NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

The official site of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Sen. Carol Blood

Sen. Carol Blood

District 3

The content of these pages is developed and maintained by, and is the sole responsibility of, the individual senator's office and may not reflect the views of the Nebraska Legislature. Questions and comments about the content should be directed to the senator's office at cblood@leg.ne.gov

Legislative Update, March 29
March 29th, 2019
Since Last Week…
When we come back next week from our weekend, we will start having full day sessions. We still have many bills that need to be debated on the floor and it is my hope that our body continues to work together for the greater good of all Nebraskans. If you observe the legislature, you know that I’m not a big fan of shenanigans when we have a long list of work that needs to be accomplished. 

Bellevue’s St. Bernadette Catholic School Visits the Capitol 

I had a great visit this week with 4th graders from St. Bernadette School in Bellevue. We talked about what Senators do every day, the process we use to make laws and how it is important to remember that one person can and does make a difference should they choose to do so.
A Meeting of Great Minds

This week I invited other Nebraska Senators to meet with Brigadier General (Ret) Paul Cohen, Colonel (Ret.) Jeff Mikesell from the Omaha Chamber of Commerce (pictured above) and Colonel (Ret.) Dan Donovan from the Heartland Chapter of the Military Officer’s Association of America (MOAA) to discuss how we can continue to pool resources and work together as a body to make Nebraska the most welcoming state in the US to our Military Families and Veterans. There is always more to be done and we need to continue to move forward in this area.
More Bill News   
LB15 was on the agenda this week for debate in front of the full legislature, but time constraints didn’t allow us to get to it yet. I’m thankful that the speaker decided to make it one of his limited priority bills and am confident that we can get it passed next week. The children of Nebraska need to be able to get hearing aids if they need them and this bill will go a long way towards helping them do that.

Protect YOUR Good Life

From the Nebraska Attorney General – While compassion and support are customary in the aftermath of a natural disaster, some individuals and businesses may use this opportunity to prey on those in need. Before having repairs made to your damaged home, gather the best information you need to protect yourself.

  • Before allowing anyone to repair your home, verify his or her credentials.
  • Check with the Nebraska Department of Labor to find whether your contractor is properly registered and insured. You can check their website above, or call 402-471-2239. Never sign any document or pay any contractor before verifying license and registration.
  • Get three written estimates, make sure each contractor bids on exactly the same work. Talk with neighbors about who they are using and what they are being charged.
  • Negotiate a reasonable down payment, and only pay in full when the work is done to your satisfaction.
  • Pay by check or credit card and keep all receipts.
  • Write down the contractor’s vehicle information (make, model and license plate) even drivers license number, if possible.
  • Know your cancellation rights. You have the right to cancel within three days if you signed it at your home or at a contractor’s temporary location, like a convention center or restaurant.

Those who suspect a home improvement scam should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Divisionat https://protectthegoodlife.nebraska.gov or 800-727-6432.

Have Your Voice Heard
As we get closer to the final third of the legislative session, I’m already beginning to work on what topics and what bills I want to bring next session. If there is something you feel we can, and should work on, please don’t hesitate to contact my office and talk to us about it. I always like to get an early start so we have plenty of time to research and perfect, the bills we bring forward. Now is the time to get started on the next session, please don’t wait until October or November to give your input. Seize the moment!

Unicameral Youth Legislature

If you know a high school student you think would be interested in taking on the role of a state senator at the Unicameral Youth Legislature this June 10-13, please have them call 402-471-2788, or visit here. Scholarships are available!  The deadline to register is May 15, 2019

APPLY FOR A BOARD OR COMMISSION
It’s that time of year again when there are all kinds of boards and commissions in the state that are looking for dedicated citizens to serve. These positions are appointed by the governor and range in topics from Juvenile Justice to Geology. 

If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please visit the Governor’s website here. You will be able to find a listing of every board that has an opening, as well as a brief synopsis of what is involved. You can also find an application here.  Our state is a better place to live and raise our families when our citizens step up and get involved.

MEET OUR TEAM
Dee Austin-Administrative Aide

Senator Carol Blood, District 3
Oliver VanDervoort-Legislative Aide

We are here to serve the residents of District 3 and we are happy to respond to any questions or concerns you may have.

Did you know that there is a long list of items available for free to the public relating to the Nebraska Legislature? Here is a list of only a few that you might find interesting. If you are receiving this email digitally, you should be able to link to the information from your newsletter.

