NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

The official site of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Sen. Kate Bolz

Sen. Kate Bolz

District 29

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 kbolz@leg.ne.gov

Welcome
January 8th, 2020

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

Attached are a list of local, state and national crisis response resources for COVID-19. I’ll continue to update my legislative blog as additional resources are made available. If you have any questions or need assistance during this time, please email me at kbolz@leg.ne.gov and my office will be happy to assist you.

Crisis Response Resources for COVID-19

LINCOLN

    • Grab-n-go Breakfast and Lunch (through Lincoln Public Schools)
      • Lincoln Public School students can go to any of these sites for a meal. Students must be present. One meal per student. Monday-Friday from 11am-12:30pm (or while supplies last)
        • SCHOOLS: Belmont, Arnold, and Hartley elementary schools, Park middle school, and Northeast high school. 
    • Food Bank of Lincoln (Food BackPacks and Food Pantries)
      • Schools with LPS BackPack Program:
        • For those families currently receiving BackPacks from the Food Bank of Lincoln, they will continue BackPack distribution on the regularly scheduled Friday afternoons. Distribution will begin BackPack according to each school’s regularly scheduled dismissal time and continue for 30 minutes.
      • School Food Markets:
        • Food Markets will temporarily take place outside of school buildings during the school’s regularly scheduled day and time. To simplify distribution and increase health and safety, food will come pre-bagged, except produce, bread and meat, which will be bagged onsite. Look for them close to the front door of your school.
      • LPS Emergency Pantry:
  • Food Bank of Lincoln
  • AA Meetings via Conference Call
      • Pause a While will host free conference calls for AA meetings
      • 2pm everyday
      • Call (425) 436-6360; Access Code: 422932#
  • Bryan Health
    • COVID-19 Hotline – (402) 481-0500
      • A nurse will answer medical questions about the COVID-19 coronavirus 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
    • ezVisit COVID-19 Online Screening Questionnaire
      • To access the COVID-19 screening tool, visit bryanhealthezvisit.org or download the Bryan Health ezVisit app. The screening is free. Patients are asked a series of questions. 
      • In addition, Bryan Health ezVisit is offering complimentary visits for individuals experiencing symptoms of an upper respiratory infection. Enter the promo code COVID19 at the payment screen and the visit will be free.
    • Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing
      • Bryan Health will offer a drive-thru testing location at our Bryan LifePointe Campus where individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19 – and have completed a screening – can be tested. The opening of the drive-by testing location will occur as soon as we receive confirmation of delivery of additional test kits.

STATEWIDE

  • Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services

Includes local, state, and national informational resources and guidelines 

NATIONAL

  • Online AA Meetings
  • Free/Discounted Educational Resources
    • List of educational companies offering free subscriptions due to school closings.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1t3r618pd8MAi6V87dG2D66PtiKoHdHusBpjPKXgm36w/htmlview?fbclid=IwAR3SBsUpiv3rARC23PleB-1mkWcJrXdtGRG9g195dGNQpBwg_rsf6KmhKvQ#gid=0

 

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Senator Kate Bolz, (402) 802-8312, kbolz@leg.ne.gov

New legislation would cap the cost of insulin in Nebraska

January 13, 2020 (Lincoln, NE) — Senator Kate Bolz introduced legislation today to improve insulin affordability in Nebraska. The bill caps the total co-pay for a one month supply of insulin at $100. Over the past fourteen years, the out of pocket cost of many insulin brands increased 555% adjusted for inflation, according to the American Medical Association. 

“For the 174,000 Nebraskans with diabetes, the spike in insulin costs is a real problem,” said Senator Kate Bolz. “These are our relatives, friends and neighbors who have to make decisions they know will damage their health, simply because they can no longer afford their insulin dosage.” 

According to the American Medical Association, nearly 1 in 4 diabetics have reported rationing or skipping insulin doses because of cost. Deviating from prescribed insulin can result in serious complications, including heart disease, stroke, amputation, end-stage kidney disease, blindness, and death. From 2012 to 2016, the average annual cost of insulin nationwide has increased from $2,900 per year to $5,700. Currently, no medication is known to substitute for insulin to manage diabetes.  

The legislation brought by Senator Bolz proposes to cap patient out of pocket expenses for prescription insulin drugs to no more than $100 per month. The bill would be suspended if it results in an insurance premium increase of more than 3 percent. 

“With over 7 million Americans relying on insulin to live, the American Diabetes Association is committed to bringing down insulin prices for all those who need it. Senator Bolz’s efforts to make insulin more affordable and accessible is a critical step towards that goal, and we applaud her for standing up for the more than 170,000 Nebraskans living with diabetes,” said Christine Fallabel, Director of State Government Affairs with the American Diabetes Association. 

