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Bruce Bostelman

Sen. Bruce Bostelman

District 23

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Weekly Update 9-17
September 11th, 2020

Last week, 28 senators, including myself signed onto a letter introduced by Senator Julie Slama from district 1 that is urging the Big Ten to reconsider their decision to cancel the fall football season. This cancellation will cause UNL and other communities all around Nebraska that benefit from the weekly traditions of Husker Football and Volleyball GameDays to lose millions of dollars in revenue. During times like these, it is important for Nebraskans to maintain a high morale, and watching/playing college sports are one way of doing that.

When Nebraska High Schools and NCAA conferences such as the SEC, Big 12, ACC, and Sun Belt are currently playing their seasons with health and safety modifications due to COVID-19, it only makes sense the Big Ten play as well. UNL President Ted Carter, Chancellor Ronnie Green, Athletic Director Bill Moos, Head Football Coach Scott Frost, and many players have openly stated their support of playing Fall sports. It is a disservice to Nebraska student athletes, many of whom have worked their entire lives, and been awarded countless scholarships to play college sports not to have a fall season.

I also ask my constituents of District 23 and all of Nebraska to keep the family of Lincoln Police officer Mario Herrera in their prayers. He passed away last week from injuries sustained while working to detain violent individuals. Police officers and all those working in law enforcement have an incredibly difficult and dangerous job, especially during this time and climate of increased police scrutiny, anti-police rhetoric, and calls to defund the police. Remember that these are members of our communities doing their best to keep us all safe.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in March, nursing homes and assisted living facilities have worked tirelessly to protect those most vulnerable to the virus. Residents of these facilities have been isolated from the general public and family visitors over the last few months for their health and safety. Being cooped up inside for so long can be physically and mentally taxing. If you have a family member or know someone living in an assisted living facility, I recommend that you reach out to them and show them encouragement and support.

As a reminder, please follow state and local health department’s guidelines to slow the spread of the virus. The better we can follow these guidelines, the quicker we will be able to defeat this virus and return to normal.

Over the interim, my office remains open and we look forward to a busy schedule working on issues affecting this District and Nebraska.  I appreciate hearing from you and encourage you to contact my office at 402-471-2719 or

Weekly Update 9-10
September 4th, 2020

Over the interim, I continue to work on issues that affect District 23 youth. My work with the Juvenile Justice Coalition and Juvenile Services is tasked with helping at-risk and disadvantaged youths. Specifically, the coalition works with individuals with probation or truancy issues in order to help them get back on track and to stay out of future trouble. Early intervention helps prevent kids from going down the wrong path and helps them to succeed later in life.

I would like to highlight a new task force aimed at helping the State of Nebraska prepare for future flooding events.  The task force was recently signed into law by Governor Ricketts in LB632. LB632 contains LB1201, a bill which I introduced, which will help identify existing resources that communities can use in response to flood events and evaluating floodwater management issues.

Nebraskans in District 23 and across the state suffered from the worst flooding in memory in 2019. This task force will help the state plan, so we can be prepared to meet the challenge of future flooding events. Six additional Senators joined LB1201 as cosponsors.  The bill received unanimous approval during the final round of debate as a part of LB632, the Natural Resources committee package. I want to thank my colleagues and Governor Ricketts for helping take this important step.

I have been working extensively over the past year in evaluating the state’s future planning and needs for flood response. As co-chair LR241, we held meetings to evaluate the impact of flood on the state. During the interim study, the committee visited the Lincoln well field, Ashland National Guard camp, Loup Canal at Genoa, Schuyler, Winslow, and the Spencer Dam. We were also able to meet with numerous emergency managers, county highway superintendents, commissioners, public power, private landowners, and city officials.

The United States Department of Agriculture recently announced there is still grant funding available for relief from the 2019 floods through the Community Facilities Program. Public bodies, nonprofits, and municipalities located in disaster declared counties which include Butler, Colfax, and Saunders County. These grants may be used for disaster and non-disaster related projects which would benefit the community such as a new ambulance. For more information about the grant visit and click the “Community Facilities Program” tab on the left. You may also find assistance by contacting your local USDA Rural Development office.

As fall activities increase, we have seen a spike in COVID-19 cases around District 23. I would like to remind everyone to follow state and local health department’s guidelines, which include properly social distancing using the six foot rule, wearing masks as recommended and not running nonessential errands. As a reminder for everyone we need you to stay home if you are sick and stay home while you are awaiting your test results.