1. Unicameral Update
2. About the Legislature
3. Unicam Kids
4. Inside Our Nation’s Only Unicameral
5. Poster of Nebraska Senators
6. Membership & Committees Card
7. Lines of Government

For hard copies of these documents, please call my office at 402-471-2627 and we will be happy to place one in the mail to your home address.

Since Last Week …
What a week in the Legislature, what a week in Nebraska.
As we wind our way to the end of public comment committee hearings, we see more clearly the path that lies ahead for the remainder of Session 2019 with the announcement of Senator, Committee and Speaker Priority Bills. Priority Bills are given priority status and generally considered ahead of other bills for debate. Each senator selects one priority bill, a committee gets two, and the Speaker may select up to 25 priority bills. For my Priority Bill, I have selected LB138 Provide for additional Military Honor Plates and Support our Troops Plates, as well as creating a specific fund that is designed to increase our efforts to recruit a highly skilled workforce to stay in Nebraska upon their retirement from the Military. Two of my bills have been designated Speaker Priorities, those are: LB6 and LB15LB6 – Changes residency provisions relating to persons on active duty and their dependents for college tuition purposes and will allow dependents of an active duty member of the military, who is assigned to duty out-of-state, but has been accepted to a college or university in Nebraska, to receive in-state tuition. This is important to our state and to the students who need an uninterrupted education process. The second, LB15 will provide health insurance coverage to children in need of hearing aids. I am thrilled that Speaker Scheer has chosen this as one of his Priorities, and grateful to have the support of so many of my fellow Senators in the way of co-sponsorship. Nebraska children are our future and we need to give them every chance at success. 
Flooding and Declarations of Disaster

Not news to Nebraskans is the record flooding our state has seen this past week, including Offutt Air Force Base.
A few reminders to keep you and yours safe:

  • Stay away from areas that are under evacuation orders
  • Do not drive or walk through moving flood waters
  • Avoid flood waters, toxins are most likely present
  • Heed road closure or other cautionary signage
  • If flood waters rise around your vehicle, abandon and move to higher ground.

NEMA Help
As recovery begins, knowing where to turn for information can be overwhelming. The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) website is continually updating information. You can access that information here.

NEMA has established a hotline for questions from those affected by flooding. That number is: (402) 556-2476

For information on debris clean-up, contact the Crisis Cleanup Hotline at (402) 556-2476.

Farmers who have lost machinery or livestock should report to the Farm Services Agency office. County office contact information can be found on the the agency’s website here.

Nebraska Strong
It’s not just a hashtag, it’s a way of life. Nebraskans and people though out the country are offering assistance. All donations  – monetary, goods and services, volunteers – are being coordinated through Nebraska 211. 
To access Nebraska 211 within Nebraska, Dial 211.
Outside of Nebraska, call (866) 813-1731.

Free Legal Help for Flood Victims

As individuals and communities respond to this emergency and begin the possible long road to recovery, it is very important to be aware of many common legal issues that may arise during or after a disaster.

Legal Aid of Nebraska’s Disaster Relief Project offers free legal assistance to victims of state-declared disasters, through a network of volunteer lawyers across Nebraska.

Victims may get free legal information on these issues at our website here.

The Nebraska Art Teacher’s Association presents Student Art on Display at the Capitol

Artists:
Top L-R:
Artist:  Julia Wight                        Artist: Daisy De Santiago
Grade: 10                                    Grade: 12
Title: East’s Garden                     Title: Watercolor World
School: Bellevue East High         School: Bellevue East

Bottom L-R
Artist: Alexandria Thompson        Artist: Peter Lauterbach
Grade: 12                                     Grade: 12
Title: Singing the Blues                 Title: The Girl in Line
School: Bellevue West                  School: Bellevue West

Legislative Resolutions
This past week I introduced a Legislative Resolution 39 to recognize Madison DeMeo for her generosity to our community. The Nebraska Legislature and I are very proud of Bellevue’s very own, Madi.

Thank you to the 48 other Nebraska State Senators who enthusiastically supported LR46 to celebrate Women in Public Office Day which took place on March 19th. 

Supporting Public Education
I had the pleasure of meeting with constituent supporters of public education as they visited the Capitol on Omaha Education Association (OEA) Action Day. We support all students and teachers!

