NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE
The official site of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Sen. Kate Bolz

Sen. Kate Bolz

District 29

Welcome

January 6th, 2016

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

Over the summer, Highway 2 is undergoing resurfacing and repair. While this may cause a temporary inconvenience for many of us in District 29, the project will help Highway 2 remain a viable option for transportation through Lincoln and to its surrounding towns. The project starts just south of the intersection of Highway 2 and Van Dorn Street, and extends to 56th St.

To help ease congestion, highway closure for resurfacing will take place during non-peak hours from 7 PM to 6 AM Monday through Friday, and from 6 AM Saturday morning through 6 AM Monday morning. It is expected that the resurfacing will be complete by the fall.

During this time, a detour is being provided for through traffic, which utilizes I-80, Highway 6, and 84th St. Additionally, the 14th, 27th, 33rd, 40th, 48th and 56th cross streets will still be available for traffic.

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For additional information on the project, you can visit the Department of Roads Frequently Asked Questions document. Any questions or comments can be sent to Sarah Kugler, the Public Involvement Manager at the Nebraska Department of Roads. She can be reached by email at sara.kugler@Nebraska.gov or telephone at (402) 479-4871.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about the Highway 2 project, or any state issues, you can contact my office at (402) 471-2734 or by emailing me at kbolz@leg.ne.gov.

Thank you and Drive Safely!

During my time in the Legislature, I have focused on children, education, seniors, jobs, public safety and taxes.  Here is a short list of legislation from the 2015-2016 biennium which works to build a stronger Nebraska by implementing solutions for specific needs across the state.

KIDS

LB591

I introduced the Nebraska ABLE Act, which allows families to set up tax-exempt 529A savings accounts for disability-related expenses. The legislature overwhelming passed LB591. Launching sometime this summer, the ABLE program will help families shoulder the costs associated with disabilities. If you are interested in the program, Nebraska’s program, titled “Enable” can be found at https://enablenebraska.com/.

LB243

All kids in our state deserve stable and supportive households. With this in mind, I introduced LB243, which created a statewide project for Family Finding services for children in foster care. Research consistently proves that children do better in family-based settings than out of home care. The family finding model finds relatives for children who are in out of home care, with the goal of finding lifelong connections to families and permanent homes. The legislature passed LB243 on a 35-9 vote.

 

EDUCATION

LB379

After school programing provides kids with opportunities to learn and grow outside of the classroom. In 2015, I introduced LB379, which provides funding for expanded after school and out of school programing through school-community partnership grants. In addition to funding for existing learning centers, LB379 provides expanded learning opportunity programs in areas of the state with a high percentage of at risk children. LB397 was amended into a broader bill on school funding, LB519, and passed by the legislature.

 

SENIORS

LB708
As Nebraska’s population ages, the prevalence of Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias is increasing. By 2025 it is expected that over 40,000 Nebraskans will be diagnosed with these diseases.  I introduced LB708, which creates a high quality standard endorsement for assisted living facilities that want to serve individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. The optional endorsement would reflect a facility’s commitment to high-quality staffing, programming, safety and other factors, and helps provide a greater degree of information for those seeking to find care for their loved ones. LB708 was amended into LB698, and passed by the Legislature.

 

JOBS

LB36
Many times, people that wish to obtain noncollege professional certificates cannot afford the programs needed to find work. Not only does this restrict opportunities for Nebraskans to find quality jobs, it also makes it increasingly challenging for employers to find qualified employees to fill their openings. LB36, which I introduced in 2015 created the Community College Gap Assistance Program. The program provides financial aid to low-income students for professional certificate programs, filling a gap in skills for many Nebraskans seeking employment. The Community College Gap Assistance Program provisions were amended into LB519, which was passed by the Legislature.

 

PUBLIC SAFETY

LB592 and LB910

As part of a continuing effort to increase public safety, it’s important that there is an independent parole board structure. Following recommendations from the LR424 Department of Correctional Services Special Investigative Committee, I introduced LB592 and LB910, which provides the Board of Parole with the tools it needs to be the independent body that it  must be to oversee of the process in which those in the correctional system are paroled into our communities. LB592 was passed by the legislature in 2015, and LB910 was amended into LB1094, which was passed by Legislature this year.

