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 8th, 2020

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

Your Legislative Update

The 2020 Legislative session is over and the interim has officially begun. I fully expect to be back in January to serve alongside a new class of State Senators and I want to wish everyone who saw their terms come to an end last week, good luck in whatever they choose to do moving forward. It was certainly a challenging session, considering it was split into two separate sections, with a long layoff due to the pandemic. While the session was a challenge, I still consider it a success. The Unicameral passed good legislation and so did I, despite the fact that the governor vetoed quite a bit of what passed in the last week of the session.

At the top of the list was my priority bill, LB755. Originally, this bill would give those who cannot get to a barbershop or hair salon the ability to have a barber come to them. While it still contains that provision, I encouraged the Health and Human Services Committee to add important bills from their committee to my bill as a way to show bi-partisan support for all involved. The bill will accomplish many positive things for Nebraskans.

LB755 removes restrictions that are currently placed on Physician Assistants and will make it easier for them to help their patients while still adhering to rules, regulations, and laws of the medical profession and Nebraska. It will also allow PA’s to work with podiatrists for the first time.

As amended, 755 will add spinal muscular atrophy to the list of diseases that will be screened for in infants, and will make sure that pharmacists include specific information regarding patients with Parkinson’s disease in their semi-annual report to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

The bill also allows architecture candidates to begin taking their examination in conjunction with completing educational and experience requirements. It will allow engineers to take one of two examinations prior to completing four years of post-accredited degree experience, and includes other beneficial changes in the way architects are handled in Nebraska.

Finally, I amended one of my bills to this package. LB752 began as a Veterans’ Bill of Rights, but after many discussions with stakeholders, including the Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs, we pared it down. What we were able to accomplish was the addition of the “Ask the Question” part in the original B.O.R..  This allows service providers in various state agencies the potential to have a profound impact on service members, veterans, and their families, by connecting them to care and services. Service providers will ask the simple question: “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” That question should be included on intake forms and interviews where appropriate, including, but not limited to, hospitals, mental health care centers, senior centers, employment offices, courts, and schools and in encounters with law enforcement. This bill was one of the yearly requests made by the DoD Military Community and Family Policy Office. District 3 works closely with this organization to help keep Nebraska a great place for our military veterans and their families to live and work.

In its final week of the year, the legislature also passed a very important piece of legislation that I believe will go a long way towards helping Nebraskans in a variety of ways. LB1107, introduced as a Speaker’s Major Proposal, it touches on various economic factors, including property tax relief for both rural and urban parts of the state.

1107 is the kind of bipartisan legislation the Unicameral is known for being able to produce. It is not perfect, but it will allow for some relief for property taxes, while also helping the state as it attempts to climb out of the economic hardships imposed on it by the coronavirus pandemic. There are also several incentives for the business community. The hope is that this will further entice companies to come to Nebraska and set up shop, further boosting an economy I think could turn around quickly thanks to this bill.

The Governor spoke about the bill during his Sine Die address and pointed out 1107 will be teamed with the existing $275 million a year tax credit program, for a total of $650 million in state funds that will help defray the cost of property taxes in the state. That is a four-fold increase in property tax relief since he took office.

Legislative Updates for the Remainder of 2020

As the session is over, we will not do a weekly update, we will still do updates throughout the interim on a monthly basis, or to give important information.

Another Successful Food Drive

We had yet another successful food drive at the Bellevue Farmers’ Market last Saturday. This time our collected fresh fruits and vegetables went to the Intercultural Senior Center. The Center provides food services and resources for aging Nebraskans in parts of Douglas & Sarpy Counties.

Since March, our office has worked closely with this organization to provide weekly food pantry deliveries and hot meals to area senior citizens in need. ICS serves those over the age of 50 by providing fresh fruits and vegetables. Donations received, compliments of all who donated, are greatly appreciated and we were happy to help another area non-profit.

The Bellevue Farmer’s Market has been key in helping area non-profits with food drives. This drive is the third of the season; each has been a success thanks to all who have contributed.

Stand and Be Counted

Over the last few months, the United States government has been counting citizens for the census, and we are coming closer to a very important date – the date the government will begin sending census takers door-to-door in order to get information from homes that have yet to submit their information.

