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

It was another busy and productive week, despite the fact that it was the first week since hearings started that we didn’t have a bill go through committee. We’ll change that this week, with my Meat Labeling bill, LB 594 in front of the Agriculture Committee Tuesday afternoon.

This is a bill that aims to bring truth in food advertising and set up a complaint-driven system for people who see something like a package of “BBQ shreds” that don’t have any meat in them who feel as though the labeling is misleading or confusing.

Under LB594, someone who feels as though a company is intentionally misleading people into thinking vegetarian offerings are in fact meat could contact authorities who would investigate the issue using the Deceptive Trade Practices Act as well as the Pure Food Act and decide whether prosecution or civil action can be taken.

I feel in the long run, this will lead to more honest advertising and marketing by companies that are jumping into the meat-replacement market. This will also protect ag producers in our state who already follow specific guidelines when it comes to labeling and marketing. Many of our livestock producers may be losing out because of these misleading products being sold to those who are looking to buy beef, chicken or pork products. While it has gone through some changes since it was first introduced, including an amendment I am presenting at the hearing, we believe it will do what we’ve always wanted it to do in regards to protecting the industries that are the lifeblood of this state.

A bill that is a repeat from last year, LB9 will go in front of the Government committee this Thursday, February 21. This will prohibit cities, counties, and villages from taxing or regulating distributed ledger technology . This is a technology that is usually associated with Bitcoin but is used in a variety of transactions including banking and real estate. In many ways, these kinds of transactions and the contract that can be created using digital ledger technology are more secure than offline contracts and certainly more efficient.

My bill avoids potential piecemeal ordinances on the technology. It also sends a clear message that Nebraska is a place where companies that use DLT can feel comfortable doing business without unnecessary hurdles.

LINCOLN’S BIRTHDAY
In honor of the 210th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, on February 12, 1809, the 106th Legislature began today’s session with a Presentation of Colors ceremony after the Morning Prayer. The colors were posted by the Nebraska Department of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

After the Civil War, the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was formed as the first-ever fraternal organization for veterans. In 1881 the Grand Army of the Republic created the Sons of Union Veterans to carry on the memory and traditions of the G.A.R. after the last G.A.R. members were gone. Today, the Sons of Union Veterans are recognized by Congress as a Veteran’s organization, charged with keeping alive the memory of those who served our country during the Civil War, 1861 to 1865.

In addition to their Presentation of Colors, the Sons of Union Veterans had an honor guard posted at the Lincoln Statue at the west entrance. As you can see, freezing cold temperatures and icy walkways wouldn’t stop these men from doing their duty on this important day.

PREPARING THE NEXT GENERATION
I was visited by the Papillion La Vista High Ability Learners program last week as well. We discussed how the Legislature works, how legislation is crafted, things they can do now to prepare themselves to be great leaders in the future and chatted on a long list of legislation.


I was impressed by the questions they asked and how they think about the issues the state and the country are facing.

CELEBRATING ANOTHER IMPORTANT BIRTHDAY
While Abraham Lincoln might have turned over 200 last week, we are also celebrating the 150th birthday of the University of Nebraska. As part of our ongoing efforts to recognize how important the University is to the state,  I chatted with representatives of the Douglas/Sarpy County Extension Program about the many programs they offer for both rural and urban residents.

YOU ARE OUR SECOND HOUSE
Our office LOVES to see our District 3 residents come and testify on the bills they feel passionate about. We also understand that with work, weather and other responsibilities that testifying in person may not work out for everyone. We offer the following information to guide you, if you are new to the process. We cannot stress how important it is for you to use your voice, because you ARE Nebraska’s second house.

If you would like to send your information via email, be sure to send it to the senator who chairs the committee, include your name and address and ask within the body of the email that it be included in the official record. Feel free to copy our office on any emails.

If you are unable to attend, you may send a letter or email expressing support, opposition or neutral testimony to a committee during a bill’s public hearing. If you wish to send a written letter, address correspondence to the office of the senator who chairs the committee and allow enough time for the letter to arrive the day prior to the hearing. Be sure to include your name and address in the letter.

Remember to turn off your cell phones when you enter the hearing room to avoid any disruptions.

