A Message to Constituents
Effective governance is solution-based. In my experience, identifying common interests brings positive change. I have advocated extensively for improved workforce development, wider access to quality health care, and the importance of public education. There are several bills of which I am particularly proud, as each one makes an improvement in a critical area of Nebraska’s well-being.
LB366 (2013) – There are more than 40,000 people in the Omaha area without a high-school diploma, severely limiting career advancement. Those in need of GED preparation and certification through Metropolitan Community College and 48 other certification sites in Nebraska deserve support that will help ensure that they are ready for career training. LB366 achieves this end while reducing property tax burdens on homeowners.
LB502 (2011) – Health care careers are high-paying and in demand. This law adds a health care employer to the State Workforce Development Board and adds a duty for that board to develop a plan to reduce the current shortage of health care workers in the state and create these high-paying careers.
LB628 (2011) – This law enables political subdivisions (counties, cities and public utilities) to donate surplus vehicles to Nebraska non-profit organizations. These vehicles will aid in the missions of our non-profits and provide reliable transportation to those in need.
LB500 (2011) – This law ensures no one is burdened with a criminal record for the simple and common act of hanging an air-freshener or a parking permit from their rear-view mirror.
LB329 (2011) – Nebraska’s energy code was outdated. This law adopts the most current national building standards that will save home and building owners up to 30% on their energy costs. LB 329 gives Nebraskan owners and renters the highest standards of energy efficiency.
Accountability in Education
LB262 (2013) – This law gives accurate and innovative tools to policymakers and community organizations interested in closing the achievement gap in public education. Across Nebraska there are thriving and struggling students, thriving and struggling schools. Why, and what are we going to do about it? While Nebraska makes funding education a priority, there were no reliable mechanisms to judge the effectiveness of our investments. With the passage of LB262, for the first time we will have accurate, reliable, and complete information about the success of our students and effectiveness of our school districts.
Access to Quality, Affordable Health Care
LB1063 (2012) – The Children’s Health and Treatment Act seeks to end the tragic and longstanding practice of Medicaid wrongly denying behavioral health treatment to Nebraska’s youth.
LB157 (2013) – Nebraska has a very strong public health infrastructure, but it has the potential to be even better. LB157 makes sure Nebraskans have access to dental care services by equipping public health clinics throughout the state with dental professionals.
LB119 (2013) – When public health clinics are able to meet the specific needs of the community we are a healthier and more productive state. LB119 empowers local public health districts to address real needs in the community like never before by adequately funding targeted prevention efforts. Building on our state’s public health system and providing access to dental care improves overall health, well-being and productivity in our community.
LB543 (2011) – LB543 helps the almost one in ten Nebraskan families, elderly, and people with disabilities who struggle with food insecurity. This law enrolls Nebraska in a Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) outreach program operated through a public-private partnership and funded by Nebraska non-profits.
LB543 also removes an existing policy that prevented Nebraskans in need of temporary nutrition assistance from building long-term assets that will help them out of poverty.
LB406 (2011) – One-half of Nebraska counties have a shortage of primary care physicians. This law allows for physicians who may have left the practice of medicine to raise a family or to serve as a medical volunteer to have a means to become re-licensed to practice in the State of Nebraska.
My firm belief that public service is the highest honor has been reaffirmed during my service in the Unicameral, and I look forward to continuing to live out that honor. As I continue my work as your Nebraska State Senator, I hope you will feel free to give me your input and to share your concerns with me.
Very truly yours,
Senator Tanya D. Cook
Legislative District 13