LB931 Amendment (2016)

People with serious mental health issues often have a difficult time finding stable housing. I introduced LB931, a bill to expand a program for people who are very low income and who have serious mental health problems. When people have a safe place to call home, they are more likely to comply with their doctor’s recommendations, and to lead productive lives. Failure to address housing for those with mental illnesses can lead to greater incarceration of them. Significant portions of LB931 were included in this year’s budget.

 

TAXES

LB186

One of my goals while in the legislature has been to shape our state’s tax discussion to include the burden that property taxes have on residential property taxpayers.  Last year, I introduced LB186 to provide a “circuit-break” in the event that property taxes take a certain amount of a person’s income. While this legislation did not advance, it’s my hope that the continued discussion on property tax will include the real and serious effect that rising property taxes have on working families.

District #29 Constituent Survey Link

As your State Senator, focusing on the priorities that matter most to my constituents is important to me. These priorities include education, job creation, tax fairness, and serving children and seniors. Based on previous surveys, I have successfully promoted home and community based services for seniors, advocated for property tax relief, and improved afterschool education programs. I will examine the results over the 2016 interim to inform my policy decisions in the next legislative session and into the future.

Please share your thoughts by filling out the survey at the link below.

Thank you for taking the time to respond. Your suggestions, ideas, and concerns are important to me!  You are also welcome to call my office at (402) 471-2743 or email me at kbolz@leg.ne.gov.

Thank you for your input!
Sincerely,

Senator Kate Bolz

District #29 Constituent Survey Link

Priority Legislation Update

February 24th, 2016

In Nebraska, each senator may select one bill to receive a priority designation, which generally moves the bill ahead of others in debate.  In order to develop a workforce that can compete in the global economy, it’s important to make smart decisions that maximize the efficiency of our educational investments.  With this in mind, I am excited about my priority designation for the 2016 session, LB371, which was originally introduced by Senator Kate Sullivan.  

LB371 creates a holistic approach to education by establishing the Nebraska Council for Educational Success, a twenty-one member council that will make recommendations to the legislature and educational governing bodies with the goal of strengthening collaboration of publicly funded programs from early childhood through post-secondary education.  

By creating a more cohesive plan that focuses on student success and giving the Nebraska Council for Education Success the tools to monitor progress, we can ensure that Nebraskans’ tax dollars are being well spent.  

If you have thoughts on this bill, or others that are being considered by the legislature, please do not hesitate to call my office at (402) 471-2734, or email me at kbolz@leg.ne.gov.

 

District #29 Constituent Survey

October 22nd, 2015

As your State Senator, focusing on the priorities that matter most to my constituents is important to me. These priorities include education, job creation, tax fairness, and serving children and seniors. Based on previous surveys, I have successfully promoted home and community based services for seniors, advocated for property tax relief, and improved afterschool education programs. I will use the results of this survey to inform my policy decisions in the next legislative session and into the future.

Please share your thoughts by filling out the survey at the link below. The survey is also being sent out by mail over time.

Thank you for taking the time to respond. Your suggestions, ideas, and concerns are important to me!  You are also welcome to call my office at (402) 471-2743 or email me at kbolz@leg.ne.gov.

Thank you for your input!
Sincerely,

Senator Kate Bolz

District #29 Survey Link

District #29 Constituent Survey

September 10th, 2015

As your State Senator, focusing on the priorities that matter most to my constituents is important to me. These priorities include education, job creation, tax fairness, and serving children and seniors. Based on previous surveys, I have successfully promoted home and community based services for seniors, advocated for property tax relief, and improved afterschool education programs. I will use the results of this survey to inform my policy decisions in the next legislative session and into the future.

Please share your thoughts by filling out the survey at the link below. The survey is also being sent out by mail over time.

Thank you for taking the time to respond. Your suggestions, ideas, and concerns are important to me!  You are also welcome to call my office at (402) 471-2743 or email me at kbolz@leg.ne.gov.

Thank you for your input!
Sincerely, Senator Kate Bolz

 

District #29 Constituent Survey

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

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.

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

Sen. Kate Bolz

District 29
Room #1120
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2734
Email: kbolz@leg.ne.gov
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