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I hope you are having a safe and enjoyable fall season. We are about two months away from the 2022 Legislative Session and I would like to provide a few updates.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and hospitals in our area are reaching capacity, we can all do our part to end this pandemic by encouraging our friends, family, and neighbors to get vaccinated. The Douglas County Health Department is hosting free COVID-19 vaccination clinics for anyone 5 years of age or older Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Individuals 5 through 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult or guardian to be vaccinated. For more information on the vaccines, booster shots, and clinic locations, go to douglascountyhealth.com/covid-19 or call 402-444-3400.
The Legislature’s Appropriation Committee is currently conducting an interim study to determine how to best utilize funds from the federal government through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, or ARPA. Nebraska will receive significant dollars to help the state recover from the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, public health, education, state and local governments, individuals, and businesses. Our Unicameral Legislature relies heavily on the citizens of the state of Nebraska to act as our second house, and I encourage you to take part in this public process by sharing your ideas for how these funds should be spent. ARPA proposal letters can be sent to the Appropriations Committee email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every day I am honored to represent District 7 in the Nebraska Legislature. Even more importantly, I am thrilled to come home to District 7 every night to my family. My wife, Lauren, and I could not be more excited to raise our children, Ava and Luca, in a community that values inclusivity, love, and diversity. As our children grow older, I know their neighbors in downtown and South Omaha will value them and our community. I look forward to every chance to communicate with my friends and neighbors in District 7 and I will fight every day to promote District 7 values to make Nebraska an even better place to call home for everyone.
I will be introducing new legislation during the 2022 Legislative Session and appreciate hearing from my neighbors in District 7 as I prepare. As always, please feel free to reach out to me or my office at 402.471.2721, email@example.com, or any social media. My Legislative Aide, Cristina Prentice, Administrative Aide, Morgan Wallace, and all of our interns are willing and excited to help.
Ojalá que tengan una temporada segura y agradable. Solo faltan dos meses hasta la sesión legislativa 2022 empieza y querría proveer unas actualizaciones.
Como continúa la pandemia de COVID-19, y los hospitales en nuestra área están casi llenos, podemos hacer nuestra parte para parar la pandemia de fomentar a nuestros amigos, familias y vecinos a vacunarse. El Departamento de Salud del condado de Douglas ofrece las clínicas gratis de vacunaciones de COVID-19 para cualquier persona de cinco años o mayor los lunes hasta los viernes, 8:30 por la mañana hasta las 4 de la tarde. Los individuos de 5 hasta 18 años necesitan acompañarse con un adulto o guardián para estar vacunado. Para ver más información sobre las vacunas, las inyecciones de refuerzo y lugares de clínicas, ve a douglascountyhealth.com/covid-19 o llama al 402-444-3400.
El comité de asignaciones de legislativa ahora conduce una investigación provisional para determinar cómo usar fondos del gobierno federal del plan de rescate estadounidense (“American Rescue Plan Act” o “ARPA”) de 2021. Nebraska recibirá fondos para ayudar a la recuperación del estado del impacto de COVID-19 por la economía, la salud pública, la educación, el gobierno del estado y del local, los individuos y los negocios. Nuestra legislativa unicameral confía mucho por los ciudadanos del estado de Nebraska en actuar como nuestra segunda casa, y le fomento a tomar parte en el proceso público en compartir sus ideas en cómo se puede usar estos fondos. Se pueden mandar sus cartas de propuesta del plan de rescate estadounidense (“ARPA”) al correo del comité de apropiaciones a firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cada día me siento honrado en representar el distrito 7 en la legislatura de Nebraska. Más importante, estoy emocionado de venir a mi familia en casa en el distrito 7 cada noche. Mi esposa, Lauren, y yo no podríamos estar más emocionados al criar a nuestros niños, Ava y Luca, en una comunidad que valora a la inclusividad, amor y diversidad. Cómo crecen nuestros niños, sé que sus vecinos en el centro y el sur de Omaha los valorará a ellos y a nuestra comunidad. Me anticipo a cada oportunidad de comunicarme con mis amigos y vecinos en el distrito 7 y lucharé cada día para promover los valores del distrito 7 para hacer de Nebraska un lugar aún mejor al que llamar hogar para todos.
Voy a introducir el nuevo legislativo durante la sesión legislativa y agradezco oír de mis vecinos en el distrito 7 como me preparo. Como siempre, por favor no duden en comunicarse conmigo o con mi oficina a 402.471.2721, email@example.com, o en cualquier red social. Mi asistente legislativo, Cristina Prentice, asistente administrativo, Morgan Wallace, y todos de nuestros pasantes están dispuestos y emocionados de ayudar.
