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For Immediate Release
January 9, 2017
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.
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″
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!
A Note From Kate
During the interim session, I had the privilege of being the Chairperson of the Aging Nebraskans Task Force, which was created by LB690 during the 2014 Legislative Session to better understand how our state can serve the aging population. The final report for this Task Force, complete with recommendations, is can be viewed below in PDF format. Also available is the final report from the LR424 Department of Correctional Services Special Investigative Committee, which is also linked below. I welcome your comments and questions on both of the reports. Please contact my office at 402-471-2734 with any feedback.
Senator Kate Bolz
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