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Finding ways to grow Nebraska has been one of my main issues in the Legislature. As a member of the Revenue Committee, I have had the chance to hear issues affecting our population growth such as the need for more workforce housing, our current tax climate, and the out-migration of our best and brightest once they graduate college. This summer, I decided to take a tour of the eastern half of the state as the Chairman of the Banking, Commerce and Insurance (BCI) Committee to see first hand what economic issues our cities and towns are facing.
I visited over 44 banks in 20 counties including 27 Nebraska cities, towns and villages in the months of August and September. I was able to meet with the bankers who are on the front lines in their communities. From serving as the town mailman, to sponsoring the t-ball team, to consulting our farmers through falling commodity prices and rising production costs, to donating land for community improvement projects, our community bankers are the linchpin of our state’s economic success. I visited banks in our state’s largest cities such as Lincoln, Omaha and Grand Island to some of our smallest in Talmage, Hordville, and Wausa. There were common themes as I moved across the state from consolidation of schools, community banks, and farms to property taxes and developing affordable housing for the area’s workforce.
Being able to tour a good portion of the state and see what our communities are facing was the best way for me to advocate for Nebraskans in the Legislature. There will be some big decisions coming up in the next session and I feel like I now have a broader point of view and a larger source of input to help tackle them. I truly believe that the best way to get to know Nebraska and understand all sides of our issues is to go out to where people are and see how Nebraskans live day to day. It is one thing to hear about successes such as young Nebraskans coming back to the family farm or business after living somewhere else, or the impact of NuCor Steel and Norfolk Iron and Metal in Norfolk, but it is quite another to see it in action.
As always, it is an honor to represent you in the Legislature.
-Sen. Brett Lindstrom