NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE
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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

Weekly Column – March 16th

March 16th, 2018

Each morning during the legislative session, the Presiding Officer asks everyone in the chamber to rise for the opening prayer lead by the Chaplain of the Day. Over the years, leaders from many different faiths have served as the Chaplain. Last Monday, we were blessed to have Reverend Monsignor Daniel Seiker, Assistant Spiritual Director at the St. Gregory the Great Seminary in Seward, lead us in prayer. It was very encouraging to have him join us in praying for the leaders of our State. I would invite any faith leader interested in serving as Chaplain of the Day to contact my office for additional details.

Last Tuesday, the Legislature commenced debate on the proposed adjustments to the State’s budget among others. Speaker Scheer introduced LB944 at the request of Governor Ricketts. It included the Governor’s 2018 mid-biennium budget adjustment recommendations for state operations, aid and construction programs, provides for transfers, and modifies intent language and earmarks accompanying appropriations approved last year during the 2017 Legislative Session. These adjustments are necessary to rebalance the two-year biannual budget due to increased child welfare costs, a lower federal Medicaid match rate, and a significant reduction in revenue forecasts resulted in a budget shortfall of roughly $210 million.

While I do not serve on the Appropriation Committee, I followed their progress closely since the start of the session. The Committee held numerous public hearings to develop their revised budget proposal and advanced LB944 out of the committee on a unanimous vote 9-0. While most of Tuesday was spent debating the revised budget on General Final, the Legislature adopted the amended version and moved it to Select File.

On Wednesday, the Revenue Committee met to consider a revised version of LB947, the comprehensive property and income tax reduction bill Senator Smith introduced on behalf of Governor Ricketts. In addition to retaining the state’s current property tax relief credit program, the revised bill adds a refundable state income tax credit starting at 2 percent of property taxes paid on agriculture land and would gradually rise to 20 percent. The total relief for agriculture land would eventually reach 30 percent. For homeowners, the credit would begin at 1 percent of property taxes paid and gradually increase to 20 percent. The maximum credit for homeowners will be $500. LB947 would also reduce the corporate income tax rate from 7.81 percent to 6.84 percent over two years. It also includes an additional $10 million for job training. At this point in the session with only 15 days left, we are waiting to see what, if any, major tax reform bill advances out of the Revenue Committee.

Even though I do not serve on the Revenue Committee, I have worked with my colleagues to lower property taxes. They are too high and impact every individual who owns property, from our retired senior citizens to our farmers and ranchers who depend on their land to make a living. In reality, there is no quick fix. The only way we will be able to achieve meaningful property tax relief is through building a broad coalition of Senators representing both urban and rural interests. This is necessary because my colleagues representing urban communities will tell you that they are looking for income tax relief. A package including both property tax and income tax relief has the best chance of becoming law.

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.

Our office received information from the Nebraska Department of Insurance regarding SHIIP (Senior Health Insurance Information Program) enrollment events.  See below for more information.

 

“Medicare Part D Open Enrollment is fast approaching.  Open Enrollment is the annual opportunity for individuals with Medicare to review their insurance options and make changes for the upcoming year. The staff and volunteers at Nebraska SHIIP (a division of the Department of Insurance) provide free, unbiased, confidential, one on one counselling sessions to educate and assist people with their Medicare comparisons.  Between October 15 and December 7th, the Nebraska SHIIP routinely assists over 20,000 Nebraskans in comparing their Medicare Prescription Drug Plan and Medicare Advantage Plan options.   We highly encourage all individuals on Medicare to explore their options each year as personal medical and medicine regimes change. Plans also change each year. Beneficiaries that review their options yearly have few if any surprises when the New Year begins.

During this Open Enrollment season, SHIIP will host over 200 enrollment events across the state where Medicare beneficiaries will receive in-person Part D and/or Advantage Plan comparisons from one of our 370+ certified Medicare counselors. 

To learn more about the SHIIP Division, please feel free to visit the SHIIP website

 

There is one SHIIP event scheduled in District 24. Appointments ARE REQUIRED for the event. See below for event details and contact information.

Thurs., October 19th
9am-3pm
Seward Library
233 S. 5th Street, Seward
1-800-234-7120

You’re Invited:

Gov. Ricketts & Sen. Kolterman to Hold Town Halls in Seward and York

 

Lincoln – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts and State Senator Mark Kolterman announced that they would hold town halls in Seward and York on Thursday, August 12, 2016.  The Governor and Senator invite the public to attend the town halls.

“Nebraskans are invited to join Governor Ricketts and Senator Kolterman at their upcoming town halls in Seward and York,” said Taylor Gage, the Governor’s Public Relations Director.  “This is a great opportunity to hear an update on how our state is growing, and also to make your voice heard.  The Governor and Senator look forward to hearing your thoughts on how we can move our state forward together.”

 

Full details for the town halls to be held on Friday, August 12, 2016:

8:30 a.m.      Seward Town Hall, Seward Civic Center, 616 Bradford Street, SEWARD

2:30 p.m.      York Town Hall, Holthus Convention Center, 3130 Holen Ave, YORK

 

 

Questions should be directed to the Governor’s Office at 402-471-2244.

New Year, New Office

January 6th, 2016

Senator Kolterman was elected as chair of the Retirement Systems Committee.

His office is now located in Room 2004B.

Please feel to stop by when you are visiting the Capitol!

Posted: Wednesday, November 18, 2015 12:00 am

by Jill Martin jillmartin@sewardindependent.com |

 

It was an evening of remembering and reminiscing as members of the 24th and 1267th Medical Companies of the Nebraska National Guard gathered in Seward.

The Nebraska National Guard Museum hosted the event which commemorated the 25th anniversary of the call up for Desert Shield/Desert Storm in 1990. Support staff and volunteers who assisted in the mobilization in 1990 were also honored.

