NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE
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Sen. Lydia Brasch

Sen. Lydia Brasch

District 16

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 lbrasch@leg.ne.gov

District 16 Survey Results

December 31st, 2012

During the month of December, Senator Brasch ran a survey in District 16 newspapers and online to collect opinions from her District 16 constituents on state policy issues.  Please click on the results below to see the responses.  Thank you to everyone from District 16 who took the time to share your views.

District 16 2013 Survey Results

Senator Brasch is asking District 16 residents to consider completing a legislative survey regarding policy issues of importance to you and your family as she considers legislation and positions on legislation in the upcoming 2013 session.  Senator Brasch hopes you will take a few moments to complete the survey and share your views.  The survey is available at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/6VRT97J.

Thank you for taking the time to respond and share your important opinions on state policy issues.

Sincerely,

Lydia Brasch

Senator, District 16

December 6th, 2012

The legislative interim has flown by quickly and the upcoming session is just the corner. January 9th is the first day of the 90 day session.  I am anxious to begin working with returning state senators and with those newly elected as there are many policy issues for the legislature to address.  Before discussing what’s to come in the new year and session, I must take a moment to cover the events of the past several months since my last column update.

Roads issues have been at the forefront of office inquiries during the interim.  The first roads-related meeting within our District 16 counties was held in Burt County on August 28.  Two public meetings followed, first in Washington County on October 29 to discuss widening of Highway 133, followed by a November 5 roads meeting in West Point.  There was great attendance at each of the meetings, and I believe it was very beneficial to all attending residents to better understand current, present, and future highway projects.  Revisiting some of the questions and issues raised, on December 6, I accompanied our District Three engineer, Kevin Domogalla, on another on-site assessment to discuss constituent questions and progress.

Broadband has been another important topic in our district and the state, and my staff and I toured one of the prominent providers in Blair, Great Plains Communications.  This was an informative opportunity to see the operations of some of our most valuable technological resources and services.

Many constituents have contacted me with questions, concerns, and policy proposals, and I appreciate the dialogue and bringing attention to matters in our district.  Such inquiries have taken me to each of our three counties to meet with individuals and better understand the subject at hand and what recourse is needed, be it research, phone calls, or possibly a bill.

It has also been a pleasure to visit schools, tour successful businesses in and outside of our district, such as Nucor Corporation in Norfolk and CF Industries in Blair.  Additionally, I met with local government officials, including school superintendents, county boards, community colleges, and Natural Resources Districts.  State agency meetings have covered topics of legislation and current events and included Health and Human Services, Game and Parks, and the Department of Roads.  Similarly, it was valuable to meet with representatives from organizations such as First Five Nebraska, our Chambers of Commerce, Rotary Club, Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation, among others.

Within the legislative arena, my respective committees have held interim study hearings. October 5 the Agriculture Committee conducted a hearing on to examine agriculture’s role in our education curriculum.  In October and November the Revenue Committee held interim study hearings on subjects including revitalization of historic business districts, alternative county revenue sources if the inheritance tax is repealed, and issues of land banking.  I do expect to see legislation related to each of these interim study hearings next session.

There are also other policy matters that will be significant.  Specifically, setting a biennial budget will be a major obligation.  We are fortunate that most recent projections show an improvement in the shortfall, moving from a $624 million shortfall to what now is a $195 million shortfall with an estimated $57 million surplus revenue for the cash reserve fund.  Nevertheless, it will be important to show fiscal restraint in setting the budget while providing for needs.  State aid to education will factor into the budget, as well as consideration of taxes. Other prominent legislative issues that may come before us are: legislative action on state health care exchange, changes to tax structure (inheritance, sales, income, and property taxes), juvenile justice and crime prevention, just to name a few.

As I prepare for the legislative session, I have compiled a survey to better understand what issues are important to you.  Please consider taking the time to complete the survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/6VRT97J.

Just as I have done during previous sessions, I will provide you with weekly columns throughout the session.  Several changes are anticipated, however, including moving to a new office in the State Capitol and hiring a new legislative aide.  My current legislative aide, Sarah Skinner, accepted a position with Senator-Elect Deb Fischer, and I thank her for service to District 16 and will introduce you to my new legislative aide in January after I have completed the hiring process.

As always, please contact me with any legislative questions.  The office phone number is (402) 471-2728, or you may e-mail me at lbrasch@leg.ne.gov. I look forward to hearing from you and working for you in the upcoming legislative session.

Serving you in the Nebraska Legislature to Keep the Good Life Growing,

Senator Lydia Brasch

District 16

(Lincoln, NE) October 23, 2012 – District 16 State Senator Lydia Brasch will host a public meeting regarding current and future roads projects in Cuming County. Officials from the Nebraska Department of Roads (NDOR) will be present to explain maintenance and construction plans in the region and address questions from the public. This is Senator Brasch’s third District 16 meeting with NDOR during the legislative interim to discuss important highway concerns among residents.

“Quality roads impact all citizens, and I believe it is important for the public to be able to ask questions and be informed of Cuming County and District 16 maintenance and construction plans during all stages of work,” said Senator Brasch.

Senator Brasch looks forward to the discussion and encourages all interested citizens to attend the meeting to be held:

Monday, November 5, 2012

5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Nielsen Community Center

200 Anna Stalp Avenue, West Point, NE

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(Lincoln, NE) October 10, 2012 – District 16 State Senator Lydia Brasch will host a public meeting regarding the recently announced widening of Nebraska Highway 133 between Blair and Omaha.  Officials from the Nebraska Department of Roads will be present to explain construction plans and address questions from the public.  Construction from a two-lane to four-lane highway was announced by Governor Heineman on September 12, 2012, and is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2013.

