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

With Halloween coming up on Tuesday, now is a great time to brush up on the following safety tips provided by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services:

Keep the ‘Happy’ in Happy Halloween With These Safety Tips

In addition to pumpkins, decorations, costumes and treats, make sure safety is part of your Halloween plan. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services offers the following tips to help ensure Nebraskans have a safe and happy Halloween:

Be present – children and adults are reminded to put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.

Use extra caution – when driving, slow down and watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.

Go together – older kids who are going trick-or-treating with friends should stick to a predetermined route, while young children should go with a trusted adult. Never enter a stranger’s home

Be visible – use reflective tape on their costumes and bags. Kids can carry glow sticks or flashlights to be more visible to others and drivers.

Clear vision – wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.

Save your treats – parents should inspect candy and treats to make sure they are sealed and show no signs of tampering.

Flame-resistant – be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes and don’t walk near lit candles or luminaries. Keep jack-o’-lanterns lit with candles away from doorsteps and walkways, and consider using glow sticks instead of candles.

For more Halloween safety tips, go to http://www.cdc.gov/family/halloween/, http://www.safekids.org/halloween and https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/100.pdf.

Paraeducator Workforce Survey

October 10th, 2017

This summer, I worked with Project PARA to conduct a survey of Nebraska’s paraeducators. Project PARA is a University of Nebraska – Lincoln partnership between the State of Nebraska and Nebraska school districts to provides school based training and instructional resources designed to give schools flexibility in using paraeducators. It contains 14 units and three assessments that cover a variety of topics to aid paraeducators with the development of skills needed to work effectively in a classroom setting.

The last major surveys of paraeducators in Nebraska were conducted in the early 1980s, and subsequent guidelines published in 1991. These guidelines are the basis of the current Project PARA trainings. The goal of the paraeducator survey is to provide data to guide educational, administrative, and policy related decision making. You review our findings by clicking the memo link above.

The Nebraska Department of Transportation recently announced an upcoming public hearing regarding the Lincoln South Beltway Project. The hearing will be at the Sesostris Shrine Center at 1050 Saltillo Road on Tuesday, October 3 from 6:00pm to 6:30pm.

For more information on the South Beltway Project, or to submit comments to the department on the project, visit http://dot.nebraska.gov/lincoln-south-beltway/

For more information on the public hearing, please see the Department of Transportation’s event advisory below:

Public Hearing October 3 for Lincoln South Beltway

September 7, 2017 (Lincoln, Neb.) — The Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, October 3, regarding the proposed Lincoln South Beltway project in Lancaster County.  The hearing, held at the Sesostris Shrine Center, 1050 Saltillo Road (northwest of intersection at Saltillo Road and US-77), will include an open house from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m., a panel presentation at 6:00 p.m., followed by a public forum from 6:20 to 7:30 p.m.

The proposed Lincoln South Beltway project would construct a new 11-mile east-west freeway south of the City of Lincoln, located between US-77 on the west and N-2 on the east, approximately 0.5 miles south of Saltillo Road.  The purpose is to improve east-west connectivity for regional and interstate travel through Nebraska, and to reduce conflicts between local and through traffic, including heavy truck traffic, in Lincoln. NDOT has prepared a Draft Environmental Assessment (DEA) to evaluate the potential effects of the project.  The public hearing will present information regarding the DEA analysis and provide the public with the formal opportunity to comment on the project.  The DEA is available on NDOT’s website athttp://dot.nebraska.gov/lincoln-south-beltway and comments will be collected through October 7, 2017.

#NDOT#

Contact: Tom Goodbarn, District 1 Engineer, Lincoln, (402) 471-0850″

2017 District #29 Survey

August 29th, 2017

District #29 Survey Link

As your State Senator, focusing on the priorities that matter most you is important to me. These priorities include education, job creation, tax fairness, and serving children and seniors. As we prepare for the 2018 Legislative Session, I will examine survey results to inform my policy decisions in the next session and into the future.

Please share your thoughts by filling out this survey: District #29 Survey Link

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

Apply to be a Legislative Page

August 23rd, 2017

If you are a Nebraska college student who is looking to get involved in the legislature, I encourage you to apply for a legislative page position. Pages perform a variety duties to help the legislature function, including responding to requests from senators on the floor, running errands, delivering messages, photocopying materials, assisting the presiding officer, and assisting committee staff with hearings. These positions are a great way to learn about the legislative process and supplement what you’ve learned in the classroom with job experience.

