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Joni Albrecht

Sen. Joni Albrecht

District 17

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Weekly News–November 17, 2023
November 16th, 2023

Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in the United States. In 1621, the Plymouth colonists from England and the Native American Wampanoag people shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November. ( authors. “Thanksgiving 2023”. 14 November, 2023. I would like to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving and tell you how thankful I am to be serving as your Senator in the Nebraska Legislature.

This week I will share with you about the Natural Resources Committee priority bill, LB565, which adopts the Public Water and Natural Resources Project Contracting Act and the Nuclear and Hydrogen Development Act and changes provisions relating to municipal cooperative financing, scrap tires, power conservation and development, and the Game Law.

  • LB565 allocates $250,000 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2023-2024 and FY 2024-2025 from the General Fund to the Department of Economic Development for the purpose of providing grants to any public power district that serves a majority of counties in the state. The grants are to be used for engineering and modeling work to prepare and support the state in competing for one of the United States Department of Energy’s regional clean hydrogen hub designations and associate federal funding. In addition, the bill requires the Department of Economic Development to adopt and promulgate rules and regulations to carry out the program.
  • LB217 extends the sunset date for a scrap tire project grant program under the Waste Reduction and Recycling Incentive Act from 2024 to 2029.
  • LB289 amends the Municipal Cooperative Financing Act to allow municipal cooperatives to own and operate, contract to operate, or lease advanced metering infrastructure technology and provide advanced metering infrastructure services regarding a public owned utility system. This bill also authorizes the agencies to provide services related to information technology, physical security, physical infrastructure management, regulatory reporting, and administration regarding the public owned utility.
  • LB395 repeals the $4,000 annual cap on compensation for members of the Nebraska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and increases the members maximum daily compensation from $400 to $500. This bill also adjusts the amount for inflation every other year, beginning in 2025.
  • LB400 allows a private landowner or tenant to kill any predator preying on livestock or poultry or suspected of causing other damage on their land without a permit from the state Game and Parks Commission. This measure also allows private landowners or tenants to kill a mountain lion that is in the process of stalking, killing, or consuming livestock on their property without prior notice to the commission or permission from it.
  • LB425 increases the number of Game and Parks Commission members needed for a quorum at the commission’s public meetings from four to five. This measure also increases caps on certain nonresident hunting and fishing permits and allows the commission to issue permits for the taking of elk from state game refuges when their number is deemed detrimental to habitat conditions on the refuges or to adjacent private property.
  • LB567 repeals current law prohibiting individuals in certain high-level managerial positions at a public power district from serving as a member of any public power district’s board of directors.
  • LB568 requires the state Department of Economic Development to create a work group to determine the workforce training needs of the nuclear and hydrogen industries. The department will establish procedures and criteria for awarding grants to community and state colleges that implement courses designed to alleviate the workforce training needs of those industries. Grants may be used for equipment, curriculum, programming, or marketing. The measure also requires the state treasurer to transfer $200,000 in state general funds to a new fund used to provide per diems and travel and lodging reimbursement to certain work group members.
  • LB723 at the request of Governor Jim Pillen, allows the state Department of Natural Resources to use public-private partnerships and design-build, progressive design-build and construction manager-general contractor project methods when contracting for public surface water or groundwater-related infrastructure projects. The department also must pay a stipend in an amount determined at its discretion to qualified design builders that submit proposals but are not selected–giving the department ownership of the intellectual property contained in those proposals. (Portions of this taken from “Session Review: Natural Resources”. Unicameral Update. July 21, 2023.

Voter Information
Six months from November 14, 2023, Nebraskans will head to the polls to cast their ballots in the statewide primary, however, with a new voter ID law, Nebraskans should start preparing for the primary now. To see if your Nebraska voter registration information is current, click here: Here are some important dates to keep in mind ahead of the statewide primary:

  • January 5–Candidate filing begins
  • January 15–First day county election offices can accept early voting ballot requests
  • April 8–County election offices begin mailing out early voting ballots
  • April 15–First day to vote in-person at the county election office
  • April 29–Last day to register to vote online, at the DMV, at the Dept. of Education, at DHHS, by deputy registrar or by mail (postmark)
  • May 3–Last day to register to vote in-person at the county election office
  • May 13–Last day to vote early in-person at the county election office
  • May 14–Primary election day (Polls are open 8 a.m.–8 p.m. CT and 7 am–7 pm MT)
  • May 14–Last day to return an early voting ballot to the county election office (8 pm CT/7 pm MT)
  • NEW THIS YEAR: May 21–Last day for a voter to present their valid ID to their county election office if they didn’t have their ID at the polls

Under Nebraska’s new voter ID law, registered voters must present a valid photo ID for their vote to count. Nebraskans can use any of the IDs listed below for voting:

  • Nebraska driver’s license or state ID
  • Nebraska college or university ID (public/private)
  • Nebraska political subdivision ID (state/county/city/public school ID)
  • Passport
  • Military ID
  • Tribal ID
  • Hospital, assisted living facility, nursing home or any other skilled care facility record
    (State of Nebraska Robert B. Evnen Secretary of State (15 November, 2023). “Prepared for the Primary: 6 months until Nebraska’s May 2024 Statewide primary election” [Press Release]. Retrieved from

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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