The event included Posting of the Colors, special speaker Brigadier Gen. Scott Gronewold, Remember the Fallen and Retiring of the Colors. Nebraska State Sen. Mark Kolterman and Seward Mayor Josh Eickmeier both spoke at the event.

Gronewold spoke about the evening and what it meant to him.

“These are the people that taught me how to fly. I was just a young lieutenant and they’re the ones who mentored me, showed me what life looked like and I owe a lot to them, not only for what they did but also for what they did for me,” he said. “It’s awesome. It’s just great. When you fly with these crews, they are closer than your own family because you rely on them as a team to stay alive. You become very close and over the years, you lose touch and when you see them again, it’s just like you flew with them yesterday. That bond is still there. They are a great group of people.”

Greg Whisler with Whisler Aviation in Seward helped arrange the transport of a Utility Helicopter (UH-1) for the event. The helicopter was moved from the Seward Airport to the museum with a police escort on Highway 15 earlier in the day.

Col. Gerald Meyer said it was the largest gathering of Desert Storm veterans in the state since the war ended in 1991.

“The museum is proud to have sponsored the reunion of 24th and 1267th Medical company veterans and family and friends for the event. We also had veterans that supported the mobilization in 1990 that attended. It was truly a great event and we are honored to have sponsored the event,” Meyer said.

Meyer thanked the people who helped make the event a success including Ron Burhoop, Greg and Terri Whisler and Ryan, Cody Cade, Deb Tankesley and Bonnie Besseler, Ken Meyer, Beautiful Feet Mission from Concordia University and Bottle Rocket Brewery.

The museum was able to handle over 125 veterans and their families for the event.

“We were able to give the veterans a first-class program and allow them to socialize. It was a great success,” Meyer said.

http://www.sewardindependent.com/news/local_news/article_ae039d62-8d75-11e5-b630-7773863dbb98.html

With only about two weeks left in September, I wanted to post a reminder that the deadline for submitting page applications and letters of recommendation for the 2016 legislative session is Wed., September 30th at 5pm.

Description and duties:

Pages respond to senators’ lights on the legislative floor, answer incoming calls to the chamber, prepare for committee hearings, and perform other duties.

A young constituent interested in becoming a page must fill out and submit an application to the Clerk’s Office, Room 2018, State Capitol. A page applicant also is encouraged to contact his or her home district state senator for a letter of recommendation.

Pages must be high school graduates who are enrolled in a college or trade school with a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale and be able to work 20 hours a week. It is preferred that they work the same four-hour shift each day

For further information, please contact the Office of the Clerk of the Legislature at 471-2271 or Kitty Kearns at 471-2304.

The deadline for submitting page applications and letters of recommendation for the 2016 legislative session will be Wed., September 30th at 5pm.

Description and duties:

Pages respond to senators’ lights on the legislative floor, answer incoming calls to the chamber, prepare for committee hearings, and perform other duties.

A young constituent interested in becoming a page must fill out and submit an application to the Clerk’s Office, Room 2018, State Capitol. A page applicant also is encouraged to contact his or her home district state senator for a letter of recommendation.

Pages must be high school graduates who are enrolled in a college or trade school with a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale and be able to work 20 hours a week. It is preferred that they work the same four-hour shift each day

For further information, please contact the Office of the Clerk of the Legislature at 471-2271 or Kitty Kearns at 471-2304.

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry’s last “Fort Report” e-newsletter contained information about a couple of opportunities that I wanted to share with my constituents. On Saturday, March 28th, his office will be hosting the “2015 Academy and Military Information Day” at East High School in Lincoln and April 15th is the deadline for the First Congressional District Art Competition. For more information and specifics, please see below. 

Senator Mark Kolterman
District 24

***

In collaboration with the offices of U.S. Senators Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse, my office is hosting the “2015 Academy and Military Information Day” on Saturday, March 28, at Lincoln East High School. The program will feature military and service academy representatives, beginning at 10:00 am. I invite you to join us and to forward this invitation to someone who may be interested.

There’s another exciting opportunity for high school students who are interested in the arts. In the hallways of the Capitol, artwork from young people around America is displayed on the walls. One particular image stands out: an older couple with weathered faces who have worked hard, loved one another, and exude the beautiful gift of life. A high school student from Bancroft created this moving image.

My office is again hosting Nebraska’s First Congressional District Art Competition. The nationwide Congressional Art Competition began in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982 and serves as an opportunity for Members of Congress to showcase the artistic talents of high school students from their districts. Winning entries from across the country are displayed in the Capitol complex for one year, allowing visitors to see the work of talented young persons.

More information on these opportunities can be found below.

Academy and Military Information Day:

The “2015 Academy and Military Information Day” will be held on Saturday, March 28, 2015 from 9:15 am to 12:00 pm at Lincoln East High School, located at 1000 South 70th Street in Lincoln. The program begins at 10:00 am, and military representatives will be available before and after the program. More information on the academy nomination process can be found at http://fortenberry.house.gov/services/military-academy-nominations. If you have additional questions, please contact Jeanne Walker on my staff at (402) 438-1598.

Art Competition:

Art Competition entries can be submitted to my Lincoln office and are due by April 15, 2015. I encourage you to contact the office prior to bringing the artwork to assure that staff is available to take your submission. If you wish to mail your submission, please send your artwork to my office in Lincoln. More information on the competition can be found at http://fortenberry.house.gov/services/art-competition. If you have additional questions, please contact Marie Woodhead on my staff at (402) 438-1598.

Sincerely,
Congressman Jeff Fortenberry

https://iqconnect.lmhostediq.com/iqextranet/view_newsletter.aspx?id=138851&c=NE01JF

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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