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Joni Albrecht

Sen. Joni Albrecht

District 17

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I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the area high school seniors on their graduation from high school. I want to wish you the best of luck as you move forward with your plans to go to college, vocational training school, or on to a job. I know you will go far with whatever you decide to do with your life. I would also like to congratulate those college/university graduates. I know that you are ready to take the next steps forward in your life’s journey. “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” Zig Ziglar

Bill Update

This week I would like to go over LB262 which was one of two Agriculture Committee priority bills.

LB262 was introduced in 2023 and would clarify and combine terms within the Nebraska Pure Food Act to align with the federal Food and Drug Administration Food Code. Under current law, only individuals who are credentialed as registered environmental health specialists qualify as food inspectors. Among other changes, LB262 would remove that requirement. An Agriculture Committee amendment replaced the bill and added other proposals to LB262.

  • LB264 revised the definition of “grain” to remove an ambiguity regarding whether grain excludes segregated commodities such as certified organic. It would also change grain dealer licensure requirements as follows:
    • increase the maximum dealer security from $300,000 to $1 million;
    • increase the maximum warehouse bond from $500,000 to $1 million;
    • Remove a formula for calculating the security amount and allow the Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC) to set the amount by regulation; and
    • Clarify an exemption from criminal background checks for an individual submitting a new license application who previously submitted a background check for a separate license.
  • LB305, sponsored by Senator Steve Halloran, would remove the duty and authority of the PSC to establish grain storage rates, but would specify that warehouse licensees must prominently post storage rates and related charges on signage issued by the commission. New license applicants would file a schedule of storage rates and charges with their application. Warehouse licensees could adjust such rates and charges by filing notice with the PSC and all grain owners of record at least 30 days prior to any adjustment taking effect. The amendment would also make it a Class IV misdemeanor to charge storage rates other than, or in addition to, those filed and posted. (“Omnibus ag proposal clears first round”. Unicameral Update. 6 March, 2024.
  • Portions of LB999, introduced by Senator Teresa Ibach of Sumner, would transfer licensure and regulation of hemp cultivation from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture to the U. S. Department of Agriculture beginning January 1, 2025. Hemp production in Nebraska has declined significantly in recent years and the few Nebraskans who are engaged in hemp cultivation would be better served by federal regulations–including a lack of licensure fees. The state would continue to regulate the transportation of hemp. It would also terminate the state hemp Commission and the Hemp Promotion Fund and transfer any money in the fund to the state’s Noxious Weed Cash Fund.
  • LB1061, sponsored by Senator Ibach, would change the Nebraska Corn Resources Act. Her amendment to LB262 would increase the checkoff assessment collected at the time corn enters commercial channels from 0.5 cents per bushel to 1 cent per bushel, beginning October 1, 2024.
  • Provisions of LB321, sponsored by Senator Tom Brandt of Plymouth, were amended into LB262 and would change regulations under the Nebraska Pure Food Act related to the cottage food industry–which authorizes the sale of foods prepared in private homes and sold directly to consumers. The amendment expanded the cottage food exemption to include additional foods. The changes allows producers to sell certain non-refrigerated foods and other specific time and temperature-controlled items.
  • LB1207, sponsored by Senator Joni Albrecht of Thurston, added “insect production” to the definition of an agricultural product in state law.

LB262 passed on final reading 47-0 and was signed by Governor Pillen on April 16, 2024. (“Agriculture proposal amended, advanced”. Unicameral Update. 15 March, 2024.

NDOT State Highway Construction & Detour report for Northeast Nebraska

This update is from the May 1, 2024 Nebraska Department of Transportation in Interstate and State Highway Construction and Detours currently happening. Call 511 or visit for the most current information.

  • NE-9 in both directions between Willis Street (near Pender) and Prairie Street (Emerson). Bridge construction. A lane is closed intermittently. Look out for temporary traffic lights. There is a 12-foot width in effect.
  • NE-9 ROAD IS CLOSED between W Road and X Road (3 miles south of Pender). Bridge construction work is in progress .County Road W is closed westbound due to bridge construction.
  • NE-9 ROAD IS CLOSED at W Road (3 miles south of Pender). Road construction is in progress.
  • NE-9 between W Road and X Road should potentially be open by May 17th. They are putting the asphalt overlay on the bridge and the project is close to finishing up.
  • NE-57 in both directions between 859th Road and 860th Road (near Carroll). Road construction work is in progress. The roadway is reduced to one lane. Look out for temporary traffic lights. Look out for flaggers. There is a 12-foot width limit in effect.
  • NE-57 in both directions between 857th Road and 858th Road (2 miles south of Carroll). Road construction work is in progress. The roadway is reduced to one lane. Look out for temporary traffic lights. Look out for flaggers. There is a 12-foot width limit in effect.
  • US-77 in both directions between NE-94 and US-75 (6 miles south of Winnebago). Road construction work is in progress. Traffic will be maintained with temporary traffic signals, a pilot car and flaggers. There is an 11-foot width limit. Anticipated completion is July 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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