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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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
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 long–term 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 long–term 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:
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.
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.
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.
Sen. Kate Bolz
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