This month, I wanted to inform you about the redistricting process occurring in Nebraska throughout the month of September. The State Legislature is required by the U.S. and state constitutions to redraw various governmental district boundaries every 10 years in response to population changes reflected in the U.S. Census. New district boundaries will be created for the three U.S. House of Representatives districts, 49 legislative districts, Nebraska Supreme Court, Public Service Commission, State Board of Education, and the University of Nebraska Regents.
Last session, the Redistricting Committee introduced a Legislative Resolution to ensure that redistricting plans are constitutionally acceptable and provide criteria for senators throughout the process. The resolution passed with a vote of 31-16. Among many things, the criteria in this resolution prohibit new district boundaries that will result in the unlawful dilution of any minority population’s voting strength. It is also a requirement that these boundaries must define districts that are easily identifiable and understandable to voters, and allow for the preservation of core prior districts.
Once the redistricting process occurs, I encourage you to stay informed and optimistic, whatever the outcome.
Every day I am honored to represent District 7 in the Nebraska Legislature. Even more importantly, I am thrilled to come home to District 7 every night to my family. My wife, Lauren, and I could not be more excited to raise our children, Ava and Luca, in a community that values inclusivity, love, and diversity. As our children grow older, I know their neighbors in downtown and South Omaha will value them and our community. And I will fight every day to promote District 7 values to make Nebraska an even better place for everyone.
As always, please feel free to reach out to me or my office at 402.471.2721, firstname.lastname@example.org, or any social media. My Legislative Aide, Cristina Prentice, Administrative Aide, Morgan Wallace, and all of our interns are willing and excited to help.
Este mes, querría informarle sobre el proceso de re-distribución que está ocurriendo en Nebraska sobre el mes de septiembre. Se requieren las constituciones estadounidense y estado la legislatura estatal a redibujar varios lindes distritos cada 10 años en respuesta a cambios en población que están reflejado en el censo de EE. UU. Nuevos límites de distrito serán creados para los tres distritos de la cámara de los representantes, 49 distritos legislativos, el tribunal supremo de Nebraska, la comisión de servicio público, la junta estatal de educación y los regentes de la universidad de Nebraska.
La última sesión, el comité de redistribución de distritos presentó una resolución legislativa para asegurar que los planes de redistribución de distritos sean constitucionalmente aceptables y provean criterios para los senadores durante el proceso. La resolución se aprobó con un voto de 31-16. Entre otras cosas, los criterios en esta resolución prohíben nuevos lindes distritos que resultarán en la dilución ilegal de la fuerza de voto en cualquier población. También, es un requisito que estos lindes deban definir los distritos que son fácilmente identificables y comprensible a los votantes, y permitan la preservación de distritos centrales anteriores.
Cuando el proceso de la redistribución de distritos ocurre, le fomenta a seguir informados y optimista, no importa el resultado.
Todos los días me siento honrado en representar el distrito 7 en la legislatura de Nebraska. Más importante, estoy emocionado de venir a mi familia en casa al distrito 7 cada noche. Mi esposa, Lauren, y yo no podríamos estar más emocionados para criar a nuestros niños, Ava y Luca, en una comunidad que valora a la inclusividad, amor y diversidad. Cómo crecen nuestros niños, sé que sus vecinos en el centro y el sur de Omaha los valorará a ellos y a nuestra comunidad. Y lucharé cada día para promover los valores del distrito 7 para hacer de Nebraska un lugar aún mejor para todos.
Como siempre, por favor no duden en comunicarse conmigo o con mi oficina a 402.471.2721, email@example.com, o en cualquier red social. Mi asistente legislativo, Cristina Prentice, asistente administrativo, Morgan Wallace, y todos de nuestros pasantes están dispuestos y emocionados de ayudar.
The 107th session of the Nebraska Legislature is in full swing, and while this year’s session is markedly different from past years with our interpersonal interaction limited due to the Coronavirus, we remain committed to addressing the most pressing issues that affect Nebraskans every day.
On Friday, April 9th we approved Nebraska’s state budget for the next two years. Budgets aren’t about numbers on a spreadsheet. Budgets are about values, priorities, and people. In a Unicameral legislature, like the one we have here in Nebraska, we must work together to accomplish our goals. This is my fifth year serving on the Appropriations Committee, so I know how arduous the process can be to put together a budget. State agencies started working on their budget requests ten months ago. The Governor and his staff worked carefully with the Committee for form his own Budget recommendations. We sought input from interested stakeholders and from the public. More than forty bills drafted by myself and my colleagues were incorporated into a package hundreds of pages long. Between 49 State Senators, the Governor’s staff, the agency heads and the public, we worked with hundreds of people to craft this legislation. In today’s hyper-partisan environment, it would have been easy to fail. It would have been easy to refuse compromises, get frustrated, and walk away. But we do things differently in Nebraska, we work together.
