NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

The official site of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Sen. Joni Albrecht

Sen. Joni Albrecht

District 17

The content of these pages is developed and maintained by, and is the sole responsibility of, the individual senator's office and may not reflect the views of the Nebraska Legislature. Questions and comments about the content should be directed to the senator's office at jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov

WEEKLY UPDATE SEPTEMBER 27, 2019
September 30th, 2019

DEADLINE OCTOBER 4!
As a reminder, this Friday is the final date for applications to be a page at the Nebraska Legislature! If you have a student in your family who has an interest in learning more about Nebraska’s State Capitol, now is your chance. The Clerk of the Legislature’s Office is currently accepting page applications for the 2020 Legislative Session. A Legislative Page is typically someone who serves as an aide on the Legislative floor to the Senators with copy work, delivery, answering phones and assisting in many other ways throughout the legislative session. It is a great opportunity to get involved in state government. The deadline for submitting page applications and letters of recommendation for the 2020 Legislative Session is this Friday, October 4th at 5pm.

SAFETY FIRST!
As Harvest season kicks off, and with news of a recent fatality involving a vehicle and slower moving farm equipment please use caution and watch out for slow moving vehicles. Our sympathies to the family of the recent tragedy. Remember that farm vehicles and equipment are wider and cannot travel as fast as other vehicles. So, please Be aware that posted speed limits are not always the wisest speed to travel. This time of year it is not unusual to come over a hill and find yourself behind a slower moving vehicle without enough time to stop. I wish everyone a safe and productive harvest.

BRIGE WORK ON-TARGET
On Friday, September 27, I made an on-site visit to the Hwy 94 Bridge that was damaged in the March 2019 flood. The road crew was working especially hard and informed me that the bridge is on-target for completion by mid-October, barring interference by any weather events. Good news for community members and area visitors just in time for harvest. I gathered good pictures as I witnessed and visited with those construction workers who are doing a great job.

RURAL NEBRASKANS THRIVE!
Statistics released from the University of Nebraska’s Rural Futures Institute on September 20, 2019 found that rural Nebraska ranked high for economic growth, quality of life, and social capital. The benchmark index tool was developed by UNL’s Bureau of Business Research and the University of Nebraska at Kearney’s College of Business and Technology to identify trends in various regions throughout a state. Especially exciting is the finding that on the index, the Siouxland region ranked third in the State. According to its website, “the 2019 Nebraska Thriving Index provides economic developers, local elected officials and community leaders with economic and quality of life indicators to identify thriving and lagging regions so strategic, future focused investments can be made.” The regions identified by the index are matched and compared with peer regions in other states. The Siouxland region was not only compared to others in Nebraska, but also to regions in North, Northwest, and Southeast Iowa as well as Southwest Illinois. You can learn more about the index and the trends and view the 2019 report online at https://ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/nethrivingindex/.

As always, it is of great importance that I hear from my constituents to effectively do my job as your voice in the Legislature. I encourage you to contact me and I look forward to hearing from you. You can reach me by phone at 402-471-2716 or by email at jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov

WEEKLY UPDATE September 20, 2019
September 23rd, 2019

BROADBAND ON ITS WAY TO RURAL NEBRASKA. You may remember that back in July, CenturyLink announced the completion of a broadband deployment initiatives in the Thurston and Pender communities. Now, add Microsoft and Nextlink to the list of companies working to bring broadband service to thousands of unserved residents in rural Nebraska. Microsoft has announced it will be partnering with the wireless service provider to bring broadband service to rural residents throughout the state and the region. More than $40M in federal Connect America Funds will be infused into our state over the coming years, providing rural Nebraskans an opportunity to “bridge the digital divide, which is particularly important for precision agriculture, closing the homework gap and enabling rural business owners to succeed in a global economy.” Nextlink will be bringing an array of technologies to Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois, Iowa, Oklahoma and Texas. Microsoft’s long term goal is to bring internet to 3 million underserved rural Americans. Partnerships with providers like Nextlink is a way that Microsoft hopes to make low-cost technology more accessible to help eliminate the broadband gap, as well as providing residents resources like digital skills and technology. This is a major opportunity for our state and we are excited that Microsoft is continuing to invest in Nebraska. “Solving the broadband gap will take innovation and investment and we are thrilled rural Nebraskans will benefit from this partnership.”

