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Joni Albrecht

Sen. Joni Albrecht

District 17

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Weekly News–October 27, 2023
October 26th, 2023

On Friday, October 20th, I was honored to welcome volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) responders to their 140th Nebraska State Volunteer Firefighters Association Annual Conference. Their mission is to provide a unified voice for the fire and rescue services across the state, provide advice and guidance pertaining to legislative issues, encourage education and training within the fire/rescue service, and promote a communications network across the state. This year’s conference was held in South Sioux City and was hosted by Dakota City’s Fire and Rescue Department. The purpose of the conference was to feature EMS and Fire educational sessions requested by firemen and women. I was able to share that we were able to amend LB511 into appropriations bill LB814 which appropriated $5 million in Revolving Funds to the Department of Administrative Services to provide portable and mobile radios to establish interoperable communications between and among volunteer departments, and, when necessary, state agencies so all may communicate together in response to an emergency. This funding is available through a grant process through the Office of the Chief Information Officer. I was excited to tell them that over 200 applications were submitted and over 165 volunteer departments are in line to receive radios because of the passage of this legislation. I would like to thank Fire Chief Clint Rasmussen and Pat Moore, past president of the NSVFA, for their invitation to speak. It is always an honor, privilege, and delight to recognize our first responders. I would also like to thank Eve Sides, 2022-2023 President of the Auxiliary, and Jennifer Rasmussen, 2nd Vice President, for the invitation to lunch. I had a wonderful time.

This week I will be going over the General Affairs Committee priority bill, LB775, which updates the definition of a licensed racetrack enclosure to include all real property licensed and used to conduct a race meeting, including the racetrack and any grandstand, concession stand, office, bar area, employee housing facility, parking lot or additional area designated by the State Racing and Gaming Commission. This bill also grants the commission authority to create an adjudication subcommittee to investigate and respond to violations of the Nebraska Racetrack Gaming Act.

  • LB72 amends the County and City Lottery Act to clarify that gross proceeds do not include any admission costs collected at any location where the lottery is also available to the public free of an admission charge.
  • LB73 authorizes the use of funds from the county Visitors Promotion Fund to improve a facility in which a parimutuel wager is conducted if the facility also serves as the site of a state fair or district or county agricultural society fair.
  • LB232 provides for a digital premises keno ticket under the Nebraska County and City Lottery Act. Players are verified to be on the premises of a licensed Nebraska lottery location and are able to purchase digital keno tickets. A lottery operator must file with the Nebraska Department of Revenue and provide clear procedural regulations in order to sell digital on-premises tickets. This bill also authorizes the use of additional ticket payment methods, including a debit card, bank account, prepaid cash account or the cash balance of a payment application.
  • LB544 makes minor changes to the Nebraska Bingo Act and redefines terms on how bingo is played using technological aids.
    (Portions of this taken from “Session Review: General Affairs”. Unicameral Update. July 21, 2023.

On Friday, October 20th, Governor Pillen proclaimed the month of October as Developmental Disabilities Employment Awareness Month and highlighted the contributions of capable and eager individuals who are ready to join the workforce and help the state’s economy grow. “Creating a welcoming and supportive workplace is not only beneficial for individuals with disabilities, it’s also a benefit to Nebraska businesses,” said Governor Pillen. “Although our state continues to have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, individuals with disabilities are an underutilized resource who can help fill workplace gaps in our communities.” By hiring individuals with disabilities, a business can expand its talent pool and strengthen its workforce. According to a national survey by National Core Indicators, 54% of individuals with IDD in Nebraska do not have a community job, but would like one. One of the resources available for employers who are interested in hiring individuals with IDD is Nebraska Vocational Rehabilitation (VR). The organization works with businesses to find and retain talent and also works with individuals to make sure their new at-work match is a positive one. That includes identifying on and off-site job supports and tools that can help make the worker more successful in their new role. Employers who are interested in learning about the resources available to them are encouraged to contact Nebraska VR. Individuals with disabilities who are interested in seeking employment should reach out to their local Nebraska VR Service Office or their service coordinator. (Strimple, Laura. “Gov. Pillen Encourages Businesses to Hire Individuals with Disabilities.” Governor Pillen Press Release. 20 October, 2023. Accessed 24 October, 2023.)

On October 25th, the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) issued a press release with an update on the loops closure on the Kingsbury Interchange in South Sioux City. “Weather permitting, the week of October 30th, loops will close on the Kingsbury Interchange in South Sioux City to facilitate construction of joint nosing. The closure will be in effect approximately two weeks. Motorists are reminded to drive cautiously in and near work zones, to buckle up, and to put phones down.” (Nebraska Department of Transportation (2023, October 25) REVISED: Loops Closure on Kingsbury Interchange in South Sioux City [Press Release]

As always, I invite you to let me know your thoughts, ideas, concerns, or suggestions by calling my office at (402) 471-2716 or emailing me at

Sen. Joni Albrecht

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