Welcome

January 7th, 2015

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

Press Release: February 20th – Visits from the District

February 20th, 2015

As many of you know, on Thursday the 19th, the Legislature had to make an emergency $7 million transfer to our state’s child welfare system. If this transfer had not occurred, our child welfare system would have run out of funds and the vulnerable children that this program is designed to help would have felt the consequences. While this transfer was necessary, it reaffirms what Nebraskans already know: the Department of Health and Human Services is broken. I have already witnessed the broken nature of the department in the few weeks that I have sat on the Health and Human Services Committee. It is clear to me that the answer is not to throw more money at the problem. There are several bills that our committee is currently hearing that would spend millions of your hard-earned money to create new programs or expand Medicaid in an attempt to fix the problems we have with HHS. I know as well as you do that this is not the appropriate solution. The department already receives around $3.5 billion of state and federal funds. There are clearly existing problems that need to be fixed with the funding that has already been allocated to the department. As your representatives in the unicameral, we need to be responsible stewards of your money. I think of the school teacher in York, the machinist in Seward, the farmer in Polk, and the countless other constituents whenever these costly bills appear in the committee hearings. The broken department affects you, the Nebraska taxpayer. I look forward to hearing what solutions Courtney Phillips, the governor’s appointee for CEO of HHS, has in mind for the department and I plan to work with her to bring cost-saving solutions to mend HHS.

This past week, I had a great time meeting with many constituents in the capital, including Leadership York and a 4th grade class from St. John’s Lutheran School from Seward. It is always great to hear from you about your ideas regarding moving our state forward, and l enjoy seeing our future generation learn more about the legislative process. As I have mentioned before, if you are interested in visiting the capitol or need anything at all, please contact my staff using the information below.

As always, I am honored by the faith that you, the voters of District 24, have placed in me. My door is open and I have made it a goal to be accessible to the constituents of our district.  You may continue to follow me on Facebook at Kolterman For Legislature and on Twitter at @KoltermanforLegislature.  My office in the State Capitol is Room 1115, which I share with my colleague Senator Bob Hilkemann from Omaha.  Stop by anytime.  My e-mail address is mkolterman@leg.ne.gov and the office phone number is 402-471-2756.  Kenny Zoeller, my Legislative Aide, and Katie Quintero, my Administrative Aide, 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 your concerns, thoughts, and needs.

Thank you,

Senator Mark Kolterman
District 24

 

Press Release: February 6th – Recognizing Excellence

February 6th, 2015

One of the more enjoyable aspects to being a senator is the ability to formally recognize excellence in our community. On Thursday morning I met with students from the York School District who were attending the NebraskARTS breakfast here at the Capitol and presented them with a Legislative Resolution congratulating them on receiving the 2014 NebraskARTS Award. I was contacted by the Executive Director of Nebraskans for the Arts to inform me that the York School District had received this award and so I introduced LR44 to acknowledge their contribution to the arts and arts education. Similarly, earlier this week I was proud to be able to attend the ARC dinner where my Administrative Aide, Katie Quintero, was awarded the 2014 Legislative Advocate of the Year award for Arc of Nebraska.  Katie did a lot of great work last year assisting them in moving forward their legislative priorities.  It’s great to have groups such as these honor the work of Nebraska citizens and advocates.

The state of Nebraska has several ways to show appreciation to members of our community. Senators can introduce LRs (Legislative Resolutions) to congratulate, recognize, or extend sympathy to individuals, families or organizations. We can also work with the Governor’s office to request an Admiralship for an individual or contact the Secretary of State to help facilitate having a Nebraska State Flag flown over the Capitol to commemorate a day or event. While the citizen must provide the flag itself, the Secretary of State’s office will create a certificate which certifies the flag was flown over the Capitol and can includes specific information you would like on the certificate, such as retirement after 20 years of military service, for example.