TEACHING PRACTICAL, CAREER BUILDING SKILLS IS A COMMUNITY EFFORT in South Sioux City! On Friday, September 20, South Sioux City Schools broke ground on a “Student Powered” project involving a partnership with HUD, the city, local businesses, tradesmen and students. Excitingly, local High School students will be working together with these partners, educators, and mentors to build a house in South Sioux. The project shows a community coming together to teach skills that can be translated to future job and career opportunities. Many builders and others in the construction industry across the state are finding it increasingly difficult to fill positions in construction-related fields. With that shortage, students engaged in the project are already finding apprenticeship and internship opportunities. The home built by the students will be sold when completed. Matching students with those skills now will increase the chances they continue to live and thrive right here at home. I won’t be surprised to see one or more future contractor business owners rising from this group. This is a great example of ways we can work together to develop a local workforce and add to the economy. My congratulations on the groundbreaking go out to School Superintendent Todd Strom, the city of South Sioux, and the area businesses coming together to make this project happen. You can catch a video of the ceremony at: https://www.facebook.com/ssccardinals/videos/2433539850302094/ or go to the school district’s Facebook page, which can be found at facebook.com/ssccardinals .

SPEAKING OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, Riverview Surgical Center unveiled its new 50,000 sq. ft. facility on September 24. The team had a vision of a state of the art facility combining medical offices and outpatient surgery opportunities in one location. Goals of the facility include a commitment to leveraging that combination to result in savings to patients from 1/3 to 1/2 of the costs of current options. New equipment, highly qualified staff, a floor that appears to float, and a peaceful view along the Riverfront, all highlight the creativity and ingenuity of people and businesses in Nebraska. The Center has also partnered with a hotel, located right next door, offering a convenient place to stay for patients and their families if needed. Quality, Commitment, and Caring. Better outcomes for patients and physicians means better outcomes for families. That’s the way the Riverview Surgical Center team works, and that’s the way District 17 residents and businesses work together to Grow Nebraska!
As always, it is of great importance that I hear from my constituents to effectively do my job as your voice in the Legislature. I encourage you to contact me and I look forward to hearing from you. You can reach me by phone at 402-471-2716 or by email at jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov

WEEKLY UPDATE SEPTEMBER 13, 2019
September 16th, 2019

STANDING BEAR TAKES CENTER STAGE! On Wednesday, September 18, 2019, at 2:00 pm (CT), the Dedication of Chief Standing Bear in Statuary Hall at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., will take place. I proudly joined Senator Tom Brewer and other fellow Senators in voting to place the statute of the landmark civil rights leader Chief Standing Bear in the Hall. The Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs and Sen. Hilkermann have teamed up to schedule a “Watch Party”, where the dedication will be live streamed over the internet into the Warner Chamber at the Nebraska State Capitol. The ceremony in Washington, DC will include a Native American color guard, a Native American honor song performed by Steve Laravie, Jr., a direct descendent of the Ponca Chief, members of the Nebraska congressional delegation, other congressional leaders, and Nebraska State Senator Tom Brewer. Live streaming may also be available from home. No final word on sources yet, but if interested in viewing from home, you might try searching on the web to find a link. My office should have information about remote viewing by the day of the event. Please feel free to call us at 402.471.2716. On Tuesday morning (9/17/19), my office received confirmation that the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska will have a live stream feed from their Facebook page for anyone who wishes to watch: https://www.poncatribe-ne.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/190918_StatueDedication_FBLive.pdf.

