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 9th, 2019

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

SINCE End of Session…

The 2019 Legislative session officially ended a little more than a month ago. The work we did was hard, but as a whole the 106th Legislature accomplished a great deal. Of course this doesn’t mean our work is done, far from it. We are well into the next phase as my office works on details and decisions regarding what bills to bring come January. If you have a topic you think needs attention, please don’t hesitate to contact my office. As always, the sooner you call, the better, I like having our ducks in a row before the new session begins. Wishing you all a relaxing summer of fun!

The 2019 Bellevue, Nebraska
Farmers’ Market

Every Saturday – May 25, 2019 to September 7, 2019
7:45 am to Noon – Rain or Shine
Live music at 9 AM
Washington Park located at 20th and Franklin in Bellevue, Nebraska
Early Birds welcome, and get the pick of the best produce.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL 402-517-1446
Senator Carol Blood, Volunteer Market Manager
We hope to see you there!


Working to Keep the Wheels Moving for District 3

On June 18th I attended a public meeting to address a loss of funding for the Rural Transportation Program (RTP) a ridership program provided by The Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging (ENOA) currently serving Cass, Dodge, Douglas, Sarpy and Washington Counties. RTP is utilized by the general public, elderly and individuals with disabilities for any transportation needs they may have.

On May 12th ENOA was notified they must stop service to some areas by July 1st in order to remain in compliance with the federal grant distributed by the NDOT, who receives their money from the Federal Transit Agency (FTA). ENOA matches these grants with funds received from passenger fares, and revenue from each county served. Problems arose following the last census taken in 2010 when certain service areas were re-classified from rural to urban, those changes directly affect parts of Bellevue, Western Omaha, Papillion and Gretna.

Questions I had during this meeting led me to begin reaching out to the different agencies overseeing the program and its monies, while bringing in stakeholders to help find a stop-gap solution until one more long-term, can be found. I, along with my staff and a host of other concerned individuals are working diligently to find adequate service solutions for those who might otherwise be forced to find other means of travel. Feel free to reach out to our office for updates or if we can answer any questions. We will share a synopsis of the results in our next interim newsletter. Nebraskans with disabilities and our seniors deserve better.

2019 Early Childhood Leadership Summit
New Orleans, Louisiana 

The Nebraska Team with Senators Crawford and Hilkemann
Research provides us with comprehensive evidence that the first five years of life are the most significant in setting a strong foundation for both learning and health. Inequitable circumstances and lack of access, support systems, or available information, can all create gaps in early development. Making an investment in these years is of vital importance to every state, none more so than in Nebraska. This is an important factor in Nebraska’s future economic success as well. I was grateful for the opportunity to learn best strategies for achievement and the latest efforts to bring the message home from the folks at The Hunt Institute in Durham, North Carolina, and the BUILD Initiative of Boston.
The Nebraska State Police Award Badges to 14 New Members
In a ceremony held at the Capitol last week, fourteen new Nebraska State Troopers received their badges. The new troopers represent the 60th Basic Recruiting Class in the history of the Nebraska State Police.
 

This ceremony came one day after Nebraska lost dedicated patrolman, Trooper Jerry Smith. “Through that tragedy, we look upon these 14 new troopers starting their careers and truly understand what it means to serve.”  Offered Colonel John Bolduc, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol.

Each member of the class of Camp 60 completed 22 weeks of training at the NSP Training Academy in Grand Island. Those newly-badged patrolman will now undergo six months of on-the-job training with veteran troopers in the field.


Capitol Architect Thomas Rogers Kimball Inducted into the Nebraska Hall of Fame

Thomas Rogers Kimball was an American architect and first Nebraskan to serve as the National President of the American Institute of Architects. He was credited with 871 commissions, but Kimball’s greatest contribution to Nebraska was his position as architectural adviser to the Capitol Commission, where he oversaw and administered the construction of our Nebraska State Capitol.

On June 25th, TRK, as his great nephew calls him, was inducted into the Nebraska Hall of Fame which recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the lives and history of the great state of Nebraska. At the ceremony to honor Mr. Kimball, those who gathered for the celebration were gifted the opportunity to hear a little of his life and history. Mr. Kimball will be remembered with the placing of a bust sculpted in his honor by John Lajba, of Omaha. Many thanks to Lana Hatcher with History Nebraska, for the invitation to attend the ceremony.


It Truly was A Day of Unity
Live from Washington DC
I was thrilled to host Nebraskan’s who came from all over Eastern Nebraska to join together with thousands of other US residents in over 500 theaters to view a one night only screening of the movie Free Trip to Egypt as part of the #PledgeToListen day on June 12th. The movie was followed by a live panel discussion from Washington DC.
Friends who joined us for the screening!
Top L-R Deb and Senator John McCollister, Angie Lauritsen,
Angelina Ramos, Lorri and Kelly Sell, and Edward Ventura, JR.
Have you taken the Pledge
Pledge to #ListenFirst by joining the movement to mend
the frayed fabric of America one conversation at a time 
Young Women Leaders of Tomorrow
Girls State 2019

Wednesday, June 5th I had the distinct honor of speaking to almost 400 young women from all over Nebraska who were in Lincoln to attend the American Legion Auxiliary Cornhusker Girls State 2019.

Modeled on a citizenship training program originally formed for young men, the American Legion Girls State offers training in the process of governing and citizenship. Each summer approximately 25,000 young women participate in Girls State sessions across the country. At Girls State the delegates study local, county and state government. The young women participate in mock political parties, hold mock elections, filling positions just as we do in city, county and state government.

The time I spent with these young women left me feeling great pride. The enthusiasm they openly shared with me during my speech filled me with hope and further motivates me to continue to support Nebraska’s young women to run and win in our upcoming elections.

Honored to be escorted out to a standing ovation following my speech.


L-R: Emilie Whightman, Omaha; Future Leadership and Lexi Collins, Papillion

National Foundation of Women Legislators Student Scholarship

Senator Blood Encourages Young Women to Participate

The National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL) is launching their 2019 Annual Student Scholarship Program in early June. Scholarships will provide six women high school juniors or seniors a $3,000 college scholarship, an all-expense-paid trip to NFWL’s Annual Conference, and an award to be presented at the event.

Nebraska Students must be nominated by a currently elected woman serving in Nebraska, before they are invited to apply for the scholarship (which includes completing a short essay and submitting a recommendation letter from a teacher or employer).

I am encouraging all young women in the state who are interested in policy or public service to participate by seeking an elected woman to nominate them to receive one of these six available scholarships.
     All nominees must be:

  • High School Junior (class of 2020) or Senior (class of 2019) Girl
  • U.S. citizen
  • Able to attend the 2019 Annual Conference November 18-21 in San Antonio, Texas
  • Participants should go to the NFWL website for more information at WomenLegislators.org/programs/scholarships
We are here to serve the residents of District 3 and we are happy to respond to any questions or concerns you may have.
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.
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.

SINCE LAST WEEK…

This was officially the final week of the 2019 Legislative session. It has been a lot of hard work but the legislature as a whole has accomplished a great deal. That doesn’t mean that our work is done by any means. We simply enter a new phase. My office actually started the hunt for bill topics earlier this spring and now we’ll be ironing out the details and deciding what to bring in January. If you have a topic you think needs to be looked into, please don’t hesitate to contact my office. The sooner the better, as I like to make sure we have our ducks in a row before the session begins.

What we passed in 2019

In total, we had eight of my bills passed and become law and a ninth bill was amended into another and is on its way to the Governor’s desk for signature.

LB15: This is a bill that will require insurance companies to cover hearing aids and hearing aid fitting and repair for children who would not be covered otherwise as long as the cost of the device and services doesn’t surpass one percent of a company’s total premiums collected.