Be prepared to answer questions on your testimony. Committee members often request additional information or have questions on the testimony you have offered. Testifiers are not allowed to ask questions of committee members.

Most committees limit testimony to three to five minutes, and we encourage you to not repeat testimony that has already been offered by previous testifiers. If you are providing a written testimony, try to summarize your main points instead of reading your testimony verbatim. The Senators would like to hear what you have to say. However, in most cases, there are numerous people who will also testify.

Before testifying at a committee hearing, you must fill out the green sheet provided in the hearing room. Once you are seated at the testifier’s table, please identify yourself, spell your first and last name and say what organization you represent, if any. Always speak directly into the microphone to help out the committee transcribers who will type the transcripts of the hearing for public record.

If you are providing printed copies of your testimony to share with the committee, please bring enough copies for each committee member, plus three more for support staff. We encourage you to call ahead to see if the committee prefers electronic submissions.

If you follow my page “Senator Carol Blood” on Facebook, I do try to provide links to the hearings so you can watch them live on your computer or smart phone. If you have questions or concerns, please be sure to reach out to any of our District 3 Team Members.

MEET OUR TEAM
Dee Austin-Administrative Aide

Senator Carol Blood, District 3
Oliver VanDervoort-Legislative AideWe are here to serve the residents of District 3 and we are happy to respond to any questions or concerns you may have.

It has been another productive week for District 3. Three bills received hearings last week, we’ve now had 13 of my 17 total bills heard in their respective committees. It is our hope that they will be voted out for full debate.

Last Tuesday, LB138 was presented to the Transportation and Telecommunications committee. This is a bill that would create license plates to honor veterans of the Iraq, Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf war, War on Terrorism or the Vietnam war. This bill would also create a “Support Our Troops” plate that anyone can purchase. Funds from the “Support Our Troops” plate will be used to amp up our efforts to recruit soon to be separated or retiring veterans to stay and enter Nebraska’s job market. We must work harder to keep this highly qualified demographic in our state. The bill didn’t have any opposition and I expect it to get to the legislature floor for full debate.

On Wednesday, we had the hearing for LR2. This is a Legislative Resolution that would rescind any resolutions that call for a constitutional convention that were passed over a period of decades here in Nebraska. One was passed before the turn of the 20th century in 1893. In total, there were eleven old resolutions outstanding, causing confusion as well as very real legal hurdles.  Many experts have explained the pressing need to rescind all of these ancient, outstanding Article V resolutions in order to remove any confusion and to start fresh. By cleaning the slate LR2 would do exactly that and any new efforts for an Article V convention will not be butting heads with old, out of date resolutions.

We also presented LB113 to the Judiciary Committee. That bill, paired with LB114 
works to make sure that the Department of Corrections is carrying out its own policies to the letter of the law. A small part of our overcrowding issue can be better addressed by simply adhering to the existing rules that are designed to move the inmate(s) through the system smoothly as they work to rehabilitate themselves to re-enter society.

Among those that have been voted out of committee, LB 12 my military spouse realtor’s bill is on final reading and almost ready for the Governor’s signature. LB 7 The Counterfeit Airbag Protection Act just passed through the first round of voting, without a single “no” vote at the end of last week.

A bill on advanced enrollment for children of active duty military members and a tool for Inter-local Agreements have passed through General File. Both are set for Select File early this week. I expect more of my bills to get voted out of committee this week while I prepare to present my last four bills in upcoming hearings.

Those hearings include my meat labeling bill, LB594 which seeks to make sure that insect-based, plant-based or lab-grown products are not billing themselves as meat products. It is a consumer-driven bill that protects Nebraska’s number one industry. That bill will be heard in front of the Agriculture committee on Tuesday, February 19. Next Friday, February 22nd LB9, my Digital Ledger Technology bill will be heard in the Government committee. If you are interested in testifying at the hearing for either of these bills or want to send a letter of support, please don’t hesitate to contact my office.

YOU ARE OUR SECOND HOUSE
Our office LOVES to see our District 3 residents come and testify on the bills they feel passionate about. We also understand that with work, weather and other responsibilities that testifying in person may not work out for everyone. We offer the following information to guide you, if you are new to the process. We cannot stress how important it is for you to use your voice, because you ARE Nebraska’s second house.