If you received a census form and have yet to return it, make sure to do so soon!  You are also able to submit the information online at the official census bureau website at 2020census.gov. It only takes a few minutes, and is vitally important to our country. To insure you and your community are being accurately represented we ALL must do our part and be counted. UPDATE: The Census Bureau announced plans to officially stop counting on September 30, a month sooner than previously announced, and includes all forms of data collections. Please hurry with your responses so Nebraska can be adequately counted!

Early Voting Applications Arriving NOW!

The Sarpy County Election Commission began sending out vote by mail applications on August 3.  Anyone wishing to receive a vote by mail ballot should complete and return that application by October 23. The election commission has offered several different ways you can return applications, including scanning or emailing a photo of the completed application to earlyvote@sarpy.com. Additionally, there are four-drop boxes available where you can deposit completed applications.  For more information, contact election commission staff at 402-593-2167. Voters returning applications to the election commission can expect ballots to arrive beginning on September 28. UPDATE: The Secretary of State announced that applications will be sent to all registered, eligible voters in the state.

VBA Tele Town Hall
August 17th, 2020
Make your voices heard!
The Veterans Benefits Administration is holding a Tele Town Hall on August 20th at 4:00 p.m.
The event will feature VBA Under Secretary Dr. Paul Lawrence who will kick it off with a 5-10 minute opening but then there will be a 45-minute question and answer session.
You can join the Tele Town Hall by dialing 833-380-0417
It’s suggested you call in about 10 minutes before the event is slated to start.
Legislative Update

The 2020 Legislative session is over and the interim has officially begun. I fully expect to be back in January to serve alongside a new class of State Senators and I want to wish everyone who saw their terms come to an end this week well and good luck in whatever they choose to do moving forward.

This week saw quite a bit of movement on several bills I introduced and supported. LB751  was officially signed by the governor and will become law. That bill will add mental health to the list of illnesses recognized when a collaborative plan is created between the school district and parents to help a child improve their school absences. I think this is vitally important to get passed this year, as the situation for school-aged children, whether they are attending in person, or remote learning is going to be different and more stressful than any other school year. This will give parents, students, and school administrators another tool in their toolbox to help deal with a difficult time.

Another of my bills,LB755 passed on final reading and is now heading towards the governor’s desk. This was originally a bill that would allow those who cannot get to a barbershop or hair salon to be able to have a barber come to them. While it still contains that provision, I encouraged the Health and Human Services Committee to add important bills from their committee to my bill as a way to show bi-partisan support for all involved. The bill will accomplish many positive things for Nebraskans.

The bill removes many restrictions that are currently placed on Physician Assistants and it will make it easier for them to help their patients while still obviously adhering to rules, regulations, and laws of the medical profession and Nebraska. It will also allow PAs to work with podiatrists for the first time.

LB755, as amended, will also add spinal muscular atrophy to the list of diseases that will be screened for in infants, and it will make sure that pharmacists include specific information regarding patients with Parkinson’s Disease in their semi-annual report with the Department of Health and Human Services.

The bill also allows architecture candidates to begin taking their examination in conjunction with completing their education and experience requirements. It will allow engineers to take one of their two examinations prior to completing their four years of post-accredited degree experience and includes other beneficial changes to how architects are handled in this state.

Finally, I added amended one of my bills to this package. That bill, LB752  started out as the Veterans’ Bill of Rights but after many discussions with stakeholders, including the Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs we paired it down. This meant we were able to accomplish the “Ask the Question” part of the BOR.  It allows for service providers in various state agencies to potentially have a profound impact on service members, veterans, and their families by connecting them to services and care through asking the simple question: “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” The question should be included in intake forms and interviews where appropriate, including, but not limited to, hospitals, mental health care centers, senior centers, employment offices, courts, and schools and in encounters with law enforcement. This simple bill was one of the yearly requests made from the DoD Military Community and Family Policy Office. District 3 works closely with this organization to help keep Nebraska  a great place to live for our military families and our veterans.

In its final week of the year, the legislature also passed a very important piece of legislation that I believe will go a long way towards helping Nebraskans in a variety of ways. LB1107 was introduced as a Speaker’s Major Proposal that touched on various economic factors. That included property tax relief for those in rural and urban parts of this state.

