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 4th, 2017

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

District #29 Survey

July 3rd, 2018

As your State Senator, focusing on the priorities that matter most to you is important to me. Let me know what you think by filling out our Legislative District #29 Survey.

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.

Legislative District #29 Survey Link

Kate in the Community

July 2nd, 2018

I’m looking forward to the chance to see you in our community this summer. I’ll be at the Sunday Farmers’ Market at College View (4801 Prescott Ave) on July 15 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, please stop by and say hello!

I’ll also be holding open office hours at the Capitol on Saturday July, 7 and Saturday July 28 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. If there’s anything you would like to meet with me about, you can schedule a time by calling my office at 402-471-2734, or emailing shuppert@leg.ne.gov.

Join us at our South Central Lincoln town hall!

On May 16, I’ll be joining fellow Lincoln elected officials at a town where you can hear our priorities for the community, and we can get your input on what you would like to see moving forward. Join myself, Lincoln School Board Member Don Mayhew, and City Councilman Jon Camp on Wednesday, May 16 at 6:00 at the Union College Lang Amphitheater to discuss how we can build a strong future for South Lincoln.

The program will include brief remarks from the elected representatives and time for a question and answer session. A campus map of Union College can be found here. The Lang Amphitheater is located in the Krueger Center, which is building #9 on the map.

You can let us know you’re attending by filling out this RSVP form.

For more information about the event, email shuppert@leg.ne.gov or call my office at 402-471-2734.

Thank you for your interest!

Nebraska Budget Summary

March 29th, 2018
LB 944 passed select file debate on to final reading on March 28, 2018.  The bill contains important funding for child welfare, property tax relief, funding for developmental disabilities, higher education, and much more.

Important funding priorities were included in the budget this year.  $55 million dollars in funding for services to meet demand in child welfare are appropriated.  The budget provides funding for property tax relief for seniors and individuals with disabilities through the homestead exemption.  The bill provides funding to developmental disability providers to make up for lost federal funds, needed resources for school funding, and dollars needed to shore up Medicaid services to respond to changes on the federal level.

Moreover, the budget bill pulls back significant cuts to higher education proposed by the Administration.  While I would have liked to avoid cuts to higher education entirely, the changes made by the Appropriations Committee help to protect the missions of our University system, State College system, and community colleges into the future.

The bill passed after considerable debate on Title X federal family planning funds.  A compromise was negotiated to move the important budget package forward. Title X funds provide important services to 28,000 Nebraskans including preventative health care, cancer screenings, and prenatal care.  LB 944 contains changes to the distribution of these funds.  Some existing providers will have to change to comply with these changes which require legal, financial, and physical separation between organizations providing abortions and those providing Title X services.  Other providers, including Federally Qualified Health Centers, will continue to be able to provide services in the same manner they have previously.

In my work on the budget, I have done by best to balance the important priorities in the budget, the interests of multiple constituents, the value of higher education, the importance of ensuring that Title X services will be able to continue in Nebraska, and the long term fiscal sustainability of the state, and I appreciate the constituent correspondence on all of these issues.

March 26, 2018

CONTACT: Senator Kate Bolz, kbolz@leg.ne.gov

Senator Kate Bolz Statement on Violence Prevention

It is heartbreaking any time violence occurs.  As a State Senator, I take my responsibility to promote community safety seriously.  In light of the recent national conversation about school violence and the tragic event in my own neighborhood today, I feel compelled to continue our work to prevent violence in our communities.

Tomorrow, I will introduce an interim study to examine opportunities for expansion of Nebraska’s Office of Violence Prevention as well as ways in which we can provide additional funding to this important purpose.  My sincere condolences to those who have lost friends and family members, especially my neighbors today. Too many families have felt this pain, this action is only one step we must take toward working together to build safer communities.

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March 24 Open Office Hours

March 13th, 2018

On Saturday, March 24, from 1:00 PM through 5:00 PM, I’ll be holding open office hours at the capitol. 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 do so, 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. Parking is available on the west and south sides of the building.

What: Open Office Hours

Where: Nebraska State Capitol, Room 1015 (first floor by the west entrance)

When: Saturday, March 24, from 1:00 – 5:00 PM

If you can’t make it on the 24th, you’re always welcome to let me know your views on issues by calling me at 402-471-2734, or emailing me at kbolz@leg.ne.gov.

Our state has many boards and commissions that provide Nebraskans a voice in state government and the chance to make a difference. Currently, a number of vacancies have opened on these boards, offer new opportunities to get involved. For the list of vacant positions on Nebraska’s Governor appointed boards and commissions, you can visit this link. Additionally, here’s a description of the duties associated with each board and commission.

If you’re interested in being considered for an appointment to a board or commission, you can complete a printable Application for Executive Appointment form, or fill out the online form on the Governor’s website. 

For additional questions about this process you can contact Kathleen Dolezal by calling (402) 471-1971 or by emailing her at kathleen.dolezal@nebraska.gov.

As always, if you have any questions or input on state government in general, you are welcome to call my office at (402) 471-2734, or email me at kbolz@leg.ne.gov.

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
January 9, 2017

CONTACT: Senator Kate Bolz, (402) 471-2734, kbolz@leg.ne.gov

Workforce Development Legislation Introduced by Senator Bolz

Lincoln, NE: State Senator Kate Bolz introduced a package of bills today promoting workforce development for Nebraska.  The bills address job quality, career education, access to child care, and retention of trained workers.

