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Since I was elected to the Nebraska Unicameral, I have been disappointed and disheartened that we did not recite the Pledge of Allegiance each morning before beginning the legislative day. Reciting the pledge is a small but important tribute we can make to veterans that have given everything to protect our freedoms. I am proud to be leading an effort to ensure that we recite the Pledge of Allegiance each morning before starting the legislative session. My colleagues have been excited to join me and we have secured pledge leaders for each day of session so far.
On Saturday, January 26th Nebraska celebrated our 45th annual Walk for Life. Each year, thousands of Nebraskans gather at the Capitol steps to celebrate life and march to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Student Union to stand for life. I had the opportunity to share information about my bill LB 209 and join fellow elected officials to support the pro-life movement. This year, we heard from Catherine Adair, a former Planned Parenthood employee. After being pressured into an abortion at 19, she began working at Planned Parenthood and witnessed thousands of abortions. After seeing the aftermath of a second-trimester abortion, she could no longer participate in the horror of what she was doing. I am thankful for women like Catherine who share their stories and continue to stand for life. We are so blessed to live in a pro-life state!
I introduced LB 307 on behalf of the Department of Environmental Quality in the Natural Resources Committee this week. The bill updates statutes relating to the revolving funds administered by the Department to allow more flexibility as authorized by federal law. The ability to transfer funds will provide the state with flexibility to allocate the funds where the demand for community infrastructure improvement is greatest. I want to thank South Sioux City administrator Lance Hedquist for coming to testify in support of the bill. LB 307 was advanced to General File from the Natural Resources Committee unanimously, I am looking forward to passing LB 307 and seeing its benefits to South Sioux City and the rest of District 17.
I also introduced LB 222 and LB 223 in committees this week. LB 222, Change the Volunteer Emergency Responders Incentive Act, cleans up language to simplify the Volunteer Emergency Responders Incentive Act to ensure that all qualifying emergency responders can receive the $250 tax credit the Act allows. LB 223, Provide a state-sponsored insurance program for members of the Nebraska National Guard, adds language into law for a common practice in the National Guard regarding the sale of National Guard sponsored life insurance, to ensure that National Guard members may continue to have access to the life insurance benefits. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass both of these bills.
District 17 is home to three wonderful Extension programs. The Wayne County Extension Program is located in the City of Wayne and offers a stellar 4-H program and other Ag related programs for school age children. The 4-H program reached over 60% of the age-eligible youth in kindergarden-12th grade in the county in 2017. Also in 2017, Nebraska Extension in Wayne County, along with current and past 4-H’ers and industry leaders, hosted an agriculture literacy event designed to target 4th grade students to learn about “life on the farm”. Wayne County Extension has made such a positive impact on agriculture and our community. I am proud of their outreach and thank the directors for all their hard work.
To learn more about extension programs in your county, please call their office or visit their website.
Dakota County Extension
Thurston County Extension
Wayne County Extension
It is of great importance that I hear from my constituents to effectively do my job as your voice in the Legislature. I encourage my constituents to reach out to me and I look forward to hearing from you.
Senator Joni Albrecht
State Capitol, Room 1404
PO Box 94604
Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-4604