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

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

Weekly Report – August 22
August 23rd, 2017

It is a wonderful time of the year. Students are back to school, and those of us involved in agriculture are counting the days until harvest.

Even though the weather has been cooperating this year, sometimes disaster strikes. When a storm is declared a Federal Disaster, the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is there to help individuals, businesses, and tribes deal with the aftermath.

There was a Federal Disaster declaration on August 1, 2017, for the June 12 through June 17 severe storms, tornadoes, and straight-line winds. Public assistance and 406 Mitigation was declared for the counties of Banner, Box Butte, Butler, Cass, Cuming, Dodge, Douglas, Fillmore, Gage, Jefferson, Morrill, Polk, Sarpy, Saunders, Sheridan, Sioux, Thurston and Wayne.

To apply for Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding, send a letter of intent to NEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Office. Information can be found at https://nema.nebraska.gov/recovery/state-hazard-mitigation-program. Letters of intent are due to NEMA by September 29, and applications are due on January 31.

With fall comes back to school, and with back to school comes a number of opportunities for students to grow as well as help their communities.

One distinguished opportunity available to college students is working with the Nebraska Legislature during our upcoming session.

Nebraska college students interested in becoming a page for the Nebraska Legislature for the 2018 Legislative session are encouraged to apply through my office or through the Clerk of the Legislature.

Legislative pages are selected in the fall each year to work in the state Capitol beginning in January 2018.

Pages do a lot of tasks such as running errands, delivering messages, photo copying materials, and assist the presiding officer. Another big role pages have is during committee hearings. Pages are responsible for setting up hearing chambers and have a role in making sure the hearings go off without a hitch. As a chair, I know that the page assigned to my committee last session was wonderful to work with. It wasn’t glamourous, but the work they did was important and appreciated.

Pages must be high school graduates who are currently enrolled in a Nebraska college or trade school with a minimum grade point averages of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. They must be able to work 20 hours a week during session. It is preferred that pages work the same four-hour shift each day. The legislative session will begin in early January. This is a paid position and you may also be able to receive credit hours through your college.

Applications are available through the Clerk of the Legislature’s office, Room 2018, in the State Capitol or through my office. A page applicant is also encouraged to contact his or her home district state senator for a letter of recommendation. If you do not know who your senator is, you can contact the Clerk of the Legislature’s office for assistance.

The deadline for submitting page applications and letters of recommendation for the 2018 legislative session will be Friday, September 29 at 5:00 p.m.

I strongly encourage all interested college students to consider this wonderful opportunity. For more information, please feel free to contact my office.

Weekly Report – August 1
August 1st, 2017

It has been a busy summer for me, as I am sure it has been for my constituents. Summer has been flying by!

In just a few short weeks, on August 21, Nebraska will be ground central for an amazing celestial event as we celebrate the Great American Eclipse. Though unfortunately, those of us in northeast Nebraska will not have much of a view of the eclipse, there are many areas of our great state that will offer tremendous viewing opportunities.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected, so if catching the eclipse is on your to-do list, I would recommend planning early. The Nebraska Tourism Commission has been working with communities along the path of the eclipse, and there will be a variety of events taking place before, during, and after the event in many areas of our state.

More information can be found on the Nebraska Tourism’s website at http://neclipse17.com/.

Earlier this year, I was appointed by Speaker Jim Scheer to serve as a member of the Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee of the Council of State Governments’ Midwestern Legislative Conference (MLC).

Since 1933, the Council of State Governments has served officials in all 50 states and the U.S. territories. It is a non-partisan organization which promotes excellence in state government through the exchange of ideas and best practices to help state officials advance public policy.

In July, I was able to attend the MLC – the only event designed for state and local lawmakers from the Midwest – with several colleagues from the Unicameral. We heard from a mix of speakers, held professional development workshops, and had policy discussions on issues of critical importance to Nebraska and the surrounding states.

Closer to home, fair season is upon us and it was great to get out and meet up with folks. Thankfully, the weather has cooperated for the most part, and I got to see a lot of you at various events over the past two weeks. I’m looking forward to the Thurston County Fair, which is only a few days away as I write this.

One question I was asked recently was how my constituents could use their professional expertise to serve the state. While there are many ways an interested individual can donate their time and effort to help their community, one specific way to apply to serve on one of Nebraska’s state board and commissions. These boards and commissions meet regularly and offer a way for citizens to become engaged in both policy and rule-making efforts without requiring an unreasonable commitment.

Each board and commission is unique, and not all have vacancies currently. More information can be found at: https://governor.nebraska.gov/board-comm-req

Finally, recently I had the opportunity to sit down with many business, education, and local leaders. I recently had the chance to grab coffee with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Chancellor Ronnie Green. With a record high enrollment of 25,897 in 2016 and a fourth straight year of enrollment, the University is excited about the upcoming year. The University system is the largest employer in Nebraska, and it was interesting having the chance to speak one-on-one with the man who is steering the ship.

Weekly Report – May 1st
May 15th, 2017

Last week we passed the 73rd day of the legislative session. We are currently working on the state’s $8.9 billion budget package. Nebraska’s state budget is structured on a two-year basis, with emergency budget sessions called as necessary.