BRINGING UP NEBRASKA: I was fortunate to join a group of leaders from across the state in Kearney on Tuesday, September 10 to discuss, collaborate, and develop long-term plans and strategies to prevent and address the needs of vulnerable Nebraska families and children. I appreciate First Lady Suzanne Shore for spearheading the initiative and for making this a priority in our state! Approaching the issue as neighbors standing together, when the initiative was launched, the First Lady stated, “We need to look at any child in need as one of our own . . . These are Nebraska’s kids. And we [the community] need to be the solution.” It is so true. We are modeling Nebraska Strong when we bring together those who know our local communities and families best in order to serve their needs and provide needed services most effectively. The people and organizations participating at the Kearny meeting care deeply about our state’s children and families and are working hard to help prevent challenges from becoming crisis. In fact, at the meeting District 17’s own JoAnn Gieselman was honored for her work and leadership in helping Growing Community Connections have a positive impact on the children and families we serve in our communities.

Finally, WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT and housing affordability have long been on my priority list. For the last three years as a state senator, I have been privileged to serve on the Workforce Development Board alongside statewide representatives from K-12 schools, secondary educators, businesses, the Governor’s office, and many others. The goal of the board is to make sure our adult children and others considering career and life decisions have opportunity and know how to access the opportunities available right here in Nebraska. The board brings together a number of strategic local, regional, and statewide stakeholders to develop a one-stop information delivery system about career and training availability, as well as business services that can be accessed by job seekers, workers, and employers. The board meets quarterly and at our Friday, September 13 meeting, we welcomed new board members from Nebraska Community College Association, the City of Valentine, and Nucor Steel from Norfolk. We cleaned up language in the board by-laws and received initial reports about program performance throughout Nebraska. We are currently working to compile and review performance and statistical information about the state’s progress for the Program Year 2018-19, which will be published as a report online by October 1. From there, we can collaborate on recommendations for the Program Year ahead.

WEEKLY UPDATE AUGUST 16, 2019
August 19th, 2019

THE NEBRASKA STATE FAIR begins celebrating its 150th anniversary in four days at Fonner Park in Grand Island. Held August 23-September 2 this year, the Fair attracts visitors and competitors from across Nebraska and from surrounding states. Those 4-H members and others who have worked hard all year long and have gained recognition at local county fairs compete at a new level at the State Fair. I am excited to see several emerge as “the Best of the Best”. There are some exciting changes in atmosphere and programming this year. There is no doubt that the sights, sounds, and feel of the Nebraska State Fair provide families with special moments and memories that last a lifetime. I’m looking forward to taking some time away from the farm to visit the exhibits and hopefully to hear U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, talk about Nebraska and Agriculture at his scheduled public town hall event on Friday, Aug. 23.

In case you missed it: FLOOD DAMAGE COVERAGE EXPANDED! At the Governor’s request, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has extended the incident period in which disaster-caused damage may be covered. The presidential disaster declaration, issued March 21, 2019, originally covered the period from March 9 to April 1. With the extension, additional uninsured damage sustained through July 14 may now be eligible for FEMA assistance and U.S. Small Business Administration low-interest loans.
If you have already registered with FEMA for disaster related damage that occurred between March 9, 2019, and April 1, 2019, AND your home received additional uninsured damage through July 14, 2019, you may be eligible for additional assistance. You do not need to reapply. You should submit an appeal in the form of a signed letter to FEMA requesting reassessment and explaining your reasons in writing. Appeal letters and supporting documents can be uploaded quickly to your account. A sample appeal letter, can be found at: https://nema.nebraska.gov/sites/nema.nebraska.gov/files/doc/appeal.pdf.
In District 17, homeowners, renters and businesses in Thurston County may also be eligible for low interest SBA loans under the expansion. Homeowners, renters, businesses and private nonprofits that have sustained new or additional uninsured or under-insured damages through July 14, can contact and apply for an SBA loan online at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela or by calling SBA’s customer service center at 800-659-2955. The deadline to register is Sept. 13, 2019.

