Thank you for visiting my website. It is an honor to represent the people of the 7th legislative district in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature.
You’ll find my contact information on the right side of this page. Please feel free to contact me and my staff about proposed legislation or any other issues you would like to address.
Senator Nicole Fox
Today I had the very unique opportunity to support a constituent from South Omaha, who has turned his life around and has become an excellent example for others in our community to follow. This morning I testified from the floor of the Nebraska State Legislature concerning the outstanding character of Mr. Virgil Patlan, who desires to serve our community on the Nebraska State Board of Parole. Mr. Patlan was unanimously confirmed to the Nebraska State Parole Board this morning by a vote of 40-0 with only three senators abstaining from the vote. Here is what I said today on the floor of the Legislature concerning Mr. Patlan:
This morning Colleagues, I rise today in strong support of the confirmation of Virgil Patlan to the Nebraska Board of Parole.
I have had the privilege of knowing Mr. Patlan for some time now and I have always been moved by his dedication to the people of our community. He served 25 years with the Omaha Police Department and founded the Omaha chapter of the Latino Police Officers Association.
He has been an active member of the South Omaha Violence Intervention and Prevention working group and is a respected member of the South Omaha community, which includes my district.
I feel that Mr. Patlan has the ability to look beyond “the crime,” so to speak, and to look at every individual as a human being.
For example, less than two weeks ago, I attended an event for Victory Boxing Club in South Omaha at which Mr. Patlan spoke. Founded by a former gang leader that Mr. Patlan helped arrest, Victory’s mission is to reach out to the youth of South Omaha and turn them away from the path of violence.
As reported by the Omaha World Herald last week, Mr. Patlan actually provided some of the funds necessary to open the club nearly ten years ago and has even served as the Club’s President, working hand in hand with a man he sent to prison.
This is just one of the numerous instances of Mr. Patlan seeing the “good” side to individuals many would write off as hopeless.
Mr. Patlan takes the responsibility of serving on the Board of Parole seriously, and I feel he has done a wonderful job bringing a needed voice to our parole board.
I consider him a friend, and I urge your green light in for the confirmation of Virgil Patlan. Thank you
As floor debate resumes today, I’d like to share updates on recent floor activity:
LB 289 (Ebke) – Prohibit certain regulation of firearms, ammunition and firearm accessories by cities and villages as prescribed. A cloture motion failed, but I did speak in support of this bill as I feel it would have led to more consistency and uniformity and lessened confusion among law abiding citizens. I also felt that opposing the bill would not have prevented criminals from obtaining guns. I did offer an amendment (AM1933) to LB 289 that would allow cities like Omaha to regulate or prohibit the possession of a firearm by a person who is at least 18 years of age and younger than 21. This was a valid concern brought to us by members of the Omaha Police Officers Association and is an important tool in fighting gang violence in Omaha.
LB 471 (Howard) – Change provisions relating to prescription drug monitoring. I voted YES for moving this bill to Enrollment and Review Initial. I commend Senator Howard for her tireless efforts to create a prescription drug monitoring program for the state of Nebraska.
LB 190 (Bloomfield) – Change concealed handgun permit application provisions. I decided to co-sponsor this bill. This bill has been placed on final reading. Currently, the Concealed Handgun Permit Act allows members of the United States Armed Forces assigned to a permanent duty station in Nebraska to be considered a resident for the purposes of the act. LB190 would allow the spouse of the service member this same privilege.
LB 474 (Chambers) – Provide for Mountain Lion Protection Plates and create a fund. I voted YES to advance this bill to Enrollment and Review Initial. This bill allows the Department of Motor Vehicles to create license plates supporting the protection of
the mountain lion population. It also allows for the Game and Parks Commission Educational Fund to be created to provide youth education programs relating to wildlife conservation practices.
As Winter Storm Kayla approaches I would like to encourage all Nebraska residents to take the necessary safety precautions for your area and avoid traveling until roads can be adequately cleared. This storm is expected to bring a powerful punch of precipitation to our area. A minimum of eight inches of snow to the Omaha metro area is expected. The city of Omaha has already declared a snow emergency to take effect at midnight tonight. Consequently, each household should have a 2-3 day supply of food on hand before the storm hits later this evening, as travel to a local grocery store may become difficult or even impossible. The Nebraska legislature has cancelled all debate and all hearings scheduled for Tuesday, February 2. Likewise, many local schools and businesses are expected to be closed on Tuesday and possibly on Wednesday as well. Omaha Public School officials will be working on the issue of school closings later this afternoon. Information on the latest school and business closings can be obtained from several sources, including online at www.ketv.com or www.omaha.com. Please stay warm and play safe in the snow.
