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I hope everyone has been staying cool the last few days that we have experienced incredible heat waves. Each week, the USDA publishes a Nebraska Crop Progress and Condition report. As of May 20th, Corn planting was at 88% complete and soybean planning was at 68% complete across the state, both numbers are ahead of schedule compared to last year. As planting season comes to an end, I am wishing all our farmers well as we prepare for the summer and the eventual harvest this fall. I will be praying for our farmers as they work hard to continue to put food on our tables, we cannot thank them enough for all the hard work they do.
A few weeks ago, my good friend, constituent, and widely loved political activist Naomi Brummond passed away. I attended her funeral last week to celebrate her life and many accomplishments. Nebraska is a better place because of caring and dedicated people like Naomi.
On May 14th, I was excited to attend an event with the Wayne Area Economic Development Chamber and David Rippe, Nebraska’s new director of the Department of Economic Development. Director Rippe joined us to discuss Wayne’s recent strides in economic development and the $639,000 Rural Workforce Housing Fund grant the Wayne Community Housing Development Corporation received this May. Director Rippe expressed praise for Wayne’s development, energy, and momentum in the past 10 years. We were excited Director Rippe visited Wayne and South Sioux City to see the wonderful communities and potential our district has to offer. I would like to send a special thanks to Luke Virgil of the Wayne Area Economic Development Chamber for inviting me to this informative and special event.
As I hope many of you know, May 15th was Primary Election Day across the state. This is a big election year as we have many federal, statewide, legislative, and local seats to fill. It is incredibly important that we turn out to vote in every election. Sadly, only 24% of registered voters cast a vote in the Primary Election statewide. I hope this newsletter will serve as a friendly reminder to vote in the General Election on November 6th. Every two years we hold legislative elections, trading off between elections for even and odd numbered legislative districts, this year all even numbered legislative districts are holding elections. Of the 24 districts, eight seats are vacant due to term limits or senators deciding not to run for reelection, five incumbent senators are running unopposed, and all eleven incumbent senators that faced challengers advanced through the nonpartisan primary. It is refreshing to know we have citizens who are willing to take on the responsibilities of public service. I would like to extend congratulations to every one that advanced through the primary in races across the state as well as local races in Wayne, Thurston, and Dakota Counties. I look forward to working closely with incumbents and newly elected officials in all levels of government in the coming years.
Last week, I published an Op-Ed in the Omaha World-Herald concerning EPA barriers on fuel blended with 15% ethanol, E15. We need U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to fight hard for rural growth and press the Environmental Protection Agency to lift strict regulations on E15 fuel that restrict sales every summer. Biofuels represent a critical market for farmers. Lifting EPA barriers on E15 would not only promote rural growth, it would also provide consumers with cleaner, lower-cost options at the pump. President Donald Trump has announced his support for repealing E15 restrictions, and Perdue can make it happen by holding the EPA accountable to farm communities that are waiting for a much-needed boost in demand. I urge anyone who cares about the rural economy to join me in offering Secretary Perdue our full support in this important fight.
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