This is the kind of bipartisan legislation that the Unicameral is known for being able to produce. It is not a perfect statute but it will allow for some relief for property taxes while also helping the state to try and climb out of the economic hardships imposed on it by the coronavirus pandemic. There are also several incentives for the business community. The hope is that this will further entice companies to come to Nebraska and set up shop, further boosting an economy I think could turn around quickly thanks to this bill.

The Governor spoke about the bill during his Sine Die address and pointed out 1107 will be teamed with the existing $275 million a year tax credit program for a total of $650 million in state funds that will help defray the cost of property taxes in the state. That’s a four-fold increase in property tax relief since he took office.

I was also happy to see several bills I co-sponsored pass this session. This week, that included Senator Cavanaugh’s LB1060. This bill expands the definition of race for the purposes of employment discrimination to include traits historically associated with race, such as hair texture and styles (braids, locks, etc). It was sent to the governor on Tuesday.

I also co-sponsored LB534, which requires public post-secondary educational institutions to perform a biannual sexual assault climate survey to its students. It also requires them to develop a program for training certain staff relating to procedures dealing with sexual assault or sexual misconduct.

LB607 was another piece of legislation I was proud to cosponsor. This provides some tweaks and creates a new definition of “nail technology” which includes Natural Nail care, as well as defines “pedicuring,” and allows for licensure of nail technology apprentice salons. It also Creates a license for Temporary Body Art Facility and Body Art Guest Artist licenses and updates the definition for cosmetic tattooing.

Speaking of bills that will help Nebraska during what is going to have to be a kind of economic rebuild, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, I also co-sponsored a bill that allows for cities, villages, and municipalities to invest in land banks. Previously, only municipalities in Douglas or Sarpy County were authorized to create a land bank but the rest of the state may do so as well now, as long as the governor signs LB424 into law.

I was also proud to help get LB153 passed as a co-sponsor this week. This bill will take quite a bit of a tax burden off our state’s veterans and could serve to bring more veterans to settle here after they’ve finished their tours.  The bill repeals the current,  one-time election for retired military to exempt a  portion of their military retirement benefit income from tax.  It replaces it with a 50% exemption for military retirement benefit income, to the extent it was included in federal adjusted gross income.


Nebraska’s Veterans Memorial

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is taking on a special project to honor and celebrate veterans and military service members by creating a Veterans’ Tribute on Memorial Mall, near the Pershing Military and Naval Science Building. The design will feature glass panels, shown below, depicting moments in a veteran or service member’s life, including training, deployment, family life, and humanitarian missions. When this is complete, it should serve as one of the more moving and striking memorials for this purpose in the country.

The project has hit an important juncture, where the design team is able to start collecting stories from veterans. These stories and quotes will be put on the glass sculptures. If you have a story you’d like to tell, you can visit the memorial’s official website and submit it electronically, or find out how to mail the story in.

Stand Up And Be Counted

The United States government has been counting for the census over the last few months and we’re getting closer to a very important date. The government will start sending census takers door to door in order to get information from homes that haven’t yet submitted their information.

If you received a census form and haven’t sent it back in yet, make sure to do so soon! You can also fill out the information online at the official census bureau website. It will only take a few minutes to do this and it’s vitally important to our country. In order to make sure you and you’re community are being accurately represented, everyone needs to do their part and fill it out. The Census Bureau announced they are going to officially stop counting September 30, so please make sure you are getting this done as soon as possible.

Legislative Update

Next week will be the final week of the 2020 legislative session and it feels like we’ve still got quite a bit to do with just four legislative days left to do it.

Earlier this week, one of my bills, LB751  was presented to Governor Ricketts for his signature. It will add mental health to the list of illnesses recognized when a collaborative plan is created between the school district and parents to help a child improve their school absences. I think this is vitally important to get passed this year, as the situation for school-aged children, whether they are attending in person, or remote learning is going to be different and more stressful than any other school year. This will give parents, students, and school administrators another tool in their toolbelt to help deal with a difficult time.