LB11: Allows for counties and municipalities to enter into interlocal agreements with the aim of forming a cooperative action to abate, remove, or prevent nuisances. The goal is to allow for shared resources ultimately saving taxpayer dollars.

LB8: This is a bill that allows for physician medical directors to use flashing lights when they are en route to an accident, so they can also arrive in a timely manner and continue to improve emergency protocol to protect our residents. In order to qualify for this bill, they would have to receive a safety certification and have it approved by the sheriff of the county where they operate.

LB6: This allows the dependents of an active duty military member to receive in-state tuition rates to Nebraska colleges as long as they lived in the state when they were accepted for admission; even if they have since moved out of Nebraska.

LB115: This law makes it so that if a military family is planning on moving into Nebraska and they have a child that is going to be attending public grade school here, they can start the enrollment process before they have actually established residency. In other words, it makes sure that children of military families are not having to sit out a semester and wait simply because of red tape nor miss out on opportunities that pertain to curriculum or extracurricular activities.

LB7: Defines what is an acceptable airbag to be installed in your car and creates penalties if a person or company intentionally install a counterfeit airbag. There have been cases around the country where criminals have literally replaced an airbag with a trash bag full of random hunks of scrap. People can be seriously injured or even die if they get into an accident and these counterfeit airbags are deployed. Bottom line is that it holds bad guys accountable and protects unknowing consumers.

LB12: This allows for active duty military members and their spouses to waive the licensing fee for becoming a realtor in Nebraska, as long as they are already a licensed realtor in another state.

LB138: This creates several new medals of honor license plates for those who served in Iran, Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf War, the Vietnam War and the Global War on Terror. In addition to these plates, it also creates a “Support Our Troops” plate that anyone cam purchase. The proceeds from the Support Our Troops plates will go toward a new fund that is created to help recruit and retain retiring military to live, work and stay in Nebraska.

LB13: This bill, which was amended into LB209, eliminates breastfeeding women from Nebraska’s public indecency laws. Considering all the science that proves the importance of breastfeeding, Nebraska owes it to mothers to make sure they are getting their children the nutrition they need without fear of being publicly shamed or cited. LB209 passed final reading on Thursday and is expected to be signed by Governor Ricketts in the next few days.

First up for 2020
There are still three bills I introduced this session that have been voted out of committee but that we didn’t have the time to get to this year. These are still alive and at the front of the line for debate when we kick off 2020 next January.

LB137: This bill makes it so that any Daily Fantasy Sports Contest company that is operating in Nebraska has to register with the state and pay a $10,000 registration fee. They would then have to pay an annual fee to continue doing business here. That fee would be six percent of their gross receipts for the previous 12 months. This is something that could end up being quite a revenue generator for Nebraska should it pass. Since these companies are already here and doing business, they should be regulated.

LB594: My truth in meat advertising bill simply makes sure that a company that is selling a vegetarian alternative to a meat patty or hot dog does not label their food as “meat-product.”

LB9: Dealing with Digital Ledger Technology, this would make sure that cities and counties cannot tax the tech beyond what the state has taxed it at. This isn’t the kind of thing we need to have a patchwork of laws covering.

Milk is Milk

 
Another piece of legislation that passed this session, somewhat in the vein of my LB594 was LR13. Brought by Senator Murman, this is kind of a truth in milk advertising piece that asks the federal government to craft better, more restrictive language so that Almond Milk is not passed off as a product that contains dairy milk in it. I cosponsored this because I believe companies should not be attempting to mislead consumers.

Reducing the burden on Veterans


One other bill that will be among the first we take up in 2020 will be LB153. Brought on behalf of Governor Ricketts’, Senator Brewer and I )and others) cosponsored this bill because we need real reform when it comes to the retirement benefits of our military families.

The bill repeals what we currently have in place for military retirement in Nebraska with a 50 percent across the board exemption on retirement pay. This is on General File and will be taken up next session. I’ll be fighting to make sure it passes.

Phone Spoofing

Senator Halloran’s LB693 is a bill that passed earlier this month that I cosponsored that has to do with phone spoofing. The law means that people (generally scammers and telemarketers) cannot call from outside Nebraska but use technology that makes it look as though it’s based inside our state. Their hope, when they use this technology is that people will be more likely to answer the call if they think it’s a local number.

The above three bills referenced are just part of a long list of legislation I’ve cosponsored this year. The Speaker of Legislature talked in his farewell address for the session about the need for State Senators to trust each other and work together in a bipartisan fashion. Those are principles I’ve always believed in and practiced.

The 2019 Bellevue, Nebraska Farmers’ Market
Every Saturday – May 25, 2019 to September 7, 2019
7:45 am to Noon – Rain or Shine
Live music at 9 AM
Washington Park located at 20th and Franklin in Bellevue, Nebraska
Early Birds welcome, and get the pick of the best produce.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL 402-517-1446
Senator Carol Blood, Volunteer Market Manager
Going Beyond That Which Divides Us – Day of Unity

Friends, please take a moment and review the information below. I’m hosting the ONLY showing of this movie in Nebraska.

It’s a small theater and there are only 60 seats left. An individual ticket is only $13.38 each. The event will be held at Village Pointe Cinema located at 304 N. 174th St on June 12th @ 6:30 p.m ONLY! 

You MUST order your tickets in advance. After the movie, we will have a live discussion from Washington DC with other participants across the US on this ONE DAY ONLY nationwide screening of the film. We will have handout materials after the film. NOTE: Fun fact, a woman from Norfolk, Nebraska was one of the travelers.

Pledge to #ListenFirst by joining the movement to mend
the frayed fabric of America by bridging divides
one conversation at a time 

The Listen First Project (LFP) seeks to encourage conversations that prioritize understanding and help build trust and cooperation among schools, workplaces and society as a whole. LFP consists of 225 partner organizations and thousands of individuals with the National Conversation Project.

I am honored to be included among the list of cultural influencers who have joined the #ListenFirst movement and are recognized as Listen First Leaders by LFP. Among those recognized alongside me are: Dominique Wilkins, Bret Baier, Michael Steele, Van Jones, Katie Couric Robyn Tannehill and Senator Carol Blood.  Listen First is nonpartisan and never endorses or campaigns for any candidate or issue.

ROCKING IT FOR RECOVERY – TOMORROW! 
Fun and Fundraising for Knights of Columbus and Catfish Lake Flood Recovery

We are here to serve the residents of District 3 and we are happy to respond to any questions or concerns you may have.
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.
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.

SINCE LAST WEEK…

This week is the final full week of the legislative session. Next week we will have a few days to wrap things up, but most of our work is coming to an end for the legislative session. On a happy note, that included the passage of LB15 on final reading Thursday afternoon.

The bill passed on a 48-0 vote and now heads to the Governor’s desk for his signature. When signed and it becomes law. It will mean that Nebraska insurance companies will have to include coverage of hearing aids for children in their policies. While researching this bill, I was surprised to discover they currently are not covered. I am very pleased it’s going to be a reality now. This is the kind of bill that would not get passed without a lot of work from a lot of different people and I’m truly thankful for the supporters of the bill who helped push it along.

Why we do what we do!

LtoR: Senator Blood, Olivia Versaw & Brad Meurrens of Disability Rights Nebraska 
Olivia Versaw, (left) deaf since birth, is currently a college student and intern with Disability Rights Nebraska.

Breast is Best
LB209, a bill by Senator Albrecht, was amended during Select File with my bill LB13 this week. LB13 exempts breastfeeding mothers from Nebraska’s Public Indecency Laws. It will provide additional protection for these mothers as they provide nourishment to Nebraska’s future. Breastfeeding may not be the choice for all women, but it’s definitely the best choice for our babies.

