Sen. Kate Bolz
District 29

Welcome

January 7th, 2015

Thank you for visiting my website. It is an honor to represent the people of the 29th legislative district in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature.

You’ll find my contact information on the right side of this page, as well as a list of the bills I’ve introduced this session and the committees on which I serve. Please feel free to contact me and my staff about proposed legislation or any other issues you would like to address.

Sincerely,
Sen. Kate Bolz

Summer Update from Senator Bolz

June 16th, 2015

A Note from Kate

Summer is here, and with it comes the conclusion to the 2015 Session of the Nebraska Legislature. This session was an important one, as we passed legislation that will positively effect all Nebraskans. I am proud of the progress the Legislature has made, and I look forward to continuing work during the interim and the next session. Below are some of my legislative priorities during the most recent session, as well as my continued priorities for the future. I am honored to continue to serve your interests in the Nebraska Unicameral.

Sincerely, Senator Kate Bolz

Issue Updates

Tax Relief

One of the primary goals of the Legislature this session has been to reduce the tax burden on Nebraskans. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I supported providing $200 million in our property tax relief—that’s a $60 million increase in the Property Tax Relief Fund, which provides tax relief directly to homeowners and other property owners. I’m proud that we were able to promote tax relief while also protecting the core functions of government. I also introduced legislation to increase child care tax credits for working families. I will continue to work on this issue over the interim.

Kids & Seniors

One of my primary topics of focus in the Legislature continues to be working on behalf of Nebraska’s children and senior populations. Principal among these interests was the introduction and passage into law of LB243, which helps to ensure that children who are wards of the state can be placed with family members. Research has shown that children who live with family are more likely to achieve their educational goals. I am proud to support legislation to ensure that children are given every opportunity to succeed. I also supported legislation that prohibits the distribution and sale of powdered alcohol in Nebraska. This product is potentially dangerous and a ban is appropriate at this time. I continue to chair the Aging Nebraskans Task Force. In this role, I worked to pass LB 320 to develop Aging and Disability Resource Centers to help seniors in our state access assistance and plan for the future. Children and seniors will continue to be a part of my agenda in the Nebraska Unicameral.

Jobs
Last year, the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce’s statewide survey of 1,200 respondents found that more than half-52 percent-said they had experienced difficulty in hiring qualified employees over a 12-month period. Workforce development is key to job growth in our state.

This session, the Legislature adopted the Community College Gap Assistance Program Act, which I introduced. The act will help to ensure that students who are pursuing education and certification in high-demand fields can access tuition assistance—and that, in turn, will help ensure that qualified Nebraska workers are able to fill job openings in our state.

One of my primary topics of focus in the Legislature continues to be working on behalf of Nebraska’s children and senior populations. Principal among these interests was the introduction and passage into law of LB243, which helps to ensure that children who are wards of the state can be placed with family members. Research has shown that children who live with family are more likely to achieve their educational goals. I am proud to support legislation to ensure that children are given every opportunity to succeed.

I also supported legislation that prohibits the distribution and sale of powdered alcohol in Nebraska. This product is potentially dangerous and a ban is appropriate at this time. I continue to chair the Aging Nebraskans Task Force. In this role, I worked to pass LB 320 to develop Aging and Disability Resource Centers to help seniors in our state access assistance and plan for the future. Children and seniors will continue to be a part of my agenda in the Nebraska Unicameral.

Education
As a member of the Appropriations Committee, it is among my top priorities to ensure that children in Nebraska receive a top quality education that provides them with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. The Legislature agreed with that priority, increasing funding for K-12 programs, including increased funding for Special Education and High Ability Learner programs. I’m also pleased to report that my bill, LB 185, The Master Teacher Program Act, will provide teachers the opportunity to pursue certification in specialized areas, such as science and math. Research shows that teacher quality has a significant impact on student outcomes. Promoting teacher excellence is a good investment in our educational system.

The ABLE Act
I am pleased to report on the passage of LB591. I introduced this legislation to allow for the establishment of Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts for individuals with disabilities that developed prior to age 26. ABLE accounts offer tax free savings options for education, housing, assistive technology and other needs of a disabled beneficiary. This is a significant step forward for families of individuals with disabilities and, indeed, for those individual Nebraskans

Spring Update from Senator Bolz

April 9th, 2015

A Note from Kate

Spring is finally here, and with it comes the business of the Nebraska Legislature! This session the Nebraska Unicameral will continue to address important issues like property taxes, corrections reform, and education. Here are a few updates on our work for the District – I am honored to continue to serve your interests in the Nebraska Unicameral.

