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With the legislative interim in full-swing, I have had a few great weeks in the district. During the summer I enjoy spending time connecting with constituents and learning about the issues facing our community. As I learn more about the issues our community experiences, I discuss possible solutions with my staff and colleagues and decide if perusing legislation is the best option. We also continuously research and examine options to address property taxes, education funding, and economic development; my top three priorities in the Legislature. As I continue to pursue solutions to the biggest issues facing Nebraskans, I am happy to listen to constituent concerns and legislative ideas as we gear up for the 2019 session.
I was thrilled last week to attend a ceremonial bill signing for pro-life legislation in Norfolk with Governor Ricketts and fellow senators to highlight Nebraska’s proven pro-life budget and legislative record. At the event, Governor Ricketts’ highlighted the 105th Legislature’s success in passing pro-life legislation; including the creation of the “Choose Life” license plates, the passage of my bill LB 1040 that recognizes pre-born life and allows for optional commemorative birth certificates to mothers who miscarry before 20 weeks gestation, and our pro-life budget that prevented Title X dollars from funding abortion-related services. In addition to legislation passed the last two years, Governor Ricketts recently announced a new maternity leave donation program for state teammates. Starting in January, expecting mothers or new mothers who work for the state can receive donated vacation and compensatory time from their co-workers to expand their own paid time off while on family medical leave. This program will give new mothers additional flexibility to invest their time, love, and care in their newborn child. I continue to be inspired by and proud of Nebraska’s pro-life record.
Since the end of session, the ballot initiative petition that was circulating to put a $1 billion mandate on the state and citizens to fund property tax relief was disbanded. I did not support the ballot initiative petition and the illogical mandate it would put on Nebraska citizens. I am happy to hear that the Legislature will be given another chance to address property taxes next session. Every year the Legislature is held hostage by trying to create a large omnibus tax reform package that prevents us from coming to a common agreement and achieving property tax relief. I am hopeful, given recent events, that the Legislature will be able to advance a package that will solely address property taxes. I will stand firm and ensure that the Legislature make headway on property tax reform.
I would like to send a special congratulations to the graduating members of District 17. From pre-kindergarten to high school and college, you have all reached a major milestone and accomplishment in your lives and I am proud to represent you. Congratulations! I am excited to see what your bright future holds for you and our community.
I want to encourage my constituents to reach out to me, I look forward to hearing from you!
Senator Joni Albrecht
State Capitol, Room 2010
PO Box 94604
Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-4604