I appreciate hearing from constituents on issues affecting District 23 and encourage you to contact my office on legislation at 402-471-2719 or

Weekly Update 9-3
August 28th, 2020

There are a couple of areas that I want to highlight that are important for District 23.  They affect not only our communities but communities across the state. I want to make you more aware of the extent of Human Trafficking in the state.  In my work with the Human Trafficking Task Force and the Attorney General’s office we are making significant strides to address this human tragedy.  However, there is more work that needs to be done and you can help.

According to the Governor’s Human Trafficking Task Force, as recently as 2015, 47 school age girls are trafficked in Nebraska every year.  Arrests and successful prosecution of sex traffickers have been made in District 23 as a result of the work of the task force.  Sex trafficking victims involve both male and female individuals.  Traffickers often use a slew of tactics when luring people into being trafficked. For instance, according to the Lincoln Journal Star, in 2018 a Lincoln man was arrested, charged and found guilty in federal court for trafficking two minors.  He used the social media app Snapchat to lure young girls into sex trafficking.

Trafficking of humans for labor also occurs when individuals are forced to work oftentimes to repay a debt.  Those caught up in labor trafficking include teenage youth and adults.   In order to prevent and end human trafficking in Nebraska, we need everyone’s help. There are signs that can help you identify trafficking such as someone having multiple phones, a boyfriend or girlfriend that is considerably older, unexplained absences, abnormal amounts of cash, and long or strange working hours.

How can you help? Information on human trafficking and videos on how to identify human trafficking may be found at the Attorney Generals website, If you are victim of trafficking or suspect someone is being trafficked please call the Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. You will make a difference.

I am co-sponsoring LR380 an interim study that was brought to light this year as a result of COVID-19. LR380 is Sen. Brewer’s study that will examine the feasibility of creating a state meat inspection program. A state meat inspection program would allow cattle producers and small beef processors in this state to better feed Nebraska residents, greatly strengthen and secure the beef supply chain from cattle producers to consumers, and spur economic development in rural Nebraska.

This study will consult and involve a number of interests and stakeholders including livestock producers, small plant producers, and the Department of Agriculture, as well as industry and trade groups.

Over the interim my office remains open and we look forward to a busy schedule working on issues affecting this District and Nebraska.  I appreciate hearing from you and encourage you to contact my office at 402-471-2719 or

Weekly Update 8-27
August 21st, 2020

As we approach Labor Day, we are especially thankful for essential employees and other members of the workforce who have continued to go work amid the COVID-19 situation. Among these, we are especially grateful for healthcare professionals, law enforcement, EMS/first responders who put themselves at risk every day to serve their communities. I hope this is a time when families can safely relax and celebrate together.

Over the past week, I’ve attended several bill signing ceremonies for some important legislation. The Saturday after the Legislature adjourned, I attended Governor Ricketts’ public signing of LB814 on the North steps outside of the Capitol. This bill bans the barbaric practice of dismemberment abortion on a living, unborn child in the second trimester of pregnancy. I was pleased to see such a large pro-life crowd turn out in support of the bill, and I commend Senator Geist, the bill’s introducer, on her diligent work with individuals and organizations such as Dr. Aultman, the Nebraska Catholic Conference, Nebraska Family Alliance, and Nebraska Right to Life on getting this critical legislation passed. I was a proud co-sponsor of this bill, and will continue to defend the pre-born on future pro-life legislation.

Governor Ricketts signed LB1107, which was the property tax relief and business incentive compromise bill on August 20th. I applaud Governor Ricketts for signing this bill into law and the members of the Revenue Committee for working tirelessly to bring meaningful property tax relief to Nebraskans. By putting $650 million towards property tax relief, we are ensuring Nebraskans can keep more hard earned money in their pockets while also fully funding our schools.

I was also happy to see veterans and members of their organizations along with Governor Ricketts and fellow Senators at the American Legion Post 52 in Kearney for the LB153 signing ceremony. This bill exempts 50% of military retirement pay from the Nebraska state income tax. As a co-sponsor of this bill I feel it is an excellent step in making Nebraska a more desirable place for veterans to live.

As summer comes to a close and school and fall sports are set to begin, please continue to be cognizant of the spread of COVID-19.  My continued support for our teachers and staff as they begin this school year and their ongoing commitment to their students.

Please remember that the businesses in our communities need our support.  Do you remember a commercial that said, “we’ll keep the light on”.  That’s what our local businesses have been doing, staying open during a difficult time and being there for us when we needed them.  Let’s let them know how much we appreciate them by buying local and by doing so “keeping their light on”.

My office remains open, we look forward to a busy schedule working on issues affecting this District and Nebraska.  I appreciate hearing from you and encourage you to contact my office at 402-471-2719 or

Weekly Article 8-20
August 18th, 2020

The 106th Legislature, Second Session adjourned Sine Die on August 13th. This historic short session saw 285 bills passed by the Legislature.   There are a number of bills I want to highlight.

Property taxes were addressed by the Legislature with B1107. LB1107 a bill that will provide Nebraskans with $650 million in property tax relief, a new business incentive program, and funding for UNMC’s transformational projects act.

LB814, a bill I co-sponsored, passed on our final day of session. LB814 bans dismemberment, or “dilation and evacuation” abortion. In this method of abortion, the doctor terminates a baby by dismembering it alive, while still in the womb.

The passage of LB153, a bill I cosponsored, provides after January 1, 2022 a person may exclude fifty percent of the military retirement benefit income received to the extent included in federal adjusted gross income.   I stand committed to making Nebraska a welcoming State for veterans, military personnel and their families.

LB450 increases the percentage of state tuition assistance for members of the Nebraska National Guard from 75% to 100% for their undergraduate degrees. The bill also allows for 50% tuition assistance for guardsmen and women seeking a professional or graduate degree.

LB963 improves worker’s compensation laws for first responders, allowing them to collect worker’s compensation benefits while treating a mental illness, such as PTSD, that was received on the job.

As a member of the Rural Broadband Task Force, we worked to find ways to expand broadband to the unserved and underserved areas of the state. These recommendations resulted in LB992 which in part allows companies access to existing infrastructure in order to expand internet access. LB996 created the broadband improvement program.

LB931 allows for operation of vehicles that exceed the maximum weight and length capacities by 15% and 10%, respectively when transporting grain and other seasonally harvested products from farm storage to market. All the bills I introduced were passed. LB 1002/LB893 allows for EMS services to restock medication, used during transport of a person, at a hospital pharmacy. It also creates two new EMS classifications; Critical Care paramedic and Community Paramedicine.

LB831 allows vehicles that were manufactured prior to 1940 receive a salvage title if they were previously titled as junk. This bill will help the Nelson family from Wahoo title their vehicle which has been in their family for decades.

LB832 provides civil and criminal immunity to a person who breaks into a vehicle to rescue a child in imminent danger of heat stroke.

LB1201, which was included in LB632, creates a flood mitigation plan development group within the Department of Natural Resources. The group will be tasked with compiling a centralized list of critical infrastructure, and identifying available funding resources and cost-effective flood mitigation strategies.

As we enter the interim my office remains open and we look forward to a busy schedule working on issues that affect this District and Nebraska.  I appreciate hearing from constituents and encourage you to contact my office at 402-471-2719 or



Weekly Update 8-13
August 11th, 2020

We are approaching the final days of the 106th Legislature, Second Session.  In fact, when many of you read this article the session will have concluded.  This past week, we saw a number of bills debated of great importance to the State.

My priority bill, LB1002, was advanced to final reading. This bill was also a priority for the State EMS board and the Rural Health Commission. LB1002 allows the EMS Board to create two new license classifications for EMS Providers; Critical Care and Community Paramedicine. Community care paramedics are tasked with assisting in-home visits, administering medications, and performing post-surgery check-ups.

LB1002 also allows EMS providers to restock medications used while transporting a patient at hospital pharmacies to alleviate temporary shortages. Currently, providers are required to purchase medication from wholesale distributors which are often out of stock or require bulk purchases.

The Legislature overcame the filibuster of LB814, which would end dismemberment abortion in Nebraska, and advanced it to select file. I will continue to support LB814 and other pro-life legislation, continue to defend the pre-born, and protect the sanctity of life.

LB1107, the new property tax and business incentive bill, was advanced to select file. The proposal includes an increase in property tax relief and creates a new business incentive program as the current program expires.

