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Joni Albrecht

Sen. Joni Albrecht

District 17

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I hope that everyone is having a safe and successful harvest. I’ve had the pleasure to travel the district and meet with constituents and business leaders. At the Wayne Area Economic Development’s Business and Industries committee luncheon I had the opportunity to speak with business leaders in the community about the upcoming legislative session and hear their comments about how the Legislature can help Wayne business leaders succeed. As we head into the last week of the election, I wish each candidate luck and look forward to working closely with everyone on important issues in Legislative District 17.

Nebraska Family Alliance held their annual gala on October 26th, celebrating 30 years of advancing family, freedom, and life. Speakers included Kelvin Cochran, the former Fire Chief of Atlanta; Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop (the shop featured in the SCOTUS decision on religious freedom); and Barronelle Strutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers (who brought a similar case to the Supreme Court). I want to send a special thank you to Nebraska Family Alliance for the hard work they do each year and such a lovely evening.

As Business and Labor Committee Chair, I sit on the Economic Development Task Force and meet monthly with fellow task force members to discuss strategies to encourage economic growth in Nebraska. Recently, we have been discussing the Advantage Act which is a business grant incentive program created to encourage Nebraska businesses to expand their current investment and employment through tax credits and refunds. The program sunsets (expires) in 2020 and the Legislature is studying plans to hopefully replace or improve the program. On Friday, the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) facilitated a discussion on economic development that all senators were invited to. CREC will continue to work with the Legislature to pull together recommendations for economic development policy in Nebraska, including the key decision we face on what to do about the Advantage Act.

On Friday, the Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board released a new forecast predicting that the state will face another budget shortfall, totaling $232 million through 2021. Each year the forecasting board published revenue projects that we use in the Legislature to craft and amend the budget in order to ensure our budget stayed balanced. The board is expecting the shortage of workers and effects of agricultural tariffs to continue to slow economic growth. In the next few months we will learn more about the state’s economic forecast; in mid-November the state tax commissioner will present the Legislature with projections of state spending growth and the Forecasting Advisory Board will review and revise revenue projections in February and April.

The new revenue forecasts show a clear need to the Legislature to continue to be cautious with spending. Frivolous and uncertain financial mandates on the budget could seriously hurt Nebraska taxpayers and make property tax relief nearly impossible. Just as last year, it is expected that any bills that are introduced in the 2019 Legislative Session that have fiscal notes (spend taxpayers’ money) are very unlikely to pass. I hope the glum revenue forecast cautions voters when heading to the polls this year. Initiative 427, Medicaid expansion, is an unfunded, unsustainable, and uncertain mandate on Nebraska taxpayers. The revenue forecast reinforces that the state does not have the funds to pay for Medicaid expansion costs, and I fear this will lead to funds being cut from essential services such as K-12 education, roads, current Medicaid recipients, and the University of Nebraska system. I urge my constituents to consider the consequences of Initiative 427.

I want to encourage my constituents to reach out to me, I look forward to hearing from you!




Sen. Joni Albrecht

District 17
Room 1404
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2716
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