The 2019 Bellevue, Nebraska Farmers’ Market
Every Saturday – May 25, 2019 to September 7, 2019
7:45 am to Noon – Rain or Shine
Live music at 9 AM
Washington Park located at 20th and Franklin in Bellevue, Nebraska
Early Birds welcome, and get the pick of the best produce.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL 402-517-1446
Senator Carol Blood, Volunteer Market Manager
Going Beyond That Which Divides Us – Day of Unity

Friends, please take a moment and review the information below. I’m hosting the ONLY showing of this movie in Nebraska.

It’s a small theater and there are only 60 seats left. An individual ticket is only $13.38 each. The event will be held at Village Pointe Cinema located at 304 N. 174th St on June 12th @ 6:30 p.m ONLY! 

You MUST order your tickets in advance. After the movie, we will have a live discussion from Washington DC with other participants across the US on this ONE DAY ONLY nationwide screening of the film. We will have handout materials after the film. NOTE: Fun fact, a woman from Norfolk, Nebraska was one of the travelers.

Pledge to #ListenFirst by joining the movement to mend
the frayed fabric of America by bridging divides
one conversation at a time 

The Listen First Project (LFP) seeks to encourage conversations that prioritize understanding and help build trust and cooperation among schools, workplaces and society as a whole. LFP consists of 225 partner organizations and thousands of individuals with the National Conversation Project.

I am honored to be included among the list of cultural influencers who have joined the #ListenFirst movement and are recognized as Listen First Leaders by LFP. Among those recognized alongside me are: Dominique Wilkins, Bret Baier, Michael Steele, Van Jones, Katie Couric Robyn Tannehill and Senator Carol Blood.  Listen First is nonpartisan and never endorses or campaigns for any candidate or issue.

 Students from Pawnee Elementary visit the Capitol

Looking forward to summer vacation, these students from Pawnee Elementary spent the day visiting the capitol and a few moments with their State Senator. Speaking with those who are our future is one of the greatest honors of my job in the Legislature.

                         5K/1Mile Walk, Run, Roll

Cost: $35 Early Registration  $45 Day of Race                    Teams Welcome!
Location: Zorinsky Lake Park Shelter #5                   Challenge friends & coworkers
3808 S 154th St (156th & F Streets) Omaha               to join you for this great cause.
Race Times: 5K: 7AM-9AM   1mile: 8AM-10AM           ALL profits benefit BIA-NE 
                   

National Foundation for Women Legislators Student Scholarship 

Senator Blood Encourages Young Women to Participate

The National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL) is launching their 2019 Annual Student Scholarship Program in early June. Scholarships will provide six women high school juniors or seniors a $3,000 college scholarship, an all-expense-paid trip to NFWL’s Annual Conference, and an award to be presented at the event.

Nebraska Students must be nominated by a currently elected woman serving in Nebraska, before they are invited to apply for the scholarship (which includes completing a short essay and submitting a recommendation letter from a teacher or employer).

I am encouraging all young women in the state who are interested in policy or public service to participate by seeking an elected woman to nominate them to receive one of these six available scholarships.

     All nominees must be:

  • High School Junior (class of 2020) or Senior (class of 2019) Girl
  • U.S. citizen
  • Able to attend the 2019 Annual Conference November 18-21 in San Antonio, Texas
  • Participants should go to the NFWL website for more information at WomenLegislators.org/programs/scholarships

                You are welcome to attend ALL mobile pantry events!
Please bring boxes or bags to carry food home.

June 19th   Bellevue Public Schools           June 29th   Church of the Holy Spirit
5:00 pm at: Mission Middle School             10:00 am at: 1305 Thomas Dr. Bellevue
2200 Washington Street – 402-293-4260     Phone: 402-291-7732

                                      2nd Saturday of Each Month
Harrison Street Baptist Church

8015 Harrison St. – La Vista
402-331-5510 Call for times
No income restrictions and registration information gathered for USDA tracking and compliance only 

 

Breaking Flood Assistance News

The deadline for government entities to submit a request for public assistance (RPA) has been extended to June 20. Officials can submit an RPA via the Grants Portal. Call 402-429-3389 if you have not received an email for the Grants Portal. http://ow.ly/6XTc50ug5WN   #nebraskaflood

FEMA just extended the deadline for affected Nebraska residents to for disaster assistance. Don”t wait to apply!
To Apply: go to DisasterAssistance.gov or Call FEMA at 800-621-3362; (call 800-462-7585 TTY)   
Hours: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT seven days a week
Dodge and Sarpy Counties Disaster Centers Will Transition to Disaster Loan Outreach Centers
The Disaster Recovery Centers in Fremont and Bellevue, operated by the State of Nebraska and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), will close at 6 p.m. May 17, and reopen Monday, May 20, as Disaster Loan Outreach Centers operated by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

The Sarpy County location will remain at:
3802 Raynor Parkway, (Suite 201) – Bellevue, NE 68123
Open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m

The Dodge County Center location will reopen at:
Fremont City Auditorium – Community Room
925 N Broad Street – Fremont, NE 68025
Open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m

SBA customer service representatives will be available at the centers to meet individually with business, homeowners and renters to answer their questions, explain SBA’s disaster loan program, help complete applications and close approved loans.

Applicants may apply online using SBA’s secure website at:  disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

For questions or information, visit sba.gov/disaster. Help is also available by sending an email to: disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or contacting the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955.
Help following a Disaster Recovery Center Closure 
After a Disaster Recovery Center closes, survivors can still get help by contacting FEMA in these ways:
• By phone, call FEMA’s toll-free registration line at 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585 (TTY).
• Online, visit DisasterAssistance.gov.
• On a smart phone, download the FEMA app and click on “disaster resources,”
then “apply for assistance online.”
For more information on Nebraska disaster recovery, visit: fema.gov/disaster/4420.
The Nebraska Family HELPLINE
1-888-866-8660 is staffed with trained counselors who are able to handle any problem, any time. Learn more here.
NOTE: Hearing & Speech-impaired callers may utilize telecommunications relay services by calling 7-1-1 or through your own personal relay service.
 #TeamBlood #HelpisHere
Governor Announces New Round of Board and Commission Openings

Public participation in government is at the heart of democracy, I encourage those who have a desire to shape policy, to be involved and give something back to our communities, would like to donate ones professional skills or would like to fulfill their civic responsibility to consider serving.

The full list, including past unfilled positions, as well as new openings for July to December 2019 can be found on Governor Ricketts’ website Here.  Applying for one of these positions is easier than ever as it can be done online, printed and mailed or a PDF version of the application can be downloaded, filled out and emailed. For additional information please contact Dee in my office at 402-471-2627 or via email at daustin@leg.ne.gov 
MEET OUR TEAM

Dee Austin-Administrative Aide
Senator Carol Blood, District 3
Oliver VanDervoort-Legislative Aide

We are here to serve the residents of District 3 and we are happy to respond to any questions or concerns you may have.
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.
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.

SINCE LAST WEEK…

One of the most important things we are tasked with as State Senators and really the only thing we are constitutionally required to do is to pass the state budget. Not only must we pass the budget, but our constitution requires it to be a balanced budget. Last week, we got through the first round of debate fairly unscathed.

This week, LBs 294, 295, 296, 297, 298, and 299 came to the floor for the second round of debate. After several hours of discussion, they all advanced to final reading. These bills are incredibly comprehensive as they deal with making sure that state employees are paid, that funding for various infrastructure projects are funded, and the first steps towards getting real, tangible property tax relief are taken.