Another of my bills,LB755 is still on final reading. I expect it to pass next week as the final procedural hurdle was cleared on Tuesday. The bills included in the omnibus amendment generated a small fiscal note, creating an appropriations bill or  “A-Bill.” Before 755 could be passed and sent to the governor’s desk for his signature, the A-Bill had to catch up with the original. That was done this week and both should get final approval soon.

On Wednesday, the legislature took up a very important piece of legislation that I believe will go a long way towards helping Nebraskans in a variety of ways. LB1107 was introduced as a Speaker’s Major Proposal that touched on various economic factors. That included property tax relief for those in rural and urban parts of this state.

This is the kind of bipartisan legislation that the Unicameral is known for being able to produce. It is not a perfect statute but it will allow for some relief for property taxes while also helping the state try and climb out of the economic hardships imposed on it by the coronavirus pandemic. There are also several incentives for the business community. The hope is that this will further entice companies to come to Nebraska and set up shop, further boosting an economy I think could turn around quickly thanks to this bill.

LB1107 advanced from general file with 43 yes votes and I was proud to support it.

Walmart’s Open Call

Walmart has started it’s seventh annual initiative that allows people from all walks of life to make their pitch for their products and try and get them on Walmart stores all over the country. The ‘Open Call” kicked off earlier this week and will run through August 10.

If your application is selected, you will be able to give your official pitch about your product and why you think it should go on Walmart’s shelves this October.

In addition to one-on-one pitch meetings with Walmart buyers, participants will have an opportunity to hear directly from Walmart executives and learn from company leaders during smaller breakout sessions designed to inform, empower, and encourage supplier-hopefuls.

If you have a product or idea that you think would be a good fit for the chain, but didn’t know how to go about getting the ball rolling, the Walmart Open Call is the way to get it done. If you want to apply for the Open Call, please contact our and we’ll be happy to provide the link to the information you need.

Congratulations To Distinguished Officers

This week at the Bellevue police department, four officers of the quarter and one officer of the year were named. Every year the Bellevue Police Department recognizes and honors officers that are selected by their peers.

The officers that were recognized for their contributions in 2019 were:
Detective Ward – Officer of the 1st Quarter
Officer Jimerson – Officer of the 2nd Quarter
Officer Murray – Officer of the 3rd Quarter
Officer Wirtz – Officer of the 4th Quarter

Detective Ward also earned the distinction of being named as the BPD’s Officer of the Year. I wanted to give my heartfelt congratulations to all of the honorees this year.

The NeXT Transformational Project

One of the issues I spoke about this year on the floor is something I’m quite excited about. The NeXT Project involves a partnership with the department of defense and the University of Nebraska system.

This is a program that will allow the University to build a state of the art medical center facility. This center will play a part in a partnership with the DOD in order to research and fight infectious diseases as well as other critical threats.

There are other aspects of the partnership that is going to have a huge economic impact on the state, and District 3 in particular. It’s projected to add about 40,000 new jobs over the next decades and will have billions of dollars flowing through the state.

Because of this partnership, the annual threat of Offutt being closed by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) will be diminished. That’s a huge boon for our area when you considering Offutt has an economic impact of about $1.6 billion on Sarpy County and the state.

This is a huge deal that hasn’t gotten nearly enough attention lately.

Stand Up And Be Counted

The United States government has been counting for the census over the last few months and we’re getting closer to a very important date. The government will start sending census takers door to door in order to get information from homes that haven’t yet submitted their information.

If you received a census form and haven’t sent it back in yet, make sure to do so soon! You can also fill out the information online at the official census bureau website. It will only take a few minutes to do this and it’s vitally important to our country. In order to make sure you and you’re community are being accurately represented, everyone needs to do their part and fill it out. The Census Bureau announced they are going to officially stop counting September 30, so please make sure you are getting this done as soon as possible.

Bellevue Farmer’s Market Fresh Produce Drive Was A Success

Last Saturday we held our fresh produce drive at the Bellevue Farmer’s Market. It was a great success as we saw bags and bags of food donated so that it could be sent to the Bellevue Food Pantry.

This pandemic has been hard on everyone and I am so thankful for those who were willing to give to those who have been hit the hardest. No one should have to go to bed hungry and efforts like this help make sure that they don’t.