If you would like to send your information via email, be sure to send it to the senator who chairs the committee, include your name and address and ask within the body of the email that it be included in the official record. Feel free to copy our office on any emails.

If you are unable to attend, you may send a letter or email expressing support, opposition or neutral testimony to a committee during a bill’s public hearing. If you wish to send a written letter, address correspondence to the office of the senator who chairs the committee and allow enough time for the letter to arrive the day prior to the hearing. Be sure to include your name and address in the letter.

Remember to turn off your cell phones when you enter the hearing room to avoid any disruptions.

Be prepared to answer questions on your testimony. Committee members often request additional information or have questions on the testimony you have offered. Testifiers are not allowed to ask questions of committee members.

Most committees limit testimony to three to five minutes, and we encourage you to not repeat testimony that has already been offered by previous testifiers. If you are providing a written testimony, try to summarize your main points instead of reading your testimony verbatim. The Senators would like to hear what you have to say. However, in most cases, there are numerous people who will also testify.

Before testifying at a committee hearing, you must fill out the green sheet provided in the hearing room. Once you are seated at the testifier’s table, please identify yourself, spell your first and last name and say what organization you represent, if any. Always speak directly into the microphone to help out the committee transcribers who will type the transcripts of the hearing for public record.

If you are providing printed copies of your testimony to share with the committee, please bring enough copies for each committee member, plus three more for support staff. We encourage you to call ahead to see if the committee prefers electronic submissions.

If you follow my page “Senator Carol Blood” on Facebook, I do try to provide links to the hearings so you can watch them live on your computer or smart phone. If you have questions or concerns, please be sure to reach out to any of our District 3 Team Members.

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.

This has been a busy week for District 3. Our committee hearings have begun and our bills are starting to move quickly through the process. I continue to serve on the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, Agriculture Committee and General Affairs for the next two years.

Six bills had public hearings in a variety of committees. One bill, LB 12, has already been debated on the floor of the legislature and passed through General File on to the next step. You can click on the bill numbers below and review the bills as introduced to the committees.

LB 12: Provide a license fee exemption for servicemembers and their spouses under the Nebraska Real Estate License Act
LB 5: Change the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Act
LB 6: Change residency provisions relating to persons on active duty and their dependents for college tuition purposes
LB 7: Adopt the Counterfeit Airbag Prevention Act
LB 13: Provide a sales tax exemption for breast pumps and related supplies and exempt breast-feeding from public indecency offenses
LB 115: Change provisions related to enrollment of children of members of the members of the military

Hearing Locations and Times

Public hearings have begun and are typically held in the afternoons during the first half of our legislative session. The committees have regularly scheduled rooms and meeting days.

Hearings usually begin at 1:30 p.m. You can view the hearing room assignments by clicking on the following link: Hearings

The weekly schedule for the committee hearings is published on the last legislative day of the week throughout our legislative session.

If auxiliary aids or reasonable accommodations are needed for you to attend any hearing, please contact the Office of the Clerk of the Legislature at 402-471-2271. Advance notice is needed if requesting an interpreter.


You can download copies of the weekly Unicameral Update, which is a free, weekly newsletter published during the legislative session and produced by the Clerk of the Legislature’s office.

Providing Public Testimony
Our office LOVES to see our District 3 residents come and testify on the bills they feel passionate about. We also understand that with work, weather and other responsibilities that testifying in person may not work out for everyone. We offer the following information to guide you, if you are new to the process. We cannot stress how important it is for you to use your voice, because you ARE Nebraska’s second house.

If you are providing printed copies of your testimony to share with the committee, please bring enough copies for each committee member, plus three more for support staff. We encourage you to call ahead to see if the committee prefers electronic submissions.

Before testifying at a committee hearing, you must fill out the green sheet provided in the hearing room. Once you are seated at the testifier’s table, please identify yourself, spell your first and last name and say what organization you represent, if any. Always speak directly into the microphone to help out the committee transcribers who will type the transcripts of the hearing for public record.

Most committees limit testimony to three to five minutes, and we encourage you to not repeat testimony that has already been offered by previous testifiers. If you are providing a written testimony, try to summarize your main points instead of reading your testimony verbatim. The Senators would like to hear what you have to say. However, in most cases, there are numerous people who will also testify.