Applications are available at the Clerk of the Legislature’s Office, Room 2018, State Capitol, 1445 K Street. If you currently live in legislative district #29 or lived in the district in high school, I would be happy to assist with a letter of recommendation. To get in contact with me, please email kbolz@leg.ne.gov. To find your legislative district, you can use the legislature’s “find my senator” tool. Applications are open through 5:00 PM on Friday, September 29, 2017.

For further questions on the page program, you can reach out to my office at 402-471-2734, or the Office of the Clerk of the Legislature at (402) 471-2271.

Requirements: “Pages must be high school graduates who are currently enrolled in a Nebraska college or trade school with a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. They must be able to work 20 hours a week during session. It is preferred that they work the same four-hour shift each day. The legislative session will begin January 3, 2018 and end in April 2018. This is a paid position and you may also be able to receive credit hours through your college. First year pages will earn approximately $10.37 per hour and second year pages approximately $10.78 per hour.”

2017 District 29 Survey

July 26th, 2017

District #29 Survey Link

As your State Senator, focusing on the priorities that matter most you is important to me. These priorities include education, job creation, tax fairness, and serving children and seniors. As we prepare for the 2018 Legislative Session, I will examine survey results to inform my policy decisions in the next session and into the future.

Please share your thoughts by filling out this survey: District #29 Survey Link

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

This week’s swing between sunshine and rain reminds us that Nebraska’s weather can shift at any moment. Last spring we saw storms that caused serious damage to parts of southeast Lincoln, and it’s important to be prepared during severe weather events and the cleanup afterward.  

To help Nebraskans during and after severe weather events, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services publishes its Recommended Procedures for Planning and Recovering from a Disaster, you can access this document through this link, or by emailing me at kbolz@leg.ne.gov.  

If your basement floods as a result of heavy rain, it’s important to make sure that the power is shut off before entering it. Additionally, in heavily flooded situations, water should be pumped out at a rate of roughly a third of the water per day, in order to maintain the structural integrity of the basement.

When cleaning up a flooded basement, hard-surfaced floors and other household surfaces should be cleaned with with soap and water. To disinfect these surfaces, a solution of one cup of bleach for every five gallons of water should be used. It’s important that any surfaces that many come in contact with food, or areas where small children play, are disinfected.

Items that remain wet for over 48 hours create conditions favorable for mold growth, so materials must be kept dry once water has been removed from an area. The state DHHS suggests using wet vacuums and dehumidifiers to assist in the drying. If you have a mold situation and would like more information on eradicating the issue, you can read the EPA publication “A Brief Guide to Mold and Moisture in your home”, which can be found here, or by emailing me at kbolz@leg.ne.gov.

Starting next week, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services will be conducting listening sessions to gather feedback on its draft redesign plan for long-term care in Nebraska. The Lincoln listening session will take place on Monday, March 20 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Gere Library (2400 S 56th St) in room 1.

You can access a copy of the Nebraska Long Term Care Redesign Plan here.

For more information on the plan, and long term care in general, please visit http://dhhs.ne.gov/LTC. Additionally, for more information the listening tour locations and dates, you can read the Department of Health and Human Service’s news release below.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2017

CONTACT
Julie Naughton, Communications and Legislative Services
(office) 402-471-1695; (cell) 402-405-7202, julie.naughton@nebraska.gov

DHHS Traveling to Eight Nebraska Towns Seeking Public Comment on LongTerm Care Redesign

Note: Soundbites on this topic available at www.dhhs.ne.gov/audio

LINCOLN —The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services is seeking feedback about its recently released draft redesign plan for longterm care in Nebraska. Beginning the week of March 20th, the Department will be holding listening sessions in eight communities across the state to receive feedback on this draft plan from Medicaid members, providers, advocates, and other stakeholders.

This plan, released earlier this month, is based upon national research and feedback received from a listening tour in the fall. The draft redesign plan follows and builds upon the key principles outlined in a concept paper released by the Department last year. The redesign goals follow the mission of DHHS to help people live better lives and ensure that Nebraskans will have access to high-quality services and supports, in whatever place they call home.

The draft includes recommendations to improve home and community-based care services (HCBS) for seniors and individuals with disabilities in Nebraska by enhancing opportunities for community-based living; strengthening access to and navigation of the system; ensuring fairness in the assessment process; reducing duplication; supporting consumer-direction; phasing in Medicaid managed longterm care; improving quality and accountability; and advancing the use of technology and other innovations.  For more information, please visit http://dhhs.ne.gov/LTC.

