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You may have noticed a lot of activity in and around the State Capitol if you have visited it over the last few weeks. We have begun the initial construction phase of the Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Project. This will take an estimated eight years to complete and will require the temporary relocation of every office in the Capitol as quadrants are systematically vacated for the removal and installation of HVAC equipment. Several state agencies already vacated their offices on the first floor and in the tower, relocating to other locations in downtown Lincoln. This was done to accommodate the internal relocation of other offices that will stay in the building during construction.
All of the offices located in the southwest section of the building have recently been vacated and temporary walls are being constructed to block public access during the renovation. Unfortunately, many of the relocated offices will have to store file cabinets and bookcases in hallways. So please pardon the dust if you plan to visit the State Capitol during the next few years. Fortunately, my office did not have to relocate since it is located in the northwest section of the Capitol.
The telephone numbers for the relocated offices remain the same. The Clerk of Legislature maintains an updated roster for Legislative offices.
Last Friday, I joined many of my colleagues at one of the TEEOSA School Funding Legislative Study Group meetings being held during the interim. The study group is examining TEEOSA – the Tax Equity and Educational Opportunities Support Act – which passed in 1990 with the stated goal to reduce the overreliance on property tax for the support of the public school system in Nebraska. It was also supposed to equalize school funding between land-rich districts and schools with a wealthy tax base. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way TEEOSA failed to meet its objective. I am hopeful we will be able to identify solutions and fix them during the next legislative session.
On Saturday morning, I had the opportunity to join Governor Pete Ricketts, Senator Deb Fischer and other state leaders in Kearney at the ribbon cutting for the new Central Nebraska Veterans Home. The 338,000-square-foot veterans’ home is located on 67 acres and is comprised of ten buildings providing many levels of care, housing up to 225 veterans. This new state-of-the-art facility will help Nebraska continue to provide quality care for our veterans who have given us so much.
Then on Sunday, I attended the Governor’s breakfast at the State Fair. This gave me the opportunity to celebrate the important role agriculture plays in our everyday. It was great to see so many outstanding farming and ranching advocates from across Nebraska.
It was truly an honor to see a good family friend Tina Marroquin sworn in as a District Court Judge on Thursday. I have watched Tina’s career evolve over the years and know she will make an excellent judge for the Fifth Judicial District!
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 email@example.com, 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.