NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

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Sen. Bruce Bostelman

Sen. Bruce Bostelman

District 23

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 bbostelman@leg.ne.gov

STATE OF NEBRASKA

Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) March 25, 2019

 

CONTACTS:

Taylor Gage, (402) 471-1970 Taylor.gage@nebraska.gov Alyssa Sanders, (402) 405-6137 Alyssa.sanders@nebraska.gov Mike Wight, (402) 471-7428

 

State Response: How to Get Assistance

 

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

If you are located in a declared disaster area, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Most homeowners and renters, and all businesses (including landlords) and private nonprofit organizations are automatically referred to the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. FEMA may offer some grant assistance to households. SBA disaster assistance loan programs are committed to helping businesses and residents rebuild and recover as quickly as possible.

What Types of Disaster Loans are Available?

  • Business Physical Disaster Loans – Loans to businesses to repair or replace disaster- damaged property owned by the business, including real estate, inventories, supplies, machinery and equipment. Businesses of any size are eligible. Private, non-profit organizations such as charities, churches, private universities, etc., are also eligible.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) – Working capital loans to help small businesses including: agricultural cooperatives, businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, nonprofit organizations of all sizes meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster. These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period.
  • Home Disaster Loans – Loans to homeowners or renters to repair or replace disaster- damaged real estate and personal property, including automobiles.
  • SBA offers disaster assistance in the form of low-interest loans to businesses of all sizes, private nonprofits and homeowners and renters, as low as 2.063% for residents and 4% for businesses, to recover from damages not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries. SBA Loans not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.
  • Residents and Business owners with questions about SBA’s disaster assistance can call (800) 659-2955 or go to www.sba.gov/disaster to apply online.

 

 Schools

All Nebraska schools are back in session with the exception of North Bend Central Public Schools. North Bend Central has been functioning as a community center for response efforts for the affected area as it was least impacted by the flood waters. School officials hope to resume classes Wednesday.

Agriculture (NDA)

  • Losses include (as of 3/25/19):

o   $400 Million – Livestock loss

Includes: death, loss, veterinary care, loss of performance, additional transportation costs as well as additional labor costs

o   $440 Million – Crop loss

Includes: removal of sand/debris, inability to plant this year, loss of inventory

Numbers do not reflect loss of infrastructure.

o   Current primary needs are hay, fencing, volunteers, and equipment.

  • If a farmer or rancher feels overwhelmed with stress, depression, or other mental health related issues they are urged to contact the Nebraska Rural Response Hotline at

800-464-0258.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Homeowners and renters in the nine counties (Butler, Cass, Colfax, Dodge, Douglas, Nemaha, Sarpy, Saunders, & Washington) approved for FEMA assistance by the President are eligible to apply for federal disaster assistance.

Additional counties may be added as assessments are completed and submitted to FEMA.

The following steps be taken to begin recovery:

  • Report your damage to your local emergency manager. This helps provide information about locations and extent of damage that can be used to assess additional recovery needs for your jurisdiction. A current list of local emergency managers can be found at http://nema.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/0bc3537ed2a145bba2ffbd37b54209ed
  • Call your insurance agent. There may be coverage for your losses under a traditional homeowner’s or renter’s policy or under a flood insurance policy.
  • Document your damage. Take photos or video. Make lists of damage items.
  • Register with FEMA. The process is free, take about 20 minutes:

o   Register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov (this will be the quickest option).

o   Register by phone using FEMA’s toll-free registration line by calling 800-621- 3362. If you use TTY, call 800-462-7585 or use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) to call 800-621-3362. Telephone registration is available 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

 

 

  • Be ready to register. When calling the FEMA number, be prepared to provide your current address, the address of the damaged property, contact information where FEMA can reach you, your social security number, the makeup of your household (occupants), insurance, and income information.
  • Register, even if you are insured. Your insurance may not cover everything, and some damage may not show up until later. Do not wait until you have settled with your insurer to register with FEMA.

 

FEMA Teams Canvassing Disaster-Designated Counties to Help Survivors

  • Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams (DSAT) team members can be identified by their federal photo identifications and FEMA clothing. Nebraska residents are reminded to ask for official photo identification before providing personal information. FEMA employees do not solicit or accept money from disaster survivors. FEMA will call to schedule a meeting before arriving at a residence.
  • Survivors who have already registered with FEMA can expect housing inspectors to inspect damage sustained by weather related events. When FEMA-contracted inspectors arrive at a home, they will display official photo identification. If the photo identification is not visible, it’s OK to ask to see it. This helps prevent fraud.
  • Many legitimate disaster assistance representatives also may visit your property such as insurance agents, damage inspectors, FEMA and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) staff.  Please ask to see all identification.
  • Again, federal workers do not solicit or accept money. FEMA staff never charge applicants for disaster assistance, inspections, or help with registration.

