NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

The official site of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Sen. Joni Albrecht

Sen. Joni Albrecht

District 17

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 jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov

Welcome
January 9th, 2019

Thank you for visiting my website. It is an honor to represent the people of the 17th legislative district in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature.

You’ll find my contact information on the right side of this page, as well as a list of the bills I’ve introduced this session and the committees on which I serve. Please feel free to contact me and my staff about proposed legislation or any other issues you would like to address.

Sincerely,
Sen. Joni Albrecht

Weekly Update August 9, 2019
August 12th, 2019

BACK TO SCHOOL. Most area children head back to school this week -August 14-15. Hopefully, those of you with children returning to school have finished the annual pilgrimage for school supplies and are looking forward to that first day. It’s good-bye to summer, hello to books, backpacks, and bulletin boards. There is a certain excitement to transitioning from the chaos of summer to the structure of the classroom. The first day of school each year means pictures to mark advancing in grade and in life, and to help us remember the moments. Remember to watch out for kids walking and riding bikes to and from school. And while taking those treasured pictures, remind the little ones to always be aware of their surroundings.
I attended the Nebraska Association of School Board’s meeting for our area in Wayne this past week. It was a good opportunity to “plug” back in with your elected school board members and school superintendents to discuss concerns and thoughts as we begin the new school year. I look forward to working with them in the year ahead, through the lens of what happens in District 17. Please know that you, too, can relay your concerns and ideas to these folks you put in office by attending and participating in school board meetings.

Last week the BLUEPRINT NEBRASKA economic development plan was unveiled by the Governor, the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce, and other partners, including the University. Said to be a “turning point” for the state, almost 600 Nebraskans participated in developing the plan, with about 2,000 attending more than 60 events held across the state over the past year or so. The report lays out goals to attract and retain young people between ages 18 and 34 to all parts of Nebraska, and to expand opportunities and strengthen Nebraska’s competitive position in the country. The report contains 15 key initiative proposals, which, if successfully implemented, will reportedly create 25,000 jobs and add $15,000 a year to annual income of Nebraskans. Parts of District 17 may have identified some helpful ways to further the plan’s goals. Both Thurston and Wayne Counties joined the more populated counties as among 20 counties that saw increases in employment between 2014 and 2018.

Before implementing the plan, it will be more fully presented to Nebraska residents and businesses at public forums to be held throughout the state. The South Sioux City Area Chamber of Commerce and the Nebraska Chamber are hosting a “Fall Forum” in South Sioux City on August 20, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 pm at the Copperhead Inn and Conference Center, 4401 Dakota Ave. The forum is open to the public. Interested in learning how that vision will affect District 17, I plan to attend.

UNSOLICITED ROBOCALLS can at best be annoying and inconvenient, and at worst cause great disruption and affect the bottom line of businesses that receive frequent calls. At the Legislative Summit this past week, Congressman Fortenberry advised attendees that there is an effort to address the issue underway in Congress. I’ve heard concerns from residents of District 17. I will continue to monitor the progress and pass information onto you as I receive it.

FUN FACT: Did you know that in 2018, there were an estimated 3.52 head of cattle per Nebraska resident while nationally the estimate was .29 head of cattle per capita? It will be so great to see the “Best of the Best” from around the state shining at the upcoming Nebraska State Fair, Aug. 23-Sept. 2. The 4-H participants work hard and it really shows as they compete for top honors!

As always, it is of great importance that I hear from my constituents to effectively do my job as your voice in the Legislature. I encourage you to contact me and I look forward to hearing from you.
You can reach me by phone at 402-471-2716 or by email at jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov

WEEKLY UPDATE 8.2.2019

Fair Fun! I had a great time visiting with folks and enjoying the energetic atmosphere at the Dakota/Thurston County Fair this past weekend. From the Butterfly Encounter to the free rodeo and Equine Parade, from sack races, cake eating and Nail driving contests to the Battle of the Bands, the fair offered a whole lot of something for everybody. For me, it was a packed weekend, as I ran between two fairs, with grandkids participating in the Dakota/Thurston County and the Dodge County Fairs. There’s no substitute for the looks of excitement on the kids’ faces as they show their projects and receive those coveted ribbons. I was impressed by the hard work and amazing talent on display throughout the entries. As always, I enjoyed attending and appreciate that the communities go all out to provide a fun, welcoming atmosphere and a quality line-up of entry categories and activities. Most of all, I appreciate the community commitment to provide an opportunity for neighbors to connect over good food and great fun. I’m already looking forward to next year!

