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This week, the Nebraska Legislature passed the 60th legislative day, meaning we are now 2/3rds of the way through the session. Things are heating up, and my entire day is spent on the floor of the Unicameral debating legislation.
We are starting to deal with some of the more high-profile bills this week including LB 46, a bill by Senator Dan Watermeier of Syracuse which allows Nebraskans to order special “Choose Life” license plates. Another bill, LB 173 by Senator Adam Morfeld (Lincoln), would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
On a less controversial note, by priority bill – LB506 – advanced to the final stage by voice vote and should be voted on one last time in the next week or so.
Another bill which I was proud to work on was LB639, a bill that will help military families become established in Nebraska. Introduced by my colleague Sen. Bruce Bostelman (Brainard), and referred to the Business and Labor Committee, the bill will give preference to active duty service members when seeking employment with the state or its governmental subdivisions. Military veterans are already eligible for such a preference. I was able to introduce an amendment which would allow military spouses to be eligible as well.
I also want to make sure youth in my district are aware of two different opportunities to get involved in public policy.
Agriculture is a way of life here in Nebraska, and a great way for youth to learn about agriculture is through the Nebraska Agricultural Youth Institute (NAYI). NAYI is celebrating its 46th anniversary this year. The five-day program is designed to teach current high school juniors and seniors about the agriculture industry and all the career possibilities available. NAYI is the longest running youth event of its kinds in the country and is free of charge.
The 2017 Nebraska Agricultural Youth Institute will be held in Lincoln from July 10-14th. The selection of delegates to this Institute can be found online at www.nda.nebraska.gov/nayi.
For youth who are interested in getting a better understanding of public power, electricity, power generation, and the rural electric program, the Nebraska Rural Electric Association will be holding its Youth Energy Leadership Camp in July.
The Youth Energy Leadership Camp is open to high school freshman, sophomores, and juniors whose families are customers of NREA member-systems may apply. The camp is also being held July 10-14th in Lincoln. Contact your local rural electric provider or call the NREA at 402-475-0835 for more information.