HEARINGS ON INTERIM STUDIES requested by Senators in last session are beginning to fill committee calendars as we move into the fall. The Revenue, Judiciary, and Appropriations Committees have a number scheduled hearings to examine the plans for, effectiveness of, fiscal impact of, and/or funding streams on a number of issues being considered. You can find the hearing schedule calendar and topics at www.nebraskalegislature.gov/hearings. Most hearings can be seen live-streamed on NET TV, so if you have a particular area of interest, tune in to watch and listen.
As a reminder, your Legislature has the following standing committees to consider issues and legislation for Nebraskans:
Agriculture
Appropriations
Banking, Commerce, and Insurance,
Business and Labor
Education
General Affairs
Government, Military and Veterans Affairs
Health and Human Services
Judiciary
Natural Resources*
Nebraska Retirement Systems
Revenue
Transportation and Telecomm cations*
Urban Affairs

* I currently serve on the Natural Resource and Transportation and Telecommunications Committees in addition to the Special Committee on State-Tribal Relations.
As always, it is of great importance that I hear from my constituents to effectively do my job as your voice in the Legislature. I encourage you to contact me and I look forward to hearing from you. You can reach me by phone at 402-471-2716 or by email at jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov

It is hard to believe that it is already July. It feels like the summer is just passing us by.

Our office has maintained a busy rhythm of getting everything organized, filed, and dealt with. July 4th was a paid holiday for state employees so my Capitol office was closed. It was a great opportunity for everyone to recharge.

I would first like to wish all of you a very Happy 4th of July. I hope that all of you were able to enjoy it, that you all stayed safe, and that it gave you time to reflect on what the Independence Day celebration truly means to this country.

This week I also wanted to share with you several great opportunities that are coming up.

If you have a student in your family that has an interest in learning more about Nebraska’s State Capitol, now is your chance. The Clerk of the Legislature’s Office is currently accepting page applications for the 2020 Legislative Session. A legislative page is typically someone who performs small tasks such as running errands, delivering coffee to State Senators, answering phones, or assisting in many other ways throughout the legislative session. It is a great opportunity to get involved in state government. The deadline for submitting page applications and letters of recommendation for the 2020 Legislative Session will be Friday, October 4th at 5pm.

The page selection committee will meet in October to select individuals to fill those positions. If you are interested in becoming a legislative page, then please contact our office and we will get you started on the process.

Congressman Adrian Smith is now currently accepting Angels in Adoption Nominations. Congressman Smith believes Nebraskans who open their homes to provide safety and shelter for children deserve to be recognized for it. Angels in Adoption is a project of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute providing members of Congress the opportunity to honor an individual or entity from their districts for extraordinary contributions on behalf of children in need of homes. Congressman Smith is looking forward to receiving these nominations to honor those who positively impact young lives through adoption and foster care. If you would like to make a nomination then visit, adriansmith.house.gov/angelsinadoption

The nominations are due by Friday, July 19th. The information that needs to be included in the nomination are the name of the nominee, organization if applicable, address, phone, email, and reason for nomination that is 325 words or less. If you would like more information on Angels in Adoption then please contact Congressman Smith’s Grand Island Office at 308-384-3900.

The last opportunity that I want to talk to you about this week is that Nebraska received a grant to expand registered apprenticeships. The Nebraska Department of Labor, NDOL, has received over $840,000 from the US Department of Labor to expand the program across the state. The Apprenticeships State Expansion grant covers the next three years and will allow NDOL to assist business with the new program development. Gov. Pete Ricketts stated that “The ‘earn while you learn’ model of Registered Apprenticeships is growing the state by equipping students to excel in IT and manufacturing.” He added, “Apprenticeships put young Nebraskans on a path to learn valuable skills and to gain technical expertise so that they can get high-paying jobs. As the same time, they help the state’s businesses to find proficient, highly trained Nebraskans to join their teams.”

The grant allows for enrolling over 400 new Registered Apprentices. As of March 2019, there were approximately 125 Registered Apprenticeship (RA) programs in Nebraska, representing an increase of 44% since 2016. Companies that are interested in starting an RA program may contact Scott Asmus with the Nebraska Department of Labor at 402-471-9928. Job seekers interested in participating in an RA should contact their local Nebraska Department of Labor office.