R-L: Kathy Poehling, Sheri Poehling and Senator Blood

                                  Unicameral Youth Legislature

If you know a high school student you think would be interested in taking on the role of a state senator at the Unicameral Youth Legislature this June 10-13, please have them call 402-471-2788, or visit here. Scholarships are available!  The deadline to register is May 15, 2019

More Bill News   
The Governor has signed LB12LB115,LB7LB11 and LB8 into law. That means the only bills we have left that are waiting in the General File queue are LB6LB9LB13LB15LB138LB137 and LB594. We are having a productive session and I am hopeful that we will continue to move items through in a timely manner.

APPLY FOR A BOARD OR COMMISSION
It’s that time of year again when there are all kinds of boards and commissions in the state that are looking for dedicated citizens to serve. These positions are appointed by the governor and range in topics from Juvenile Justice to Geology. 

If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please visit to the Governor’s website here. You will be able to find a listing of every board that has an opening, as well as a brief synopsis of what is involved. You can also find an application here. Our state is a better place to live and raise our families when our citizens step up and get involved.

MEET OUR TEAM
Dee Austin-Administrative Aide

Senator Carol Blood, District 3
Oliver VanDervoort-Legislative AideWe are here to serve the residents of District 3 and we are happy to respond to any questions or concerns you may have.

Did you know that there is a long list of items available for free to the public relating to the Nebraska Legislature? Here is a list of only a few that you might find interesting. If you are receiving this email digitally, you should be able to link to the information from your newsletter.

1. Unicameral Update
2. About the Legislature
3. Unicam Kids
4. Inside Our Nation’s Only Unicameral
5. Poster of Nebraska Senators
6. Membership & Committees Card
7. Lines of Government

For hard copies of these documents, please call my office at 402-471-2627 and we will be happy to place one in the mail to your home address.

The Heart of Madison DeMeo 

L-R: Bellevue Mayor Rusty Hike, Senator Sue Crawford – Dist.45, Madison DeMeo, Senator Blood 

I was proud to join Mayor Hike, Senator Crawford, and the DeMeo family, as Madison received her award from U.S. Cellular.

From a very young age Madison has been interested in making her community a better place for all, especially those in need of a little help. At the age of 9, Madi, as she likes to be called, began selling Halloween candy she didn’t care for to friends and neighbors. With the money raised, she purchased non-perishable food items to donate to the Bellevue Food Pantry.

In the six years that have passed, Madi has raised more than $6,000 to support local causes, including the Food Pantry and The Alzheimer’s Association.

For her hard work and dedication Madi was recently recognized by U.S. Cellular as one of their top 16 Under Sixteen and became a recipient of $10,000 to go to a her charity of choice. I am glad Madi DeMeo is a part of our community and look forward to seeing much more from her in the years to come.

On March 7th, I introduced Legislative Resolution (LR) #39 to formally recognize the accomplishments of Madison DeMeo. You can read the Resolution here.

These are your roads and bridges, Nebraska!
Tell them what you think.

NDOT District 2 Program Hearing – State Highway Commission Meeting
This meeting is open to all members of the public. Future Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) highway improvement projects will be discussed at the meeting and public attendance and participation is highly encouraged.

Date and Time:
March 22, 2019 at 8:30 a.m.
Location:
University of Nebraska – Omaha
Thompson Alumni Center
6705 Dodge Street
Omaha, NE

For more information, please contact: Jason Prokop at 402-471-4567 or Jason.prokop@nebraska.gov

 

2019 State Treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Report

Advance copies of the State Treasurer’s annual Unclaimed Property Report are out and we have on in our office. The 2019 report represents $19,835,822 in NEW unclaimed property.

This report will be included in 16 Nebraska newspapers, as required by State Statute.
Here is the schedule for publication:
Sunday, March 10, 2019 – Omaha World Herald, Schottsbluff Star Herald
Saturday, March 23, 2019 – Beatrice Daily Sun, York News-Times, Columbus Telegram, Fremont Tribune
Sunday, March 24, 2019 – Lincoln Journal Star
Friday, April 5, 2019 – Holdrege Citizen, McCook Gazette, Sidney Sun-Telegraph
Saturday, April 6, 2019 – Alliance Times Herald, Hastings Tribune, Kearney Hub
Sunday, April 7, 2019 – Grand Island Independent, North Platte Telegraph

If you just can’t wait to claim your piece of the lost loot, you may check for unclaimed property at any time online here.

 

L-R: Senator Blood, Emily Barrson

 

The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency Announces its Severe Weather Awareness Poster Contest Winner

In a ceremony held at the State Capitol on Tuesday, Governor Ricketts handed out awards to the top four winners in the NEMA Severe Weather Awareness Poster Contest. Earning the top prize was 10-year-old Jack Barrson, son of Emily and Robert Barrson of Papillion. For his efforts Jack was awarded a $125 gift card and will have his poster professionally framed. His poster will become a part of the NEMA 2020 Calendar. Jack was unable to join the ceremony as he  is spending his Spring Break in Washington, D.C..      

