NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE
The official site of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Sen. Mark Kolterman

Sen. Mark Kolterman

District 24

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 mkolterman@leg.ne.gov

Welcome

January 3rd, 2017

Thank you for visiting my website. It is an honor to represent the people of the 24th 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. Mark Kolterman

Weekly Column – November 16th

November 19th, 2018

This week was a busy one as I participated in the Legislative Council’s planning meeting for the upcoming session. This event gives the State Senators an opportunity to gather prior to the
holidays to discuss the upcoming session and discuss topics that we know will be priorities once the session begins.

This year the meeting was also an opportunity to start conversations with colleagues about leadership roles, committee assignments, and other matters related to the governance of the
legislative body – something that happens every other year at the start of the biennium. With much of the body changing due to term limits – the dynamics are different this year and as state senators we are getting to know our incoming colleagues, their interests, and what areas they may be interested in working on as it relates to policy matters.

As I have shared previously, I intend to run for re-election as the chair of the Retirement committee. Many senators have announced their intent to seek chairmanships as well and still others will announce in the coming weeks.

Committee assignments are made through a committee called the “Committee on Committees” made up of 4 individuals from each Congressional district in the state. I have served on this committee previously and hope to serve on it again this coming session as well. If given the opportunity, this will allow me to work with my colleagues on the committee to find the best
committee assignments for each state senator. We work through a variety of factors for each member of the body, including seniority, scheduling, which caucus they are from, and their
interest in serving on various committees. We try to accommodate each member in providing an opportunity for he or she to serve on a committee of preference, but sometimes for the newer
members of the legislature, it can be challenging.

With Thanksgiving approaching, I want to wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family, good food, and joyful hearts. I’ve always enjoyed Thanksgiving as a time to reflect on the bounty that is before us as Nebraskans. Even in our hardest times, I see good in Nebraskans who support and care for their neighbors, and at this time of year, I encourage you to reflect on the many blessings we share. A blessed Thanksgiving to all!

Weekly Column – November 9th

November 9th, 2018

This week, the voters of the 24th District gave me the opportunity to continue my work in the Nebraska Legislature, and I am grateful and humbled. Thank you for the trust you have placed in me. Please be assured I will continue to work hard for you over the next four years.

After being re-elected, I notified my colleagues that I am planning to seek re-election as the Chair of the Nebraska Retirement Systems Committee. I have been a member of the Retirement Committee since 2015 and served as Chair of the Retirement Committee since 2016. I am proud of Retirement Committee accomplishments and its oversight of the state-administered and other political subdivision public pension plans.

In 2016 the state’s actuary conducted an Experience Study which was used to establish actuarial assumptions for the state-administered retirement plans. The Committee worked closely with the actuary and the Public Employees Retirement Board to enact statutory changes to reflect the new actuarial assumptions, which included lowering the investment assumption from 8% to 7.5% and updating mortality tables to more accurately reflect the fact that plan members are living longer. Even with these costly assumption changes, the state-administered retirement plans remain well-funded. Last year the funding status of the County Cash Balance Plan was 107%, State Cash Balance 104%, Judges 94%, School Plan 87%, and the Patrol Plan was 85%. The Judges, Patrol and School Plans earned an investment return of 8.5% this year, so I would expect to see funding levels increase when the valuation reports are released later this month.

The Committee has continued its work on pension reform to reduce long-term funding obligations of the defined benefit plans. In 2017, the minimum retirement age was increased from age 55 to 60 with the enactment of the modified Rule of 85 for the School and Omaha School Employees Retirement (OSERS) plans. The actuary calculated that this single pension reform will save the School and OSERS plans approximately $100 million in funding obligations over the next 30 years.

I believe my leadership skills and open-door policy have helped facilitate legislative accomplishments and the long-term sustainability of the public retirement plans. I continue to work closely with the Nebraska Investment Council, State Investment Officer, Nebraska Public Employees Systems, employee groups, the Governor’s office, Chief Justice and Attorney General to address funding, policy and potential litigation issues.

As always, if we can be of assistance to you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact my office. My door is open and I have made it a goal to be accessible to the constituents of our district. Please stop by any time. My e-mail address is mkolterman@leg.ne.gov, and the office phone number is 402-471-2756. Todd and Katie are always available to assist you with your needs. If I am not immediately available, please do not hesitate to work with them to address any issues that you may need assistance.