You can also find more information about this at http://dol.nebraska.gov

As always, it is of great importance that I hear from my constituents to effectively do my job as your voice in the Legislature. I encourage you to contact me and I look forward to hearing from you. You can reach me by phone at 402-471-2716 or by email at jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov

 

It has been another busy week for District 17. We have been working diligently to continue completing all of the follow ups from our town hall meetings.

There were some great ideas that were expressed to me during my town halls and I am excited to dive into the research side of getting the nuts and bolts figured out on each item first before we proceed any further.

Like always, if you have legislation ideas or thoughts then please feel free to reach out to my office and I will do some digging on those.

This week I want us to dive into what happened with all of my legislation during this year’s legislative session.

I introduced nine pieces of legislation this year. Seven of the nine bills passed and only two stayed in committee.

The nine bills that I introduced were:

  • LB 209 was our informed consent bill. It would require information, materials, and reporting regarding continuing a viable pregnancy after taking mifepristone. LB 209 will also require the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to publish information on finding a qualified health care professional who can administer the reversal process in their print materials, they also will publish this information on their website, and update this information as necessary. It was passed on final reading on May 30th and the vote was 36 yes, 12 no, and 1 present but not voting. I was excited to see this true labor of love get signed into law by the Governor.

 

  • LB 222 will change the Volunteer Emergency Responders Incentive Act. The Volunteer Emergency Responders Incentive Act was created in 2016 to award a $250 refundable tax credit for volunteer emergency responders who meet certain criteria. LB 222 will amend language in the Volunteer Emergency Responders Incentive Act to simplify the administration of the tax credit. The bill was passed on final reading on April 26th  with a vote of 46 yes and no opposition. Our office recently mailed out a packet of information on this bill to all of our district’s fire departments.

 

  • LB 223 will provide duties with regard to a state-sponsored insurance program for members of the Nebraska National Guard. LB 223 provides further guidance within state law on the state-sponsored life insurance program, ensuring National Guard members maintain the opportunity to access information and enroll in the program. The bill was passed on final reading on March 7th with 46 yes and 1 present but not voting.

 

  • LB 224 will rename the Nebraska Educational, Health, and Social Services Finance Authority Act (NEHSFA). LB 224 will now allow NEHSFA to also be a conduit issuer for private cultural institutions. Private cultural institution means any private not-for profit corporation or institution that (1) has a primary purpose of promoting cultural education or development, such as a museum or related visual arts center, performing arts facility, or facility housing, incubating, developing, or promoting art, music, theater, dance, zoology, botany, natural history, cultural history, or the sciences, (2) is described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is exempt from federal income taxation under section 501(a) of the code, (3) is located within this state and is not owned or controlled by the state or any municipality, district, or other political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, and (4) does not violate any state or federal law against discrimination. The bill passed on final reading on March 15th. The vote was 41 yes and 2 present but not voting.

 

  • LB 307 will change provisions relating to certain Department of Environmental Quality Funds. LB 307 updates state revolving fund statutes to be consistent with federal laws that allow states additional flexibility to administer the Wastewater Treatment Facilities Construction Loan Fund and the Drinking Water Facilities Loan Fund. The bill was passed on final reading on March 7th with a vote of 45 yes and no opposition.

 

  • LB 320 will change various provisions of the Pesticide Act and update federal references. LB 320 amends the Pesticide Act, by updating the federal regulations adopted by reference relating to changes in the applicator certification program as set out in 40 CFR Part 171. The changes primarily include certification categories for private applicators, requirements related to training and supervision for restricted use pesticide (RUP) applications by uncertified applicators, and setting eighteen as the minimum age for licensed RUP applicators. LB 320 also amends the Pesticide Act by clarifying product registration requirements, jurisdictional issues for out-of-state registrants and licensed applicators, and other clean up provisions. The bill passed on final reading with a vote of 49 yes and no opposition.

