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There are hundreds of bills introduced during each legislative session. Each of these bills addresses unique issues that are complex in their own ways. In this article, I would like to give you some insight into how I review bills and formulate an opinion on them. First, I focus on both the bills that I will introduce and the ones that will be heard in committees on which I serve. Currently, those committees include Health and Human Services, General Affairs, Agriculture, and Retirement Systems. Second, I study bills that have advanced out of committees that I do not serve on and are scheduled to be heard on the floor by the full legislature. Finally, I look at bills that have not yet made it out of the committees that I do not serve on. I make it a point to cautiously maintain an open mind about these bills, due to the fact that they could take on a different meaning if the committee chooses to make significant amendments.
During this process, it is very important for you to provide your input concerning these bills by either writing to me, calling my office, or attending the town hall meetings that I have in the district. Your input has a real impact on my decision making process. For example, while researching and considering the gas tax bill, I waited to make a firm decision and give my commitment until I had received ample input from constituents. After I received input via mail, phone, email, and town halls, it became apparent that constituents were overwhelmingly in favor of raising the gas tax (by a 2 to 1 margin). I went through a similar process to arrive at a decision for the death penalty bill. Although I was morally opposed to the death penalty, my stance was reaffirmed by the support of the majority of constituents that contact my office. In our representative democracy, politically active citizenship is essential. Your input is one ofthe most important factors that I rely on when I am preforming my job as your representative.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Senator Mark Kolterman