Weekly Column – November 2nd

November 2nd, 2018

We had a good turnout at my town hall meeting in Stromsburg with Nebraska Department of Transportation Director Kyle Schneweis. I know that he appreciated everyone in attendance who engaged in a thoughtful discussion about transportation issues, especially the expansion of U.S. Highway 81 to four lanes.

There has been a lot of activity around the Capitol the last few weeks. Last Friday, I attended the Nebraska State Patrol 59th Basic Recruit Class graduation ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda. It was a pleasure joining with Governor Pete Ricketts, Secretary of State John Gale and State Patrol Superintendent Colonel John Bolduc to welcome the 14 new State Patrol officers in their service to our great State. Their dedication and hard work is an inspiration to their families, friends, and everyone who has taken part in their formative years in attendance. The ceremony was especially meaningful for me to watch as Lucas Gleisberg – a member of Suzanne’s extended family – received the R.J. Buchholz Physical Fitness Award.

It is important to note that this was Secretary Gale’s last State Patrol swearing in, as he is not seeking reelection this year and will conclude his time in office in early January. It was mentioned during the ceremony that Secretary Gale has sworn in more than 300 Nebraska State Troopers during his 18 years in office.

Also on Friday, I attended a special meeting with other senators to review Nebraska’s economic development programs. We reviewed research compiled by the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness with the goal to enhance the Nebraska Advantage Act. I am hopeful that this will lead to meaningful policy changes that will help us as a State to overcome major challenges including outmigration of young talent, tight labor markets and infrastructure gaps including broadband access.

I also had the opportunity to meet with representatives from several organizations as we prepare for the next Legislative session. A new one that I wanted to mention involves a collaborative effort called Invest in Nebraska. It is comprised of several of our State’s leading educational organizations including the Nebraska Department of Education, Nebraska Council of School Administrators, Nebraska Association of School Boards, Nebraska State Education Association, STANCE, Greater Nebraska Schools Association, Nebraska Rural Community Schools Association, Educational Service Units Coordinating Council, Beyond Bells, Holland Children’s Movement, Voices for Children in Nebraska, Stand for Schools and First Five Nebraska. They will be focusing on ways to ensure Nebraska schools provide a 21st century education for our young people.

As always, if we can be of assistance to you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact my office. My door is open and I have made it a goal to be accessible to the constituents of our district. Please stop by any time. My e-mail address is mkolterman@leg.ne.gov, and the office phone number is 402-471-2756. Todd and Katie are always available to assist you with your needs. If I am not immediately available, please do not hesitate to work with them to address any issues that you may need assistance.

Weekly Column – October 26th

November 1st, 2018

Since I have been receiving a lot of questions about the ballot initiative to expand Medicaid, I believe it is appropriate to provide some background information about the program. If you recall from a column I wrote a few weeks ago, Medicaid is already one of the largest State funded programs. For this fiscal year, Nebraska is already planning to spend almost $850 million or approximately 19% of the total general fund expenditures on Medicaid. In fact, the only program that receives more funding in Nebraska is the TEEOSA State Aid for schools.

Currently, Nebraska’s Medicaid program provides assistance for individuals unable to afford necessary medical services. This includes the elderly, blind, disabled individuals and low-income pregnant women and parents with children. The program also includes the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides medical assistance to children 18 years old and younger.

As written, the ballot initiative would amend Nebraska’s Medicaid program to expand eligibility to cover certain adults ages 19 through 64 whose incomes are 138% of the federal poverty level or below. Expanding Medicaid would increase the income eligibility from $12,000 to $17,000 covering an estimated 90,000 additional Nebraskans who currently fall in this gap.

Supporters of expanding Medicaid overstate the economic benefits without addressing the disadvantages. According to Nebraska’s Legislative Fiscal Office and the Department of Health and Human Services, expanding Medicaid would cost State taxpayers an additional $33 million during the next fiscal year and up to $768 million over the next decade.

These additional costs would make it nearly impossible to provide meaningful property tax relief while potentially jeopardizing State aid to K-12 schools, the University of Nebraska and current Medicaid recipients – people with disabilities, the elderly, children and pregnant women – by reducing Medicaid reimbursement rates. It is important to note that in most states that have expanded Medicaid, the actual costs far exceeded the estimated costs.