 

  • LB 595 will provide for restorative justice under the Dispute Resolution Act, Nebraska Juvenile Code, and the Student Discipline Act and in compulsory attendance collaboration plans and change provisions relating to mediators under the Parenting Act. LB 595 would amend the 1991 Dispute Resolution Act in order to explicitly incorporate restorative justice into the Supreme Court’s Office of Dispute Resolution’s mission and purpose and to sustain its successful restorative justice pilot efforts conducted since 2015. The bill was passed on final reading on May 13th with a vote of 47 yes and no opposition.

 

  • LB 581 would require the use of generally accepted accounting principles in preparing budgets under the Nebraska Budget Act. LB 581 proposes potential language to encourage accessible, uniform, and easy to understand budgets and audit reports of political subdivisions. LB 581 was not passed and stayed in the Government, Military, and Veteran Affairs Committee. I believe, though, that this is something that we need to continue working on and we will be working on it during the interim and bringing it back to the floor next year.

 

  • LB 722 would authorize seizure of Gray Devices under the Nebraska County and City Lottery Act. LB 722 prohibits by definition games (of skill or chance) that make use of a Gray Device, which is a mechanism that accepts currency and awards monetary prizes or something redeemable for monetary prizes, and which uses casino-style games, card games, certain amusement games, or bingo, keno or pickle card themes. The bill, as written, was not brought to the floor. However, parts of LB 722 were amended in Senator Lathrop’s LB 538. The Department of Revenue was pleased to have the two bills come together to make LB 538 as strong as possible. LB 538 was passed on final reading on May 23rd with a vote of 44 yes and 3 present but not voting.

If you would like to read more about any of my bills or any other bills from this past session then please go to https://nebraskalegislature.gov/.

As always, it is of great importance that I hear from my constituents to effectively do my job as your voice in the Legislature. I encourage you to contact me and I look forward to hearing from you. You can reach me by phone at 402-471-2716 or by email at jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov

 

Weekly Update – June 21st
June 25th, 2019

My office has officially completed our town halls for the summer.

I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who came and who added to the conversation. My office is now busy working on following up with all of you who requested further assistance. It was such a privilege to be able to connect with so many of you from my district.

The topics that we discussed during the town halls varied depending on the main interests expressed by those in attendance. We discussed the budget, property taxes, education, business incentives, rural workforce development, both of my committees (Natural Resources and Transportation and Telecommunications), all of my legislation, and my interim study.
We also provided information on flood rebuilding/assistance, redistricting, wind farms, and sports gaming.
Each town hall was very productive and really helped me see what the most pressing needs are for you, my constituents. If you were unable to make it to the town halls, but have opinions or questions that you want heard or answered, then please reach out to me. I would love to hear from you.

In addition to finishing up the town halls this week, my calendar also had one other great event in the District on it.
On Tuesday, June 18th, I was able to attend the “Wayne Right to Life” event in Wayne, NE. The event allowed me the opportunity to further dive into the information that surrounds my priority bill, LB 209, the informed consent bill. It was a great opportunity to answer questions and hear more opinions on my bill after it was signed into law by the Governor on June 4th.

In July, we will have another great program take place in Nebraska.

The Nebraska Agricultural Youth Institute (NAYI) will begin on July 8th and wrap up on July 12th. NAYI will be held in Lincoln at the University of Nebraska’s East Campus. Each year more than 200 high school juniors and seniors, sharing an interest in agriculture, gather together to develop leadership skills, explore career opportunities, and learn more about Nebraska’s number one industry. NAYI is the longest running program of its kind in the nation.
During the five-day program, delegates participate in agriculture policy and group discussions, farm management activities, and a variety of networking opportunities with peers and industry leaders. It gives the students an opportunity to learn about various career options since a quarter of the jobs in Nebraska are related to agricultural.

Since NAYI started in Nebraska, it has been able to impact the lives of 6,400 students from across the state. Delegates apply for and are selected to attend NAYI free of charge due to the numerous donations from agricultural businesses, commodity groups, and industry organizations.