Sincerely, Senator Kate Bolz

2015 Legislative Session Issues

Many priority issues will be debated in the 2015 Legislative session. A few of these issues include:
1. Corrections Reform: Keeping our communities safe is a top priority. Legislation to promote stronger risk assessments for inmates before they are released into the community and strengthening our process for identifying people who should be considered for commitment will be debated in the coming weeks. I will continue to promote efforts to promote the public safety.

2. Tax Relief: Property tax relief is an important issue, specifically for homeowners in the district, and will be debated this session. I support efforts to help homeowners. I also have promoted legislation to increase our state’s tax credits for families that have child care expenses.

District #29 Priorities
I’m pleased to report that several of my personal priority bills are moving forward this session. Here are a few specific updates:

1. LB 320: Aging & Disability Resource Centers:

Nebraska’s population is aging, and it is a smart strategy to prepare for our future needs. LB 320 will create Aging & Disability Resource Centers. These centers would serve as information hubs for the aging and disabled, as well as their families.

2. Workforce Development:
One priority of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce is promoting development of our skilled workforce. LB 36, which was supported by the Chamber, would offer tuition assistance for individuals pursuing higher education in short-term programs in high-demand fields to fill emergent workforce needs. I’m pleased to report that this legislation was included in the Education Committee’s legislative package this year.

Thank you for your interest in YOUR Nebraska Unicameral!

** Visitors from Calvert Elementary
————————————————————
Several students from Calvert Elementary School came by to present a map of District #29 that now hangs proudly in my office. Thank you, students and teachers of LPS, for all that you do for our state!

Contact Kate
I am always willing to listen to your concerns or hear your ideas. My staff members, Dan Jenkins and Jacob Fricke, are also always happy to help. Send me an email at kbolz@leg.ne.gov or give us a call at (402) 471-2734.

Statement from Senator Bolz Regarding Comments Made by Senator Chambers

March 30th, 2015

I condemn the harsh rhetoric about law enforcement used by Sen. Chambers. I do not support any statement that crosses the line and supports an act of violence.  Further, I do support the individuals who protect our communities every day and I further commit to doing my best to use my position as State Senator to create safer communities for all of us.

I stand with many other Senators on this issue, as covered by the Lincoln Journal Star this week:  http://journalstar.com/legislature/chambers-remarks-stir-senatorial-backlash/article_fe8c878a-0e77-5e57-b5a3-3bddf98c1050.html

 

Thank you,

 

Senator Kate Bolz

District #29

Aging Nebraskans Task Force Final Report & Department of Correctional Services Report

December 15th, 2014

A Note From Kate

During the interim session, I had the privilege of being the Chairperson of the Aging Nebraskans Task Force, which was created by LB690 during the 2014 Legislative Session to better understand how our state can serve the aging population. The final report for this Task Force, complete with recommendations, is can be viewed below in PDF format. Also available is the final report from the LR424 Department of Correctional Services Special Investigative Committee, which is also linked below. I welcome your comments and questions on both of the reports. Please contact my office at 402-471-2734 with any feedback.

Thank you,

Senator Kate Bolz

District #29

Aging Nebraskans Task Force Final Report

 

LR424 Department of Correctional Services Special Investigative Committee Report

2014 Constituent Survey

May 24th, 2014

Hello – Please share your thoughts with me about our policy priorities for District #29.  Thank you for your time and input.

SURVEY: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1IvrcPQ-OD2xPkZnGKbN7lFAA74wLGOjRIOAKe-bmfFU/viewform?usp=send_form

2014 Legislative Session Update

April 28th, 2014

A Note from Kate

The 2014 Legislative Session wrapped up on April 17th. Thank you all for your input and support this year. It was a successful session for many of the legislative issues that are important to District #29 residents; including education, tax policy, human services, and more. I am honored to continue to serve your interests in the Nebraska Unicameral.

Sincerely, Senator Kate Bolz

2014 Session Highlights

These are just a few of the highlights that I found important in the 2014 session.