The 174,000 Nebraskans with diabetes represent 11.6% of the state’s population, and 8,000 additional Nebraskans receive a diagnosis each year. Furthermore, an additional 487,000 (38.5% of the state’s population) have prediabetes. Of these Nebraskans, the American Diabetes Association projects that 15% to 30% will develop diabetes in the next ten years. 

“The insulin cost crisis in our state is an unprecedented health issue in cost and scale,” said Senator Kate Bolz. “We simply can’t continue a situation where 1 in 10 Nebraskans rely on a drug that doubles in price every few years. This bill addresses insulin affordability while protecting insurance premium payers.” 

Senator Kate Bolz of Lincoln represents District #29 in the Nebraska Legislature
###

Bolz Insulin Release 1-13-2020

PRESS RELEASE 

For Immediate Release
December 30, 2019
Contact: Senator Kate Bolz, (402) 802-8312 

Economic Development Task Force Recommendations Respond to Workforce Demands 

Lincoln, NE: The Economic Development Task Force of the Nebraska Legislature released recommendations today regarding workforce development. 

Recognizing economic development as a priority, the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature established the Economic Development Task Force in 2017. The task force is responsible for making recommendations to the legislature regarding economic development in the state. The task force identified workforce development as a priority. 

“Nebraskans have a strong work ethic and the state as a whole has a low unemployment rate. At the same time, our state faces a mismatch between available workers and the skills needed by employers. Specific shortage areas include: information technology, science, technology, engineering, and math, building trades, and more. The Economic Development Task Force recommendations support new opportunities for education and training for workers to grow our businesses and communities,” states Senator Kate Bolz, chair of the task force. 

The workforce development recommendations include:

i. Recommendation: Support a longitudinal data system to identify gaps in our education and training system, respond to those needs, and build on strengths.

ii. Recommendation: Invest in apprenticeship programs aligned with high demand skills and industries.

iii. Recommendation: Develop a career-education scholarship program for students pursuing careers in high demand, high skill, high wage jobs.

iv. Recommendation: Retain young Nebraskans with needed skill sets through student loan repayment initiatives. 

“Nebraska has difficulty retaining and attracting young talent – our state has one of the lowest growth rates for the population 25-29-years old. Overall, Nebraska has an annual “workforce deficit” of 24,600 per year, ” said Senator John Arch, vice chair of the task force. “Our recommendations provide short and long term strategies for promoting good jobs and vibrant communities.” 

The members of the committee included the following: 

Chairperson of the Appropriations Committee: Senator John Stinner
Chairperson of the Banking, Commerce, and Insurance Committee: Senator Matt Williams
Chairperson of the Urban Affairs Committee: Senator Justin Wayne
Chairperson of the Revenue Committee: Senator Lou Ann Linehan
Chairperson of the Planning Committee: Senator Tony Vargas
Chairperson of the Education Committee: Senator Mike Groene
Chairperson of the Business and Labor Committee: Senator Matt Hanson
At Large: Senator Kate Bolz, Senator Dan Quick, Senator John Arch 

Committee Chair: Senator Kate Bolz
Committee Vice Chair: Senator John Arch 

##### 

Press Release Economic Development Task Force Report

2019 Economic Development Task Force Report

January 3 Open Office Hours
December 26th, 2019

Next week, I’ll be holding open office hours from noon to 5pm on Friday, January 3. With the 2020 legislative session starting on January 8, if there are any state issues or legislative ideas you’d like to share with me before the session starts, I invite you to get in touch and schedule a time to meet.

To schedule a time, you can call or email my administrative aid Sam at 402-471-2734 or shuppert@leg.ne.gov. My office is located on the northwest corner of the first floor of the state capitol, in room 1015. Parking is available on the west and south sides of the building.

The following op-ed, submitted by Senator Gragert and I, appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star on December 4

Water is the lifeblood of Nebraska. It fuels our economy and sustains our quality of life.

Despite floods, droughts, pests and economic challenges, our valuable water resources and their effective management have made Nebraska a global leader in agriculture. In fact, we have more irrigated acres than any other state, including California.

Yet even as Nebraska has maintained its water resources, food and water insecurity is becoming an increasingly urgent global challenge. Almost 1 billion people go to bed hungry every night – making this both a quality of life and international security issue.

Closer to home, this year’s devastating floods across Nebraska are a powerful reminder of the importance of effective water management, particularly in the face of an unpredictable climate.

As the Appropriations Committee heard in a recent hearing on water research at our university, the people of our state are fortunate that our University of Nebraska is leading the way in developing solutions.

This year the university is celebrating 150 years of research and education. Since the beginning, the university has focused on water, agriculture and the management of critical resources. Researchers and students have a rich history of working closely with our farmers, ranchers and resource managers to develop new technology and find better ways of managing water to achieve maximum production, without over-using this precious resource.