Because this highway project is of greatest importance to citizens of District 16, Blair, and Washington County, I believe it is also important for the public to be able to ask questions and be informed of the construction plans from beginning to completion,” said Senator Brasch.

Senator Brasch looks forward to the discussion and encourages all interested citizens to attend the meeting to be held:

Monday, October 29, 2012

5:30- 7:00 p.m.

Blair City Hall – City Council Chambers

218 South 16th Street, Blair

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 (Lincoln, NE) October 3, 2012 – State Senator Lydia Brasch is encouraging District 16 juniors and seniors to submit applications for Nebraska Attorney General’s Youth Advisory Council (AGYAC).  Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning selects students to participate in the council and “discuss opinions and ideas on events and matters within the state and their local communities.”

Senator Brasch believes these leadership opportunities and government involvement are important for youth and promote greater awareness of current events and the role of government.  She states, “Opportunities such as this are valuable for shaping our future community leaders and involving students in their government in a meaningful way to serve and be informed of important issues.”

Additional information and applications are available on the Attorney General’s website at http://www.ago.ne.gov/about/agyac. The application deadline is October 26, 2012.

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Senator Brasch was nominated for the Emerging Leaders Symposium held at the data analytics software company SAS in Cary, North Carolina and hosted by National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).  Wednesday, September 19 – Friday, September 21, Senator Brasch looks forward to this leadership opportunity and aggressive agenda to further her leadership skills representing District 16 in the Nebraska Legislature.

Senator Brasch will attend annual County Farm Bureau meetings for each of District 16’s counties.  The events are:

Tuesday, August 28 – Burt County Farm Bureau

Wednesday, September 5 – Washington County Farm Bureau

Monday, September 10 – Cuming County Farm Bureau.

Legislative Update Summer 2012

August 27th, 2012

Reflecting on a summer that seemed to have little time to wind down, I have gained new perspective during my time at home on the farm and moving about in our district that spans Cuming, Burt and Washington Counties.  Visiting with so many of you at business meetings, briefings, celebrations and county fairs, I have benefited greatly from our exchanges.  With the legislature adjourned until January, I will continue to be out and about in our District 16 communities and discuss important legislative issues with you.

Most recently Burt, Cuming, and Washington Counties all held county fairs.  It was a privilege to participate in each of them, visiting with county residents, and viewing many exhibits created by our talented citizens.  The county fairs are a great close to the summer, and with good food, family, and fun festivities, the stresses of the drought fade for a brief moment through the smiles of children and bright blue ribbons.

For the second year in a row, District 16 and Nebraska have experienced a hardship at the hands of Mother Nature.  Still scarred from last year’s Missouri River Flooding, we now face a severe drought.  Agricultural, personal, and economical effects are still looming, but given our track record, I am confident we can rise above these challenges.  We will learn from our hardships and continue to work hard to support our families and communities; Nebraska farmers and ranchers will continue to play a vital role in feeding our world.

Since the Legislature’s April adjournment, I’ve enjoyed visits to our District 16 towns.  From training for weather spotting in Craig to speaking at Blair Kiwanis Club to a Cuming County Feeders Tour, district events have filled my schedule and granted me the privilege to meet with many different people on a variety of subjects.  Participating in summer parades and local celebrations in Blair, Tekamah, and Lyons was a joy.  Being part of grand openings, open houses, and anniversaries was also a highlight as it demonstrates growth and opportunity.  These include:

  • Tekamah Carnegie
    Library ground breaking;
  • Northeast Nebraska
    Community Action Partnership Open House;
  • St. Frances
    Memorial Hospital Open House;
  • Novozymes Grand
    Opening;
  • Pheasant
    Bonanza/Hunt & Kennel Open House;
  • West Point Inspro
    Insurance Anniversary Celebration;
  • Cuming County
    Public Power District 75th Anniversary Celebration; and
  • Blair Municipal
    Airport Groundbreaking.

Day-long excursions with the Department of Roads allowed me to view road construction projects and discuss future projects.  On two occasions, with the University of Nebraska and the Game and Parks Commission, I toured the previously flooded Missouri River valley, addressing damages, recovery, and productivity.  Focusing on energy, I toured an innovative methane gas operation, discussed the current and future status of Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant, and will delve into public power operations with a visit to Nebraska Public Power District’s control center.  Upcoming district visits include tours of businesses in Blair, one of our newest District 16 towns.  I will also attend annual Farm Bureau meetings for all three counties and discuss agriculture policy.

It was a privilege to represent District 16 and Nebraska as I traveled to Madison, Wisconsin, August 10.  I am one of three Nebraska senators selected to The Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership (BILLD).  The BILLD program is a unique educational opportunity.  Meeting with other state representatives from the Midwest region, we participated in seminars about leadership, communication, and policy development.  It was a great learning experience applicable to serve our district in the Nebraska Legislature.

Looking forward at functions of the Legislature this fall, interim study hearings will be conducted for legislative resolutions introduced during this past session.  Several public hearings regarding establishment of a State Health Insurance Exchange will be held by the Banking, Commerce, and Insurance Committee, as well as hearings throughout the state conducted by the Nebraska Department of Insurance.  Public hearing schedules for interim studies this fall are available at www.nebraskalegislature.gov.

I welcome your input on legislative issues as we prepare for the upcoming session.  To share your ideas and concerns, I can be reached at lbrasch@leg.ne.gov
and 402-471-2728.

Serving you in the Nebraska Legislature to Keep the Good Life Growing,

Senator Lydia Brasch

District 16

Senator Brasch will be in Wisner on Friday, August 17 for Thunder on the River.  She hopes to see many District 16 residents in attendance at this grand event.

Sen. Lydia Brasch

District 16
Room #1022
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2728
Email: lbrasch@leg.ne.gov
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