Congratulations Jack, and very well done!

 

Unicameral Youth Legislature  You are invited!

High school students are invited to take on the role of state senators at the Unicameral Youth Legislature June 9-12. At the State Capitol, student senators
will sponsor bills, conduct committee hearings, debate legislation and discover the unique process of the nation’s only unicameral.

The Unicameral Youth Legislature gives behind-the-scenes access to students who have an interest in public office, government, politics, law, public policy, debate or public speaking. Students will learn about the inner workings of the Legislature directly from senators and staff.

Registrants are encouraged to apply for a Greg Adams Scholarship award, which covers the full cost of admission. Applicants must submit a short essay. Other $100 scholarships are also available.

The Office of the Clerk of the Nebraska Legislature coordinates the Unicameral Youth Legislature. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Extension 4-H Youth Development Office coordinates housing and recreational activities as part of the Big Red Summer Camps program.

To learn more about the program go here, or call (402) 471-2788.
The deadline for registration is May 15.

More Bill News

Earlier this week three of my bills were officially made law!  LB7, LB11, and LB115 were all signed by the Governor!

LB115 allows dependents of active duty military personnel accepted into a state college or university, but are then transferred out of Nebraska, to still get in-state tuition. This is important to military family members who want to go to one of our colleges and universities, but could be scared away by the high cost of out-of-state tuition.

The bill also puts us one step away from being fully compliant with the DOD’s list of what a state must do in order to be designated “military friendly.” That designation is extremely important when it comes to the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission discussions regarding which bases will close, and which will remain open. Another round of discussions regarding base decommissioning is going to happen sooner rather than later, and it is important to Nebraska and the country, that Offutt remain operational.

Another of my bills is on its way to the governor’s desk –LB8, my medical director flashing lights bill passed Final Reading without a single “no” vote on Friday the 15th.

APPLY FOR A BOARD OR COMMISSION

It’s that time of year again when there are all kinds of boards and commissions in the state that are looking for dedicated citizens to serve. These positions are appointed by the governor and range in topics from Juvenile Justice to Geology.

If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please visit to the Governor’s website here. You will be able to find a listing of every board that has an opening, as well as a brief synopsis of what is involved. You can also find an application here. Our state is a better place to live and raise our families when our citizens step up and get involved.

MEET OUR TEAM

Dee Austin-Administrative Aide
Senator Carol Blood, District 3
Oliver VanDervoort-Legislative Aide

We are here to serve the residents of District 3 and we are happy to respond to any questions or concerns you may have.

Did you know that there is a long list of items available for free to the public relating to the Nebraska Legislature? Here is a list of only a few that you might find interesting. If you are receiving this email digitally, you should be able to link to the information from your newsletter.

1. Unicameral Update
2. About the Legislature
3. Unicam Kids
4. Inside Our Nation’s Only Unicameral
5. Poster of Nebraska Senators
6. Membership & Committees Card
7. Lines of Government

For hard copies of these documents, please call my office at 402-471-2627 and we will be happy to place one in the mail to your home address.

Fantasy Sports Contest Act Hearing
The start of t
his week was busier than most as we had the final two committee hearings for my bills. LB137, otherwise known as the Fantasy Sports Contest Act will make companies like FanDuel and DraftKings have to register and pay a registration fee in order to operate in Nebraska. 

These companies are already here and already doing business in the state. My bill would make sure we’re not the “wild west” of Fantasy Sports and we have some way to regulate and get a little revenue from these types of companies while making sure no one is behaving unscrupulously. 

Hearing for the Nebraska Children’s Hearing Aid Act

Earlier in the dayLB15  went in front of the Banking and Insurance committee. Otherwise known as the Children of Nebraska Hearing Aid Act, this would make it easier for parents to provide their children with hearing aids by making it a requirement for health insurance companies to cover them in certain circumstances. I believe this is incredibly important for the children of the state of Nebraska.

Prior to the hearing for LB15 a Press Conference was held to announce the bill and to hear from sponsoring Senators, families affected by hearing loss, and speech and hearing professionals in support of the bill.

Sponsor Senators present from L-R: Senator Matt Hansen, Lincoln, Senator John McCollister, Omaha, Senator Blood, Senator Megan Hunt (front) and Senator Sue Crawford, Bellevue.

