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Weekly Legislative Update
The nearly daily rain showers have been a blessing to us as our moisture profiles continue to refill after last year’s drought. The Memorial Day service I attended in Fort Calhoun was very moving. It is my hope that you will take the time to review General John Logan’s proclamation of the first Decoration Day in 1868. His words commemorate fallen Americans so powerfully: “What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes?”
This week, the legislature debated several measures introduced to override budget vetoes by Governor Dave Heineman. The budget passed by the legislature represents about a 5% increase in spending. The governor vetoed several million dollars of spending. The legislature as a whole voted to override a number of, but not all, the governor’s vetoes including funding for the Omaha Learning Community and public advocacy legal aid. Even though our state has carefully managed your tax dollars the last several years, we must continue to be prudent about what programs receive funding. Future budgets should continue to use fiscal restraint.
This Monday, I had the honor of attending a bill signing ceremony for my priority bill, LB296, which increases the limits on deductions for contributions to the Nebraska College Savings plan. Governor Heineman signed the legislation into law, which will take effect in January 2014. This legislation not only keeps your hard-earned money in your pocket, but it also helps Nebraskans plan ahead so that our children and grandchildren can have a quality college, vocational, or technical education. In a time when college costs continue to rise, families need additional tools so that they can achieve financial preparedness by the time their children are ready to attend college.
A couple of brief congratulations are in order this week. Wisner-Pilger deserves accolades for their outstanding performance in state track and field where three students took home gold medals. Jerrica Tietz of Bancroft-Rosalie recently won the 2013 Cogressional Art Competition sponsored by members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Jerrica’s artwork will be exhibited for the next twelve months in Washington, D.C. It is exciting to see the talents of our District 16 students on display!
With only a couple of session days left, I am already making plans to visit business, libraries, and other organizations around the district during the interim. Please contact my office if you have suggestions or invitations for tours. Even after session ends, I encourage everyone to visit our office during the summer. To set up a meeting or time to visit, please contact me or my administrative aide, David Slattery, or legislative aide, Taylor Gage, at (402) 471-2728 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Serving you in the Nebraska Legislature to keep the good life growing,
Senator Lydia Brasch