NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

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Carol Blood

Sen. Carol Blood

District 3

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Legislative Update

Next week will be the final week of the 2020 legislative session and it feels like we’ve still got quite a bit to do with just four legislative days left to do it.

Earlier this week, one of my bills, LB751  was presented to Governor Ricketts for his signature. It will add mental health to the list of illnesses recognized when a collaborative plan is created between the school district and parents to help a child improve their school absences. I think this is vitally important to get passed this year, as the situation for school-aged children, whether they are attending in person, or remote learning is going to be different and more stressful than any other school year. This will give parents, students, and school administrators another tool in their toolbelt to help deal with a difficult time.

Another of my bills,LB755 is still on final reading. I expect it to pass next week as the final procedural hurdle was cleared on Tuesday. The bills included in the omnibus amendment generated a small fiscal note, creating an appropriations bill or  “A-Bill.” Before 755 could be passed and sent to the governor’s desk for his signature, the A-Bill had to catch up with the original. That was done this week and both should get final approval soon.

On Wednesday, the legislature took up a very important piece of legislation that I believe will go a long way towards helping Nebraskans in a variety of ways. LB1107 was introduced as a Speaker’s Major Proposal that touched on various economic factors. That included property tax relief for those in rural and urban parts of this state.

This is the kind of bipartisan legislation that the Unicameral is known for being able to produce. It is not a perfect statute but it will allow for some relief for property taxes while also helping the state try and climb out of the economic hardships imposed on it by the coronavirus pandemic. There are also several incentives for the business community. The hope is that this will further entice companies to come to Nebraska and set up shop, further boosting an economy I think could turn around quickly thanks to this bill.

LB1107 advanced from general file with 43 yes votes and I was proud to support it.

Walmart’s Open Call

Walmart has started it’s seventh annual initiative that allows people from all walks of life to make their pitch for their products and try and get them on Walmart stores all over the country. The ‘Open Call” kicked off earlier this week and will run through August 10.

If your application is selected, you will be able to give your official pitch about your product and why you think it should go on Walmart’s shelves this October.

In addition to one-on-one pitch meetings with Walmart buyers, participants will have an opportunity to hear directly from Walmart executives and learn from company leaders during smaller breakout sessions designed to inform, empower, and encourage supplier-hopefuls.

If you have a product or idea that you think would be a good fit for the chain, but didn’t know how to go about getting the ball rolling, the Walmart Open Call is the way to get it done. If you want to apply for the Open Call, please contact our and we’ll be happy to provide the link to the information you need.

Congratulations To Distinguished Officers

This week at the Bellevue police department, four officers of the quarter and one officer of the year were named. Every year the Bellevue Police Department recognizes and honors officers that are selected by their peers.

The officers that were recognized for their contributions in 2019 were:
Detective Ward – Officer of the 1st Quarter
Officer Jimerson – Officer of the 2nd Quarter
Officer Murray – Officer of the 3rd Quarter
Officer Wirtz – Officer of the 4th Quarter

Detective Ward also earned the distinction of being named as the BPD’s Officer of the Year. I wanted to give my heartfelt congratulations to all of the honorees this year.

The NeXT Transformational Project

One of the issues I spoke about this year on the floor is something I’m quite excited about. The NeXT Project involves a partnership with the department of defense and the University of Nebraska system.

This is a program that will allow the University to build a state of the art medical center facility. This center will play a part in a partnership with the DOD in order to research and fight infectious diseases as well as other critical threats.

There are other aspects of the partnership that is going to have a huge economic impact on the state, and District 3 in particular. It’s projected to add about 40,000 new jobs over the next decades and will have billions of dollars flowing through the state.

Because of this partnership, the annual threat of Offutt being closed by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) will be diminished. That’s a huge boon for our area when you considering Offutt has an economic impact of about $1.6 billion on Sarpy County and the state.

This is a huge deal that hasn’t gotten nearly enough attention lately.

Stand Up And Be Counted

The United States government has been counting for the census over the last few months and we’re getting closer to a very important date. The government will start sending census takers door to door in order to get information from homes that haven’t yet submitted their information.

If you received a census form and haven’t sent it back in yet, make sure to do so soon! You can also fill out the information online at the official census bureau website. It will only take a few minutes to do this and it’s vitally important to our country. In order to make sure you and you’re community are being accurately represented, everyone needs to do their part and fill it out. The Census Bureau announced they are going to officially stop counting September 30, so please make sure you are getting this done as soon as possible.

Bellevue Farmer’s Market Fresh Produce Drive Was A Success

Last Saturday we held our fresh produce drive at the Bellevue Farmer’s Market. It was a great success as we saw bags and bags of food donated so that it could be sent to the Bellevue Food Pantry.

This pandemic has been hard on everyone and I am so thankful for those who were willing to give to those who have been hit the hardest. No one should have to go to bed hungry and efforts like this help make sure that they don’t.

Sen. Carol Blood

District 3
Room 10th Floor
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2627
Email: cblood@leg.ne.gov
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