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It has been another busy week in the Legislature. There were an additional 593 new bills and 22 new legislative resolutions introduced for the 2022 session. Public hearings for these new bills have begun and will be held in the afternoons until early March.
Senator Brewer’s priority bill, LB773 which I am co-sponsoring had a hearing in the Government, Military and Veterans affairs committee. This bill would authorize the concealed carry of handguns without a permit in Nebraska.
Senator Halloran’s priority resolution, LR14 is a resolution to the United States Congress to call for a convention of states under Article V of the U.S. Constitution in order to propose amendments to the U.S. constitution. This resolution recently passed on the second round of debate and was advanced to Final Reading.
I have introduced a few bills which have hearings coming up that I would like to highlight. LB913 requires the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) to reconstruct a highway approach, which is the part of a county road located on the State’s right of way, when it is destroyed by a natural disaster or as a result of faulty engineering. Currently, counties are responsible for this maintenance, but many lack the necessary funds or staffing to rebuild these approaches. This bill ensures proper construction in the replacement of destroyed approaches.
LB1046 changes the makeup of the board of directors for Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) and Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) so that half of the board of directors, as well as the CEO’s of NPPD and OPPD would be appointed by the governor. This bill also ensures that at least one of the appointed board members is from a low populated area to represent our small communities and farmers.
LB1047 updates statutory language to reflect what the Southern Power Pool (SPP) and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) highlighted in their investigations of the February 2021 polar vortex event. This bill adds a definition of reliable as it applies to energy generation and would amend the state’s policy to say electric providers should provide adequate and reliable energy.
Last week, Governor Ricketts signed a proclamation declaring January as Human Trafficking awareness month in Nebraska. The Nebraska Attorney General’s website has a page dedicated to information on and resources for combating human trafficking at https://ago.nebraska.gov/combating-human-trafficking. This website provides educational videos which range from what is trafficking, how to identify signs of trafficking, what traffickers look like, and what to do if someone suspects trafficking.
Additionally, the state is allocating $1.5 million in federal grants for child advocacy centers and health providers to help youth who have experienced trafficking. If you think you have encountered a victim of human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888.
I appreciate hearing from constituents on issues affecting District 23 and encourage you to contact my office on legislation at 402-471-2719 or email@example.com.
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