The Nebraska Chamber of Commerce reports that a survey of Nebraska’s business leaders found that eight in ten respondents said their community or business faced a workforce shortage, with skilled labor being highest in demand.  A report commissioned by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development entitled “Nebraska’s Next Economy” outlined workforce challenges slowing our economy including statewide workforce shortages, acute workforce shortages in higher skilled occupations, and failure to integrate underserved populations into the worker pipeline, among others.

Workforce development is the number one priority for economic growth in Nebraska,” states Bolz, “This package of bills represents a vision for investing in our workers, job quality, and career education and training to grow Nebraska and compete successfully in a global economy, using one of our states greatest assets, our people.”

The bills include:

  • A comprehensive bill investing $15 million dollars per year in career education and training, internship programs, student loan tax credits, and child care tax credits.

  • A bill to develop and fund the Integrated Education and Training Grant Program to fund efforts in community colleges to develop fast track career education programs that integrate developmental education and workforce preparation and training.

  • A bill defining job quality in Nebraska economic development programs as jobs paying 150% of the Nebraska average weekly wage and providing health care benefits.

  • A bill to expand the existing GAP tuition assistance program, which covers the educational costs of low-income students enrolling in programs that lead to industry recognized credentials and in-demand jobs, to include more eligible educational programs.

  • A bill to increase the value of the child care tax credit for working families.

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A New Session

January 4th, 2018

As we begin the 2018 Nebraska Unicameral Legislative session, you, my constituents, are on the top of my mind.  It is important to me to continue to stay in touch with you to let you know about the work that I am doing to represent District #29 as well as to hear your thoughts and ideas.

As the session moves forward, please feel free to contact me at (402) 471-2734.  You can also reach me via email at kbolz@leg.ne.gov.  At the end of session, I expect to have another legislative issues forum, where we can walk through the major legislative changes that were enacted and you can give me your input on our district’s priorities moving forward.

This session, some of my priorities include:

  • Balancing the state budget: Our state faces a significant budget shortfall which must be balanced this session.  I will work to protect your priorities, such as education, while making tough decisions about expenditures.  I welcome your input.
  • Public safety:  As you know, the state’s correctional system has faced challenges in recent years.  We must continue to address our overcrowded institutions while maintaining public safety by using parole options and by providing resources to make our institutions more safe and civil.
  • Jobs: Workforce development continues to be a major challenge for Nebraska businesses.  I will be proposing several pieces of legislation that promote job creation and job quality in our state.

I look forward to working with you and my colleagues to build a stronger Nebraska for all of us. I wish you the best in 2018.

Sincerely,

Senator Kate Bolz
Legislative District #29

The following opinion editorial ran in the Omaha-World Herald on November 19, 2017:

Midlands Voices Nov 19, 2017

Howard, of Omaha, represents District 9 in the Nebraska Legislature. Bolz, of Lincoln, represents District 29.

In Nebraska, the Department of Health and Human Services is trusted with the responsibility to protect children from harm.

As state senators serving on the Health and Human Services and Appropriations Committees, we take our role in providing oversight for children’s safety very seriously. We applaud the caseworkers, foster parents, extended families and others who are working hard to make Nebraska children safe and families successful.

Recently, however, the Department of Health and Human Services submitted documents to the Legislature showing that resources for the Division of Children and Family Services will fall a total of $61.5 million short for fiscal 2018 and 2019.

This follows a session in which the division testified to the Legislature that it did not require additional resources and could take on more responsibilities for kinship care and training.

After a gubernatorial veto that cut child welfare service provider rates, it is now more difficult than ever to guarantee that Nebraska will have the services, and providers, to ensure the safety of children.

Let’s cut to the heart of the matter: The Department of Health and Human Services deserves credit for examining ways to do things more effectively, and we respect the decision to ask for needed funding.

However, there must be a new commitment from both the Legislature and the administration to fund and support the child welfare system moving forward in a way that achieves our child welfare goals of prevention of maltreatment and stability for families.

As a state, we have work to do. The most recent report of the inspector general of child welfare cites nine reports of death or serious injury to a child in the custody of our state foster care system. It further notes a disturbing increase in sexual abuse cases and a need for an investigation into mental health needs and suicide attempts by state wards.

Also, while our state succeeds on some federal benchmarks, we fall short on measures relating to timeliness to reunification of children with family members and preventing recurring maltreatment in foster care.

As state senators, we are also mindful of the long-running problem of an overburdened protection and safety workforce. High caseloads, staff turnover and vacancies remain a source of stress for our child welfare system.

Finally, we know that parental substance use is a challenge in our child welfare system, and we need to look at opportunities for our child welfare system and our behavioral health system to partner in prevention and treatment.

As a state, we must do our part to prevent tragedies for children in the first place. The most pressing and obvious strategy is to provide adequate resources to serve the children entering the system and to ensure that there are enough caseworkers to appropriately support families.

Another is not to over-promise the ability and capacity of our current system or to underestimate future needs.

Specifically, we urge this administration to invest in a strong and efficient protection and safety workforce, to review data in order to accurately predict utilization and to embrace focused public-private partnerships that help serve children. This may mean investing more in caseworkers, reworking existing contracts and building stronger partnerships with service providers and the Divisions of Behavioral Health and Medicaid.

We also call on our colleagues in the Legislature. In this time of fiscal shortfall, the Legislature has an extraordinarily tough job of deciding who must do more with less. The Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Children and Family Services should not be on that list.

As the adults entrusted with responsibility for our kids, let’s rebuild our commitment to partnership, budget reality and problem-solving in our child welfare system.

Howard, of Omaha, represents District 9 in the Nebraska Legislature. Bolz, of Lincoln, represents District 29.

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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