The Legislature has rejected the expansion of Medicaid over the last six sessions. I have always opposed the expansion of Medicaid, not because I am opposed to helping people, but we simply cannot afford it.

As always, if we can be of assistance to you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact my office. My door is open and I have made it a goal to be accessible to the constituents of our district. Please stop by any time. My e-mail address is mkolterman@leg.ne.gov, and the office phone number is 402-471-2756. Todd and Katie are always available to assist you with your needs. If I am not immediately available, please do not hesitate to work with them to address any issues that you may need assistance.

Weekly Column – October 19th

October 22nd, 2018

I want to remind everyone that I will be hosting a special town hall meeting with Kyle Schneweis, Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) Director. It will be from 1:00 to 2:00 PM on Thursday, October 25th, at the Stromsburg Senior Center (118 East 3rd Street). Director Schneweis will be joining me for a public discussion about NDOT’s Surface Transportation Program Book that was recently released for the Fiscal Years 2019 through 2024. This would be a good opportunity to ask questions about transportation projects proposed over the next one to five years.

If you have had the opportunity to read my last few columns, I have been providing a brief overview Nebraska’s budget. This included information about revenues collected by the State and local governments. I also provided a general overview of State spending highlighting some of the larger government programs. Here is a link to my website, http://news.legislature.ne.gov/dist24/, in case you have missed reading these columns.

The Legislature’s Revenue and Appropriations committees will be holding a special joint hearing next Friday, October 26th, to discuss the Nebraska Department of Revenue Tax Expenditure Report that is required by the Tax Expenditure Reporting Act. Tax expenditures are similar to government spending, except tax revenues are not collected by the State as a result of an exemption, deduction, exclusion, tax deferral, credit, or preferential rate in the tax structure providing an indirect subsidy for certain sectors of the economy. A biannual review is necessary to ensure that tax expenditures do not outlive their usefulness and adversely impact state revenues. You may view the report on the Nebraska Department of Revenue’s website at www.revenue.nebraska.gov.

The Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board will also be meeting next Friday, October 26th. The nine member board meets every October and February to forecast state revenue collections including individual income, corporate income and sales taxes and other revenues.

Both the Tax Expenditure Report and forecasting board revenue projections will be important to Members of the Legislature as we prepare for the next 90-day session that starts in January.

As always, if we can be of assistance to you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact my office. My door is open and I have made it a goal to be accessible to the constituents of our district. Please stop by any time. My e-mail address is mkolterman@leg.ne.gov, and the office phone number is 402-471-2756. Todd and Katie are always available to assist you with your needs. If I am not immediately available, please do not hesitate to work with them to address any issues that you may need assistance.

Weekly Column – October 12th

October 12th, 2018

I want to invite you to a town hall meeting I am hosting with my special guest Kyle Schneweis, Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) Director. It will be from 1:00 to 2:00 PM on Thursday, October 25th, at the Stromsburg Senior Center (118 East 3rd Street). I asked Director Schneweis to join me for a public discussion about NDOT’s Surface Transportation Program Book that was recently released for the Fiscal Years 2019 through 2024. Please join us if you are interested in transportation projects proposed over the next one to five years. There will also be an opportunity for questions from the public about other transportation issues.

Over the last couple weeks, I have written about Nebraska’s budget, including revenues collected by the State and local governments and a broad overview of State spending. I invite you to visit my website, http://news.legislature.ne.gov/dist24/ if you have missed reading these columns. This week, I am highlighting some of the larger programs funded by State general revenue dollars including education, human services and public safety.

Most general fund dollars collected fund a handful of education, health and human services and public safety programs. In education and cultural development for example, we spend almost $2 billion annually with the bulk of the funding going to the TEEOSA State Aid to Schools (48%), University of Nebraska Agency Operations (28%) and Special Education (11%).

Last year we spent over $1.6 billion on health and human services. More than half of that, $836 million, was spent on Medicaid alone. Funding for the Nebraska Supreme Court and Department of Corrections Services account for more than 80% of law enforcement and public safety general fund programming. The 13.4% increase in public finance programs over the last three fiscal years were caused by increasing the Homestead Exemption by $7.35 million while implementing the $13.8 million Personal Property Tax Exemption over the same period of time.