 

Some tips to safeguard against fraud:

  • Ask to see ID badges. All FEMA representatives wear a federal photo ID badge. A FEMA shirt or jacket is not absolute proof of identity. If you are unsure or uncomfortable with anyone you encounter, please contact local law enforcement.
  • Beware of people going door-to-door. People knocking on doors at damaged homes or phoning homeowners claiming to be building contractors could be con artists, especially if they ask for personal information or solicit money. Be sure to verify ID badges of disaster assistance staff who may visit your home.
  • FEMA does not have “approved” contractors. Beware of contractors who say they are

affiliated with FEMA. Do not sign anything you do not understand, or sign any contracts with blank spaces.

  • If you have knowledge of fraud, waste, abuse or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations, call the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at

866-720-5721.

  • Always use licensed and bonded contractors and ask for credentials.  Never pay for anything in advance of work being done.

 

NEMA

  • The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) continues to address needs and direct resources across the State.
  • The NEMA website – www.nema.nebraska.gov – is a good resource for current conditions, photos and video, and information on what to do after returning home.

 

  • NEMA Call Center 402-817-1551

NEMA Joint Information Center has established a hotline currently staffed

24-hours-a-day to connect those impacted with needed resources. When possible, the call center is staffed with Spanish speaking operators and mental health professionals.

Nebraska 211

The Heartland United Way 211 is a resource for information including shelter needs, cleanup, food, clothing, etc. If you cannot reach them by dialing 211, please call 866-813-1731.

 

Nebraska Strong

  • Those who are looking for a one-stop option for donations can go to the #NebraskaStrong website: www.nebraska.gov/nebraska-strong . A variety of nonprofit relief agencies are available for donations.
  • Visitors to the NebraskaStrong website can also list specific resource needs, and those with resources to donate can connect with those in need.

###

On February 27th I had the pleasure of meeting with 4th graders from Bellwood Elementary and David City. These students spent the day touring our State’s Capitol and learning about the history of Nebraska, the three branches of state government and the legislative process. Civics education is an integral component of our democracy. It equips our youth with the tools and knowledge to stay active in government affairs and allows them to make influential changes to our society.

A Word from the 23rd
February 14th, 2019

Today I was pleased to attend a luncheon hosted by Mentor Nebraska. Mentor Nebraska’s mission is to fuel the quality and quantity of mentoring relationships, strengthen collaboration, and advocate for mentoring.  The major topic of the lunch was LB511, which was introduced by Senator Tom Brewer and Co-sponsored by myself and Senators Gragert, Linehan Halloran, and Murman.  LB511 would allow state employees to request a work schedule adjustment of 1 hour per week to participate in youth mentoring programs.  It is crucial that our youth have the mentors and support needed in order to equip them with the necessary tools and knowledge to be successful in their life.  Dr. Tom Osborne was the keynote speaker for the event and he explained the importance of mentors and guidance in the development of our youth. Young adults and kids who participate in mentor programs are more likely to graduate high school or college.  Dr. Osborne also explained the need for more youth mentors in our state.

A Word from the 23rd
January 29th, 2019

This past week I had the opportunity to attend the Nebraska Volunteer Firefighters breakfast in Lincoln.  It was a pleasure to talk with firefighters and auxiliary members from around the state, esp Joel Cerny of Linwood and Jim Egger of David City.  This morning was a weather challenged morning and I appreciate everyone that traveled to Lincoln for the breakfast.

Saturday evening was the 82nd annual banquet of the Schuyler Volunteer Fire Department.  The banquet recognizes and honors those firefighters, EMS and auxiliary members that serve the Schuyler community.  I am always amazed at the dedication and commitment our volunteers have towards their communities and encourage anyone who is considering joining their ranks to please do so as you will make a difference.  Pictured are Jim Horn of Schuyler, myself, Parrish Abel of Gering and Joel Cerny of Linwood.  Thank you for all you do.

Saturday morning was Nebraska’s Walk for Life at the Capital.  I was in attendance with over a thousand pro-life supporters that braved the cold morning to come together and walk in support of life.  It was heartwarming to see so many from across the state gather for the 45th consecutive year in support of life.