In other news, the Tax Rate Review Committee had its required meeting this month to determine whether the sales and income tax rates in Nebraska should be changed. The Legislative Fiscal Office presented a report to the committee. No action was taken.

To summarize the report, General Fund receipts for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018-19 were $131.4 million above the April forecast. By law, the additional revenues will be transferred to the State’s “Rainy Day Fund” (Cash Reserves). The adjusted revenue receipts for FY 2018-19 rose 8.7%, compared to the forecasted 5.7% increase. However, the actual increase from the prior year is 7.2% (rather than 8.7%). The difference is due to adjustments such as a shift of income tax revenue from FY 2019 to 2020 due to delayed filings related to flooding. How the FY 2018-19 revenue performance will affect the forecasts for the next two fiscal years (FY2019-20 and FY2020-21) will be addressed at the October meeting of the Nebraska Economic Forecast Advisory Board (NEFAB). I’ll keep you posted.

Finally, I’ve been waiting for word from Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) about the Hwy. 94 Bridge in Pender that was damaged by the spring flooding. Although damaged and impassable bridges are an inconvenience for everybody and we wish things moved more quickly, we also recognize the widespread damage to infrastructure throughout the state. We finally received a status and funding update from NDOT that I’d like to share with you:

HWY 94 East of Pender Project Status: The contractor, Valley Corp, has notice to proceed and will begin the process of excavation following utility location. Tribal monitoring has not impacted the schedule of the project as of August 2, 2019.

The Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) does have a six percent TERO tax agreement with the Omaha Tribe and is currently negotiating a Tribal Monitoring Agreement for the HWY 94 bridge and river bank repairs as the Omaha tribe has requested tribal monitoring on the project..

The project is a result of the March 2019 flooding which means it is covered by a Governor’s Emergency Declaration, as well as a Federal Major Disaster Declaration. The severity of the event allows the NDOT to expedite the procurement and construction process to restore essential traffic. This means that the typical construction process, to include the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process, is adjusted to allow mobility to be reestablished as quickly as possible.

For repair work on the estimated $156M in damages to the federal-aid eligible transportation system, initial financial responsibility falls upon the NDOT with the Federal Highway Administration reimbursing NDOT after the repairs are compete. Reimbursement rates are dependent on if work is temporary (100% federal) or permanent (80% federal and 20% state). For roads off the federal-aid system the financial responsibility falls to the local entity and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Please visit NDOT’s flood recovery website for updated information:https://dot.nebraska.gov/news-media/nebraska-flood-2019/

As always, it is of great importance that I hear from my constituents to effectively do my job as your voice in the Legislature. I encourage you to contact me and I look forward to hearing from you.
You can reach me by phone at 402-471-2716 or by email at jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov

The 2018 US Farm Bill removed Industrial hemp from the controlled substance list and paved the way for growing and cultivation throughout the United States. In May, 2019 the Nebraska Legislature cleared the way for Nebraska farmers when it adopted the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act. To legally grow hemp in Nebraska, interested parties must apply for, and receive a signed license agreement from the State.
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) took applications for limited agreements in this initial “pilot program” year. There were 176 applications received by the NDA by the June 28, 2019 deadline. Ten (10) applicants were notified of their eligibility and sent Agreements to participate in the NDA hemp growing program.
Ho-Chunk Farms, owned by the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska’s Economic Development Corporation received its approval on Thursday July 18. Aaron LaPointe, the company’s business manager, says the first season will start small, with 5.5 acres of hemp. Planting is expected to start in the coming weeks. LaPointe says the initial crop for a pilot program will help the company prepare for next year.
Although there has been some recent criticism of the limited number of applications granted for the pilot program, it is important that we recognize the wisdom in not moving forward too quickly. Before we start criticizing the Governor and Nebraska Department of Agriculture, we should look at why limited scope is warranted in the first growing year and what is in the best interest of Nebraska taxpayers and producers. For instance, more growers means more personnel paid for by taxpayers to oversee testing of appropriate THC levels. Also, this type of production can be an expensive initial investment for a producer. Generally hemp, which is a short day plant, should be planted after danger of hard freezes, and slightly before the planting date of corn in soil temperatures above 46’-50’. Good soil moisture is necessary for seed germination, and plenty of rainfall is needed for good growth, especially during the first six weeks. It is no secret that throughout Nebraska, corn, soybeans and other agricultural products are already in the ground.
I love fair season! I had a great time meeting and visiting with folks at the Wayne County Fair this past weekend. It is always so wonderful to see county residents coming together for fair events and competitions. I am especially proud of the 4-H groups, who all show great dedication and commitment to their communities and their projects. I look forward to the upcoming Thurston/Dakota County fair July 31-August 1.
The University of Nebraska Haskell Lab Science and Agricultural Family Field Day was held in Concord on July 24. I was unable to attend but am so grateful that the University did what it could to keep the Lab open in order to provide this amazing resource for residents of Northeast Nebraska. Attendees were introduced to the diverse research projects conducted at the Lab and were able to interact with exhibits like MakerSpace, robotics, and other STEM activities. If you were able to go, I would love to hear from you about your experience.
POW WOWs are coming up. The 153rd Annual Winnebago POW WOW and Celebration took place July 25-28, 2019 at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Winnebago, Nebraska. The 215th Annual UNOnHOn HE’THUSKA HEDEWACHI is being held August 15-18 at Little Warrior Park in Macy, Nebraska. These celebrations are rich in tradition, expression, community and culture.
As always, it is of great importance that I hear from my constituents to effectively do my job as your voice in the Legislature. I encourage you to contact me and I look forward to hearing from you.
You can reach me by phone at 402-471-2716 or by email at jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov

Another busy week for District 17. It was great to attend the Governor’s Summit and see so many friendly faces from Northeast Nebraska.
The Governor’s 4th Annual Economic Summit was held on Wednesday, July 19, 2019. The program included important topics like workforce talent recruitment and retention, career path development, housing, and more. The statewide focus is a vibrant Nebraska where our children, their children, and others, have opportunities to live, work, and raise their families.
Though held in Lincoln, all three counties in District 17 were recognized for their impressive work towards keeping the Nebraska economy thriving.
A shout out to Dakota County’s own South Sioux City Community Schools, which was recognized at the Summit for its Approved Career Academy. The Approval designation signals quality programming that allows students to take part in academic and career & technical education courses which reflect local, regional, or state employment needs and demands. The South Sioux City Academy offers education for employment opportunities in fields of Business, Marketing, and Management, Communication and Information Systems, Health Sciences and Education and Skilled and Technical Services. Great for our youth—great for our future. Way to go South Sioux!
Wayne County was asked to share about its great progress in developing workforce housing. Megan Weaver, Executive Director of Wayne Community Housing Development, shared about projects and accomplishments in Wakefield leveraging funds generated through LB518, the Rural Workforce Housing Investment Act. It is rewarding to see the results of the labor that went into introducing, prioritizing, and passing LB 518 when I chaired the Business & Labor Committee in 2017. Wakefield successfully leveraged the available funds to increase housing stock and increase the tax base through a community partnership with local business, contractors, utilities, and banks. Transforming empty lots and/or dilapidated housing into attractive and affordable housing is a goal that benefits all in the community.
Ray Welsh of Welsh Financial Group from Pender was a panelist on the topic of business growth opportunities that build communities where people want to stay. Highlighting the Welsh group’s successful growth in Pender, Ray had plenty to share about the importance of providing an attractive environment for businesses in small town Nebraska. He stressed that Pender is always considering what it would take for a family moving to Pender to call Pender “home.”
Finally, in a surprise ending to the Summit, the Governor and First Lady Susanne Shore unveiled a video being released to attract and encourage folks to live, work, and start businesses in Nebraska. Entrepreneurs Lukas Rix and Mark Kanitz and their businesses Rustic Treasure & 1912 Emporium in Wayne are spotlighted in the video. No doubt about it- District 17 businesses and residents model Nebraska Strong!
WALTHHILL MEMORIAL RODEO –
On a sadder note, the 45th Annual Walthill Memorial Rodeo put on its last show July 12-14, 2019. Though incredibly fun and entertaining as always, the finality of this years’ performances was sad for many. “It ain’t our first rodeo, but it is our Last,” declared the rodeo banner and photo. Some who are saddened by the rodeo’s end say that the organizers of the Rodeo have, over the years, provided not only a great time for friends and family, but also an annual opportunity for a “reunion” that will be greatly missed. I wish to extend my heartfelt appreciation for the Rodeo’s dedication to Thurston County and say Congratulations on 45 years of a successful event for all ages. Thank you Walthill Rodeo for nearly five decades of family and community fun and enjoyment!
As always, it is of great importance that I hear from my constituents to effectively do my job as your voice in the Legislature. I encourage you to contact me and I look forward to hearing from you.
You can reach me by phone at 402-471-2716 or by email at jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov

It has been a busy week in District 17!

I love the opportunities to visit community celebrations like the Wayne Chicken Show and others during the summer months. It is always a pleasure to meet and speak with you. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend couple of community celebrations/parades recently due to my husband’s surgery. If yours was one, I am sorry I missed you and I look forward to seeing you next year!

With additional county fairs and other outdoor activities at a high this time of year, be sure to keep your families and children safe by keeping plenty of water and sunscreen on hand. Also, remember to periodically check on those neighbors who may have challenges related to heat and make sure their air conditioners are providing the relief they need.

Also, I would like to congratulate my Legislative Aide Mackenzie Martin-Fisk, on her pending move to Kansas City. We are very excited that she and her husband are embarking on a new adventure. We will miss her and are grateful for her dedication to our office. Please join me in wishing her the best! Last week was Mackenzie’s last week with our office.

Our office has been busy getting everything ready and prepared for this office change. We welcome my new Legislative Aide Cyndi Lamm to the office beginning July 15. Cyndi has education, experience, and skills that I believe will serve District 17 well and she looks forward to working with constituents on issues in the District.

Finally, I will be attending the Governor’s Summit on Workforce Development this week and will provide a summary for you in next week’s newsletter.

In addition to this office update, I also wanted to let you know about a few more opportunities being offered for Nebraskans.

Sen. Ben Sasse’s office is accepting nominations for the United States Service Academies. Applications opened on May 1st and they are due by October 1st. The Senator will then be conducting interviews in Lincoln in mid-November of this year. You can find out the required materials for this nomination at www.sasse.senate.gov->services->academynominations.

Attending a U.S. Service Academy allows individuals the opportunity to attend a prestigious institution and receive an education free of cost. It also offers a wide variety of academic vocations to choose from, will allow development of leadership skills and attributes that are unparalleled to other institutions and provides participants with the skills and education to serve the country with honor. Finally, as a graduated military officer, individuals have the potential to shape the future of the country’s armed forces.

Interested applicants should apply with your State Senator (my office if in District 17), with their Congressman, and with the US Senator’s office. Consider diversifying the recommendation letters that are submitted and reread your application for any corrections or additions before the October 1st deadline.

As always, it is of great importance that I hear from my constituents to effectively do my job as your voice in the Legislature. I encourage you to contact me and I look forward to hearing from you.
You can reach me by phone at 402-471-2716 or by email at jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov

It is hard to believe that it is already July. It feels like the summer is just passing us by.