Your Legislative Update

The legislature was back for a second week after a four-month absence as we march towards the official Sine Die for the 2020 session. On Friday, two of my bills, LB751 and LB755, returned to the agenda. LB755 is technically on Final Reading. One of the bills included in the omnibus amendment generated a small fiscal note; it now has an appropriations bill or an “A-Bill” meaning before 755 could pass and make its way to the governor’s desk for a signature, the A-Bill must catch up to the original. That A-Bill passed on general file and is now headed to select file.

LB751 adds mental health to the list of illnesses recognized when a collaborative plan is present between a school district and parents, to help a child improve school absence records. This will become law soon as it passed on final reading with a 48-0 vote, it is now on its way to the governor’s desk for final approval.

LB803 is a bill I was proud to co-sponsor since I sit on the Agriculture Committee and have a special place in my heart for rural Nebraska. It creates the Pulse Crop Resources Act. The act is intended to create a checkoff for pulse crops, which include field peas, lentils, chickpeas, and fava beans. It is important to continue to find ways to help our Nebraska farmers feed the world.

Additionally, I co-sponsored LB850, which authorizes the placement of a monument to the First Regiment Nebraska Volunteer Infantry at Fort Donelson National Battlefield. It also establishes the commission that will oversee creation of the monument.

One last bill with a final reading last week was LB911; this legislation amending the state veteran cemetery system by requiring the acquisition of the former Nebraska Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Grand Island.

One bill we attempted to take up last week that the body ultimately decided against giving the time it deserved was REQ6234, Senator Vargas’ motion to suspend the rules to allow a hearing on a new piece of legislation, rules state that legislation must be introduced during the first 10 days of a session. Senator Vargas felt the bill he wanted to introduce was important and its topic timely. His bill would mean the enactment of workplace health and safety protections at meatpacking and food processing plants during the coronavirus pandemic. Ultimately, his attempt to suspend the rules was voted down, but he is going to be trying to bring the bill back as an amendment to LB667 which will have a hearing on Thursday, August 6th at the state capitol.

National Korean War Armistice Day

This year marks the 70-year anniversary of the start of the Korean War and last week marked the 67th anniversary of the armistice ending that relatively short, but still very consequential war. On National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, we paused to remember the uncommon courage and sacrifice of ordinary Americans who fought to defend freedom and protect the values we hold dear.

When that conflict broke out, the country was still rebuilding and regrouping from World War II. Despite that, when we saw freedom and democracy threatened, more than two million people signed up to fight. Far too many were never able to return. In total, more than 36,000 Americans gave their lives in the Korean War, more than 103,000 wounded, and nearly 8,000 went missing in action.

Medicaid Expansion Program

Beginning on August 1, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services will begin accepting applications from Nebraskans who will be eligible for the Heritage Health Adult Medicaid expansion program. Eligible adults are Nebraska residents ages 19-64 who earn up to 138% of the federal poverty level (about $17,000 per individual). In the past, lower income adults eligible for Medicaid either had to have children or special medical needs. Expanded Medicaid will launch at the beginning of October 2020. Individuals can apply online at dhhs.ne.gov, by phone at 855-632-7633 or at their local DHHS office.

Early Voting Applications Coming Next Week

 The Sarpy County Election Commission announced last Thursday that it would be sending out vote by mail applications starting on August 3. Applications will be sent to all registered, eligible voters in the county. Anyone wishing to receive a vote by mail ballot should complete and return the application by October 23. The election commission has offered several different ways you can return applications, including scanning or emailing a photo of the completed application to earlyvote@sarpy.com. Additionally, there are four-drop boxes available where completed applications may be deposited.  For more information or to have your questions answered, you can reach election commission staff at 402-593-2167.  Once your applications have been returned to the election commission, they expect to begin sending early voting ballots to voters on September 28.

Stand and Be Counted

Over the last few months, the United States government has been counting citizens for the census, and we are coming closer to a very important date – the date the government will begin sending census takers door-to-door in order to get information from homes that have yet to submit their information.

If you received a census form and have yet to return it, make sure to do so soon!  You are also able to submit the information online at the official census bureau website.  It will only take a few minutes and it is vitally important to our country. In order to make sure you and your community are being accurately represented everyone needs to do his or her part.