We deepened our investment over a decade ago when a founding gift from the Robert B. Daugherty Foundation helped create the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska, a system-wide effort to bring the talents and expertise of faculty across the campuses to address the enormous challenge of achieving water and food security for our growing world. 

In just 10 years, the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute has developed a reputation as the go-to resource for water and agriculture productivity innovations. Senators heard just a few examples of the interconnected issues our university tackles on a daily basis, including drought, floods and other weather extremes; water and soil contamination; changing diets and demands for more water-intensive foods; economic disparities and conflict; and the infrastructure needed for sustainable agricultural production and effective water management.

We’re already seeing new innovations borne of partnerships between the university and farmers and ranchers. For example, many Nebraska farmers are now using drones to keep an eye on their fields and see the pockets of crops that need water. They use soil moisture probes that send data to satellites and accessed by smartphone. They have specialized meters attached to their wells, measuring the energy used to pump water for irrigation.

Our ranchers are also doing remarkable work with the university, implementing new practices for producing beef, chicken and dairy products that are served at Michelin star restaurants around the world – but with significantly less water than it took 25 years ago.

We have much to be proud of in our agricultural heritage, but Nebraska’s continued global leadership will require more work and more investment. All of us should have a goal to make certain families have dinner on the table every night. That’s a future we think we can achieve – through continued support of University of Nebraska research and with the engagement of Nebraskans who have made our agriculture and natural resources management so successful.

Senator Kate Bolz represents District 29. Senator Tim Gragert Represents District 40. 

We’ll be out celebrating Independence Day this weekend and my office will be closed on Friday, July 5th.

I’ll be in the district on Friday, if you need to reach me, you can call directly at 402-802-8312. You can also leave my office a voicemail at 402-471-2734 and we will return your call on Monday.

Senator Bolz Scorecard
May 31st, 2019

Thank you for all of your support this session.  I’ve worked hard to represent your interests and implement good policy for the people of Nebraska.

My priorities continue to include the best interests of kids, workforce education, and promoting access to health care.

I want to share with you a few highlights from this session and note projects and priorities for next year.

First, I’m pleased that we passed a number of bills this session.  A few of my favorites include:

LB 174: doubling funding for violence prevention in Nebraska

LB 180: expanding access to community college scholarships

LB 181: developing strategic research and plans to promote access to nursing facilities in Nebraska

LB 330: making the Nebraska Children’s Commission permanent

LB 327: improved reimbursement rates for behavioral health providers

LB 332: expanding access to the Bridge to Independence program to individuals who have experience in the child welfare system but age out of the foster care system

LB 481: creating the Brain Injury Trust fund

LB 564: increasing access to grants for communities building public spaces and multiuse facilities

LB 565: protecting spouse’s rights to retirement funds

The Nebraska State Budget also included a number of priorities, while keeping spending growth to 3% – less than the Governor’s proposed budget.  One of the largest increases was to the Property Tax Credit Program. Another increase for property tax payers was in the Homestead Exemption for low and moderate income homeowners. The budget also achieved the following goals of:

  • Increasing funding for our University, State College, and Community College systems, the K-12 education system, and health care providers
  • Re-purposing funds to focus on an effective service, theraputic foster care, for our most vulnerable children
  • Funding job training through Nebraska Vocational Rehabilitation and fully funding the Access College Early scholarship program
  • Prioritizing our criminal justice resources on creating four new problem solving courts

In the future, we plan to work on a number of priorities, including promoting the rights of survivors of sexual assault, increasing investments in workforce development, promoting scholarship funds, and ensuring resources for K-12 education.

It’s an honor to serve you.  If you have other ideas or issues for our office to consider, please give us a call at (402) 802-8312 or email us at kbolz@leg.ne.gov.  You can also contact Sam Huppert, my Administrative Aide at shuppert@leg.ne.gov, to participate in our next open office hours on Thursday, July 18.  

On Tuesday, May 28 at 6:00 PM, I’ll be part of a Southeast Lincoln Listening Session at the Union College Krueger Center Lang Amphitheater. At the listening session, myself, LPS Board Member Don Mayhew, Lincoln City Council Member Jane Raybould and Lancaster County Commissioner Roma Amundson will be discussing city, state, and local topics relevant to Southeast Lincoln. We will also be having time for a question and answer session. To RSVP to the listening session, click here.

For a map of Union College’s campus, click here. The Krueger Center is building #7.

We hope to see you on May 28!

I’ll be holding open office hours in the afternoon on Thursday, May 16. If there are any legislative or state issues you’d like to share with me, I invite you to get in touch and schedule a time to meet.

To schedule a time, you can call or email my administrative aid Sam at 402-471-2734 or shuppert@leg.ne.gov, and he can help with scheduling a time. My office is located on the northwest corner of the first floor, in room 1015. Parking is available on the west and south sides of the building.

Sen. Kate Bolz

District 29
Room #1015
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2734
Email: kbolz@leg.ne.gov
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