Our office has maintained a busy rhythm of getting everything organized, filed, and dealt with. July 4th was a paid holiday for state employees so my Capitol office was closed. It was a great opportunity for everyone to recharge.

I would first like to wish all of you a very Happy 4th of July. I hope that all of you were able to enjoy it, that you all stayed safe, and that it gave you time to reflect on what the Independence Day celebration truly means to this country.

This week I also wanted to share with you several great opportunities that are coming up.

If you have a student in your family that has an interest in learning more about Nebraska’s State Capitol, now is your chance. The Clerk of the Legislature’s Office is currently accepting page applications for the 2020 Legislative Session. A legislative page is typically someone who performs small tasks such as running errands, delivering coffee to State Senators, answering phones, or assisting in many other ways throughout the legislative session. It is a great opportunity to get involved in state government. The deadline for submitting page applications and letters of recommendation for the 2020 Legislative Session will be Friday, October 4th at 5pm.

The page selection committee will meet in October to select individuals to fill those positions. If you are interested in becoming a legislative page, then please contact our office and we will get you started on the process.

Congressman Adrian Smith is now currently accepting Angels in Adoption Nominations. Congressman Smith believes Nebraskans who open their homes to provide safety and shelter for children deserve to be recognized for it. Angels in Adoption is a project of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute providing members of Congress the opportunity to honor an individual or entity from their districts for extraordinary contributions on behalf of children in need of homes. Congressman Smith is looking forward to receiving these nominations to honor those who positively impact young lives through adoption and foster care. If you would like to make a nomination then visit, adriansmith.house.gov/angelsinadoption

The nominations are due by Friday, July 19th. The information that needs to be included in the nomination are the name of the nominee, organization if applicable, address, phone, email, and reason for nomination that is 325 words or less. If you would like more information on Angels in Adoption then please contact Congressman Smith’s Grand Island Office at 308-384-3900.

The last opportunity that I want to talk to you about this week is that Nebraska received a grant to expand registered apprenticeships. The Nebraska Department of Labor, NDOL, has received over $840,000 from the US Department of Labor to expand the program across the state. The Apprenticeships State Expansion grant covers the next three years and will allow NDOL to assist business with the new program development. Gov. Pete Ricketts stated that “The ‘earn while you learn’ model of Registered Apprenticeships is growing the state by equipping students to excel in IT and manufacturing.” He added, “Apprenticeships put young Nebraskans on a path to learn valuable skills and to gain technical expertise so that they can get high-paying jobs. As the same time, they help the state’s businesses to find proficient, highly trained Nebraskans to join their teams.”

The grant allows for enrolling over 400 new Registered Apprentices. As of March 2019, there were approximately 125 Registered Apprenticeship (RA) programs in Nebraska, representing an increase of 44% since 2016. Companies that are interested in starting an RA program may contact Scott Asmus with the Nebraska Department of Labor at 402-471-9928. Job seekers interested in participating in an RA should contact their local Nebraska Department of Labor office.

You can also find more information about this at http://dol.nebraska.gov

As always, it is of great importance that I hear from my constituents to effectively do my job as your voice in the Legislature. I encourage you to contact me and I look forward to hearing from you. You can reach me by phone at 402-471-2716 or by email at jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov

 

It has been another busy week for District 17. We have been working diligently to continue completing all of the follow ups from our town hall meetings.

There were some great ideas that were expressed to me during my town halls and I am excited to dive into the research side of getting the nuts and bolts figured out on each item first before we proceed any further.

Like always, if you have legislation ideas or thoughts then please feel free to reach out to my office and I will do some digging on those.

This week I want us to dive into what happened with all of my legislation during this year’s legislative session.

I introduced nine pieces of legislation this year. Seven of the nine bills passed and only two stayed in committee.