A Visit from Future State Senator Bailey Mooney 
For the second year in a row, high school student Bailey Mooney of Bee, Nebraska, came to the Legislature to spend the day shadowing myself and staff. Bailey is a senior at Seward High School where she participates in Debate, and enjoys all things Nebraska Legislature. In the photo below, Bailey is showing off her photo featured in last week’s Unicameral Update announcing the dates for this year’s Unicameral Youth Legislature. The Youth Legislature, in which Bailey is an Alum, is a summer program where student senators learn the inner-workings of the Legislature through simulation. I predict that someday the Unicameral will include a Senator Bailey Mooney. 

If you know a high school student you think would be interested in taking on the role of a state senator at the Unicameral Youth Legislature this June 10-13, please have them call 402-471-2788, or visit www.nebraskalegislature.gov/uyl 
The deadline for registration is May 15, 2019

More Bill News
As far as bills that have already been heard and are winding their way towards passage, LB11LB7LB12, and LB115 were all passed on final reading over the last week and were sent to the governor. He has signed LB12 and I expect the other three will be the law of the land soon enough!

LB8, my medical director flashing lights will be joining the quartet quickly. It was placed on final reading on Wednesday and will hopefully get a final vote next week. LB9, my Digital Ledger Technology bill was voted out of committee earlier this week as well. It’s now on General File and I look forward to the debate in front of the full legislature.

Suicide Prevention Outreach sponsored by the America Foundation for the Prevention of Suicide
Advocating on behalf of family and friends in need of necessary mental health care, and for those who are caregivers, our guests shared their stories and spoke of their support for legislation to help ease the burdens faced by those in need of assistance.

L-R: Senator Blood, Linda Jensen, NAMI and OTOC, Papillion, Sarita Troia Penka, NAMI and OTOC, Omaha, and Jennifer Alquicira, NAMI at UNO, Omaha

A Naval Command
On a lighter note, it’s always a pleasure to meet visiting dignitaries when they visit the legislature. I was honored to be able to meet and talk briefly with Commander Alex Baerg of the USS Nebraska. Commander Baerg was joined one his visit by his wife, Nicole. 

Birthday our Way
It was also an honor to take in the “Birthday Our Way” celebration last week. This is a celebration of birthdays of people with developmental disabilities put on by the Nebraska Association of Service Providers.

USSTRATCOM Strategic Fellows Luncheon
The USSTRATCOM Strategic Leadership Fellows Program is a graduate-level leadership development program for civilian employees of the military and is based at the University of Nebraska Omaha’s College of Business Administration. Following lunch at Selleck Dining Hall on the campus of UNL, the Senators in attendance shared information and answered questions regarding their respective districts, the legislative process and current legislation being considered. Attending from the Legislature: myself, Speaker Jim Scheer of District 19 and Senator Tom Brewer of District 43.

L-R: Speaker Scheer, Senator Blood, Senator Brewer (back with yellow shirt)

End of the Week Update
My bills have now all had their committee hearings and focus will move to getting them passed on the floor. However, hearings for various other bills will be going on for a few more weeks. If there are any bills you see that are scheduled for a hearing in any committee, always remember you have a say in what decisions the committee may make and how legislature may vote on the bill.

APPLY FOR A BOARD OR COMMISSION
It’s that time of year again when there are all kinds of boards and commissions in the state that are looking for dedicated citizens to serve. These positions are appointed by the governor and range in topics from Juvenile Justice to Geology. 

If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please visit to the Governor’s website here. You will be able to find a listing of every board that has an opening, as well as a brief synopsis of what is involved. You can also find an application here. Our state is a better place to live and raise our families when our citizens step up Save & Closeand get involved.

MEET OUR TEAM
Dee Austin-Administrative Aide

Senator Carol Blood, District 3
Oliver VanDervoort-Legislative Aide

We are here to serve the residents of District 3 and we are happy to respond to any questions or concerns you may have.

Did you know that there is a long list of items available for free to the public relating to the Nebraska Legislature? Here is a list of only a few that you might find interesting. If you are receiving this email digitally, you should be able to link to the information from your newsletter.

1. Unicameral Update
2. About the Legislature
3. Unicam Kids
4. Inside Our Nation’s Only Unicameral
5. Poster of Nebraska Senators
6. Membership & Committees Card
7. Lines of Government

For hard copies of these documents, please call my office at 402-471-2627 and we will be happy to place one in the mail to your home address.