EDUCATION:

The Nebraska Unicameral continued its commitment to early childhood education this year; including passage of my bill, LB 944, which provides technical assistance to early childhood settings serving children with high behavioral needs. Other education related legislation included:

LB 483: This bill creates a “troubleshooting team” for struggling schools.

LB 1103: Education Committee Chairwoman Kate Sullivan promoted this bill to create a statewide strategic plan for education in Nebraska. We will share more information about opportunities to provide your input as they become available.

TAX POLICY:

As a member of the Tax Modernization Committee, I am pleased to report that several of our recommendations moved forward this session. This balanced, moderate set of proposals makes good fiscal sense for individual taxpayers and for our economy:

LB 986: Expansion of the homestead exemption program to include more modest income seniors and Nebraskans with disabilities.
Budget Bill: An additional $25 million dollars was added to the Property Tax Credit Fund.

LB 987: Indexing of individual income tax brackets for inflation, as well as expansion of the tax exemption of Social Security Benefits for moderate income Nebraskans and certain military retirement income.

HUMAN SERVICES:

I am glad to report that my priority bill, LB 690, passed the Unicameral this session. This bill will improve long-term strategies for assisting senior citizens with staying in their homes as they age, the preference of many Nebraskans. Further, LB 690 creates an aging task force to plan for the future. Other initiatives that I supported include:

Budget Bill: Additional funding for the developmental disabilities waiting list.

LB 901: Legislation training educators and community members regarding suicide prevention.

Are you looking for details about a particular bill? Do you want to learn more about the critical issues addressed this session? Visit the Unicameral update to learn more:
update.legislature.ne.gov/.

Thank you for your interest in YOUR Nebraska Unicameral!

Coffee with Kate

March 4th, 2014

COFFEE WITH KATE

Please join Senator Kate Bolz for a meeting with constituents on Tuesday, March 11th, 2014. It will take place at the Clark Jeary Retirement Community, 8401 South 33rd Street.

Senator Bolz is look forward to meeting with you and hearing your concerns and ideas for the district. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact her office at kbolz@leg.ne.gov or call 402 – 471 – 2734.

 

 

2014 Legislative Session

January 29th, 2014

The 103rd legislature, 2nd Session is officially underway and there are many important issues to address. This session will be just 60 days in length, ending in early April, and will require focus on the parts of Nebraska’s senators to afford each issue adequate consideration.

The session began on January 8, 2014. Each senator has the opportunity to introduce new bills for the first 10 days of session. As was the case last year, my priorities rest with those issues concerning your District: care of our children, education at all levels, the long-term care needs of our seniors, ensuring the safety of our communities, and monitoring the fiscal responsibilities of our state. I have introduced several bills on these issues, here are four of my top priorities this year:

LB 1026: This bill creates the Educational Trust Fund, which will assist with deficits in state aid to education when there is a significant decline in income and sales tax revenue.

LB 689: LB 689 provides more sustainable resources for Area Agencies on Aging, which provide a safety net for our aging Nebraskans. Services provided include personal care, meals and nutrition, chores and minor home repairs, transportation, care coordination, family caregiver supports and respite, senior center programming, and many more.

LB 691: This bill increases the child care tax credit currently available to Nebraskans by 3%.

LB 936: LB 936 creates the State Ward Permanency Pilot Program, which will provide developmental disabilities services to foster children in need of these services as they move towards a reunification with their families or a permanent home.

It is very important to me to know your thoughts on the bills I have researched and developed on your behalf. My office is always open! We will work diligently to find a time to discuss your ideas on these and other issues.

 

October 10th Health Care Forum

October 17th, 2013
Thank you to everyone who attended the October 10th Health Insurance Marketplace Open Forum held at Union College. Our evening was a success! I know many could not attend and take advantage of our experts in the field. For those still in need of information, Christine McPike of Compro has graciously offered to share her presentation for your review.

2013 Consumer Presentation:  https://docs.google.com/file/d/0ByIRL2Ddsdo5dU8zVlFwUDZOZ0k/edit?usp=sharing

Thank you again to Kollmorgen & Associates, Community Action, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Nebraska, ComPro, Ponca Tribe of Nebraska and AARP of Nebraska for volunteering their time and expertise; and Union College for facilitating this event.