The nine bills that I introduced were:

  • LB 209 was our informed consent bill. It would require information, materials, and reporting regarding continuing a viable pregnancy after taking mifepristone. LB 209 will also require the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to publish information on finding a qualified health care professional who can administer the reversal process in their print materials, they also will publish this information on their website, and update this information as necessary. It was passed on final reading on May 30th and the vote was 36 yes, 12 no, and 1 present but not voting. I was excited to see this true labor of love get signed into law by the Governor.

 

  • LB 222 will change the Volunteer Emergency Responders Incentive Act. The Volunteer Emergency Responders Incentive Act was created in 2016 to award a $250 refundable tax credit for volunteer emergency responders who meet certain criteria. LB 222 will amend language in the Volunteer Emergency Responders Incentive Act to simplify the administration of the tax credit. The bill was passed on final reading on April 26th  with a vote of 46 yes and no opposition. Our office recently mailed out a packet of information on this bill to all of our district’s fire departments.

 

  • LB 223 will provide duties with regard to a state-sponsored insurance program for members of the Nebraska National Guard. LB 223 provides further guidance within state law on the state-sponsored life insurance program, ensuring National Guard members maintain the opportunity to access information and enroll in the program. The bill was passed on final reading on March 7th with 46 yes and 1 present but not voting.

 

  • LB 224 will rename the Nebraska Educational, Health, and Social Services Finance Authority Act (NEHSFA). LB 224 will now allow NEHSFA to also be a conduit issuer for private cultural institutions. Private cultural institution means any private not-for profit corporation or institution that (1) has a primary purpose of promoting cultural education or development, such as a museum or related visual arts center, performing arts facility, or facility housing, incubating, developing, or promoting art, music, theater, dance, zoology, botany, natural history, cultural history, or the sciences, (2) is described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is exempt from federal income taxation under section 501(a) of the code, (3) is located within this state and is not owned or controlled by the state or any municipality, district, or other political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, and (4) does not violate any state or federal law against discrimination. The bill passed on final reading on March 15th. The vote was 41 yes and 2 present but not voting.

 

  • LB 307 will change provisions relating to certain Department of Environmental Quality Funds. LB 307 updates state revolving fund statutes to be consistent with federal laws that allow states additional flexibility to administer the Wastewater Treatment Facilities Construction Loan Fund and the Drinking Water Facilities Loan Fund. The bill was passed on final reading on March 7th with a vote of 45 yes and no opposition.

 

  • LB 320 will change various provisions of the Pesticide Act and update federal references. LB 320 amends the Pesticide Act, by updating the federal regulations adopted by reference relating to changes in the applicator certification program as set out in 40 CFR Part 171. The changes primarily include certification categories for private applicators, requirements related to training and supervision for restricted use pesticide (RUP) applications by uncertified applicators, and setting eighteen as the minimum age for licensed RUP applicators. LB 320 also amends the Pesticide Act by clarifying product registration requirements, jurisdictional issues for out-of-state registrants and licensed applicators, and other clean up provisions. The bill passed on final reading with a vote of 49 yes and no opposition.

 

  • LB 595 will provide for restorative justice under the Dispute Resolution Act, Nebraska Juvenile Code, and the Student Discipline Act and in compulsory attendance collaboration plans and change provisions relating to mediators under the Parenting Act. LB 595 would amend the 1991 Dispute Resolution Act in order to explicitly incorporate restorative justice into the Supreme Court’s Office of Dispute Resolution’s mission and purpose and to sustain its successful restorative justice pilot efforts conducted since 2015. The bill was passed on final reading on May 13th with a vote of 47 yes and no opposition.

 

  • LB 581 would require the use of generally accepted accounting principles in preparing budgets under the Nebraska Budget Act. LB 581 proposes potential language to encourage accessible, uniform, and easy to understand budgets and audit reports of political subdivisions. LB 581 was not passed and stayed in the Government, Military, and Veteran Affairs Committee. I believe, though, that this is something that we need to continue working on and we will be working on it during the interim and bringing it back to the floor next year.