On the idea of property tax relief, the legislature is still going to have to hammer out some of the details, but it does appear there will be some coming in the very near future. How much and in what form is still going to take some tweaks and just how we arrive at the final numbers was once again a hot topic in the second round of debate. I expect even more debate before the session is over, but I will fight to get as much tax relief as is feasible when working under the budget constraints the state finds itself in.

All of the budget bills are slated for final debate next Tuesday as the legislature is on recess Friday and Monday. I expect come Tuesday night, the legislature will have officially adopted a budget and sent it to the Governor for his signature.

Sarpy County Legislative Breakfast
This morning I joined fellow State Senators to speak with, and listen to the concerns of citizens on events shaping this 2019 Legislative Session. The breakfast was held and hosted by Hillcrest Grand Lodge and the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce. A big thank you to Hillcrest and the Sarpy Chamber for the invitation.

L-R Senator Blood, Senator Crawford, Senator Clements, Senator La Grone and Senator Arch

Going Beyond That Which Divides Us – Day of Unity

Friends, please take a moment and review the information below. I’m hosting the ONLY showing of this movie in Nebraska.

It’s a small theater and there are only 60 seats left. An individual ticket is only $13.38 each. The event will be held at Village Pointe Cinema located at 304 N. 174th St on June 12th @ 6:30 p.m ONLY! 
You MUST order your tickets in advance. After the movie, we will have a live discussion from Washington DC with other participants across the US on this ONE DAY ONLY nationwide screening of the film. We will have handout materials after the film. NOTE: Fun fact, a woman from Norfolk, Nebraska was one of the travelers.
About the film:
Seeking to build a bridge of mutual understanding and friendship, a Canadian-Egyptian entrepreneur living in Switzerland decides to reach out to the very people who fear him. He travels across the United States to find Americans concerned about an Islamic threat and makes them an intriguing offer: a Free Trip to Egypt. Seeking to build a bridge of mutual understanding and friendship, a Canadian-Egyptian entrepreneur living in Switzerland decides to reach out to the very people who fear him. He travels across the United States to find Americans concerned about an Islamic threat and makes them an intriguing offer: a Free Trip to Egypt.

Peace Officers Memorial Day 2019 at the Capitol
On Wednesday, May 15th, the Governor announced that all U.S. and Nebraska flags were to flown at half-staff to honor fallen peace officers during Peace Officers Memorial Day. Flags were flown at half-staff until sunset. During this past week, visitors to the first floor rotunda were able to view a beautiful memorial display to honor the fallen.

Breaking Flood Assistance News

The deadline for government entities to submit a request for public assistance (RPA) has been extended to June 20. Officials can submit an RPA via the Grants Portal. Call 402-429-3389 if you have not received an email for the Grants Portal. http://ow.ly/6XTc50ug5WN #nebraskaflood

FEMA just extended the deadline for affected Nebraska residents to for disaster assistance. Don”t wait to apply!
To Apply: go to DisasterAssistance.gov or Call FEMA at 800-621-3362; (call 800-462-7585 TTY)   
Hours: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT seven days a week

Dodge and Sarpy Counties Disaster Centers Will Transition to Disaster Loan Outreach Centers

The Disaster Recovery Centers in Fremont and Bellevue, operated by the State of Nebraska and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), will close at 6 p.m. May 17, and reopen Monday, May 20, as Disaster Loan Outreach Centers operated by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

The Sarpy County location will remain at:
3802 Raynor Parkway, (Suite 201) – Bellevue, NE 68123
Open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m

The Dodge County Center location will reopen at:
Fremont City Auditorium – Community Room
925 N Broad Street – Fremont, NE 68025
Open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m

SBA customer service representatives will be available at the centers to meet individually with business, homeowners and renters to answer their questions, explain SBA’s disaster loan program, help complete applications and close approved loans.

Applicants may apply online using SBA’s secure website at:  disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

For questions or information, visit sba.gov/disaster. Help is also available by sending an email to: disastercustomerservice@sba.gov, or contacting the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955.

Help following a Disaster Recovery Center Closure 
After a Disaster Recovery Center closes, survivors can still get help by contacting FEMA in these ways:
• By phone, call FEMA’s toll-free registration line at 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585 (TTY).
• Online, visit DisasterAssistance.gov.
• On a smart phone, download the FEMA app and click on “disaster resources,” then “apply for assistance online.”

For more information on Nebraska disaster recovery, visit: fema.gov/disaster/4420.

             The Nebraska Family HELPLINE

One phone call can connect Nebraska families to the help they need when dealing with a child’s behavioral health problem. 1-888-866-8660 is staffed with trained counselors who are able to handle any problem, any time.
Learn more here.
NOTE: Hearing & Speech-impaired callers may utilize telecommunications relay services by calling 7-1-1 or through your own personal relay service.
#TeamBlood #HelpisHere

Governor Announces New Round of 
Board and Commission Openings

Public participation in government is at the heart of democracy, I encourage those who have a desire to shape policy, to be involved and give something back to our communities, would like to donate ones professional skills or would like to fulfill their civic responsibility to consider serving.

The full list, including past unfilled positions, as well as new openings for July to December 2019 can be found on Governor Ricketts’ website Here.  Applying for one of these positions is easier than ever as it can be done online, printed and mailed or a PDF version of the application can be downloaded, filled out and emailed.

For additional information please contact Dee in my office at 402-471-2627 or via email at daustin@leg.ne.gov 

MEET OUR TEAM

Dee Austin-Administrative Aide
Senator Carol Blood, District 3
Oliver VanDervoort-Legislative Aide

We are here to serve the residents of District 3 and we are happy to respond to any questions or concerns you may have.
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.
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.

Nebraska State Senator Carol Blood who represents District 3 encourages Sarpy county residents to pursue appointment to any of the dozens of openings on the Governor’s Board and Commission Openings list.

 

“Public participation in government is at the heart of democracy, stated Senator Blood.” “I encourage those who have a desire to shape policy, to be involved and give something back to our communities, would like to donate ones professional skills or would like to fulfill their civic responsibility to consider serving.”

 

The full list, including past unfilled positions, as well as new openings for July to December 2019 can be found on Governor Ricketts’ website at https://governor.nebraska.gov/board-comm-req.
Applying for one of these positions is easier than ever as it can be done online, printed and mailed or a PDF version of the application can be downloaded, filled out and emailed.

 

For additional information, please contact Senator Carol Blood’s office at 402-471-2627 or via email at cblood@leg.ne.gov.

Don’t Forget, the Deadline to Register for the Youth Unicameral is Wednesday, May 15th! 
More information below… SINCE LAST WEEK…
Two more of my bills have officially become law. LB6 makes it so that dependents of active duty military members who are accepted into Nebraska colleges won’t have to worry about paying out-of-state tuition fees if their family is deployed to another state before they can officially enroll. LB138 creates new honor plates and a “Support Our Troops” license plate. The money from LB138 will go into a fund created by this bill that will be used to recruit/retain retiring military in hopes of keeping this highly skilled workforce here in Nebraska.

LB690 aims at safe births for all women
I was proud to be able to be one of the cosponsors for Senator Cavanaugh’s LB690 this week. The bill makes it so that pregnant women who are incarcerated in our prison system cannot be shackled while they are giving birth.

There is an exception allowed if officials believe she will be a danger to those around. There are few in the legislature that know the dangers people encounter on a daily basis when working in a prison but shackling women when they are giving birth can be quite dangerous for the inmate and the soon to be arriving child. This is common sense legislation that passed through general file this week with 43 “yay” votes and no opposition.

First round of the state budget advances

One of the most important things we are tasked with as State Senators is to come up with and pass the budget. As you may know, we are constitutionally required to have a balanced budget, and Nebraska is one of the only states where that is the case.

