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Joni Albrecht

Sen. Joni Albrecht

District 17

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Weekly News–December 15, 2023
December 15th, 2023

Christmas is quickly approaching and I hope your home is decorated, your gift shopping done, Christmas cards written, and your goodie baking finished. I would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.
Christmas is celebrated on December 25 and is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. For two millennia, people around the world have been observing it with traditions and practices that are both religious and secular in nature. Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, a spiritual leader whose teachings form the basis of their religion. Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, sharing meals with family and friends, and, of course, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive. December 25–Christmas Day–has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870. ( editors. “History of Christmas”. 21 December, 2022.

Upcoming 2024 Session preview
The 2024 session begins on Wednesday, January 3rd. Last year 820 bills were introduced and many of those were carried over to this session as they were still in committee or were ready for floor debate. I introduced 13 bills last session and all of them have had their public hearings. I would like to go over the bills that were carried over. Knowing that this session is my final session, I have carried several of these bills in previous sessions. My hope is that many would be apart of this next session’s agenda or committee priority bills. I would like to see them come to the floor for full and fair debate.

  • LB606–Adopt the Nebraska Pregnancy Help Act and provide tax credits–The purpose of this bill is to provide greater support to pregnant and parenting women in need. Pregnancy Help Organizations serve under-supported pregnant women by providing services to them at no cost that include pregnancy testing, pregnancy and prenatal care education, counseling, food, clothing, housing, transportation, parenting and life skills classes, child care, licensed medical care, referrals to additional community services and material help, personal relationships, and strong local support networks, all of which are crucial for their physical, emotional and familial well-being. This bill encourages increased private contributions to pregnancy help organizations in Nebraska through the creation of a tax credit.
  • LB442–State intent to transfer funds to the Livestock Growth Act Cash Fund–This proposed legislation would allocate $2 million dollars from the general fund to the Livestock Growth Act Cash Fund administered by the Department of Agriculture to provide funding to counties who participate in the Livestock Friendly County Program. The Director of Agriculture shall use such funding to administer the grant program as set forth in §54-2803.
  • LB605–Change provision of the Mental Health Practice Act to include protections and requirements for certified art therapists–This bill will amend sections of the Uniform Credentialing Act and Mental Health Practice Act to provide for licensing of qualified art therapists as Licensed Mental Health Practitioners and Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioners with a credential as a Certified Art Therapist. The bill provides for the certification to be administered by the Mental Health Practice Board.
  • LB637–Require members of the public to be allowed to speak at each meeting subject to the Open Meetings Act–This bill will require, under Nebraska Revised Statute, Sec. 84-1412, that members of the public be afforded opportunity to speak at any public meeting subject to the Open Meetings Act.
  • LB636–Prohibit political subdivisions from restricting certain energy services–The purpose of this bill is to allow Nebraskans to continue to choose the fuel of their choice. Cities and counties would be prohibited from enacting or implementing any ordinance, resolution, rule, regulation, or policy that prohibits or has the effect of prohibiting, the connection or reconnection of any natural gas utility; a natural gas transmission company; or a retail marketer or dispenser of propane, electric, natural gas, propane, or other energy utility service.

News from Governor Pillen’s office
On December 10, 2023 the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations put out a global roadmap on how agrifood systems transformation through accelerated climate actions will help achieve food security and nutrition, today and tomorrow. Following their report, Representative Mike Flood submitted a House Resolution disapproving of recommendations by the United Nations to reduce meat consumption in the United States. In part it says “Whereas meat is a nutrient-rich source of protein that is enjoyed by many people in the United States and efficiently delivers calories and vitamins, greatly contributing to the world’s food security; Whereas the United States is the largest producer of beef; Whereas according to the Foreign Agriculture Service, in 2022, the United States exported 1,000,000 metric tons of beef valued $11.71 billion”. There is more in his resolution and you can read more at
Governor Pillen then put out a statement on December 11th stating “I appreciate Congressman Flood’s leadership on this very important issue. The United Nations’ radical attack on agriculture undermines the livelihoods of Nebraska farmers and ranchers, as well as those in other states where agriculture is an economic driver. Anti-agriculture activism damages the world’s food system and hurts the hungry. In Nebraska, our farmers and ranchers raise their products using sustainable methods, designed to protect the land and resources on which they rely. I urge the House of Representatives to pass Congressman Flood’s resolution, recognizing Nebraska’s collective role in feeding the world and saving the planet.” (Strimple, Laura and Schafer, Jacy. “Governor Pillen Statement in Response to the United Nations Food Strategy”. Governor Pillen Press Release. 11 December, 2023.

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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