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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!
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
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.
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.
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: