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The Legislature reconvened the 2020 session after temporarily suspending it in March due to COVID-19 concerns. The first day back was spent on a variety of priority bills that were on select file prior to the suspending of the session. Speaker Scheer intends to place all remaining priority bills on the Agenda for debate. This includes my flood bill, LB1201 which is prioritized in LB632.
LB1201 creates a plan development group within the Department of Natural Resources who would be tasked with developing a flood mitigation plan. This plan will then be integrated into the state hazard mitigation plan. The group would also be tasked with compiling a centralized list of critical infrastructure, identify available funding resources and cost-effective flood mitigation strategies.
LB1201 is the result of the 2019 March flooding and LR241, an interim study that created a select committee that I co-chaired with Senator Pansing-Brooks. The study focused on the state’s response to the flooding at all levels of the government. After countless hours of touring damaged areas and meeting with Emergency Managers, First Responders, County Supervisors, and others it became apparent that Nebraska needs a comprehensive flood mitigation plan.
The importance of this bill could not be understated. Should the bill pass Nebraska would be better prepared to respond to future flooding events. We would also be prepared for federal funding opportunities, which often require strategic flood mitigation strategies. I am hopeful the Legislature will act on this important piece of Legislation and I will continue my work in helping Nebraska recover from last year’s floods
The Tax Commissioner released the June 2020 General Fund receipts. The report shows in June, Nebraska’s net receipts were 3.3% above the forecast of $493 million. They also reported FY 2019-2020 net general fund receipts were .2% above certified forecast or $4.940 billion.
Overall, this report shows that Nebraska was not hit as hard economically by COVID-19 as some estimated. However, future general fund receipts will paint a clearer picture of the impact COVID-19 had on Nebraska, especially with the deferred income taxes. The Forecasting Board will meet on July 23rd to review and revise the forecast of the net general fund receipts for the remainder of this biennium.
Governor Ricketts recently announced a new website which details the state’s response to COVID-19. Furthermore, the site provides information on how the state plans to use Coronavirus relief funds and links to public health and COVID testing information. The website can be found at coronavirus.nebraska.gov.
As Nebraska comes off high unemployment, the Nebraska Department of Labor (NDOL) has put together a helpful list of answers to frequently asked questions regarding work search, and it can be found here: https://dol.nebraska.gov/webdocs/Resources/Items/Work%20Search%20FAQs.pdf
We continue praying for everyone affected by the COVID-19 challenges. I appreciate hearing from constituents on issues affecting District 23 and encourage you to contact my office on legislation at 402-471-2719 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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