 

  • LB 722 would authorize seizure of Gray Devices under the Nebraska County and City Lottery Act. LB 722 prohibits by definition games (of skill or chance) that make use of a Gray Device, which is a mechanism that accepts currency and awards monetary prizes or something redeemable for monetary prizes, and which uses casino-style games, card games, certain amusement games, or bingo, keno or pickle card themes. The bill, as written, was not brought to the floor. However, parts of LB 722 were amended in Senator Lathrop’s LB 538. The Department of Revenue was pleased to have the two bills come together to make LB 538 as strong as possible. LB 538 was passed on final reading on May 23rd with a vote of 44 yes and 3 present but not voting.

If you would like to read more about any of my bills or any other bills from this past session then please go to https://nebraskalegislature.gov/.

As always, it is of great importance that I hear from my constituents to effectively do my job as your voice in the Legislature. I encourage you to contact me and I look forward to hearing from you. You can reach me by phone at 402-471-2716 or by email at jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov

 

Weekly Update – June 21st
June 25th, 2019

My office has officially completed our town halls for the summer.

I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who came and who added to the conversation. My office is now busy working on following up with all of you who requested further assistance. It was such a privilege to be able to connect with so many of you from my district.

The topics that we discussed during the town halls varied depending on the main interests expressed by those in attendance. We discussed the budget, property taxes, education, business incentives, rural workforce development, both of my committees (Natural Resources and Transportation and Telecommunications), all of my legislation, and my interim study.
We also provided information on flood rebuilding/assistance, redistricting, wind farms, and sports gaming.
Each town hall was very productive and really helped me see what the most pressing needs are for you, my constituents. If you were unable to make it to the town halls, but have opinions or questions that you want heard or answered, then please reach out to me. I would love to hear from you.

In addition to finishing up the town halls this week, my calendar also had one other great event in the District on it.
On Tuesday, June 18th, I was able to attend the “Wayne Right to Life” event in Wayne, NE. The event allowed me the opportunity to further dive into the information that surrounds my priority bill, LB 209, the informed consent bill. It was a great opportunity to answer questions and hear more opinions on my bill after it was signed into law by the Governor on June 4th.

In July, we will have another great program take place in Nebraska.

The Nebraska Agricultural Youth Institute (NAYI) will begin on July 8th and wrap up on July 12th. NAYI will be held in Lincoln at the University of Nebraska’s East Campus. Each year more than 200 high school juniors and seniors, sharing an interest in agriculture, gather together to develop leadership skills, explore career opportunities, and learn more about Nebraska’s number one industry. NAYI is the longest running program of its kind in the nation.
During the five-day program, delegates participate in agriculture policy and group discussions, farm management activities, and a variety of networking opportunities with peers and industry leaders. It gives the students an opportunity to learn about various career options since a quarter of the jobs in Nebraska are related to agricultural.

Since NAYI started in Nebraska, it has been able to impact the lives of 6,400 students from across the state. Delegates apply for and are selected to attend NAYI free of charge due to the numerous donations from agricultural businesses, commodity groups, and industry organizations.

I would like to congratulate the students from District 17 that will be participating in NAYI this year. Congratulations to Allison Claussen of Wayne, Hana Nelson of Wayne, Josie Thompson of Wayne, Taylor Daum of Emerson, Tyler Gilliland of Wayne and, Kylie Kempf of Carroll.

NAYI is organized by the Nebraska Agricultural Youth Council. For more information on NAYI, visit the website at: nda.nebraska.gov/nayi.

I also want to make sure that all of you, my constituents, and the rest of Nebraska know about the Report of Destroyed Real Property Form (Form 425) that will be due on or before July 15th. The Department of Revenue, Property Assessment Division, has a new form that has been created, pursuant to 2019 Neb. Law LB 512. The Form 425 is to be used by owners of real property whose property has suffered significant property damage as a result of a calamity occurring on or after January 1 and before July 1 of the current assessment year. The property owner may file Form 425 with the county assessor and the county clerk on or before July 15.

A calamity is defined as a disastrous event, including, but not limited to, a fire, an earthquake, a flood, a tornado, or other natural event which significantly affects the assessed value of the property. Destroyed real property does not include property suffering significant property damage that is caused by the owner of the property.

