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Good morning, Nebraska!
While I usually update you with what’s going on in the session in this section, I thought I’d tell you about a project I plan to carry out over the interim this year. Many of you may know that the topic of Blockchain technology is one that is near and dear to my heart. I’ve brought Blockchain bills in previous sessions that would have adopted the technology in the business world, but this summer and fall, I want to specifically examine the many ways I believe this technology can benefit our state’s agricultural producers.
I’m going to be establishing an interim investigative committee to carry out a study on that topic. In particular, I want the committee to look at:
In truth, we’ll be examining all sorts of ways that Blockchain technology can impact agri-business but the above are the main touchstones we’ll be starting with. I firmly believe that we are leaving money on the table when it comes to Blockchain and the things it can do. I’ll be updating when and where these hearings will take place after the interim begins.
For a full list and additional information about all the bills I’ve introduced and cosponsored, you can click the link here.
Investigating Unemployment Fraud
You may have heard that over the course of the last year, the Department of Labor has had numerous problems with unemployment benefits. On the one hand, there are a huge number of people who were receiving their benefits far later than they should have. On the other hand, the state saw quite a few instances of fraudulent claims.
I’ve encouraged the Business and Labor committee to hold a hearing within the next few weeks that will investigate how these fraudulent claims occurred, how many claims and how much money was stolen from Nebraska, and what the Department of Labor has done, and is doing in order to make sure this kind of thing doesn’t happen anymore.
This sort of fraud is especially horrible because it involves stealing money from you, the taxpayer. We need to figure out ways to protect this money much better in the very near future.
Check out Java and Jazz
On Monday, April 19, several area schools are going to be holding a free outdoor (weather permitting) concert. Bellevue East, Mission Middle School, Logan Fontenelle Middle School and E-Street Jazz bands are putting on a show called Java and Jazz.
The performances will take place on the Bellevue East hillside by the South Gym if the weather is nice. If there is rain it will take place in the cafeteria.
Festivities run from 6pm-8:30pm. The event is entirely free, but donations are very welcome. Go check out this annual event and hear some very good jazz music.
Bruins Dominate Post Season Honors
The Bellevue University volleyball team was well represented on the 2020-21 all-North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) volleyball teams that were announced earlier this week.
Chief among the honorees was co-Player of the Year Olivia Galas. Four Bruins in total earned first-team honors and one Bellevue player gained second-team recognition. Olivia was named the NSAA co-Player of the Year and the NSAA Setter of the Year. Eve Fountain earned NSAA Freshman of the Year accolades and Trish Siedlik was honored as the Coach of the Year.
Also on the first team from Bellevue were Coree Lipovsky and Sierra Athen. Jacki Apel was honored on the second team. All of the honored players from BU are Nebraska natives and Olivia and Jackie were born and raised in Bellevue.
In addition to these individual honors, The Bruins are in the midst of a very successful season overall. Posting a 16-5 record so far, they fell just short in the NSAA conference championship game but will open the NAIA National Tournament on Sunday. Congratulations and good luck to all!
Papillion Spring Cleanup
The Papillion Public Works Department will host Spring Cleanup Days starting next week on April 19. The Spring Cleanup Days will run through April 25, from 7 am to 5 pm each day. The event will again be a joint effort with the City of La Vista. The Cleanup Days site is located at 99th Circle and Portal Road on the south side of Portal Road, just east of the Papillion Public Works Facility. The event is open to Papillion residents and water customers and La Vista residents.
Items that can be dropped off during the Spring Cleanup Days include:
The program offers totally free tuition with a couple of qualifications. Tuition is covered for students who meet academic qualifications and have a family income of $60,000 or less (Adjusted Gross Income/AGI) or are Pell Grant-eligible.
This program is also only available for Nebraska residents, but it is not limited to recent high school graduates. Transfers, with a 2.5 GPA can qualify as well. I’d encourage you to check out the program at this link and see if it might be for you, or someone close to you.