A large budget item not included in the general fund budget is the Real Property Tax Credit which was enacted in 2007. Under this program, transfers are made out of the general fund to the Property Tax Credit Cash Fund at the discretion of the Legislature. The total amount of credit available for statewide distribution this year is $224 million.

In reality, a handful of government programs dramatically influence the general fund budget in Nebraska. Any increase or decrease in these programs have a significant impact on the budget. In fact, only 15 programs accounted for 81% of the increased government spending over the last three fiscal years.

As always, if we can be of assistance to you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact my office. My door is open and I have made it a goal to be accessible to the constituents of our district. Please stop by any time. My e-mail address is mkolterman@leg.ne.gov, and the office phone number is 402-471-2756. Todd and Katie are always available to assist you with your needs. If I am not immediately available, please do not hesitate to work with them to address any issues that you may need assistance.

Weekly Column – October 5th

October 11th, 2018

In last week’s column, I wrote extensively about revenues collected by the State of Nebraska and local governments including property, income, sales and use taxes. If you missed reading the first installment, I invite you to visit my website: http://news.legislature.ne.gov/dist24/. As promised, this week I will be writing about government spending, focusing on programs either totally or partially funded by general funds.

For most people, governmental accounting seems backwards. That’s because it does not have the same fundamental goal that financial accounting has for the private sector. For individuals and businesses, a budget is a financial planning tool to achieve the main objective of maximizing wealth or profit. Therefore, a budget is simply a guide. In governmental accounting, a budget establishes specific fund balances created during a budget process for a specific purpose based upon the most effective use of public resources over a specified period of time.

In the State of Nebraska, the Governor is required by the State Constitution to present a budget bill to the Legislature every two years. Upon receiving the Governor’s budget proposals, the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee holds public hearings and make recommendations to the full Legislature to provide funding to the various state agencies and programs for budgeted fund types. Since Nebraska utilizes a biennial budget for revenues, appropriations and expenditures, the budget is split into two Fiscal Years beginning on July 1st of every odd numbered year. This budget process will start again early next year during the 90-day first session of the 106th Legislature.

Nebraska Department of Administrative Services Budget Division has grouped expenditures into eight functional areas: Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources; Economic Development and Regulatory; Education and Cultural Development; General Government; Health and Human Services; Law Enforcement and Public Safety; Public Finance; and Transportation. Only 48 of Nebraska’s 78 state agencies fund part or all of their operations with general fund revenues. The other 30 agencies operate utilizing other revenue sources such as cash (user fees), federal or revolving funds. General funds represent about 41% of the total funds appropriated to fund state government. Below is a summary of general fund expenditures broken down by functional area.

Expenditures FY2015 FY2016 FY2017 Chg. FY15 – FY17 % Chg. FY15 – FY17
Agriculture, Environment & Natural Resources (15)  $50,247,843  $40,839,279  $40,128,175  $(10,119,668) -20.1%
Economic Development and Regulatory (19)  $17,317,681  $18,112,075  $17,997,840  $680,159 3.9%
Education & Cultural Development (12)  $1,917,585,850  $1,979,016,145  $1,995,070,684  $77,484,834 4.0%
General Government (3)  $21,173,439  $22,674,557  $22,461,388  $1,287,949 6.1%
Health & Human Services (6)  $1,514,089,955  $1,576,373,139  $1,614,352,730  $100,262,775 6.6%
Law Enforcement & Public Safety (12)  $441,183,028  $467,497,289  $478,525,132  $37,342,104 8.5%
Public Finance (7)  $155,452,953  $160,665,103  $176,212,462  $20,759,509 13.4%
Transportation (4)  $    –  $     –  $    –  $     –
Total  $4,117,050,749  $4,265,177,587  $4,344,748,411  $227,697,662 5.5%

 

It is important to note that the four transportation agencies – Motor Vehicle Industry Licensing Board and Departments of Aeronautics, Motor Vehicles and Roads – are funded by cash or federal funds. Also, please be assured that the 20% reduction in Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources was not a massive budget cut. In reality, the Legislature made a one-time transfer of $10 million in FY2015 to establish the Water Sustainability Fund through LB906 passed in the 2014 session. It was financed by a similar transfer from the Cash Reserve Fund to the General Fund. Also, increasing the Homestead Exemption and implementation of the Personal Property Tax Exemption created the 13.4% increase in Public Finance.

