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Greetings Northeast Lincoln!
On April 18th, the 105th Legislature-Second Session adjourned “sine die”. Since then, my office has kept busy researching our interim studies, attending meetings, and preparing for committee hearings, which are now in full swing. I hope this newsletter finds you well and enjoying the last few days of summer before fall and Husker football season is here.
Urban Affairs Committee Hearing
Last week, the Urban Affairs Committee met in Omaha to hear four resolutions. We heard testimony on LR 398, Senator Justin Wayne’s interim study to examine the impact on sanitary and improvement districts upon annexations by municipalities; my LR 392, an interim study to examine neighborhood issues and potential neighborhood improvement tools; Senator Wayne’s LR 397, an interim study to examine the statutory authority for municipalities to establish port authorities; and his LR 399, which is an interim study to examine issues related to metropolitan transit authorities. I am thankful to all those who came out to share their expertise and experiences with the Committee on each interim study topic, but I am especially grateful to those who took the time to speak on my interim study on neighborhood improvement. I was fortunate that many neighborhood association leaders and neighborhood advocates testified on the existing tools neighborhoods use to solve their diverse problems, and some potential tools and policies which could be of benefit to neighborhoods across the state. Neighborhood improvement has been a priority of mine throughout my time in the Legislature, and I look forward to continuing to work with these neighborhood advocates.
National Conference of State Legislatures Election Cyber Security Meeting
Last month I was also fortunate to attend an Elections Cyber Security Conference here in Lincoln, put on by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). The meeting connects policymakers from several different states to better understand the current election security environment, and to exchange ideas on how to strengthen state policies to protect our elections. We attended forums on foreign and domestic cyber threats, securing elections, and voter registration system protection. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to show off our State Capitol and Lincoln to other policymakers, and learn more about this important topic.
Do you know anyone interested in serving as a page for the 2018 legislative session? Pages are college students who assist senators and the Clerk of the Legislature with various tasks, such as running errands for senators during the legislative session, assisting the Presiding Officer, and setting up and staffing committee hearings. The Page Program is open to high school graduates who are currently enrolled in a Nebraska college or trade school, and is an excellent opportunity to learn the basics of state government. It is a paid part-time position, and many students receive college internship credit for their work.
The deadline for applications is Friday September 28th. Those interested in applying should first contact the Clerk of the Legislature’s office at (402) 471-2271 or email Kitty Kearns at firstname.lastname@example.org for an application. All applicants are also asked to provide a letter of recommendation from their state senator. You can determine your state senator here. If you live in District 26, I would be happy to hear from you!