Bellevue Farmer’s Market Fresh Produce Drive

This past Saturday, August 1, the Bellevue Farmer’s Market held a fresh fruit & produce drive to help the Bellevue Food Pantry stock up their inventory. Generous market-goers purchased lots of tasty fruits and vegetables from our market attendees to donate to the pantry. We are sincerely grateful for the generosity!

As always, the market is open from 8 am to noon on Saturday’s, with the first hour reserved for pregnant mothers, senior citizens, and area residents with autoimmune diseases or other chronic health issues. You are encouraged to please wear a mask while shopping the market.

Rain or shine at Washington Park located in Bellevue at 20th & Franklin Streets!

Legislative Update

The Nebraska Legislature reconvened its interrupted 2020 session, put on hold because of the Covid-19 pandemic. We’re attempting to squeeze quite a bit into a short period of time, as we are only back for 16 legislative days to finish out this year’s 60-day term.

With the limited time and the budget constraints placed on the state because of the pandemic, there are unfortunately a few issues we won’t be able to take up or get passed this year. I did have three pieces of my own legislation that advanced to the next round of debate this week.

LB755 was initially drafted as a bill that allowed barbers to come to Nebraskans’ homes who are unable to visit their local barbershop or salon because of physical or mental health issues. I encouraged the HHS committee to use the bill as an omnibus bill to make sure other very important pieces of legislation that had to do with the health and safety of Nebraskans moved forward. Working together for the greater good of Nebraska is important to move good legislation forward. I amended another one of my bills LB752 on this bill from the floor.

LB752 started out as the Veterans’ Bill of Rights but after many discussions with stakeholders, including the Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs we paired it down. This meant we were able to accomplish the “Ask the Question” part of the BOR.  It allows for service providers in various state agencies to potentially have a profound impact on service members, veterans, and families by connecting them to services and care through asking the simple question: “Have you or a family member ever served in the military?” The question should be included in intake forms and interviews where appropriate, including, but not limited to, hospitals, mental health care centers, senior centers, employment offices, courts, and schools and in encounters with law enforcement.

LB751, also advanced to the next stage of debate and appears well on its way towards becoming state law this year. This bill adds mental health to the list of illnesses recognized when a collaborative plan is created between the school district and parents to help a child improve their school absences. This helps Nebraska move forward with national efforts to treat an individual’s mental well-being the same as their physical health. I believe there is power in adding that simple change to state statute and hopefully start some dialogues on Nebraska’s youth and mental illness. It’s another step toward destigmatizing mental health issues faced by many of Nebraska’s children and helping to decrease the alarming rate of suicide within that demographic.

COVID-19 Update

Sarpy County is currently in Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan. That means some but certainly, not all restrictions have been lifted. Phase 3 still requires masks in places like hair salons or tattoo parlors where it is impossible to receive services at the recommended six-foot distance. The size of gatherings are also limited. While the state continues to reopen, the implementation date for Phase 4 is yet to be determined based on the risk of infection. The state is still watching to see if cases begin to tick down. The Sarpy/Cass County Health Department regularly updates its webpage with news and helpful resources. It’s here where you can learn if and when we move into Phase 4.

Food For Homeless Veterans

Getting food and supplies to veterans who desperately needed it was a team effort last weekend. From the people all over the community who made the donations to those who transported them to Victory Apartments, the community came together to help and it was a wonderful sight to see. My office also provided lunch for the residents of Victory Apartments that day. Special thanks to the Filipino Heritage Foundation for providing me with the manpower to serve the meals.

We enjoyed the music of the 43rd Army National Guard Bands throughout the morning and were highly impressed by their professionalism and most definitely their talent.

It was a beautiful day to do something like this and it was great to see everyone come together for this very worthy cause.

Bellevue Cleanup Day

Just a reminder that this Saturday, July 25 is Bellevue’s citywide cleanup day. While this normally takes place earlier in the spring, it had to be delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Two areas located at 29th & Hancock, and 8252 Cedar Island Road will be open on July 25th from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM on that day for residents to drop off solid waste.