Our budget was built using four pillars to support Nebraska for the next two years: ensuring more, better paying jobs; job training to give workers the skills they need to get those new jobs and keep them; making sure that every Nebraskan can live a healthy lifestyle; and finally, guaranteeing that our economy is one where hard workers reap the benefits.
With this year’s budget, we will be providing funding for the Business Innovation Act. Since this legislation first passed in 2012, independent analysts have found the program to be a success. Across 217 participating businesses, there were over 1,100 direct jobs created because of the Business Innovation Act. Even more importantly, the average wage of those jobs created has steadily increased. In 2014, these jobs were paying on average just over $50,000 per year. By 2020, the average wage had increased to over $67,000 per year. That is substantially higher that the statewide mean wage of $47,000 dollars. This success is a result of investment in Nebraska innovation designed to grow Nebraska from the inside-out. We don’t know if there’s an upper limit to the effectiveness of this program – some amount of funding we can hit where we will find diminishing returns. What I can tell you that we’ll never find that limit if we don’t reach for it and push against it, and successful programs deserve additional funding to grow that success.
We’re also funding the Job Training Cash Fund. We created this fund last year when we passed the Customized Job Training Act, though we deferred funding it until this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The appropriation to this fund will help prepare Nebraska’s workforce for the challenges of our new national economy by creating grants to pay for internships and job training at firms that use the funds to either create new jobs, or to enhance the earning potential of existing jobs. Jobs created through these internships and job training grants will be strengthened, and the workers will have better earning potential, with this funding in place. By funding the program, we will actualize the main goal of the Customized Job Training Act: creating newer, higher paying jobs for Nebraskans. This is exactly the kind of commitment to our workforce that we ought to be making. We don’t want new economy jobs moving overseas. We want to keep those jobs and the people who work them right here.
We’re also expanding our funding of Nebraska’s eighteen Public Health Departments. A year ago, many of us didn’t know much about the role of our Public Health Departments. What we’ve found is that these departments were stretched thin even before the Coronavirus pandemic struck, and the pandemic didn’t help the situation. Earlier this year, I introduced LB585 to appropriate $5 million total to improve our public health infrastructure. The first $3 million would be distributed evenly across all eighteen Public Health Departments, and the final $2 million will be distributed based on the population density. These kinds of proactive investments in our public health infrastructure will help us address future public health crises. If we wait to make these kinds of investments until we’re reacting to a problem, then its already too late. The coronavirus pandemic will be a touchstone in all our lives because of the disruption it caused. But it is not the only public health crisis we’ve faced as a state or as a nation during most of our lifetimes, and it won’t be the last. From the bird flu to the Opioid epidemic, HIV/AIDS and asbestos exposure, funding our public health departments will not only ensure a quicker reaction to the next public health crisis, it will also encourage better health decisions among the public because of the programs these public health departments can promote.
These are all important priorities that will help us meet our obligations to Nebraskans today and in the future. We approached this budget in a balanced, bipartisan, and responsible way. Nebraskans have made it clear over and over again that they want their elected leaders to approach policy this way. Over the last five years, I’ve seen the highs and lows of the Nebraska Legislature. It’s not always easy, but I have never been more optimistic about Nebraska’s future. We are a strong and resilient people, and I know we are united in our desire to face the greatest challenges facing our society. When we work together, there’s no limit to what we can achieve.
I hope you began the new year with the same renewed hope, good health, and happiness that my family and I did. Lauren and I were thrilled to welcome our second child, Luca Anthony Vargas, on New Years Eve. As many of you know, I lost my father to COVID-19 last Spring, and Luca was given the middle name “Anthony” in his honor. Lauren and I are so thankful for your support and love, especially over the past year, and could not be more excited and blessed to raise our children in this generous community.
We began the 107th Legislature on January 7th and I was sworn in to begin my second term as your senator with an oath to uphold my commitment to serving you to the best of my ability. I was honored to be re-elected by my peers to serve as Vice Chair of the Executive Board, a role that will require the continuation of the bipartisan, consensus-forming approach that I have taken during my first four years in office.
This session I introduced 26 bills to help strengthen and protect our state and community. These bills will:
Improve public health
Honor our veterans
Strengthen our education system
Strengthen our economy and workforce
Support equity and diversity
You can find more information about each of these bills on my legislative website: news.legislature.ne.gov/dist07/
Every day I am honored to represent District 7 in the Nebraska Legislature. As always, please feel free to reach out to me at (402) 471-2721, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on any of my social media accounts. My Legislative Aide, Meg Mandy, Administrative Aide, Cristina Prentice, and all of our interns are willing and excited to help.
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