On Wednesday, LBs 294, 295, 296, 297, 298, and 299 came to the floor for the first time this year. After several hours of discussion, they all advanced to select file. These bills are incredibly comprehensive as they deal with making sure that state employees are paid, that funding for various infrastructure projects are funded, and the first steps towards getting real, tangible property tax relief are taken.

On the idea of property tax relief, the legislature is still going to have to hammer out some of the details, but it does appear there will be some coming in the very near future. How much and in what form is still going to take some tweaks and more debate but I will fight to get as much as is feasible when working under the budget constraints the state finds itself in.

A Budget to Love or Hate
The proposed Appropriations Committee Budget Report is available online for you to view, see underlined link. If you find areas of concern or have questions, feel free to send them to me at cblood@leg.ne.gov or call my office and speak with my Legislative Aide, Oliver. I’m available to speak over the lunch hour as well, or we can set up a phone appointment. Happy reading…

Filling in for Senator Howard
On Friday morning, I was honored to fill in for my good friend, Senator Sarah Howard in presenting her LB248 on the floor.

Speaking of common sense legislation, this bill changes all references in state statute from “hearing impaired” to “deaf or hard of hearing.” Being deaf is not an “impairment” and the way these people are referred to in law can have an impact on perception. I’m proud to be a cosponsor on this.

On a sad note, the reason I was asked to present the bill for Senator Howard is because her father-in-law passed away earlier this week and his funeral was on Friday. My prayers and good wishes go out to Senator Howard and her family during this difficult time for them.

Military Spouse Appreciation Day
Military Spouse Appreciation Day is May 10 this year and is set to be celebrated the Friday before Mother’s Day every year.


People forget that the spouses and family members of active duty military personnel also serve. This is a way to honor the fact that they also have to pick up and move on short notice when a soldier is deployed to another state or country. They also have the added stress of watching their loved ones go off to fight. The day celebrates important contributions, support, and sacrifices of military spouses in the middle of Military Appreciation Month which is every May.

A Week of Appreciation

This past week gave us the opportunity to honor two extraordinary groups of American workers as we celebrated National Nurses Week along with National Teachers Week. It is only fitting that these two go hand-in-hand as they truly change lives, and play vital roles in our communities. From patient and student care, to advocacy and innovation, they are there to help us learn and live healthier every day. Thank you ALL for all you do to make our lives better!

A special shout out to one of my favorite teachers, Mr. Gould. Mr. Gould taught me Drama, English and Debate at Adams Central High in Hastings. Mr. Gould, or Charlie as many know him now, is retired and lives in Omaha. Thank you Mr. Gould for the great start you helped give me, especially in the art of Debate.

Spring at the State Capitol

More great visits from District 3 Schools this week!

Bell Elementary 

A visit by fourth graders from Bell Elementary inclued a student whose poster was recognized by Governor Ricketts during a recent ceremony at the Capitol. The Governor presented awards to winners of the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency’s (Nema) Severe Weather Awareness Poster Contest. The poster by Jack Baarson of Papillion, (photo below) was chosen as top prize. Jack was unable to join his mother during the Capitol ceremony in March, so we took the opportunity of his class visit to finally meet.

NEMA Poster winner Jack Baarson of Papillion 

Golden Hills Elementary
Monday found the Legislature in Recess, me in Iowa to meet our newest Grandson, Samuel, and my Administrative Assistant speaking with fourth graders from Golden Hills Elementary in Bellevue. I have it on good authority these students knew the three branches of Government and all about the Unicameral.

     L-R: Dee Austin and Golden Hills fourth grade students 

I am always honored to speak with students as they visit our beautiful Capitol and busy Legislature. Thank you District 3 schools for always being great sports and so well informed!

                              The Nebraska Family HELPLINE

One phone call can connect Nebraska families to the help they need when dealing with a child’s behavioral health problem. 1-888-866-8660 is staffed with trained counselors who are able to handle any problem, any time. Learn more here.
NOTE: Hearing & Speech-impaired callers may utilize telecommunications relay services by calling 7-1-1 or through your own personal relay service.
#TeamBlood #HelpisHere
Nebraska Medicine and the Greater Bellevue Area Chamber of Commerce Presents The Bellevue Offutt Runway Run 2019
Nebraska Medicine, The Greater Bellevue Area Chamber of Commerce and Offutt Air Force Base are proud to present the annual Runway Run which includes a 5K (3.1 mile) run including the runway.
Please join in celebrating our Air Force while promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Date: Saturday, May 11, 2019
Check-in Time: Begins 6:00 am
5 K Race Begins: 7:00 am – Route Sweep 9:00 am
Starting Point: Run begins & ends at the Bellevue Public Schools Lied Activity Center – 2600 Arboretum Dr. (Intersection of Fort Crook Road and Hwy 370)
Registration Fees:
On/before April 18 – $25.00 (free shirt)
After April 18 – $30.00 (no shirt)
On-site Registrations: $40 – 5:45 am to 6:30 am (no shirt)
Contact: Lisa Wilson 402-452-3901
Email: lisa@bellevuenebraska.com
Deadline to Apply is May 15th!

RESERVE YOUR SEAT SOON FOR YOUTH UNICAMERAL!  
The Unicameral Youth Legislature convenes June 9-12, 2019, and is open to all high school students. Registration includes lodging, meals (including lunch at the Governor’s Residence) and transportation from UNL’s East Campus to the State Capitol. The deadline to enter is May 15. The Greg Adams Civic Scholarship covers the full cost of admission. Applicants must submit a short essay. Other scholarships are also available – for more information, visit here.

APPLY FOR A BOARD OR COMMISSION

It’s that time of year again when there are all kinds of boards and commissions in the state that are looking for dedicated citizens to serve. These positions are appointed by the governor and range in topics from Juvenile Justice to Geology. 
If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please visit to the Governor’s website here. You will be able to find a listing of every board that has an opening, as well as a brief synopsis of what is involved. You can also find an application here. Our state is a better place to live and raise our families when our citizens step up and get involved.
We are here to serve the residents of District 3 and we are happy to respond to any questions or concerns you may have.
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.
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.
SINCE LAST WEEK…
On the legislature floor, two of my bills were sent to the governor’s desk. LB6 passed on final reading meaning that very soon, dependents of active duty military members who are accepted into Nebraska colleges won’t have to worry about paying out of state tuition fees if their family is deployed before they can officially enroll. Also LB138 which creates new honor plates and a “Support Our Troops” license plate. The funds from LB138 will go into a fund also created by this bill that will be used to recruit/retain retiring military in hopes of keeping this highly skilled workforce here in Nebraska.
The Capitol Falcon and her Chicks
You might have heard about the falcons that have long made their home on the state capitol. The building has a camera and (admittedly low definition) television in the center of the first floor that constantly monitors their condition and what’s going on up there. These days, she’s spending quite a bit of time in the nest and it’s rumored this new mama recently hatched four chicks!


Photo compliments of Nebraska Game and Parks
If you would like to follow the progress of Ms. Falcon and her Chicks from home or work, go to here to view Game and Park’s Peregrine FalconCam.

The PSYPACT goes live

The PSYPACT is finally fully operational. Nebraska became the fifth state to join the Psychologists Pact in 2018 with my LB686 that was eventually folded into the bigger Health and Human Services Committee Priority Bill. In order to actually take effect, the Pact needed seven states to join. Last Tuesday, Georgia became that seventh state and next January, Illinois will become number eight.

That means that licensed Psychologists from Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, and Georgia will be able to practice in Nebraska without having to go through the lengthy process of getting licensed and tested in this state. Likewise, psychologists from Nebraska will be able to travel to those other six states and lend a hand without needing to get an extra license in those locations.