Significant property damage is defined as damage to an improvement exceeding 20% of the improvement’s assessed value in the current tax year as determined by the county assessor; damage to the land exceeding 20% of a parcel’s assessed land value in the current tax year as determined by the county assessor; or damage exceeding 20% of the property’s assessed value in the current tax year as determined by the county assessor if: the property is located in an area that has been declared a disaster area by the Governor and a housing inspector or health inspector has determined the property is uninhabitable or unlivable.
The county board of equalization will consider the report to determine any adjustments to the assessed value of the destroyed real property for the current year.

The county board of equalization must act upon this report on or after June 1 and on or before July 25, or on or before August 10 if the board has adopted a resolution to extend the deadline to hear protests under
Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-1502, and must send a notice of the reassessment value for the destroyed real property to the property owner.

I encourage all of you to spread the word among your family and friends about this form. Form 425 can be located online at http://www.revenue.nebraska.gov/PAD/forms/f_425.pdf

It is of great importance that I hear from my constituents to effectively do my job as your voice in the Legislature. I encourage you to contact me and I look forward to hearing from you. You can reach me by phone at 402-471-2716 or by email at jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov


June 18th, 2019
Weekly Update – June 14th
June 17th, 2019

My office has remained busy during the interim as all of us prepare for many town halls that I will be hosting on June 17th, 2019 in all three of the counties in my district.

I am excited to be able to have the opportunity to connect with my constituents and to be able to fill you in on the ins and outs of this year’s legislative session. I would also like to thank all of you that called or emailed us at my office with concerns and ideas that you would like to hear and talk about at the town hall meetings. Hearing from constituents is always something that I look forward to and it helps me be a more effective Senator.

In addition to preparing for the town halls, my calendar was also filled with several great events in the District. On Saturday, June 15th I was able to attend the “Cornerstone Laying Ceremony” with the Brethren in Rosalie, NE. The ceremony for the new Olive Branch Masonic Lodge No. 274 was a traditional ceremony for the laying of the first stone. It is virtually the same ceremony that was used by Brother and President George Washington when he laid the Cornerstone for our nation’s Capitol. In Wayne, NE I was able to attend a joint event between the Nebraska Diplomats and the Nebraska Economic Developers Association. At the event they gave awards to those who have contributed to Nebraska’s economic development. It was an honor to be around such great Nebraskans. Also in Wayne, I was able to attend the Northeast Cattleman’s dinner and fundraiser at the Wayne County Fair Grounds. The Nebraska Cattlemen raise money for various youth scholarships for Nebraska students. It is always such an enjoyable event for a great cause.

I would also like to take some time to wish all of the fathers in my district a heartfelt, Happy Father’s Day. I am truly grateful for all of the lessons and love that I have received from my Dad through the years.

This week, we had another great program take place. The Junior Law Cadet Program of the Nebraska State Patrol and the American Legion occurred.

Every year, high school juniors from each of The American Legion’s 14 Districts in Nebraska are chosen to participate in the Junior Law Cadet Program. The purpose of the program is to allow male and female students the opportunity to explore and experience the various aspects of law enforcement training. Students participate in daily calisthenics and receive training in firearms, self-defense, fingerprinting, K-9 handling, accident and criminal investigation, lie detector testing, and state patrol car driving. Students stay at the Nebraska State Patrol Training Academy in Grand Island. This year’s Junior Law Cadet Program began on June 10th and ended on June 13th. I am proud to announce that District 17 had two students participate in this year’s program. I would like to congratulate Daityn Chase from Jackson and Stuart Hasemann from Wayne. I am excited to see where life takes you both.

It is of great importance that I hear from my constituents to effectively do my job as your voice in the Legislature. I encourage you to contact me and I look forward to hearing from you. You can reach me by phone at 402-471-2716 or by email at jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov

Sen. Joni Albrecht

District 17
Room #1404
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2716
Email: jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov
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