , are going to be to the state. We had other senators, members of the business community and technology experts all come and speak.

LB695 is about keeping the state up to date in innovation. This bill allows for smart contracts to be accepted in the state as official documents. There are a growing number of people around the world who are using smart contracts because they are all online while being incredibly secure. Further, they execute automatically, without an inherent bias towards one party or another. When the terms of a contract are met, the people involved in that contract know they are going to be getting exactly what was agreed upon. There isn’t a concern of someone backing out of the deal or changing the terms at the last minute.

Thursday, I sat on the Government committee as we heard about Senator Murante’s voter ID bill, LB1066. While I certainly agree that we need to keep our elections safe and secure, I don’t believe we need to be spending over 3 million dollars during a time when our budget is in crisis. Senator Murante’s “solve” could disenfranchise voters all in the name of stopping a form of voter fraud that no one has been able to prove exists in the State of Nebraska. I have special concern for our senior citizens who no longer drive.  Nebraska has safeguards in place that have done very well and been quite effective. This is why we have such a low rate of fraud.  I listened intently during the hearing to both sides and came away confident this is a bill that we don’t need and would cause more problems than solutions.

Friday is a recess day so I am spending the day back in my district. We’re right back at it on Monday, which is the 25th day of the session. We’re moving ever closer to the halfway point of the session and there’s still lots to do.

If you have any questions about my bills or any legislation in front of the legislature, please don’t hesitate to email or call my office at cblood@leg.ne.gov or 402-471-2627.

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Mark your calendars District 3 and District 45. Senator Sue Crawford and I will be partnering together for the second year in a row to do a combined City Hall at the Bellevue Public Library on Saturday, February 17th at 10:00 a.m. We will discuss our bills and highlight legislation that may be of interest to our residents. It’s free to the public and all are welcome.
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Did you know that there is a long list of items available for free to the public relating to the Nebraska Legislature? Here is a list of only a few that you might find interesting. If you are receiving this email digitally, you should be able to link to the information from your newsletter.

1. Unicameral Update
2. About the Legislature
3. Unicam Kids
4. Inside Our Nation’s Only Unicameral
5. Poster of Nebraska Senators
6. Membership & Committees Card
7. Lines of Government

Some of these links have documents that can be printed. If you would like a hard copy of one or more of these documents, please call my office at 402-471-2627 and we will be happy to place it in the mail to your home address.

his has been yet another busy week in the legislature. I had just one bill in hearings this week, but my afternoon schedule is going to be getting even more jam-packed as we move towards the middle of the session. On Wednesday we had a hearing for the second of my three Interjurisdictional Compact Bills, LB681. The hearing, in front of the Health and Human Services committee, dealt with entering into the Physical Therapists Compact. 15 states have already enacted this compact. This makes it quite a bit different from my other two bills, since they still need additional states to pass legislation in order to activate the compacts.

LB681 enters us into a Physical Therapists compact which means if a PT from another compact state wanted to work in Nebraska they would be able to do it quite quickly. When it comes to these compacts, we’ve had a lot of questions about expanding the scope of practice on both of the compact bills that have been heard so far and I always tell the committee that the intention is to make sure that anyone who is in Nebraska is following Nebraska law. We’ve gone out of our way to make sure that kind of language is present in these bills.

Next week is a big week for my office because two of the bills that are going to make up my priority legislation will be heard. I am someone who always wants to make sure that the state is on the cutting edge of technology. I believe by doing this, we’re more attractive to companies looking for new places to set up shop. It makes it easier to keep companies in Nebraska as well. On Wednesday afternoon, the judiciary committee will hear LB691 and LB695.

LB691 came about because I have been looking at the way that people in Nebraska and the world are changing how they commit criminal, heinous acts like sex trafficking. The Internet has unfortunately made crimes such as this easier in a number of different ways. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are being used in the same way cold hard cash was changing hands just a few years ago. That means these cryptocurrencies are being laundered in order to hide the evil deeds for which they are really being used. LB691 would establish a cryptocurrency money laundering statute in Nebraska. Not only does this have the chance of stopping bad guys in their tracks but it also sends a strong message that the state does not tolerate sex traffickers and their ilk inside our borders.

In contrast, LB695 is about opening the state up to innovation. This bill allows for smart contracts to be accepted in the state as official documents. There are a growing number of people around the world who are using smart contracts because they are all online while being incredibly secure. Further, they execute automatically, without an inherent bias towards one party or another. When the terms of a contract are met, the people involved in that contract know they are going to be getting exactly what was agreed upon. There isn’t a concern of someone backing out of the deal, or changing the terms at the last minute.

I have one more bill that has to do with this subject in the Government committee, and once we have the hearing for that bill, I plan on combining all three into an omnibus bill and making it my priority for this session. The tech world moves fast and we have to stay ahead of it.

On Friday, I enjoyed spending the morning talking to Nebraska veterans about the seven pieces of legislation that make up my Military Initiative bills. This is the second year in a row I’ve had the opportunity to address this group in the historic Warner Chamber. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them on both occasions.

Speaking of history, I also attended an event for the  Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation where I was lucky enough to hold Jarvis J Offutt’s leather aviator’s helmet. If that name sounds familiar to you, he is indeed the man for which Offutt Airforce Base is named.

It was truly an honor to be able to have access to such an important part of our state’s history.

Friday also marked the 20th day of the legislative session. We’re already a third of the way through this year and there’s so much more to do!

If you have any questions about my bills, or any legislation in front of the legislature, don’t hesitate to email or call my office.
————————————————————

Did you know that there is a long list of items available for free to the public relating to the Nebraska Legislature? Here is a list of only a few that you might find interesting. If you are receiving this email digitally, you should be able to link to the information from your newsletter.

1. Unicameral Update
2. About the Legislature
3. Unicam Kids
4. Inside Our Nation’s Only Unicameral
5. Poster of Nebraska Senators
6. Membership & Committees Card
7. Lines of Government

For hard copies of these documents, please call my office at 402-471-2627 and we will be happy to place one in the mail to your home address.

Sen. Carol Blood

District 3
Room #1021
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2627
Email: cblood@leg.ne.gov
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