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On Monday, November 12, I’ll be available from 9am to noon for open office hours.
If you have the day off in observance of Veterans Day and would like to meet with me to discuss potential legislation, policy issues, casework or anything else that may be on your mind, you can schedule a time by calling my office at 402-471-2734, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re unavailable on November 12, but would still like to discuss upcoming policy issues, please feel free to email me at email@example.com, or call at 402-471-2734.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com or call my office at 402-471-2734.
Thank you for your interest!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 email@example.com.
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.
Contact: Tom Goodbarn, District 1 Engineer, Lincoln, (402) 471-0850″
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:
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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/.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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