Gering Senator John Stinner and the Appropriations Committee has spent months preparing the budget proposal, even going so far as to prepare a “mini-budget” earlier in the session to address the shortfall we were facing at the time.

This is a long process. The goal is prepare a balanced budget that encourages growth without being a burden on Nebraska tax-payers.

Among other provisions, the budget includes increases to educational funding through the Tax Equity and Educational Opportunities Support Act (TEEOSA) of $62.4 million, $35.6 million for Medicaid, and $15.4 million for the Department of Corrections.

The proposed budget would cut $24.7 million to other state agencies and $13 million to the university system, among other cuts.

There is still a lot of work left to do and over the next week I expect this issue to take us well into the evenings. The budget should be passed by May 10 and sent to the Governor for his signature.

On another topic, I’m proud to announce my priority bill, LB 506 – the Compassion and Care for Medically Challenging Pregnancies Act – was signed into law by Governor Ricketts last week.

As prenatal testing becomes increasingly routine and diagnostic methods have improved significantly over the last few years, more fetal anomalies are being detected. In these very rare, but tragic circumstances, parents are given minimal options.

No parent prepares to hear the news that the child they are carrying is going to die before or shortly after birth. Until today, families in this heartbreaking situation had to leave their doctor’s office in shock with no help, no hope, and feeling they have nowhere to turn.

Perinatal hospice is an innovative and compassionate model of support for families who find out a pregnancy has a life-limiting condition. This support helps parents embrace whatever life their baby might be able to have and also enables families to make meaningful plans to honor their child.

This care begins at diagnosis and continues through the baby’s birth and death.

Unfortunately, many parents faced with this horrible situation find themselves adrift without a life raft and having to find out for themselves what resources there are.

The purpose of this bill is to raise awareness of perinatal hospice care and provide readily available information to help women and families through one of life’s most difficult stages.

That is why I introduced LB 506 and that is why I’m proud to have worked with so many who helped make today possible.

Over the last few months I have had wonderful, eye-opening and emotional conversations with experts, medical professionals, and families. The most challenging situation faced by mothers should be met with the most readily available information, compassion and care.

Weekly Report – March 17
March 22nd, 2017

The Nebraska Legislature has passed the halfway point in this year’s session, and committee hearings are beginning to wrap up. Some committees are already done for the year. My committee, the Business and Labor Committee, has one more hearing on March 20. After the week of March 20, the legislature will move into full day debate on the floor of the Unicameral.

I’m looking forward to celebrating National Agriculture Week from March 21-23. Agriculture and family farms are tremendously important to Nebraska’s economy. It is estimated that one in four jobs and a quarter of our state’s economic activity is related in some way to agriculture. Healthy farms and ranches are integral to our state’s economic success now and in the future.

According to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, in the last two years our state has seen a 9.3 percent increase in our beef cow inventory and an 11.1 percent increase in our state’s dairy herds. Our growth in the pork industry is outpacing national trends.

It is great to see that Governor Pete Ricketts and Nebraska Department of Agriculture’s Director Greg Ibach will be touring the state to celebrate Ag Week and even swinging by our neck of the woods. They will be touring Wakefield Farms in Emerson and taking part in the National Ag Day Celebration Dinner in Wakefield.

I’m proud of my family farming operation with my husband, Mike, and being a member of the Agriculture Committee has been fascinating, educational and illuminating. Every hearing is an opportunity to take part in issues that, as I’ve said, directly impact our state’s economy.

Serving in Nebraska’s state legislature has been such a wonderful experience, and I’m thrilled to help announce an opportunity for Nebraska students to learn more about the nation’s only Unicameral.

Each June, the Clerk of the Legislature’s Office coordinates a four-day legislative simulation, which offers high school students a hands-on opportunity to experience the legislative process. The Unicameral Youth Legislature meets in the historic Warner Chamber (the former home of the Nebraska Senate) from June 11- 14 and provides young Nebraskans an in-depth learning experience. Student senators will sponsor bills, conduct committee hearings, debate legislation and using the same processes and rules that I and every other state senator use every day we are in session.

This four-day event gives a behind-the-scenes access to students who have an interest in public office, government, politics, law, public policy, debate or public speaking. Students will also have the opportunity to interact with senators and staff to learn how the legislature functions.

Applications are due by May 15. Registration includes lodging, meals (including a luncheon at the Governor’s Residence) and daily transportation from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s East Campus to the State Capitol.

There is a cost of $350 to attend, but registrants are encouraged to apply for a Greg Adams Civic Scholarship which covers the full cost of the session. Other scholarships are also available.

The Unicameral Youth Legislature is jointly sponsored by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Extension 4-H Youth Development office and the University of Nebraska Big Red Summer Camps program.

More information is available at www.NebraskaLegislature.gov/uyl or by calling (402)-471-2788. Interested students can also contact my office.

Sen. Joni Albrecht

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

You are currently browsing the archives for the Uncategorized category.

Committee Assignments
Search Current Bills
Search Laws
Live Video Streaming
Find Your Senator
To Top