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I hope everyone was able to spend time with their loved ones this week. When tragedy strikes I am reminded how blessed I am to hug my children and grandchildren at night. We are praying for the families and friends of the 17 innocent lives lost on Wednesday, and for our leaders, parents, and communities to come together to find a solution to senseless violence.
I am excited to spend the Legislature’s four day weekend in all three counties of District 17. Saturday I will be attending and speaking at the open house for the new Thurston County Jail, then I will be attending the Wayne County Republican Party’s Lincoln – Reagan Dinner. On Monday, I will be attending the 41st annual Joint Dakota City, County, and School Dinner. I enjoy taking any chance I can to talk to constituents about current events in the legislature.
On Thursday I had the pleasure of introducing LB 1040 to the Health and Human Services Committee. LB1040 is a bill to help grieving families by offering commemorative birth certificate for those who suffer a pregnancy loss prior to 20 weeks gestation. Every pregnancy loss is a tragedy that has a profound impact on women and entire families, yet most go unrecognized. Any woman who has ever miscarried knows the pain and loss are real no matter the gestation. Whether a pregnancy is lost at 5 weeks, 12 weeks, 19 weeks or 20 weeks and beyond, the pain of that loss is severe and should be recognized and honored for those who wish to do so.
I was honored to introduce LB 1040 with Jennifer, Laura, Marci, Jennifer, Audra and Lisa. We also received many support letters from OBGYNs and the support of the Nebraska Hospital Association. I look forward to seeing this bill come out of committee and am hopeful it will earn a “yes” vote from fellow senators on the floor.
Next week, each senator and committee will have submitted their priority bills for the session. Priority Bills are placed on the agenda for debate before non-priority bills, and usually take up the remaining days of session leaving little room for other bills to be debated. Once all priority bill designations have been submitted, we will have a good idea of the subjects that will dictate session through April. To view Priority Bill designations visit: https://nebraskalegislature.gov/session/priority.php.
The budget shortfall will be discussed extensively this session as well. Governor Ricketts has released his budget proposal and the Appropriations Committee has held hearings to get public input on proposed budget cuts. The economic forecasting board will release predictions on state revenue projections at the end of this month, then the proposed budget will be adjusted according to the projections. To stay updated on the budget you can visit: http://budget.nebraska.gov/index.html.
The remaining Business and Labor Committee’s hearing for this legislative session will be on February 26th. The hearing will begin promptly at 1:30 p.m.
Committee hearings will be streamed live by NET at the following address: www.netnebraska.org/capitol. Live coverage of the full session of the Unicameral is also available from that page.
If you would like to submit written testimony for the committee to consider and you will not be personally testifying at the hearing, it is required that you turn your written testimony in to my office, no later than 5:00 p.m. on the legislative day before the relevant hearing. Please let us know if you would like your submission to be formally on the committee’s hearing record.
You may submit your written testimony by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to:
Senator Joni Albrecht
State Capitol, Room 2010s
PO Box 94604
Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-4604
I want to encourage my constituents to reach out to me at 402-471-2716 or to write me at the address above.
I look forward to hearing from you!