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Greetings Northeast Lincoln!
These last few weeks of summer have been full of meetings, research, and travel. I have been fortunate enough to spend some extra time with my family, as well. My staff and I have been hard at work on our interim studies, and we are gearing up for interim hearings in several of the committees on which I serve. I hope this newsletter finds you well, and provides a helpful update on some of the things I have been up to since session ended in May.
National Conference of State Legislatures Convention
The Nebraska Legislature is a part of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), a collection of legislative members and staff from across the country. I attended this year’s NCSL annual summit in Boston in early August with several other senators and staffers from Nebraska. NCSL works hard to provide research and learning opportunities for the states, and I appreciated the opportunity to attend sessions ranging from an overview of recent Supreme Court decisions, to bail reform, to proactive community solutions for drug addiction.
Young Elected Officials National Convening
I had the opportunity to meet with other elected officials and national leaders last month for the Young Elected Officials (YEO) network annual convening. At the convening, we explored policy initiatives, participated in issue-based training sessions, and shared best practices from our states. I particularly enjoyed that the convening involved elected leaders from all levels of local government. Hearing from and working with mayors, city council-members, school board members, and other elected officials gives a unique perspective on how different policies discussed in trainings are implemented and impact local communities.
In the interim, I have had the opportunity to meet several times with the Legislature’s Planning Committee. This month’s meeting focused on long-term budgetary issues arising from population trends and historical issues. We had several excellent presentations, including researchers at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, focusing on long term planning scenarios for the state. The Planning Committee is designed to identify and plan for long-term challenges in the state.
Unicameral Legislature Page Applications
The Nebraska Legislature is seeking pages for the upcoming legislative session in January. Pages get the opportunity to observe the lawmaking process, see debate first-hand and meet Nebraska’s state senators. Pages must be high school graduates who are currently enrolled in a Nebraska college or trade school. This is a paid position, and pages may be able to receive credit hours from their university or college. The application deadline is September 29th, and applicants are encouraged to contact their home district state senator for a letter of recommendation. For more information, contact my office at (402) 471-2610 or the Clerk of the Legislature at (402) 471-2271. Applications are available via my office, or the Clerk of the Legislature’s office. My staff would be happy to assist anyone looking to apply.