In next week’s column, I plan to provide additional details about some of the other programs that are driving the increases in government spending including education, human services and public safety.

In the meantime, if we can be of assistance to you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact my office. My door is open and I have made it a goal to be accessible to the constituents of our district. Please stop by any time. My e-mail address is mkolterman@leg.ne.gov, and the office phone number is 402-471-2756. Todd and Katie are always available to assist you with your needs. If I am not immediately available, please do not hesitate to work with them to address any issues that you may need assistance.

It was a quiet week around the Capitol and district, so I thought it would be a good time to write about ongoing conversations involving property tax relief and government spending reforms. Given the complexities of these issues, I plan to write about them over the next few weeks. This week, I will focus on taxes.

As I’ve written in the past, there is no quick fix to reducing the property tax burden. To achieve meaningful property tax relief, we need to build a broad coalition of Senators representing both urban and rural interests. This is necessary because my colleagues representing urban areas will tell you that they are looking for income tax relief and opposed to eliminating any sales tax exemptions. There are also a few of my colleagues who do not support any tax relief – income or property.

Property taxes were instituted in 1857 by Nebraska’s territorial legislature. When Nebraska became a state in 1867, the state and local political subdivisions began levying property taxes. Nebraska did so until 1966, when voters adopted a constitutional amendment abolishing the use of property taxes to fund state government. Since 1967, property taxes have been exclusively collected by local political subdivisions and is the primary source of their revenue to fund local government – this includes counties, municipalities and school districts.

In 1967, the Legislature enacted the Nebraska Revenue Act implementing a statewide income tax and also created sales and use taxes. For the most part, this was done to replace the loss of state revenue from property taxes. This was when the “three-legged stool” was proposed to fund state and local government. In theory, most state and local government services would be funded by one-third income tax, one-third property tax, and one-third sales tax. In reality, this never came to fruition.

According to the State of Nebraska Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2017, Nebraska collected $4.956 billion in tax revenue. Income tax accounted for 50.6% of the total amount collected at $2.506 billion. Sales and use taxes comprised almost 37% at $1.834 billion. Other taxes – such as petroleum, excise, and business and franchise taxes – represented more than 12% at $614 million. In comparison, local governmental entities levied almost $4.1 billion dollars statewide during 2017. Please remember that property taxes are collected by county treasurers and distributed to local political subdivisions. The State of Nebraska does not receive any revenue from property taxes.

For a brief historical perspective, below is a summary for 2015 and 2016.

State Revenues FY2015 % FY2016 %
Income Taxes  $2,576,621,000 51.7%  $2,517,537,000 50.7%
Sales and Use Taxes  $1,833,701,000 36.8%  $ 1,828,465,000 36.9%
Other Taxes  $572,187,000 11.5%  $615,368,000 12.4%
Total State Revenues  $ 4,982,509,000
2015
 $4,961,370,000
2016
Property Taxes $3,781,433,467 $3,904,884,977

These numbers demonstrate that over the past three fiscal years, total state tax revenues have declined more than $26 million or .5%. At the same time property taxes have increased more than $273 million or 7% over the last three calendar years. It is not surprising that property taxpayers feel they are a shouldering a larger burden of funding local and state government services.

I will be discussing government spending in next week’s column. In the meantime, if we can be of assistance to you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact my office. My door is open and I have made it a goal to be accessible to the constituents of our district. Please stop by any time. My e-mail address is mkolterman@leg.ne.gov, and the office phone number is 402-471-2756. Todd and Katie are always available to assist you with your needs. If I am not immediately available, please do not hesitate to work with them to address any issues that you may need assistance.

Weekly Column – September 21st

September 21st, 2018

At the conclusion of the last legislative session, I introduced several legislative resolutions proposing interim studies on a wide array of topics. Two of the legislative resolutions I introduced were LR376 and LR422. The purpose of LR376 was to examine whether the Property and Casualty Insurance Rate and Form Act should be amended to modernize and reduce regulatory requirements for commercial lines of property and casualty insurance. I also introduced LR422 to examine the issuance and usage of electronic prescriptions in accordance with regulatory standards.