STATE TOUR LISTENING SESSIONS:

  • MONDAY, MARCH 20 – LINCOLN: Gere Library, Room 1, 2400 S 56th St, 6:00 – 8:00PM
  • TUESDAY, MARCH 21 – NORFOLK:  Norfolk Public Library, 308 W Prospect Ave, 6:00 – 7:30PM
  • WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22 – FREMONT: Gifford Tower, Community Room, 2510 N Clarkson St, 6:00 – 8:00PM
  • THURSDAY, MARCH 23 – OMAHA (2 sessions): 1st Session: QLI, Auditorium, 6404 N 70th Plaza, 12:00 – 2:00PM
    2nd Session: Immanuel Courtyard Independent & Assisted Living, 6757 Newport Ave, 6:00 – 8:00PM
  • MONDAY, MARCH 27, GRAND ISLAND: St. Francis Medical Center, Lobby Floor Meeting Room, 2620 West Faidley Ave, 6:00 – 8:00PM
  • TUESDAY, MARCH 28, KEARNEY: Kearney Public Library, North Platte Room, 2020 1st Ave, 6:00 – 8:00PM
  • WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29, NORTH PLATTE: McKinley Education Center, Multi-purpose Room, 301 West F St, 6:00 – 8:00PM
  • THURSDAY, MARCH 30, GERING: Gering Public Library, Community Room, 1055 P St, 6:00 – 8:00PM

PUBLIC WEBINARS:

-30-

For the Lincoln Journal-Star’s version of the op-ed by Senator Williams and I wrote, you can visit this link.

Local View: Rules debate should be deliberate

BY SEN. KATE BOLZ and SEN. MATT WILLIAMS      January 30, 2017

The Nebraska Nonpartisan Unicameral Legislature is a unique institution that is designed to place high importance on the participation of the public and on public policy over partisanship. It allows for the development of unique alliances related to specific geographies and issues.

The rules debate is not about partisanship or the majority or minority party of the day, year, or session. It is about something much bigger than that: the institution. Our institution has unique rules, like allowing media access and ensuring that each bill gets a hearing. This allows for public participation, which is especially important in a one house system. The cloture process is one of those rules that protects the ability of the public to simply and clearly ask for support or opposition of a particular bill and allows for intense debate as well as the “watchfulness of the citizen” on the most controversial of issues. It is important that any changes to this long-standing process be taken seriously.

Rules debate should be slow and deliberate, especially on the processes that allow for the engagement of citizens. We applaud the members of the Legislature for continuing under the existing rules which allow us a fair framework under which to begin debate on the most important issue of the session: how we balance the budget in a responsible manner.

To quote George Norris, founder of our Unicameral, “To get a good government, and to retain it, it is necessary that a liberty-loving, educated, intelligent people should be ever watchful, to carefully guard and protect their rights and liberties.” We would add that to get good government, the rules must allow the people to be a part of the process in a meaningful way. As members of the Legislature, we will continue to uphold the traditions of Norris and work for the best interests of the state, in rules, in policy, and in our partnership with the people of Nebraska.

Sen. Kate Bolz of Lincoln represents District 29. Sen. Matt Williams of Gothenburg represents District 36.

Last week, Lancaster County released their new preliminary property values report, which will be the basis for property tax bills in 2018. Because of increasing home values, many residents of LD29 will see an increase in home valuation, and subsequent property tax bill. In order to see your new assessed value, you can visit the Lancaster County Assessor’s website at http://orion.lancaster.ne.gov/Appraisal/PublicAccess/.  

If you believe that your home value has been improperly assessed, the staff of the Lancaster County assessor’s office is available through March 1 to receive requests for a lower valuation before the current figures are finalized. To schedule an informal meeting to discuss valuations, you can go to your property value detail sheet from the County Assessor’s website and click the “Appeal” button (pictured below), or call (402) 441-7463. Homeowners have until February 1 to schedule a meeting. If you are having any trouble finding this site, feel free to call my office at (402) 471-2734 for further assistance.

lancaster-county-assessor-appeal-button-2

On March 25, the finalized valuation changes will be posted on the Lancaster County Assessor website. At this point, if you feel that your protest was not properly evaluated, there is a formal appeals process through the Nebraska Tax Equalization and Review Commission that is outlined in this document. The formal complaint must be filed by June 1. You can also contact the Tax Equalization and Review Commission directly at (402) 471-2842 if you have specific questions about this process. As always, you can contact my office at (402) 471-2734 for other questions.

One of my goals while in the legislature has been to shape our state’s tax discussion to include the effect that property taxes have on residential property taxpayers. As a member of the appropriations committee, I have supported increases in the Property Tax Cash Fund, a dedicated fund that directly reduces the property taxes you pay. Additionally, in 2015 I introduced LB186, a bill to create a property tax “circuit breaker” which provides a tax credit in the event that property taxes increase significantly compared to a person’s income.

 

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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