I would like to congratulate the students from District 17 that will be participating in NAYI this year. Congratulations to Allison Claussen of Wayne, Hana Nelson of Wayne, Josie Thompson of Wayne, Taylor Daum of Emerson, Tyler Gilliland of Wayne and, Kylie Kempf of Carroll.

NAYI is organized by the Nebraska Agricultural Youth Council. For more information on NAYI, visit the website at: nda.nebraska.gov/nayi.

I also want to make sure that all of you, my constituents, and the rest of Nebraska know about the Report of Destroyed Real Property Form (Form 425) that will be due on or before July 15th. The Department of Revenue, Property Assessment Division, has a new form that has been created, pursuant to 2019 Neb. Law LB 512. The Form 425 is to be used by owners of real property whose property has suffered significant property damage as a result of a calamity occurring on or after January 1 and before July 1 of the current assessment year. The property owner may file Form 425 with the county assessor and the county clerk on or before July 15.

A calamity is defined as a disastrous event, including, but not limited to, a fire, an earthquake, a flood, a tornado, or other natural event which significantly affects the assessed value of the property. Destroyed real property does not include property suffering significant property damage that is caused by the owner of the property.

Significant property damage is defined as damage to an improvement exceeding 20% of the improvement’s assessed value in the current tax year as determined by the county assessor; damage to the land exceeding 20% of a parcel’s assessed land value in the current tax year as determined by the county assessor; or damage exceeding 20% of the property’s assessed value in the current tax year as determined by the county assessor if: the property is located in an area that has been declared a disaster area by the Governor and a housing inspector or health inspector has determined the property is uninhabitable or unlivable.
The county board of equalization will consider the report to determine any adjustments to the assessed value of the destroyed real property for the current year.

The county board of equalization must act upon this report on or after June 1 and on or before July 25, or on or before August 10 if the board has adopted a resolution to extend the deadline to hear protests under
Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-1502, and must send a notice of the reassessment value for the destroyed real property to the property owner.

I encourage all of you to spread the word among your family and friends about this form. Form 425 can be located online at http://www.revenue.nebraska.gov/PAD/forms/f_425.pdf

It is of great importance that I hear from my constituents to effectively do my job as your voice in the Legislature. I encourage you to contact me and I look forward to hearing from you. You can reach me by phone at 402-471-2716 or by email at jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov


June 18th, 2019
Weekly Update – June 14th
June 17th, 2019

My office has remained busy during the interim as all of us prepare for many town halls that I will be hosting on June 17th, 2019 in all three of the counties in my district.

I am excited to be able to have the opportunity to connect with my constituents and to be able to fill you in on the ins and outs of this year’s legislative session. I would also like to thank all of you that called or emailed us at my office with concerns and ideas that you would like to hear and talk about at the town hall meetings. Hearing from constituents is always something that I look forward to and it helps me be a more effective Senator.

In addition to preparing for the town halls, my calendar was also filled with several great events in the District. On Saturday, June 15th I was able to attend the “Cornerstone Laying Ceremony” with the Brethren in Rosalie, NE. The ceremony for the new Olive Branch Masonic Lodge No. 274 was a traditional ceremony for the laying of the first stone. It is virtually the same ceremony that was used by Brother and President George Washington when he laid the Cornerstone for our nation’s Capitol. In Wayne, NE I was able to attend a joint event between the Nebraska Diplomats and the Nebraska Economic Developers Association. At the event they gave awards to those who have contributed to Nebraska’s economic development. It was an honor to be around such great Nebraskans. Also in Wayne, I was able to attend the Northeast Cattleman’s dinner and fundraiser at the Wayne County Fair Grounds. The Nebraska Cattlemen raise money for various youth scholarships for Nebraska students. It is always such an enjoyable event for a great cause.

I would also like to take some time to wish all of the fathers in my district a heartfelt, Happy Father’s Day. I am truly grateful for all of the lessons and love that I have received from my Dad through the years.