The new property tax refundable income tax credit is created in the amount of $375 million plus allowable growth rate.  The credit will be based on the amount of school district property taxes that were paid in the prior year.

It also amends the property tax credit fund to require a minimum of $275 million annually for an overall total of $650 million in property tax funds. Should the ballot initiative for gambling pass in November, funds gained from gambling will be directed to the Property Tax Credit Fund.

It creates a new tax incentives program for businesses moving to Nebraska as the current incentive program is expiring. State spending for incentives would be capped at $25 million for the first two years and rising to $150 million by year five. After the fifth year, the cap would be equal to 3% of the state net tax receipts.  This bill is an encouraging step in the right direction as it sets a good precedent for the future where we will be able to make improvements.

LB1107 is a good step forward for property tax relief and I will continue to work on developing further property tax relief that helps homeowners, farmers, ranchers, business owners, and all Nebraskans.

Bills awaiting the Governor’s signature include, LB1186, requires salary to be paid to injured school employees as prescribed.  LB1124, adopt the opioid prevention and treatment act.

LB963 is on final reading, it changes workers’ compensation provisions for injuries to first responders and frontline state employees and burial expenses.

I appreciate hearing from constituents on issues affecting District 23 and encourage you to contact my office on legislation at 402-471-2719 or

Weekly Update August 6th
August 11th, 2020

Last week, two of my bills were passed by Legislature; LB831 and LB832. LB831, which was amended into LB944, allows for vehicles to receive a salvage title which were manufactured prior to 1940 if they were previously titled as junk. This bill will allow the Nelson family from Wahoo title their 1930 Ford Model A which has been in their family for decades.

LB832 provides civil and criminal immunity to someone who removes a child that is in imminent danger from a vehicle. According to, an average 39 children die due to being trapped in a hot vehicle every year. Temperatures as low as 60 degrees are capable of being fatal for those trapped in a vehicle.

The Legislature also debated LB814 on general file, which would end dismemberment abortion in Nebraska. The legislature proceeded to other items on the agenda without taking a vote on this legislation after it was filibustered. LB814 can still move on to the next round of debate if the introducer can prove they have 33 votes needed to advance the bill. I will continue to support LB814 and other pro-life legislation, and continue to defend the pre-born.

My bill LB1201, which was amended into the Natural Resources Committee Priority Bill LB632, advanced to Select File. LB1201 requires the Department of Natural Resources to form a group to develop a statewide flood mitigation plan which would focus on protecting and reducing flood damage to critical infrastructure such as levies, homes and communities. The group would work to identify any available funding that improves flood mitigation and help with post flood recovery. Upon completion of the plan, it would be integrated into the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency’s overall state hazard mitigation plan.

LB992 also advanced to select file. This bill is the result of the rural broadband task force, which I am a member of. LB992 allows companies access to existing infrastructure to rapidly expand and deploy new broadband to rural areas of Nebraska. I am also encouraged by the new federal support for rural broadband that will favor proposals for fiber optic cable installation.

The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) will commit $20.4 billion over a ten-year period to support the deployment of broadband networks to Rural America that are unserved or underserved which don’t meet the federal standard of 25/3 Mbps. Funding will be allocated using multi-round, reverse, descending clock auctions that favor faster services with lower latency and encourage intermodal competition.

For example, Saunders, Butler, and Colfax Counties have 1,595, 629, and 451 eligible locations respectively. The areas deemed unserved are eligible for the first round of RDOF auctions which will take place in October. Rural areas deserve fiber optic speed similar to what is received by urban customers at a comparable price. Broadband expansion is one of my priorities and I will continue to support this legislation.


I appreciate hearing from constituents on issues affecting District 23 and encourage you to contact my office on legislation at 402-471-2719 or

Weekly Update July 30th
August 11th, 2020

Last week, the Legislature successfully voted on a pull motion to bring LB814 out of committee onto the floor for debate. LB814, a bill that I co-sponsored, would prohibit dismemberment abortion on live, unborn children in the second trimester of pregnancy. Supporters of the bill argued that the dismemberment of a live fetus is morally wrong. LB814 will now be on the agenda at some point during the remainder of the legislative session and I will continue to support this bill.