 

The 106 Legislature, First Session convened last week for the start of the 90 day session. The first day consisted of the swearing in of new and reelected Senators, as well as, election of permanent officers and committee chairpersons. The Committee on Committees then met and determined the remaining senators for each committee.

I remained on both of the Natural Resources and Transportation and Telecommunications Committees. I am pleased to return to both committees as they deal with subject matters that are important to me as well as constituents of District 23 and across Nebraska.  The Natural Resources Committee covers topics such as public power, Natural Resource Districts, water rights, recreation, Game and Parks and Nebraska wildlife and endangered species. The Natural Resources Committee meets Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday each week.  The Transportation and Telecommunications Committee addresses matters such as motor vehicles, highways and roads, information technology including broadband and the Public Service Commission. The Transportation and Telecommunications Committee meets Monday and Tuesday each week. I look forward to working with these Committees over the session to hear and prepare legislation on these essential subjects to benefit the people of Nebraska.

The second day of session included the inaugural ceremonies for the swearing in of other elected and reelected officials including Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts. Governor Ricketts then delivered his Inaugural Address to the legislature and members of the public in attendance.

During the first week of session last week Senators introduced more than one hundred bills. Senators can introduce legislation until January 23rd, the 10th legislative day of session. Public Hearings on legislation begin January 22nd. Information on introduced legislation, schedules for Committee Hearings and other legislative information on this session can be found on the Homepage of the Legislature Website at https://nebraskalegislature.gov/. Updates on this session from my Office can be found on my legislative webpage at http://news.legislature.ne.gov/dist23/.

On Friday January 11th I attended a Proclamation Signing by the Governor declaring January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month in Nebraska. Human Trafficking is an important issue that I have worked on throughout my time as a Senator and will continue to work on going forward.  Raising awareness for Human Trafficking is essential to helping combat this heinous crime. For more information on Human Trafficking and what you can to help you can visit the Attorney General’s website at https://ago.nebraska.gov/combating-human-trafficking.

Please reach out to my office with thoughts, comments, or questions on legislation throughout the session. My office can be reached at 402-471-2719 or at bbostelman@leg.ne.gov. I appreciate hearing from constituents on issues that are important to District 23. I look forward to continuing to update you on legislative issues as the session progresses.

 

Welcome
January 9th, 2019

Thank you for visiting my website. It is an honor to represent the people of the 23rd legislative district in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature.

You’ll find my contact information on the right side of this page, as well as a list of the bills I’ve introduced this session and the committees on which I serve. Please feel free to contact me and my staff about proposed legislation or any other issues you would like to address.

Sincerely,
Sen. Bruce Bostelman

2019 Session Begins!
January 9th, 2019

Greetings again from the legislature to constituents of District 23. I hope everyone had a safe and blessed holiday season and I wish you all a great start to the New Year. As I write this the legislature is set to convene in a few short days on Wednesday, January 9, 2019 for the start of the 106th Legislature, First Session. The upcoming session will be the long, 90 day session and will include 13 new Senators. As the start of a long session the first day will involve elections for Committee Chairmanships. The Committee on Committees will then meet to determine remaining Committee assignments for Senators.

As always the beginning of session revolves around new bill introduction. All new bills must be introduced within the first 10 legislative days of session. I have several new pieces of legislation that I plan to introduce including some Veterans issues that I continue to work on and support. I look forward to sharing more on committee assignments and newly introduced legislation in the coming weeks.

Finances and budget concerns will play a large role throughout this session. Revenue receipts/projections are up slightly, however there are many restraints already placed on the budget including the need to replenish the Rainy Day Fund which over the past two biennial budgets has dropped from $730 million to $330 million.  Restoring the cash reserves is essential for the State to have financial flexibility and stability for the future. Property taxes will remain another key focus for the session. I have continued to work on real and sustainable property tax relief solutions over the interim and I have been out in the District to discuss the issue with constituents. I continue to hear the struggle with property taxes and know that as a legislature we need to make some changes. I anticipate several new property tax relief proposals to be introduced this session.

I will continue to provide updates and thoughts on legislative issues as the session progresses and encourage anyone with thoughts or concerns on legislation to please reach out to my office. My office can be reached at 402-471-2719. I look forward to continued work this session on behalf of the people of District 23.

Sen. Bruce Bostelman

District 23
Room #8th Floor
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2719
Email: bbostelman@leg.ne.gov
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