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As we are beginning to wrap up committee work for the session things are begging to heat up in the Capitol. As the number of bills waiting on General File begins to stack up we are all starting to jockey for position to ensure that our bills are heard. Currently, I have four bills waiting in General File for hearings before the entire Legislature. I am working hard to ensure that a few of my other bills are passed out of committee and added to that list.
Two of my bills received hearings by committees this week. On Wednesday, March 4, LB294 was heard before the Judiciary Committee. LB294 is the culmination of numerous hours of work with the Attorney General and his staff to crack down on human trafficking in Nebraska. Human Trafficking is the second largest criminal industry and presents a significant threat to our great state. This bill cracks down on traffickers, cracks down on consumers of human trafficking, and creates a fund (using non-taxpayer dollars) to help victims. According to Shared Hope International, Nebraska receives an overall ‘D’ grade for our efforts to address human trafficking. This bill will help the state combat this deplorable crime and bring us at least to the same level of prosecution as our surrounding states.
On Friday, March 6, LB57 was heard before the Judiciary Committee. This bill is the companion to my other bill LB56. LB56 provides for the property that the Norfolk Regional Center currently resides on, with the exception of the building that is currently used by the state, to be transferred to Northeast Community College. LB57 provides the funding for the buildings on this property to be torn down. Northeast Community College will use this land to build a technical innovation park. This technology park will bring businesses to our area and benefit the region as a whole. LB57 provides the money for the state to level the dilapidated buildings it owns currently on this property so that the plan can be set in motion.
I would also like to congratulate the Norfolk High Panthers on their huge win over Omaha Benson and the Norfolk Catholic Knights on their win over Wahoo Newman in the first round of the state basketball championships. I was lucky enough to be able to attend part of the games on Thursday and had a blast watching these talented young ladies play. They are all tremendous athletes and have worked extremely hard to get to this point. I look forward to keeping my Red, White, and Maroon on and cheering these ladies on throughout the rest of the tournament. I hope to run into some of you this weekend helping to cheer on the Panthers and the Knights.