The goal of legislation like this is to make sure that there is a standardized, high level of care across state lines. It’s also geared towards allowing remote areas that might be otherwise underserved by mental health experts to receive better care and attention. through telemedicine.

This is also something that can be a real help to active duty military families. Should they be in one of these other states and then deployed in Nebraska, a military spouse that is a licensed psychologist will be able to start practicing and working that much quicker. The PSYPACT being fully operational is very good news and I expect more states to start joining much quicker now that it’s active.

School Visit Season at the Capitol

Spring is in full bloom at the Capitol and most days you will find our halls filled with excited students from all across Nebraska.

A privilege that comes with being a State Senator in Nebraska, is the opportunity to talk with those students who visit from schools in our Districts. This past week gave me the honor of speaking with a large group of fourth-graders from Chandler View Elementary in Bellevue.

Accompanying the fourth graders from Chandler View was their teacher, and my good friend, Debbie Cline. What a nice surprise!

A Kindness Agent
Following a hectic and at times emotion-filled week in the Legislature, this beautiful orchid was delivered to our office along with a very kind note. The note thanked me for standing up for the women of Nebraska. It is always my pleasure and my duty to represent my district, and all of Nebraska. We are in this together and I am so grateful for this gift.

The Nebraska Family HELPLINE

One phone call can connect Nebraska families to the help they need when dealing with a child’s behavioral health problem. 1-888-866-8660 is staffed with trained counselors who are able to handle any problem, any time. Learn more here.
NOTE: Hearing & Speech-impaired callers may utilize telecommunications relay services by calling 7-1-1 or through your own personal relay service.
 #TeamBlood #HelpisHere
Nebraska Medicine and the Greater Bellevue Area Chamber of Commerce Presents The Bellevue Offutt Runway Run 2019
Nebraska Medicine, The Greater Bellevue Area Chamber of Commerce and Offutt Air Force Base are proud to present the annual Runway Run which includes a 5K (3.1 mile) run including the runway.
Please join in celebrating our Air Force while promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Date: Saturday, May 11, 2019
Check-in Time: Begins 6:00 am
5 K Race Begins: 7:00 am – Route Sweep 9:00 am
Starting Point: Run begins & ends at the Bellevue Public Schools Lied Activity Center – 2600 Arboretum Dr. (Intersection of Fort Crook Road and Hwy 370)
Registration Fees:
On/before April 18 – $25.00 (free shirt)
After April 18 – $30.00 (no shirt)
On-site Registrations: $40 – 5:45 am to 6:30 am (no shirt)
Contact: Lisa Wilson 402-452-3901
Email: lisa@bellevuenebraska.com
Deadline to Apply is May 15th!

RESERVE YOUR SEAT SOON FOR YOUTH UNICAMERAL!  
The Unicameral Youth Legislature convenes June 9-12, 2019, and is open to all high school students. Registration includes lodging, meals (including lunch at the Governor’s Residence) and transportation from UNL’s East Campus to the State Capitol. The deadline to enter is May 15. The Greg Adams Civic Scholarship covers the full cost of admission. Applicants must submit a short essay. Other scholarships are also available – for more information, visit here.

APPLY FOR A BOARD OR COMMISSION

It’s that time of year again when there are all kinds of boards and commissions in the state that are looking for dedicated citizens to serve. These positions are appointed by the governor and range in topics from Juvenile Justice to Geology. 
If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please visit to the Governor’s website here. You will be able to find a listing of every board that has an opening, as well as a brief synopsis of what is involved. You can also find an application here. Our state is a better place to live and raise our families when our citizens step up and get involved.
We are here to serve the residents of District 3 and we are happy to respond to any questions or concerns you may have.
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.
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.

SINCE LAST WEEK… 

When it comes to my bills this year, they just keep moving right along. LB6 went from select file to final reading earlier this week. The bill allows military dependents that were accepted to a Nebraska college but then had to subsequently move out of the state with their family can still enroll at the college using in-state tuition rates. This is yet another part of the effort to make sure that Nebraska is getting graded as “Military Friendly”.

On that note, I also supported a bill brought by Senator Lindstrom that will go a long way towards protecting Offutt and the surrounding area, including the Papillion Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant and another approximately 6,000 acres of land. LB177 advanced to Select file after a prolonged debate that required cloture and I believe it required cloture because there is a misunderstanding of what the NRD does and has been doing.

The bill extends the bonding authority of local NRDs from the end of this year, until December of 2024. By doing this we are continuing to allow the NRDs to do exactly what they are supposed to be doing, without having to overcome unnecessary hurdles.

The NRDs have been working tirelessly for almost eight years to make sure that the Missouri River Levee System R-613 & R-616 are repaired and rehabilitated. That’s the levee I referenced earlier, and it’s one that is vital to keeping the economy in Nebraska humming. It’s also a project that began so long ago, the initial $25 million estimate is out of date. Foot-dragging and some unforeseen problems have popped up during the nearly decade long project.

By extending the bonding authority, we are going to be saving taxpayers money. Effective flood control infrastructure saves taxpayer money in the future, not to mention protecting area homes and businesses.

The NRD works hard, they make the most of the funds they have and it only makes sense to expand their bonding authority to the point where they can safely complete the levee project and others that might arise.

Keeping Our Unicameral Non-Partisan
Many of you have reached out to me this week about my comments on the floor regarding the importance of keeping our body moving forward in a non-partisan fashion. I am not afraid to share my views when it comes to protecting this noble institution.

In order to serve the public to the best of our ability, we must stand up and speak when party politics enters our doors to try and influence Nebraska Senators, or when there are attempts to discredit those serving in opposing parties by spinning the truth or being outright cruel.

The bottom line is that Nebraska has a unique system that has worked well for decades. This isn’t Washington DC and our job is to get things done in a timely fashion, not play party politics with filibusters and bad behavior. We must rise above those shenanigans and stay focused on what is important…serving the residents of Nebraska.

Sarpy County EARTH DAY 
SUNDAY, APRIL 28, 12 – 4 PM


Prescription Drug Take Back Day is
Saturday, April 27
The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. 6 MILLION Americans misused controlled prescription drugs according to a 2017 National Survey. The study revealed that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from a home medicine cabinet. More Information
School Visit Season at the Capitol
Spring is in full bloom at the Capitol, as most days we find our halls filled with excited students from all over the state. This past Wednesday, I was excited to speak with a group of happy Papillion/LaVIsta 4th graders and their teachers, from Anderson Grove Elementary. These students were well prepared they answered each question asked them, correctly. I am quite positive I saw more than one future Senator in this group.

Today is Arbor Day in Nebraska
National Arbor Day is celebrated every year on the last Friday in April; it is a civic holiday in Nebraska. Other states have selected their own dates to celebrate. The customary observance is to plant a tree.  On the first Arbor Day, April 10, 1872, an estimated one million trees were planted. We should do that again!