This week, we had another great program take place. The Junior Law Cadet Program of the Nebraska State Patrol and the American Legion occurred.

Every year, high school juniors from each of The American Legion’s 14 Districts in Nebraska are chosen to participate in the Junior Law Cadet Program. The purpose of the program is to allow male and female students the opportunity to explore and experience the various aspects of law enforcement training. Students participate in daily calisthenics and receive training in firearms, self-defense, fingerprinting, K-9 handling, accident and criminal investigation, lie detector testing, and state patrol car driving. Students stay at the Nebraska State Patrol Training Academy in Grand Island. This year’s Junior Law Cadet Program began on June 10th and ended on June 13th. I am proud to announce that District 17 had two students participate in this year’s program. I would like to congratulate Daityn Chase from Jackson and Stuart Hasemann from Wayne. I am excited to see where life takes you both.

It is of great importance that I hear from my constituents to effectively do my job as your voice in the Legislature. I encourage you to contact me and I look forward to hearing from you. You can reach me by phone at 402-471-2716 or by email at jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov

Weekly Report – September 8
September 10th, 2017

Next year will be on us before we know it, which means the second session of the Legislature will be underway. In preparation, I’m pleased to announce I have brought on Amara Meyer as Legal Counsel for the Business & Labor Committee.

Amara is originally from a farm near Brule, Nebraska. She holds a juris doctor degree from the University of Nebraska College of Law. Amara began her legislative career while still in college by serving as a Legislative Page. Since then, she has spent almost seven years working for the Unicameral in various capacities in the office of the Clerk of the Legislature.

She has also clerked for firms in Holdrege and Beloit, Kansas. Additionally, Amara has spent significant amounts of time serving the community through the Juvenile Re-Entry Project, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, and Community Legal Education Project.

In my office, she will work with the members of the Business & Labor Committee to draft bills and amendments, analyze legislation, and perform legal research on committee subject matters which broadly include workers’ compensation, unemployment compensation, labor and employment relations, fair employment practices, labor conditions, and other matters that fall under the Committee’s jurisdiction. She will also write the bill summaries and any special reports put out by the Committee which will be available on the Legislature’s website.

She will also work with my Committee Clerk Beverly Neel to ensure our committee meeting, hearings, and interactions happen smoothly and without a hitch.

I am confident that Amara will be a wonderful addition to our team and will effectively and efficiently serve the people of Nebraska.

For younger leaders, the Nebraska Department of Education recently announced two students will be selected to join 102 other delegates in Washington D.C. for the United States Senate Youth Program’s 56th Annual Washington Week in early March.

This merit-based leadership program brings two students from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity to Washington each year to experience an intensive, week-long educational program about the workings of the Senate and the federal government overall.

Most notably, each of the 104 student delegates will receive a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship in addition to the expenses paid for the trip to the nation’s capital. This fantastic opportunity for qualifying students.

Commissioner of Education, Matthew L. Blomstedt, in cooperation with high school principals, will select Nebraska’s delegates from juniors or seniors, elected student offices and those belonging to a district, regional or state-level civic or educational organization who hold a high-level leadership position for the entire 2017-2018 academic year.
Interested students can find more information and an application at https://www.education.ne.gov/ss/ussyp.html. Applications are due to the Nebraska Department of Education by 4:00 p.m. CST on October 4, 2017. To see more information about the program itself, visit the USSYP website at http://www.usssenateyouth.org.

Finally, our hearts go out to those impacted by the forest fires and horrendous storms impacting our county. Nebraskans have historically been known to rise to the occasion and to help our neighbors.

But you should be aware that there are those who would capitalize on such tragedy. Never give any personal information to someone who calls you out of the blue, even if they claim to be from a charity. Also, beware of attachments in e-mails as these may contain viruses that could hurt your computer or worse.

The Federal Trade Commission is a wonderful resource if you have questions about a disaster relief charity. More information can be found at: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0074-giving-charity#Checklist

Sen. Joni Albrecht

District 17
Room #1404
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2716
Email: jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov
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