We’re also asking that anyone who does drop off a load at one of these locations also consider dropping off some food items to the Bellevue Food Pantry. You can find a complete list of what the locations can and cannot take here. This is a good opportunity to clear out your basements and garages and get ready for the fall.

I wanted to provide some information to you regarding an issue that is generating a number of calls and e-mails from retirement plan members to senators’ offices and the Nebraska Public Employees Retirement System (NPERS). Members are requesting loans from their retirement accounts, as authorized under the federal CARES Act. As described in the memo, the granting of loans is optional and only available to members if loans have been authorized by the plan sponsor, i.e. the State of Nebraska. Unfortunately, these loans are not available to Nebraska plan members because Nebraska has not enacted legislation authorizing such loans.

I’ve attached a memo from the Legislature’s Retirement Committee that explains the background of what was expected from the CARES Act and why employees won’t be able to take advantage of one provision. Don’t hesitate to contact my office for any more information on this issue.

 

The main change in this newly signed Executive Order (EO) is the removal of a requirement that all previous employers be reviewed along with the most recent. The Nebraska Department of Labor (NDOL) will only review the employer that issued the most current lay off to verify the information, and to determine if Covid-19 was indeed the reason for the lay off.  Those who became unemployed due to the pandemic will no longer be penalized for any voluntary quits or other issues regarding PRIOR employment. For those who have already had their claims adjudicated (and penalties assessed) those penalties will be removed and benefits will be paid.

This Executive Order retroactively changes the applicable period from March 22, 2020 backward to March 15, 2020. This allows individuals who filed the week prior to March 22nd to receive the same benefits as those who filed after.

This Executive Order on unemployment remains in effect until August 1, 2020

SPECIAL Legislative Update
April 22nd, 2020

You are one phone call away from receiving the help you need!

If you, a loved one or friend, fifty years of age or older living within District 3 (Western Bellevue & Southeastern Papillion) and are struggling
with having enough food during the pandemic, please reach out to me and WE CAN HELP!

All you need to do is call me:
402-517-1446 or 402-471-2627

 

Available Resources for Fighting the Coronavirus (Covid-19) in District 3

As you know, the Nebraska Legislative session has been suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak. While this is a difficult and uneasy time, I want you to know there are resources out there to help.

As the shutdown goes on longer than anyone hoped it can be tempting to relax our vigilance, but we have to fight that urge. It is critical that we do not let down our guard until the health experts tell us it is safe to relax these restrictions.

In addition to the resources listed here, my office continues to work while practicing social distancing. Please do not hesitate to call my office or reach out directly to me if I can be of any assistance to you.

Health Resources

NE Department of Health and Human Services
Click here for information on all things Coronavirus

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Click here for information from the federal government on the disease

University of Nebraska Medical Center
Click here for information from UNMC

Sarpy/Cass County Health Department
Click here for information from county services

Medicaid and Economic Assistance
Click here for information on Medicaid Benefits and Economic Assistance

Individuals and Family Resources

Unemployment Benefits/Online Application
Click here for information

Medicaid and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Click here for information

Free Legal Assistance (American Bar Association)
Click here for information

OPPD Assistance (Electricity)
Click here for information

MUD Assistance (Gas and Water)
Click here for information

United Way of the Midlands
Click here for information

Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC)
Click here for information

Salvation Army
Click here for information

Catholic Charities
Click here for information

Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office Helpline
Click here for information including how the sheriff’s office will deliver groceries to those who cannot venture out themselves.
Helpline number: 402-593-1593

Action for Healthy Kids
Click here for information

Area Catholic Schools
Click here for information

Bellevue Public Schools
Click here for information

Papillion Lavista Schools
Click here for information

Area Business Resources

US Small Business Administration
Click here for information

NE Department of Labor
Click here for information

NE Department of Economic Development
Click here for information

US Small Business Administration
Click here for information

Bellevue Chamber of Commerce
Click here for information

Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce
Click here for information

Nebraska Chamber of Commerce
Click here for information

NBDC Business Resiliency Resources
Click here for information

Sen. Carol Blood

District 3
Room #1021
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2627
Email: cblood@leg.ne.gov
Search Senator Page:
Topics
Archives
Search Current Bills
Search Laws
Live Video Streaming
Find Your Senator