Unlike a legislative bill, not every proposed interim study will have a committee hearing. While every legislative resolution is referenced to the appropriate standing committee, it is left to the Committee Chairman’s discretion to prioritize the interim studies and schedule a hearing. Since neither LR376 nor LR422 were prioritized, my staff and I held stakeholder meetings with the interested parties.

On Monday, representatives from the Nebraska Pharmacists Association, Nebraska Hospital Association, Nebraska Health Information Initiative (NeHII) and National Association of Chain Drug Store joined me at the capitol to discuss LR422. I appreciated engaging with industry experts about the advantages and disadvantages of e-prescribing.

Then on Wednesday, I brought together representatives from various insurance associations and the Nebraska Department of Insurance Director, Bruce Ramge, to discuss commercial lines of property and casualty insurance. It was helpful to bring everyone representing the different perspectives of the insurance industry to discuss the proper level of regulation and oversight provided by the State Department of Insurance.

Later in the week, I attended the annual NeHII meeting on Thursday. Working with a collaborative group of partners, NeHII is designing a deliberative approach to patient and family engagement that will safely increase access to data across a health care consumer’s lifetime in Nebraska. Too often information is trapped in particular health systems, creating obstacles that providers and patients run into while trying to access health data. This is exactly what the partners that founded NeHII are committed to eliminating. I proudly support the good work of NeHII to connect all 220+ skilled nursing facilities in Nebraska over the next three years.

As always, if we can be of assistance to you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact my office. My door is open and I have made it a goal to be accessible to the constituents of our district. Please stop by any time. My e-mail address is mkolterman@leg.ne.gov, and the office phone number is 402-471-2756. Todd and Katie are always available to assist you with your needs. If I am not immediately available, please do not hesitate to work with them to address any issues that you may need assistance.

Weekly Column – September 14th

September 14th, 2018

Tuesday of this week marked the 17th Anniversary of 9/11 – a day of infamy that everyone who lived through will remember for their lifetime. We all take moments of silence to remember those who were lost or injured. From the passengers on those fateful flights, to the unsuspecting employees at work, and the heroic first-responders running towards danger. I very much appreciated and proudly joined the Concordia University students who placed 2,977 small American flags donated by Young America’s Foundation 9/11: Never Forget Project. The flags were placed along the Parade of Flags on Hwy 34 at dawn and removed at dusk to symbolize each person who lost their life that day. Through their efforts and others, we will never forget.

For our family, the day is always met with a pause and reflection of a certain life lost – my wife’s cousin Julie Geis – who perished in the 2nd Tower of the World Trade Center. Julie was a bright light in our world – continually serving as a leader in her company, as a volunteer in service to women and children in need, and as a committed and engaged family member. Julie’s spirit lives on in her mother, her siblings, and her many nieces and nephews, who continue to miss her every day and be inspired by the legacy she left.

On Wednesday, I joined my colleague Senator Laura Ebke at a roundtable discussion hosted by the National Conference of State Legislatures. We were invited to share our experience in reforming Nebraska’s occupational licenses. During the last session, the Legislature enacted a handful of bills aimed at reducing Nebraska’s burdensome and random licenses. This included the Occupational Board Reform Act which was an innovative bill introduced by Sen. Ebke that requires state lawmakers to review occupational licensing laws. The objective is to reduce or eliminate requirements that serve as barriers to employment with no public safety benefit.

This weekend I will have the opportunity to speak at the 130th Anniversary Celebration of the Utica Volunteer Fire Department. When Suzanne and I were in our 20s, we had the opportunity to purchase an insurance agency in Utica, and decided to do so and move to the community. We had not spent much time in Utica – but we were immediately welcomed and found many, many warm people who later became our clients and friends. I became a member of the Utica Volunteer Fire Department, and spent time with the fine men and women who volunteered their time and talents to take care of the community as a first-responder.  I continue to be extremely proud of the work this group has done and continues to do. I am honored to be associated with such a fine group of volunteers.

As always, if we can be of assistance to you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact my office. My door is open and I have made it a goal to be accessible to the constituents of our district. Please stop by any time. My e-mail address is mkolterman@leg.ne.gov, and the office phone number is 402-471-2756. Todd and Katie are always available to assist you with your needs. If I am not immediately available, please do not hesitate to work with them to address any issues that you may need assistance.

Sen. Mark Kolterman

District 24
Room #2004
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2756
Email: mkolterman@leg.ne.gov
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