The final push begins for the bills I’ve introduced this year. Next Monday the hearing for my final two bills takes place.  Last week, we also had two committee hearings starting with my Meat Labeling bill, LB 594 in front of the Agriculture Committee.

This bill is all about truth in food advertising that refines Nebraska’s complaint-driven system for people who see something like a package of “BBQ shreds” that don’t have any meat in them who feel as though the labeling is misleading or confusing.

The original draft of the bill embraced only meat products. After meeting with the Attorney General’s office, we decided to bring an amendment that broadens the scope to all food packaging. We also removed the USDA definition of meat in the bill since it is already defined at the federal level. By doing this, I believe it will serve the consumers of this state without being too restrictive. As long as a company isn’t intentionally misleading consumers, they’ll never run afoul of this bill, should it eventually become law.

At the end of last week, a bill you may remember from our last session, LB9  was presented to the Government committee. Should it become law it would prohibit cities, counties, and villages from taxing or regulating distributed ledger technology. This is a technology that is usually associated with cryptocurrency but is used in a variety of transactions including banking, agriculture, insurance and real estate. My bill avoids potential piecemeal ordinances on the technology. It also sends a clear message that Nebraska is a place where companies that use DLT can feel comfortable doing business without unnecessary hurdles. There was no opposition to the bill and I expect it to get out of committee soon.

Next Monday, LB15 will go in front of the Banking and Insurance committee. The bill referred to as the Children of Nebraska Hearing Aid Act , would make it easier for parents to provide their children with hearing aids when needed by making it a requirement for health insurance companies to cover them in certain circumstances. I believe this is incredibly important for the children of the state of Nebraska. Hearing plays an important role in a child’s language development and learning. Early intervention is key to that child’s success.

While I expect these bills to get out of committee with very little problem, there are other bills that have already had their hearing and are headed towards passage and becoming a law. LB11, my interlocal agreement for nuisances bill was officially placed on Final Reading late last week. That means it needs just one more vote before it goes to the governor’s desk for his signature. LB115, my advanced enrollment for military dependents has also been placed on Final Reading. It’s my hope both will go through this final step at some point this week.


I was also happy to see LB13 advance out of the Revenue Committee so we can debate the bill on the floor. This bill will make sure that any woman who is in the process of breastfeeding their child, will be exempt from indecent exposure laws in Nebraska. While we already have breastfeeding laws in place, they do not specifically exempt women from indecent exposure. This bill would make sure breastfeeding mothers in Nebraska are completely protected and need not worry about who they offend while providing nutrition their child.

My bills will have all had hearings right around this time next week; however, hearings will be going on for a few more weeks. If there are any bills you see that are scheduled for a hearing in any committee, always remember you have a say in what decisions the committee may make and how legislature may vote on the bill.

APPLY FOR A BOARD OR COMMISSION
It’s that time of year again when there are all kinds of boards and commissions in the state that are looking for dedicated citizens to serve. These positions are appointed by the governor and range in topics from Juvenile Justice to Geology.

If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please visit to the Governor’s website here. You will be able to find a listing of every board that has an opening, as well as a brief synopsis of what is involved. You can also find an application here. Our state is a better place to live and raise our families when our citizens step up and get involved.

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

Senator Carol Blood, District 3
Oliver VanDervoort-Legislative Aide

We are here to serve the residents of District 3 and we are happy to respond to any questions or concerns you may have.

Did you know that there is a long list of items available for free to the public relating to the Nebraska Legislature? Here is a list of only a few that you might find interesting. If you are receiving this email digitally, you should be able to link to the information from your newsletter.

1. Unicameral Update
2. About the Legislature
3. Unicam Kids
4. Inside Our Nation’s Only Unicameral
5. Poster of Nebraska Senators
6. Membership & Committees Card
7. Lines of Government

For hard copies of these documents, please call my office at 402-471-2627 and we will be happy to place one in the mail to your home address.

It was another busy and productive week, despite the fact that it was the first week since hearings started that we didn’t have a bill go through committee. We’ll change that this week, with my Meat Labeling bill, LB 594 in front of the Agriculture Committee Tuesday afternoon.

This is a bill that aims to bring truth in food advertising and set up a complaint-driven system for people who see something like a package of “BBQ shreds” that don’t have any meat in them who feel as though the labeling is misleading or confusing.

Under LB594, someone who feels as though a company is intentionally misleading people into thinking vegetarian offerings are in fact meat could contact authorities who would investigate the issue using the Deceptive Trade Practices Act as well as the Pure Food Act and decide whether prosecution or civil action can be taken.

