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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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.