Nebraska Association of School Boards Luncheon
Last Thursday, staff from my office met with school board members and administrators from districts across Nebraska at the NASB luncheon and discussion on the current Legislative session, advocacy efforts led by local school board members, and the chance to meet with their Senator(s). It’s always great to meet administration from the Bellevue Public School System.
April is National Safe Digging Month! 
NEBRASKA 811 Safe Digging 
“Know what’s below, Call before you dig”
To find more information about services provided by Nebraska 811 go here
Before you dig, please call 800-331-5666 or 811.
The Nebraska Family HELPLINE
One phone call can connect Nebraska families to the help they need when dealing with a child’s behavioral health problem. 1-888-866-8660 is staffed with trained counselors who are able to handle any problem, any time. Learn more here.
NOTE: Hearing & Speech-impaired callers may utilize telecommunications relay services by calling 7-1-1 or through your own personal relay service.
 #TeamBlood #HelpisHere
Nebraska Medicine and the Greater Bellevue Area Chamber of Commerce Presents
 The Bellevue Offutt Runway Run 2019
Nebraska Medicine, The Greater Bellevue Area Chamber of Commerce and Offutt Air Force Base are proud to present the annual Runway Run which includes a 5K (3.1 mile) run including the runway.
Please join in celebrating our Air Force while promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Date: Saturday, May 11, 2019
Check-in Time: Begins 6:00 am
5 K Race Begins: 7:00 am – Route Sweep 9:00 am
Starting Point: Run begins & ends at the Bellevue Public Schools Lied Activity Center – 2600 Arboretum Dr. (Intersection of Fort Crook Road and Hwy 370)
Registration Fees:
On/before April 18 – $25.00 (free shirt)
After April 18 – $30.00 (no shirt)
On-site Registrations: $40 – 5:45 am to 6:30 am (no shirt)
ontact: Lisa Wilson 402-452-3901
Email: lisa@bellevuenebraska.com
Deadline to Apply is May 15th!
RESERVE YOUR SEAT SOON FOR YOUTH UNICAMERAL!  
The Unicameral Youth Legislature convenes June 9-12, 2019, and is open to all high school students. Registration includes lodging, meals (including lunch at the Governor’s Residence) and transportation from UNL’s East Campus to the State Capitol. The deadline to enter is May 15. The Greg Adams Civic Scholarship covers the full cost of admission. Applicants must submit a short essay. Other scholarships are also available – for more information, visit here.

APPLY FOR A BOARD OR COMMISSION

It’s that time of year again when there are all kinds of boards and commissions in the state that are looking for dedicated citizens to serve. These positions are appointed by the governor and range in topics from Juvenile Justice to Geology. 
If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please visit to the Governor’s website here. You will be able to find a listing of every board that has an opening, as well as a brief synopsis of what is involved. You can also find an application here. Our state is a better place to live and raise our families when our citizens step up and get involved.
We are here to serve the residents of District 3 and we are happy to respond to any questions or concerns you may have.

SINCE LAST WEEK… 

Photo Credit: Lance Corporal Vincent White, U.S. Marine Corps
LB 138 passed through General File this past Monday morning. This bill adds 5 new honor plates for those who served and earned the Iraq, Afghanistan, Southwest Asia, or Vietnam War Campaign Medals, or earned the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.  Also included in the bill, is a new plate for those who have not served, but wish to show support for our military – this plate will sport the phrase “Support Our Troops.” Funds from the support plates go to the Veterans Employment Fund and will be used to recruit and retain the highly qualified workforce we hope will stay or come to Nebraska and participate in our economy. Many thanks to the 37 Senators who voted “Aye” to move the bill forward!
UNL Undergraduates Bring Research
and Creative Projects to the Legislature


R-L: Douglas DeBose, Jacob Scheele, Nichole Brady and Brook MottUniversity of Nebraska
Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol 

UNL Undergraduate Research Day was held at the Capitol this past week. Staff from my office were honored to attend a breakfast at which 25 student research teams from across Nebraska presented research or creative projects they conducted under the guidance of faculty mentors. It was an excellent opportunity to learn more about some of the critical research activities taking place at University of Nebraska campuses, and how UNL UCARE helps shape the next generation of researchers, scientists, engineers and artists. Following presentations, the students enjoyed a visit to the Legislature and a tour of the Capitol. All 25 posters were put on display in the 1st Floor Rotunda.
Mayor Kindig and his Youth Leadership Council
On Monday, Mayor Kindig brought the Youth Council to Lincoln where I had the distinct honor of speaking with them about their Nebraska Legislature, why I decided to run for and serve in public office, and why it’s important for all of them, especially the young women, to consider a career in public service… maybe even in the Nebraska State Legislature.
Started by LaVista Mayor Douglas Kindig, the Youth Leadership Council is a program designed to encourage middle and high school students to become active in their community by participating in in local government. Students selected to the Council attend City Council, Board and Commission meetings where they see first-hand the process in action, and offer a young persons perspective on issues of local concern. If you know a LaVista teen who might be interested in being a part of Mayor Kindig’s Youth Leadership Council, please go here for more information.
Former Senators Visit the Legislature
Just before recess on Wednesday, we were visited by those who came before us. Former Senators from across the years and miles of our great state shook hands and chatted with friends and former colleagues. It was an honor to see them all!
April is National Safe Digging Month! 
NEBRASKA 811 Safe Digging 
“Know what’s below, Call before you dig”
To find more information about services provided by Nebraska 811 go here
Before you dig, please call 800-331-5666 or 811.
The Nebraska Family HELPLINE
One phone call can connect Nebraska families to the help they need when dealing with a child’s behavioral health problem. 1-888-866-8660 is staffed with trained counselors who are able to handle any problem, any time. Learn more here.
NOTE: Hearing & Speech-impaired callers may utilize telecommunications relay services by calling 7-1-1 or through your own personal relay service.
#TeamBlood #HelpisHereNebraska Medicine and the Greater Bellevue Area Chamber of Commerce Presents The Bellevue Offutt Runway Run 2019
Nebraska Medicine, The Greater Bellevue Area Chamber of Commerce and Offutt Air Force Base are proud to present the annual Runway Run which includes a 5K (3.1 mile) run including the runway.


Please join in celebrating our Air Force while promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Date: Saturday, May 11, 2019
Check-in Time: Begins 6:00 am
5 K Race Begins: 7:00 am – Route Sweep 9:00 am
Starting Point: Run begins & ends at the Bellevue Public Schools Lied Activity Center – 2600 Arboretum Dr. (Intersection of Fort Crook Road and Hwy 370)
Registration Fees:
On/before April 18 – $25.00 (free shirt)
After April 18 – $30.00 (no shirt)
On-site Registrations: $40 – 5:45 am to 6:30 am (no shirt)
Contact: Lisa Wilson 402-452-3901
Email: lisa@bellevuenebraska.com

RESERVE YOUR SEAT SOON FOR YOUTH UNICAMERAL!  

The Unicameral Youth Legislature convenes June 9-12, 2019, and is open to all high school students. Registration includes lodging, meals (including lunch at the Governor’s Residence) and transportation from UNL’s East Campus to the State Capitol. The deadline to enter is May 15. The Greg Adams Civic Scholarship covers the full cost of admission. Applicants must submit a short essay. Other scholarships are also available – for more information, visit here.
APPLY FOR A BOARD OR COMMISSION
It’s that time of year again when there are all kinds of boards and commissions in the state that are looking for dedicated citizens to serve. These positions are appointed by the governor and range in topics from Juvenile Justice to Geology. 
If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please visit to the Governor’s website here. You will be able to find a listing of every board that has an opening, as well as a brief synopsis of what is involved. You can also find an application here. Our state is a better place to live and raise our families when our citizens step up and get involved.
MEET OUR INTERNS!
  Moriah Locklear

Our office has had the good fortune of having two very talented interns working with us this session. Moriah Locklear is a Ph.D. candidate at UNL and will be graduating in May of 2020, having already gotten her undergraduate degree from Ohio State. Moriah would like to pursue a career working in policy at the federal level after graduating from Nebraska. Since coming to my office, she’s been an invaluable asset when it comes to researching topics we brought this year and will be bringing next session.

  Ryan O’Grady
Ryan is a lifelong resident of Bellevue and a 2015 graduate of Bellevue East High School. He attended the University of Nebraska – Lincoln from 2015-2018, where he studied Secondary Education in the College of Education and Human Sciences. During the summers from 2014 to 2016, Ryan worked with ISEC Summer School students for the Bellevue Public School System. Family and pets aside, Ryan is most passionate about education and politics.