I feel in the long run, this will lead to more honest advertising and marketing by companies that are jumping into the meat-replacement market. This will also protect ag producers in our state who already follow specific guidelines when it comes to labeling and marketing. Many of our livestock producers may be losing out because of these misleading products being sold to those who are looking to buy beef, chicken or pork products. While it has gone through some changes since it was first introduced, including an amendment I am presenting at the hearing, we believe it will do what we’ve always wanted it to do in regards to protecting the industries that are the lifeblood of this state.

A bill that is a repeat from last year, LB9 will go in front of the Government committee this Thursday, February 21. This will prohibit cities, counties, and villages from taxing or regulating distributed ledger technology . This is a technology that is usually associated with Bitcoin but is used in a variety of transactions including banking and real estate. In many ways, these kinds of transactions and the contract that can be created using digital ledger technology are more secure than offline contracts and certainly more efficient.

My bill avoids potential piecemeal ordinances on the technology. It also sends a clear message that Nebraska is a place where companies that use DLT can feel comfortable doing business without unnecessary hurdles.

LINCOLN’S BIRTHDAY
In honor of the 210th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, on February 12, 1809, the 106th Legislature began today’s session with a Presentation of Colors ceremony after the Morning Prayer. The colors were posted by the Nebraska Department of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

After the Civil War, the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was formed as the first-ever fraternal organization for veterans. In 1881 the Grand Army of the Republic created the Sons of Union Veterans to carry on the memory and traditions of the G.A.R. after the last G.A.R. members were gone. Today, the Sons of Union Veterans are recognized by Congress as a Veteran’s organization, charged with keeping alive the memory of those who served our country during the Civil War, 1861 to 1865.

In addition to their Presentation of Colors, the Sons of Union Veterans had an honor guard posted at the Lincoln Statue at the west entrance. As you can see, freezing cold temperatures and icy walkways wouldn’t stop these men from doing their duty on this important day.

PREPARING THE NEXT GENERATION
I was visited by the Papillion La Vista High Ability Learners program last week as well. We discussed how the Legislature works, how legislation is crafted, things they can do now to prepare themselves to be great leaders in the future and chatted on a long list of legislation.


I was impressed by the questions they asked and how they think about the issues the state and the country are facing.

CELEBRATING ANOTHER IMPORTANT BIRTHDAY
While Abraham Lincoln might have turned over 200 last week, we are also celebrating the 150th birthday of the University of Nebraska. As part of our ongoing efforts to recognize how important the University is to the state,  I chatted with representatives of the Douglas/Sarpy County Extension Program about the many programs they offer for both rural and urban residents.

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

Senator Carol Blood, District 3
Oliver VanDervoort-Legislative AideWe are here to serve the residents of District 3 and we are happy to respond to any questions or concerns you may have.

It has been another productive week for District 3. Three bills received hearings last week, we’ve now had 13 of my 17 total bills heard in their respective committees. It is our hope that they will be voted out for full debate.

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

Senator Carol Blood, District 3
Oliver VanDervoort-Legislative Aide

We are here to serve the residents of District 3 and we are happy to respond to any questions or concerns you may have.

This has been a busy week for District 3. Our committee hearings have begun and our bills are starting to move quickly through the process. I continue to serve on the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, Agriculture Committee and General Affairs for the next two years.

Six bills had public hearings in a variety of committees. One bill, LB 12, has already been debated on the floor of the legislature and passed through General File on to the next step. You can click on the bill numbers below and review the bills as introduced to the committees.

LB 12: Provide a license fee exemption for servicemembers and their spouses under the Nebraska Real Estate License Act
LB 5: Change the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Act
LB 6: Change residency provisions relating to persons on active duty and their dependents for college tuition purposes
LB 7: Adopt the Counterfeit Airbag Prevention Act
LB 13: Provide a sales tax exemption for breast pumps and related supplies and exempt breast-feeding from public indecency offenses
LB 115: Change provisions related to enrollment of children of members of the members of the military

Hearing Locations and Times

Public hearings have begun and are typically held in the afternoons during the first half of our legislative session. The committees have regularly scheduled rooms and meeting days.

Hearings usually begin at 1:30 p.m. You can view the hearing room assignments by clicking on the following link: Hearings

The weekly schedule for the committee hearings is published on the last legislative day of the week throughout our legislative session.

