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Joni Albrecht

Sen. Joni Albrecht

District 17

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Weekly News–March 15, 2024
March 15th, 2024

This past week we spent a majority of all day floor debate discussing changes to the budget. As we finished up the week, there are only 16 days remaining in this 60 day session. We begin late nights on March 18th and will have 10 late nights to try to complete the work we began in January, 2023. Besides the budget there are many Senator and Speaker priority bills to be debated as well as different committee priority package bills.

As tax season is upon us, it has come to my attention that there are tax-related scams happening in Nebraska. Nebraska Attorney General Mike Hilgers and Treasurer Tom Briese said Thursday, March 14th that scammers are sending messages that look like official documents from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), state agencies or officials, tax software companies or Nebraskans’ own tax professionals. The IRS states that thousands of people have lost personal information or millions of dollars through scams. “They may copy language, logos or fonts from the IRS to make it look as legitimate as possible,” Hilgers and Briese said in a joint news release. “These scammers are seeking to steal personally identifiable information from your official tax documents.” Hilgers and Briese said Nebraskans should never click on any links in these suspicious communications and should check on their status of any pending refunds directly with the IRS. “The IRS will always contact you by mail first,” the statement says. “The IRS will also not require a specific type of payment.” Often scams may include hard to reverse payments, including gift cards, prepaid debit cards, wire transfers or cashier’s checks.
In cases of suspicious calls:

  • Don’t give personal or financial information.
  • Hang up.
  • Contact the IRS directly.

Nebraskans who think they may owe back taxes can call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or visit More information is available from the Attorney General’s Office or with its Consumer Affairs Response Team at (402) 471-2682. “Take extreme caution if you get an unsolicited contact about your tax information,” Briese and Hilgers said. (Wendling, Z. (2024, March 15). “AG Hilgers, Treasurer Briese: Nebraskans need to beware of tax-related scams”. Nebraska Examiner.

Bill Updates
LB16, originally introduced last year by former Albion Senator Tom Briese, was taken up this session by Lincoln Senator Danielle Conrad. This bill would make a number of changes to state law regarding credentials for certain professions. LB16 provides broad reciprocal licensure for military members, apprentices, and individuals who are licensed in other states, provided they meet a number of criteria. Among other provisions, the bill requires that applicants for reciprocal licensure must hold a credential that covers a similar scope of practice, not have a disqualifying criminal record, and not have had their credential surrendered or revoked for negligence or misconduct. This bill passed Final Reading on February 29, 2024 and approved by the Governor on March 5, 2024. (“Occupational licensure bill approved”. Unicameral Update. 29 February, 2024.

News from Governor Pillen’s office
Governor Jim Pillen has approved regulations governing nonsurgical pharmaceutical gender altering treatments for individuals under nineteen years of age. “Nebraska’s kids are our future. They deserve the opportunity to grow up and develop to their full, God-given potential,” said Governor Pillen. “As a state, we must protect children from making potentially irreversible and regrettable decisions–decisions for which they may not completely understand the irreversible consequences. I extend my appreciation to the Legislature for the passage of LB 574 and to those at DHHS who worked swiftly and thoroughly to ensure completion of these important regulations.” The Let Them Grow Act, LB 574 (2023), requires DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services) chief medical officer (CMO) to promulgate and adopt rules and regulations governing nonsurgical pharmaceutical gender altering treatments for individuals under nineteen years of age.
The adopted regulations included:

  • The requirement that a patient receive a minimum of 40 gender-identity-focused contact hours of therapeutic treatment prior to receiving the prescribed medications;
  • Required procedures for obtaining and documenting a patient’s informed consent for treatment;
  • A minimum waiting period of seven calendar days between the informed patient consent and the time the drugs or hormones are prescribed, administered or delivered to the patient;
  • Requirements related to the labeling, administration of, and delivery of the puberty-blocking drugs and/or cross-sex hormones;
  • The requirement that a patient under the age of majority must receive at least one therapeutic contact hour every 90 days while the drugs or hormones are being administered to evaluate ongoing effects on the patient’s mental health;
  • Patient medical record documentation requirements for prescribing practitioners; and
  • The requirement that a health care practitioner obtain three hours of continuing education prior to prescribing drugs or cross-sex hormones.

A patient is exempt from these requirements if:

  • The patient began receiving the prescribed medication prior to October 1, 2023;
  • The medication is not being prescribed for the treatment of gender nonconformity or gender dysphoria;
  • The patient has reached the age of 19.
    (Strimple, Laura. Press Release. “Gov. Pillen Approves LB 574 Regulations on Nonsurgical, Gender Altering Treatments”. 12 March, 2024.

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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