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This year, 739 bills were introduced in the Unicameral, in addition to multiple Legislative Resolutions. Legislative Resolutions are a proposal to make a formal expression of opinion, intent or recognition, amend the state or federal constitution, or authorize a study of an issue during the interim.
The Legislature has been debating and passing bills through General File and Select File, but Senators have begun designating priority bills that will soon dominate debate. Bills that are selected for priority status are generally considered ahead of other bills in debate. Each senator may select one priority bill, each committee may select two priority bills, and Speaker Jim Scheer may select up to 25 priority bills. Priority designations are due prior to adjournment on Tuesday, March 19th; by that time we will have a good idea of the topics that will lead debate this year. To view all priority bills please visit https://nebraskalegislature.gov/session/priority.php
On Friday February 8th, two bills I sponsored passed to Select File from General File without any “No” votes. I am looking forward to advancing these bills through Select File and having them signed into law by Governor Ricketts.
I introduced LB 307, Change provisions relating to certain Department of Environmental Quality Funds, on behalf of the Department of Environmental Quality. The bill aligns our statutes with federal law to allow the Department of Environmental Quality to transfer funds between the Drinking Water Facilities Loan Fund and the Wastewater Treatment Facilities Construction Loan Fund to maximize the use of federal funds. The Drinking Water Facilities Loan Fund program provides low-interest loans and loan forgiveness to owners of public drinking water systems. The Wastewater Treatment Facilities Construction Loan Fund provides low-interest loans and small community matching grants to municipalities for construction of wastewater treatment facilities and sanitary sewer collection systems to alleviate public health and environmental problems.
LB 307 will ensure that our communities, especially rural communities, continue to have access to federal loan funds for projects that protect public health and promote community growth. Public drinking water systems and municipalities are eligible for the Drinking Water Facilities Loan Fund and Wastewater Treatment Facilities Construction Loan Fund respectively. More information can be found at http://deq.ne.gov/NDEQProg.nsf/OnWeb/CA or by calling 402-471-2186.
LB 223, Provide a state-sponsored insurance program for members of the Nebraska National Guard, provides further guidance within state law on the state-sponsored life insurance program, ensuring National Guard members maintain the opportunity to access information and enroll in the program. I am so proud to sponsor LB 223 to protect our service members’ access to life-insurance for them and their families.
Live coverage of committee hearings and the full session of the Unicameral is available at www.netnebraska.org/capitol
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