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Good morning, Nebraska!
This week saw several of my bills advance to the next and final round of debate as they wing their way to the governor’s office and becoming law. LB14,my personal priority bill this session, is the Audiology and Speech- Language Pathology Interstate Compact bill. This passed on Final Reading and is now on Governor Ricketts’ desk awaiting his signature.
LB6, also advanced to final reading as part of LB387. Both bills will make all military retirement pay tax exempt in Nebraska. LB6 caught those who were left out of the original military retirement tax exemption bill passed last session and who had served in the military for decades and finished their career as a civilian federal employee.
LB20 was another bill of mine that advanced to final reading as an amendment. The bill, which was also amended in committee, was attached to LB100. The intent of LB20 is to create more consistent prescription access to contraception, by allowing a patient to get a three-month prescription after their first doctor visit and six-month prescriptions after that. This piece of legislation would not force a company that doesn’t already cover contraception to cover it. It also allows for insurance companies to opt out if they can prove offering six months worth of prescriptions at a time would prove too costly. Health equity is an important goal for my office. For women in rural areas, the doctor and/or pharmacy can be hours away and for women who travel for their careers, students who travel abroad, women who lack transportation and other known hurdles to access, this bill will be a relief for many.
Finally, LB476 also advanced to Final Reading with overwhelming support. This bill establishes the stroke system of care act to provide Nebraska patients with the highest quality of care and to ensure a seamless transition with all medical personnel involved in the care of those patients. Some find it surprising to learn that strokes are the fourth leading cause of death in our state and it is the leading cause of disability in the United States. Revisiting our protocol for stroke victims and updating the process can also benefit our insurance rates as the fewer people in need of this type of critical care means the potential of fewer claims to an insurance company.
For a full list and additional information about all the bills I’ve introduced and cosponsored, you can click the link here.
The T-Birds Big Accomplishment
Last week it was Bellevue East, this weekend it was the Bellevue West Forensics team with a spectacular showing at NSAA State Speech Championships. The team finished third, marking the first time in school history that the T-birds have placed 3rd at State.
In addition to that finish, students in five events advanced to final rounds, the first state finalists for Bellevue West since 2014. Congratulations to all of them. Their hard work and dedication truly did pay off and will continue to pay off.
Gear Up For Bellevue Christian’s Easter Scramble
Easter is coming up fast, and Bellevue Christian’s Easter Scramble is coming as well. The scramble will be a bit different this year, as it will start out in any one of five different parks. (Everett, Stonecroft, Swanson, McCann, Russ Thompson). Those taking part will receive a basket to look for eggs filled with goodies.
Participants will also get the first clue for the Easter Scavenger hunt. They will then receive the next clue at that location. Any child who completes the scavenger hunt will be entered into a drawing to win a free PS5! The scramble is open to all children up to age 12 and begins on April 3 at 10:30am.
Seizure Safe Schools Act
While we unfortunately weren’t able to debate LB639 this week, I still wanted to show my support for this very important piece of legislation. That’s why I stood with several colleagues, including the bill’s introducer, Senator Day, during her recent press conference. I am also a co-sponsor on this important bill.
LB639 trains school personnel on seizure detection and response, implements seizure planning
and personalized plans for students diagnosed with epilepsy, or seizure disorders, and ensures
access to FDA approved seizure drugs in schools.
It was on the agenda for debate on Wednesday, but we weren’t able to get to it and the schedule was shuffled for the remainder of the week. I am hopeful Speaker Hilgers will bring this back to the floor soon.
American Foundation For Suicide Prevention
The Nebraska chapter of the AFSP has set up a series of displays on the first floor this week that provide information for people who are looking to support someone and offer help if they are struggling with mental health.
I’d encourage anyone who is going to be in Lincoln soon to come and check it out.
COVID-19 Vaccine Update
The Sarpy/Cass County Health Department recently issued an update on the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine.
The department is now officially vaccinating all those who are involved in Phase 1A and 1B (pictured above). In addition, Sarpy/Cass residents who are 55 or older are eligible to schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination.
You do not need the Sarpy/Cass Health Department to schedule this appointment for you. Please visit this website to view all the vaccine clinic options in our communities. Select the clinic that works best for you, and click or call that individual clinic to schedule your appointment.
If you do have any questions there is a number you can call to get assistance. 402-339-4334 and press option 1.
In preparation for your name being called to get vaccinated, the state does offer a website where you can register to be notified when it’s your turn. You can sign up at this link.