LB1106 the property tax relief bill was filibustered and failed to advance during three hours of debate.  Property tax relief remains my top priority this session.   LB1106, reduces the reliance on property taxes to fund K-12 education while increasing state aid to schools.  I support this proposal as it would provide meaningful property tax relief to Nebraskans all over the state while also ensuring state funding for schools. I am once again extremely disappointed in the Legislature’s inaction on property tax relief and will continue to fight for this cause.

Tax incentives for large corporations were also debated on the floor last week. LB720 faced steep opposition from a number of Senators who argued that we should not be giving multi-million dollar corporations tax breaks which would result in millions of dollars in uncollected taxes over years while ignoring the urgent need for property tax reform. This bill was filibustered on select file and received no vote.

LB153, of which I am a co-sponsor, was advanced to Final Reading. This bill allows military retirees to exempt 50% of their military pension from state income taxes. This bill brings Nebraska into line with surrounding states who either don’t have income taxes, tax military pensions or provide substantial tax breaks for military retirees. By exempting half of their pension from income taxes, this bill helps attract and retain veterans to Nebraska who play an integral role in our communities.

LB931 advanced to Final Reading. This bill allows grain transporters to exceed the maximum weight by 15% and length by 10% when transporting grain from storage to marketplace. It also allows single axle trucks to exceed the weight limit by 15% from farm storage to market up to 70 miles.

On July 30th, the world will be celebrating World Day against the Trafficking of Persons. As human trafficking continues to plague this nation and state, I encourage everyone to show their support. To find more information on human trafficking and how you can help please visit

Small business owner who are impacted by COVID-19 may still apply for relief through the Paycheck Protection Program. The Paycheck Protection Program provides business owners with eight weeks of cash flow, through a forgivable loan, to maintain their payroll. The deadline to apply is August 8th, and should you wish to apply you can contact your financial advisors, bank or credit unions.

I appreciate hearing from constituents on issues affecting District 23 and encourage you to contact my office on legislation at 402-471-2719 or

Weekly Article July 23rd
August 11th, 2020

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

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:

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


Weekly Update July 16th
July 10th, 2020

The Legislature adjourned March 25th due to COVID-19 and we are reconvening on July 20th, to finish the remaining 17 business days of the 2020 Legislative Session.  You will find the remaining days of session will look and function quite a bit different.

Due to health concerns stemming from COVID-19, there will be several procedural changes and modifications to the chamber. All Senators and staff will be required to have their temperatures checked prior to entering the Legislative Chamber. Plexiglas barriers have also been erected at each desk to further prevent the spread of the virus. Senators will have the option to remain at their assigned desks or move to a table along the side of the chamber to allow for social distancing. Senators are also permitted to sit in the South balcony, where they will be allowed to vote should they be concerned about their health.

Access to the balconies will be reserved for Senators and press only while access to the floor is limited to Senators and specific staff.  The rotunda will remain open, however, access to Senators on the floor during debate is being discouraged.   If you wish to contact me during debate please call or email my staff as they will be able to relay your comments to me.

During this break in the session I’ve continued my work on property tax reform.  Working with Senators and other stakeholders to reduce burdensome property taxes while increasing state funding to schools. Earlier in the session, Sen. Linehan’s bill LB974 was filibustered for three hours and did not receive a vote effectively stopping the bill.

Since then the Revenue Committee introduced an amendment to the LB1106 which will be debated when we return.  The amendment is estimated to initially increase state funding for schools by $300 million in order to reduce reliance on property taxes. It would implement funding for each student in the state (foundation aid) and incrementally lower agricultural land valuations over three years to 55 percent.  Property tax relief is a priority of mine and I continue to work on, support and fight for property tax relief and will continue to do so until we see meaningful property tax relief provided.

The Nebraska Department of Labor announced last week that they will be refocusing their unemployment program efforts to reemployment efforts. Beginning on July 12th, individuals who continue to file for unemployment must fulfill job search requirements to qualify for benefits. Job search requirements include, filing a job application with an employer, conducting work searches using the internet, attending job skills classes, or meeting with a job or career counselor. Applicants must report their reemployment activities on each weekly filing. also has a system for customized job searches, reemployment services, and one-on-one appointments to assist people in finding employment opportunities.

I appreciate hearing from constituents on issues affecting District 23 and encourage you to contact my office on legislation at 402-471-2719 or


Sen. Bruce Bostelman

District 23
Room 1210
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2719
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