If auxiliary aids or reasonable accommodations are needed for you to attend any hearing, please contact the Office of the Clerk of the Legislature at 402-471-2271. Advance notice is needed if requesting an interpreter.


You can download copies of the weekly Unicameral Update, which is a free, weekly newsletter published during the legislative session and produced by the Clerk of the Legislature’s office.

Providing Public Testimony
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 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.

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.

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.

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.

Remember to turn off your cell phones when you enter the hearing room to avoid any disruptions.

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.

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.

Our Upcoming Week
This upcoming week, in addition to my regular committee assignments, three of my bills will have hearings.

If you follow my office on Facebook, I do try to provide links to the hearings so you can watch them live on your computer or smartphone.

MEET TEAM BLOOD

Dee Austin-Administrative Assistant
Senator Carol Blood, District 3
Oliver VanDervoort-Legislative Aide

We are here to serve the residents of District 3 and we are happy to respond to any questions or concerns you may have.

The Legislature went back into session last week on January 9 and this year feels a bit different than other sessions I’ve been a part of because we have so many new faces. With 13 new state senators, more than a quarter of the legislature are first-year lawmakers. Terms limits have resulted in the legislature having less experience. 60 percent of the Senators in the Unicameral have served two years or less.

Working to get good legislation passed in a timely manner was already a time-consuming job, but now there are more challenges ahead as we attempt to get everyone up to speed on areas that need our attention while they are also trying to learn the very basics as to how the legislature works. This year, I have introduced 17 bills and resolutions. You can view them all here as well as track their progress once the session really gets rolling.

If you’re new to following the Unicameral, or you just need a refresher on our process, the NSEA has provided a really helpful diagram:

There’s going to be plenty to keep track of as this is a 90-day session that won’t end until June 6. In addition to our personal bills, we’re going to be once again debating a budget during a period of time when a majority of the state is looking for property tax relief. While I’m always looking for ways to get that tax relief done, we are dealing with another $95 million revenue shortfall.

We are also going to have to find a way to pay for the Medicaid expansion that was approved by the voters this past November. We are looking for ways to rebuilding Nebraska’s “rainy day” fund back up. The legislature has had to dip into that fund in the last few years in order to help offset recent revenue shortfalls, and it now has just over $300 million, down from nearly $730 million in 2016.

We’re trying to do all of this while also discussing a wide range of topics over the course of the session. Despite the fact the legislature was only in session for three days last week, 216 bills were still introduced in total. There are still seven days left for senators to introduce bills so we will have hundreds to consider in this 90-day session. It’s going to be an incredibly busy period but I can’t imagine doing anything else than working for the people of Nebraska and the residents of District 3.

It’s been a busy period outside the walls of the Unicameral as well. This Fall I served on a panel for the Council of State Governments at a conference in Kentucky where I talked about military families and removing hurdles to employment.

Removing these hurdles has been something I’ve been working on since I first came to the legislature. I’ve gotten several passed and this year will be focusing on making it easier for spouses and active duty military who are already licensed realtors in another state to get to work doing the same here with LB12.


In December I held a town hall meeting with area veterans where I talked about some of the other bills I’m working on in order to try and help this community. That includes a veterans license plate bill, the beginning veteran farmer’s tax credit bill, a military in-state tuition bill, and a military advanced enrollment bill. I’m also glad to be a co-sponsor of the governor’s military retirement tax exemption bill.

I truly believe the men and women who serve, should be better served by us. That’s one of the reasons I was so happy to be able to spend some time with the 55th Wing Commander, Col. Michael Manion, as well as Robin from Cobalt Bank for the annual Veterans Day Parade Breakfast.


I enjoyed getting to visit with the men of the Harambee Club at the Omaha Correctional Center. We discussed how the legislature works and how I do what I do.


Finally, I was thrilled and honored to discuss agriculture, trade and health care with the Consulate General of the Republic of the Philippines, Gina A. Jamoralin last fall. It was a very busy recess and this session promises to be very busy as well. Having said that, should you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to contact my office at 402-471-2627 or email me directly at cblood@leg.ne.gov.

Welcome
January 9th, 2019

Thank you for visiting my website. It is an honor to represent the people of the 3rd legislative district in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature.

You’ll find my contact information on the right side of this page, as well as a list of the bills I’ve introduced this session and the committees on which I serve. Please feel free to contact me and my staff about proposed legislation or any other issues you would like to address.

Sincerely,
Sen. Carol Blood

Sen. Carol Blood

District 3
Room #1021
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2627
Email: cblood@leg.ne.gov
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