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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the slate LR2 would do exactly that and any new efforts for an Article V convention will not be butting heads with old, out of date resolutions.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