If you are interested in any of these services don’t hesitate to get in contact with my staff to assist you. Kenny Zoeller, my Legislative Aide, will be able to help you with any concern above as well as any legislative question you have! Katie Quintero, my Administrative Aide, can also help you with anything above and she can help you with my official schedule.

As always, I am honored by the faith that you, the voters of District 24, have placed in me. My door is open and I have made it a goal to be accessible to the constituents of our district. You may continue to follow me on Facebook at Kolterman For Legislature and on Twitter at @KoltermanforLegislature. My office in the State Capitol is Room 1115, which I share with my colleague Senator Bob Hilkemann from Omaha. Stop by anytime. If I am not in my office, please don’t hesitate to ask my staff to help you to get in contact with me as I may be on the Legislative Floor or in a committee hearing. My e-mail address is mkolterman@leg.ne.gov and the office phone number is 402-471-2756.

Thank you,

Senator Mark Kolterman
District 24

Press Release: January 30th – Update from the Agriculture Committee

February 2nd, 2015

This past week I had the distinct honor of running a portion of the Agriculture Committee meeting while Senator Johnson had another engagement. During this hearing we discussed the reappointment of Greg Ibach as the Director of the Department of Agriculture. Director Ibach has done great things for agriculture in this state and has been an advocate for Nebraskan agriculture around the world. Some of his accomplishments include leading trade and policy development trips to South America, Asia and Europe, and increasing the Nebraska Agricultural Youth Institute attendance by 50%. While there was plenty of support for Director Ibach’s reappointment, there were some citizens concerned about the department’s lack of action regarding puppy mills. A part of the reason why the department is having a difficulty in taking action against these puppy mills is because the Unicameral has not yet given the department the tools to take appropriate action. For this reason, I have introduced LB 377.

LB 377 gives the department the authority, once they have seized the animals from puppy mills, to file a complaint with the district court and determine if the inhumane owners are liable for the costs of the care of the animals. LB 377 helps alleviate the lack of funding for housing these animals once they are seized, and puts the onus onto the inhumane owners. This bill, along with others such as LB 389 introduced by Senator Kuehn, will give the department the appropriate tools to take further action to stop these inhumane breeders of dogs and cats.

As always, I am honored by the faith that you, the voters of District 24, have placed in me. My door is open and I have made it a goal to be accessible to the constituents of our district. You may continue to follow me on Facebook at Kolterman For Legislature and on Twitter at @KoltermanforLegislature. My office in the State Capitol is Room 1115, which I share with my colleague Senator Bob Hilkemann from Omaha. Stop by anytime. My e-mail address is mkolterman@leg.ne.gov and the office phone number is 402-471-2756. Kenny Zoeller, my Legislative Aide, and Katie Quintero, my Administrative Aide, 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 your concerns, thoughts, and needs.

Thank you,

Senator Mark Kolterman
District 24

Press Release: January 23rd – Property Tax Relief is Needed

January 23rd, 2015

This week I had the distinct honor of escorting our Governor, Pete Ricketts, to his State of the State Address. Governor Ricketts highlighted many matters during his speech, but the key issue that he addressed was our high property taxes and how we can bring relief to the Nebraskans that bear this burden. Many of you expressed your concerns about this issue at the town halls that I held in Polk, Seward and York counties, and I continue to hear from Nebraskans across the state asking us to address the state’s high property taxes. I agree with many of you and I side with Governor Ricketts when he says that Nebraskans need immediate relief from these high taxes. This is why I support LB 364, a bill introduced by Senator Watermeier, and have cosigned LB 350, a bill introduced by Senator Brasch. LB 364 would add an additional $60 million to the budget each year to help relieve the burden of these high taxes, and LB 350 would lower the valuation of agricultural and horticultural land from 75 percent to 65 percent to help our state’s largest industry. I will continue to work with my colleagues and Governor Ricketts so we can accomplish our goal of property tax relief.

Just as I work with fellow Senators to move Nebraska forward, many of you work together in Polk, Seward and York counties to make these counties the great communities that they are. This is especially evident at the Blue Valley Community Action Partnership. As many of you know, a fire seriously damaged the Blue Valley pantry on January 17th. As a former board member of BVCA, I know the significance of this organization and the work it does for our communities. If you would like to help this important organization, please feel free to make a monetary or non-perishable food donation to the Blue Valley Community Action grounds on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:00 A.M. to 4 P.M. You can also mail monetary donations to Blue Valley Community Action, 3401 North Lincoln Ave., York, NE 68467. If you are interested in a monetary donation, the York Community Foundation will match contributions up to $5,000 until March 1st.

As always, I am honored by the faith that you, the voters of District 24, have placed in me. My door is open and I have made it a goal to be accessible to the constituents of our district.  You may continue to follow me on Facebook at Kolterman For Legislature and on Twitter at @KoltermanforLegislature.  My office in the State Capitol is Room 1115, which I share with my colleague Senator Bob Hilkemann from Omaha.  Stop by anytime.  My e-mail address is mkolterman@leg.ne.gov and the office phone number is 402-471-2756.  Kenny Zoeller, my legislative aide, and Katie Quintero, my Administrative Aide, are always available to assist you with your needs.  If I am not immediately available, please do not hesitate to work them to address your concerns, thoughts, and needs.

Thank you,

Senator Mark Kolterman
District 24

 

Press Release: January 7th – Opening Day of the Legislature

January 15th, 2015

On Wednesday January 7th I was officially sworn in as a State Senator from the 24th Legislative District.  It was a tremendous day for my family and I.  I was joined by my extended family as I signed the official paperwork with the Secretary of State, and by my wife Suzanne, my mother Jean Kolterman, and my grandsons Elliott, Graham, and Patrick Mark Stevens as I went through the swearing-in on the legislative floor. Standing there taking the oath, I thought of the history of service in my family with my Dad, Don Kolterman, my Father-in-law Carl Geis.  My only wish is that they could have been there to share the experience with me, but I know they were with us in spirit.  Over the weekend we celebrated at the Inaugural ball with the rest of our family and Governor Pete Ricketts and other elected officials.

Following the swearing in and the election of committee chairs, we were assigned to our committees that we will be serving on for this session. I am assigned to serve on the following: Agriculture, General Affairs, Health and Human Services, and Nebraska Retirement Systems.

The Agriculture Committee is responsible for processing all agricultural legislation including anything from seeds to crop development, and livestock development to auction markets. This committee has also elected me as Vice Chair, meaning I will assume the duties of the Chairman in his absence. This committee will meet on Tuesdays at 1:30 in Room 2102.

The General Affairs Committee is responsible for processing legislation in the following areas: anything related to liquor or gambling, cemeteries, libraries, rates for legal notices, the State Electrical Act, and the Nebraska Arts Council. This committee will meet on Mondays at 1:30 in Room 1510.

The Health and Human Services Committee is responsible for processing legislation in all public health areas, along with social services and public assistance. This committee will meet on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 1:30 PM in Room 1510.

The Nebraska Retirement Systems is responsible for processing legislation that deals with the retirement accounts of multiple state employee groups. This committee does not have a set meeting time and will meet at the call of the Chairman.

I am incredibly honored and humbled by the faith the voters have placed in me and plan to have an open door with accessibility for the constituents of District #24.  You may continue to follow me on Facebook at Kolterman For Legislature and on Twitter at @KoltermanforLegislature.  My office in the State Capitol is Room 1115, which I share with my colleague Bob Hilkemann from Omaha.  Stop by anytime.  My e-mail address is mkolterman@leg.ne.gov and the office phone number is 402-471-2756. Kenny Zoeller, my legislative aide, and Katie Quintero, my Administrative Aide, are always available to assist you with your needs.  If I am not immediately available, please do not hesitate to work them with your concerns, thoughts, or needs.

 

Thank you,

Senator Mark Kolterman
District 24