Recently I introduced LB898 in the Nebraska Legislature. This bill would release hair-braiders from some overly stringent regulations dating all the way back to 1986. Currently, hair-braiders must complete 2,100 hours of training, little of which actually pertains to hair-braiding. Moreover, the training often costs thousands of dollars to complete. Brandy McMorris is one of those who will benefit from my bill once it becomes a law. An article recently appeared in the Omaha World Herald, telling Brandy’s story. I am very proud of Brandy, so I am re-posting the article here. I am confident that my bill will help many more natural hair-braiders get started in the industry. http://http://www.omaha.com/money/bill-would-split-hair-braiding-businesses-from-cosmetology-licensing-laws/article_fb8ed600-9113-544b-93ef-5dc6b24112ff.html
The 104th Legislature has been in full swing. So far, we’ve been voting on carry-over bills, which were introduced last year. Here’s an update on how I have voted on some these key carry-over bills:
1. I voted YES on LB 136 to advance the bill to Initial Enrollment and Review. This bill was introduced last January by Senator Johnson, District 23. The bill would prohibit the sale, possession and use of flying lanterns.
2. I voted YES on LB 176 to advance the bill to Enrollment and Review Engrossment. Senator Schilz, District 47, introduced this bill last January. The bill would allow pork processors to own their own hogs.
3. Senator Larson, District 40, introduced LB 113 last January. The bill was debated on the floor, but was indefinitely postponed. The bill would provide a co-payment for correctional inmates’ health care services. I was in support of this bill.
4. Senator Krist, District 10, introduced LB 18 last January. The bill was debated on the floor, but a motion to invoke cloture failed. This bill would have mandated that every student entering the seventh grade and entering the academic year following attainment of sixteen years of age have an immunization containing meningococcal vaccines. I was not in support of this bill.
I will continue to provide updates as the session progresses.
LB289 is currently being debated on the floor of the Unicameral. The bill would unify gun transportation laws across the state of Nebraska. Yesterday I spoke on the floor of the Unicameral as a proponent of continuing debate on this bill. Debate on LB289 is expected to continue on until Wednesday. The folks at KLKN TV were there to record some of what I said on Monday. http://www.klkntv.com/clip/12164650/debate-over-gun-control-continues
I want to thank Brandy McMorris, a natural hair braider and entrepreneur from Omaha, for traveling to the State Capitol in Lincoln to testify for my hair braiding bill yesterday. Brandy shared her story as well as her struggle with the current state of the law with the Health & Human Services Committee. My bill, LB898, will help people like Brandy start careers in hair braiding without having to complete hundreds of hours of training and paying out thousands of dollars in tuition and fees, none of which have anything to do with natural hair braiding.
There will be an Open House for students and parents at the new Teen & Young Adult Health Center on January 26th from 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. This new facility is a clinic of One World Health Centers, Inc. The Teen & Young Adult Health Center is located at 4310 S. 24th Street in Omaha. Parents and students have been invited to tour the new clinic, meet the staff, and enjoy some refreshments. Visitors will also have the opportunity to win an iPad. Come to the Open House and find out what the Teen & Young Adult Clinic can do for you.
Coalition RX will be delivering an important and relevant report on Nebraska’s current prescription drug monitoring program tomorrow. I encourage District 7 constituents to attend this meeting in order to learn the facts about prescription drug use in our community. Julie Cornell of KETV Channel 7 News will address this subject as well as explain why a functioning prescription drug monitoring program is essential to our community. The meeting will be held on January 21, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. at the UNO Community Engagement Center, located at 6001 Dodge Street in Omaha. Attendees are asked to park in the CEC parking Lot D, close to the Campanile Tower and Criss Library. For more information please contact Carey Pomykata at (402) 871-5622 or my office at (402) 471-2721.
Today at 1:30 p.m., the Health and Human Services Committee will hold a hearing on a number of bills including LB898. This is a bill that I introduced, which will make it easier for entrepreneurs to become natural hair braiders. The idea for this bill came to me from a District 7 constituent who contacted our office. The hearing will be carried live on the “NET” website. Click on “Live and ON Demand” and then click on “Legislative Hearing: Health and Human Services” under today’s date.