We are grateful to have both Moriah and Ryan as part of Team Blood!
We are here to serve the residents of District 3 and we are happy to respond to any questions or concerns you may have.
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 GovernmentFor 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.

Legislative Update, April 12
April 12th, 2019
SINCE LAST WEEK… 
It was a good week for two of my bills that will help Nebraska’s Military Families. LB6 allows for dependents of active duty military members who are accepted into a Nebraska college but then assigned to another state, to continue to receive in-state tuition and has made it through the first round of voting. This bill is one of ten priorities shared by the Department of Defense Military Community & Family Policy Office. Meeting these particular priorities will go a long way to helping Nebraska gain a “Military Friendly” designation. Our office will continue to work on this cause as Offutt Air Force Base is Nebraska’s #1 employer, not to mention that we want all Military Families to feel welcome in our great state.. We do not expect the bill to have any issues as we get closer to a final reading.LB15, my hearing aid bill has moved onto the next phase, as it was advanced through select file this week. We also started the debate on LB138 on Thursday and will pick it up again on Monday. While the bill will create a couple of new license plates, including one that will honor Vietnam veterans, and a Support Our Troops plate, the real benefit is the fund that will be started from the proceeds of these plates that will be used to recruit veterans to stay in Nebraska and come to Nebraska when their tours are over. We have to stop the brain drain going on right now and this bill will help do that.

MEET OUR INTERNS!


Moriah Locklear
Our office has had the good fortune of having two very talented interns working with us this session. Moriah Locklear is a Ph.D. candidate at UNL and will be graduating in May of 2020, having already gotten her undergraduate degree from Ohio State. Moriah would like to pursue a career working in policy at the federal level after graduating from Nebraska. Since coming to my office, she’s been an invaluable asset when it comes to researching topics we brought this year and will be bringing next session.


    Ryan O’Grady
Another recent addition to our office is intern, Ryan O’Grady. Ryan is a lifelong resident of Bellevue and a 2015 graduate of Bellevue East High School. He attended the University of Nebraska – Lincoln from 2015-2018, where he studied Secondary Education in the College of Education and Human Sciences. During the summers from 2014 to 2016, Ryan worked with ISEC Summer School students for the Bellevue Public School System. Family and pets aside, Ryan is most passionate about education and politics. We are grateful to have both Moriah and Ryan as part of Team Blood!

The Volunteers of Lady’s Day Out
Lady’s Day Out at Silver Ridge Assisted Living 
Silver Ridge Assisted Living in Gretna was the setting for friends from Bellevue, Gretna, Millard, Omaha, and Papillion, to gather and give the women of Silver Ridge the gift of a manicure and conversation. There were smiles all around as these volunteers took time out of their busy Sundays to share with new friends. This is an ongoing project I began last year, and if you would like to join us in volunteering, please call our office at 402-471-2627. Volunteers only need bring their smiles and a willing heart to serve others.April is National Save Digging Month! 
NEBRASKA 811 Safe Digging Poster Contest
On Monday April 8th I was excited to help welcome Safe Digging Poster Contest winners to the Capitol. One of the 12 winners from schools across Nebraska was Myla Aiello-Valenzuela, a fourth-grade student from Peter Sarpy Elementary in Bellevue. Myla and her father didn’t come to the Capitol alone, they brought along Myla’s teacher, Ms. Jennifer Huff, and her entire class. Following a short ceremony, the happy fourth graders received a world-class tour of the state capitol.  The winning posters from all 12 schools were on display in the main floor rotunda. Each school with a winning poster will receive an educational presentation by staff of Nebraska 811, a plaque, a bench for the school yard, and a new tree planted on school grounds. The day scheduled for the Peter Sarpy Elementary presentation and planting, is April 24th.
Congratulations to Myla, Ms. Huff, and the students of Peter Sarpy Elementary!

The Winning Poster by Myla Aiello-Valenzuela
“Know what’s below, Call before you dig”
To find more information about service provided by Nebraska 811 please call 800-331-5666 or 811.

Ms. Jennifer Huff’s fourth grade Peter Sarpy Elementary class. (Front row center is artist Myla Aiello-Valenzuela) 


LINEWORKER APPRECIATION DAY! 

Did you know that April 8th was also Lineworker Appreciation Day at the State Capitol? A Lineworker is a tradesperson who constructs and maintains electric power transmission lines, telecommunications lines and distribution lines. Their work is generally done outside and up high. On-the-job training to become a lineworker is available through IBEW-NECA Electrical Training Alliance or from employers. Besides working in a variety of weather conditions, electrical line workers have a physically demanding job that requires lifting, climbing poles and the trenching of underground cables. Lineworkers from across the state of Nebraska traveled to the Capitol to be honored by Governor Ricketts and with a display in the main floor rotunda by the welcome kiosk.
We have proudly checked #10 of the 10 Key Personnel and Readiness Issues Supporting Service Members and Families List as we moved LB6 (In-State Tuition Continuity) through General File on Wednesday. I am grateful to my peers in the Legislature for supporting this cause and to the the Military Community and  Family Policy Office at the Department of Defense (DOD) for their guidance. Onward and Upward!!! #TeamBlood
One phone call can connect Nebraska families to the help they need when dealing with a child’s behavioral health problem. 1-888-866-8660 is staffed with trained counselors who are able to handle any problem, any time. Learn more here.
NOTE: Hearing & Speech-impaired callers may utilize telecommunications relay services by calling 7-1-1 or through your own personal relay service.
#TeamBlood #HelpisHereNebraska Medicine and the Greater Bellevue Area Chamber of Commerce Presents The Bellevue Offutt Runway Run 2019
Nebraska Medicine, The Greater Bellevue Area Chamber of Commerce and Offutt Air Force Base are proud to present the annual Runway Run which includes a 5K (3.1 mile) run including the runway.

Please join in celebrating our Air Force while promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Date: Saturday, May 11, 2019
Check-in Time: Begins 6:00 am
5 K Race Begins: 7:00 am – Route Sweep 9:00 am
Starting Point: Run begins & ends at the Bellevue Public Schools Lied Activity Center – 2600 Arboretum Dr. (Intersection of Fort Crook Road and Hwy 370)
Registration Fees:
On/before April 18 – $25.00 (free shirt)
After April 18 – $30.00 (no shirt)
On-site Registrations: $40 – 5:45 am to 6:30 am (no shirt)
Contact: Lisa Wilson 402-452-3901
Email: lisa@bellevuenebraska.com

RESERVE YOUR SEAT SOON FOR YOUTH UNICAMERAL!  
The Unicameral Youth Legislature convenes June 9-12, 2019, and is open to all high school students. Registration includes lodging, meals (including lunch at the Governor’s Residence) and transportation from UNL’s East Campus to the State Capitol. The deadline to enter is May 15. The Greg Adams Civic Scholarship covers the full cost of admission. Applicants must submit a short essay. Other scholarships are also available – for more information, visit here.

APPLY FOR A BOARD OR COMMISSION
It’s that time of year again when there are all kinds of boards and commissions in the state that are looking for dedicated citizens to serve. These positions are appointed by the governor and range in topics from Juvenile Justice to Geology. 

If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please visit to the Governor’s website here. You will be able to find a listing of every board that has an opening, as well as a brief synopsis of what is involved. You can also find an application here. Our state is a better place to live and raise our families when our citizens step up and get involved.
We are here to serve the residents of District 3 and we are happy to respond to any questions or concerns you may have.
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 GovernmentFor 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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