Be prepared to answer questions on your testimony. Committee members often request additional information or have questions on the testimony you have offered. Testifiers are not allowed to ask questions of committee members.

Remember to turn off your cell phones when you enter the hearing room to avoid any disruptions.

If you are unable to attend, you may send a letter or email expressing support, opposition or neutral testimony to a committee during a bill’s public hearing. If you wish to send a written letter, address correspondence to the office of the senator who chairs the committee and allow enough time for the letter to arrive the day prior to the hearing. Be sure to include your name and address in the letter.

If you would like to send your information via email, be sure to send it to the senator who chairs the committee, include your name and address and ask within the body of the email that it be included in the official record. Feel free to copy our office on any emails.

Our Upcoming Week
This upcoming week, in addition to my regular committee assignments, three of my bills will have hearings.

If you follow my office on Facebook, I do try to provide links to the hearings so you can watch them live on your computer or smartphone.

MEET TEAM BLOOD

Dee Austin-Administrative Assistant
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.

The Legislature went back into session last week on January 9 and this year feels a bit different than other sessions I’ve been a part of because we have so many new faces. With 13 new state senators, more than a quarter of the legislature are first-year lawmakers. Terms limits have resulted in the legislature having less experience. 60 percent of the Senators in the Unicameral have served two years or less.

Working to get good legislation passed in a timely manner was already a time-consuming job, but now there are more challenges ahead as we attempt to get everyone up to speed on areas that need our attention while they are also trying to learn the very basics as to how the legislature works. This year, I have introduced 17 bills and resolutions. You can view them all here as well as track their progress once the session really gets rolling.

If you’re new to following the Unicameral, or you just need a refresher on our process, the NSEA has provided a really helpful diagram:

There’s going to be plenty to keep track of as this is a 90-day session that won’t end until June 6. In addition to our personal bills, we’re going to be once again debating a budget during a period of time when a majority of the state is looking for property tax relief. While I’m always looking for ways to get that tax relief done, we are dealing with another $95 million revenue shortfall.

We are also going to have to find a way to pay for the Medicaid expansion that was approved by the voters this past November. We are looking for ways to rebuilding Nebraska’s “rainy day” fund back up. The legislature has had to dip into that fund in the last few years in order to help offset recent revenue shortfalls, and it now has just over $300 million, down from nearly $730 million in 2016.

We’re trying to do all of this while also discussing a wide range of topics over the course of the session. Despite the fact the legislature was only in session for three days last week, 216 bills were still introduced in total. There are still seven days left for senators to introduce bills so we will have hundreds to consider in this 90-day session. It’s going to be an incredibly busy period but I can’t imagine doing anything else than working for the people of Nebraska and the residents of District 3.

It’s been a busy period outside the walls of the Unicameral as well. This Fall I served on a panel for the Council of State Governments at a conference in Kentucky where I talked about military families and removing hurdles to employment.

Removing these hurdles has been something I’ve been working on since I first came to the legislature. I’ve gotten several passed and this year will be focusing on making it easier for spouses and active duty military who are already licensed realtors in another state to get to work doing the same here with LB12.


In December I held a town hall meeting with area veterans where I talked about some of the other bills I’m working on in order to try and help this community. That includes a veterans license plate bill, the beginning veteran farmer’s tax credit bill, a military in-state tuition bill, and a military advanced enrollment bill. I’m also glad to be a co-sponsor of the governor’s military retirement tax exemption bill.

I truly believe the men and women who serve, should be better served by us. That’s one of the reasons I was so happy to be able to spend some time with the 55th Wing Commander, Col. Michael Manion, as well as Robin from Cobalt Bank for the annual Veterans Day Parade Breakfast.


I enjoyed getting to visit with the men of the Harambee Club at the Omaha Correctional Center. We discussed how the legislature works and how I do what I do.


Finally, I was thrilled and honored to discuss agriculture, trade and health care with the Consulate General of the Republic of the Philippines, Gina A. Jamoralin last fall. It was a very busy recess and this session promises to be very busy as well. Having said that, should you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to contact my office at 402-471-2627 or email me directly at cblood@leg.ne.gov.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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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