NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

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Sen. Kate Bolz

Sen. Kate Bolz

District 29

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PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Senator Kate Bolz, (402) 802-8312, kbolz@leg.ne.gov

New legislation would cap the cost of insulin in Nebraska

January 13, 2020 (Lincoln, NE) — Senator Kate Bolz introduced legislation today to improve insulin affordability in Nebraska. The bill caps the total co-pay for a one month supply of insulin at $100. Over the past fourteen years, the out of pocket cost of many insulin brands increased 555% adjusted for inflation, according to the American Medical Association. 

“For the 174,000 Nebraskans with diabetes, the spike in insulin costs is a real problem,” said Senator Kate Bolz. “These are our relatives, friends and neighbors who have to make decisions they know will damage their health, simply because they can no longer afford their insulin dosage.” 

According to the American Medical Association, nearly 1 in 4 diabetics have reported rationing or skipping insulin doses because of cost. Deviating from prescribed insulin can result in serious complications, including heart disease, stroke, amputation, end-stage kidney disease, blindness, and death. From 2012 to 2016, the average annual cost of insulin nationwide has increased from $2,900 per year to $5,700. Currently, no medication is known to substitute for insulin to manage diabetes.  

The legislation brought by Senator Bolz proposes to cap patient out of pocket expenses for prescription insulin drugs to no more than $100 per month. The bill would be suspended if it results in an insurance premium increase of more than 3 percent. 

“With over 7 million Americans relying on insulin to live, the American Diabetes Association is committed to bringing down insulin prices for all those who need it. Senator Bolz’s efforts to make insulin more affordable and accessible is a critical step towards that goal, and we applaud her for standing up for the more than 170,000 Nebraskans living with diabetes,” said Christine Fallabel, Director of State Government Affairs with the American Diabetes Association. 

The 174,000 Nebraskans with diabetes represent 11.6% of the state’s population, and 8,000 additional Nebraskans receive a diagnosis each year. Furthermore, an additional 487,000 (38.5% of the state’s population) have prediabetes. Of these Nebraskans, the American Diabetes Association projects that 15% to 30% will develop diabetes in the next ten years. 

“The insulin cost crisis in our state is an unprecedented health issue in cost and scale,” said Senator Kate Bolz. “We simply can’t continue a situation where 1 in 10 Nebraskans rely on a drug that doubles in price every few years. This bill addresses insulin affordability while protecting insurance premium payers.” 

Senator Kate Bolz of Lincoln represents District #29 in the Nebraska Legislature
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Bolz Insulin Release 1-13-2020

PRESS RELEASE 

For Immediate Release
December 30, 2019
Contact: Senator Kate Bolz, (402) 802-8312 

Economic Development Task Force Recommendations Respond to Workforce Demands 

Lincoln, NE: The Economic Development Task Force of the Nebraska Legislature released recommendations today regarding workforce development. 

Recognizing economic development as a priority, the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature established the Economic Development Task Force in 2017. The task force is responsible for making recommendations to the legislature regarding economic development in the state. The task force identified workforce development as a priority. 

“Nebraskans have a strong work ethic and the state as a whole has a low unemployment rate. At the same time, our state faces a mismatch between available workers and the skills needed by employers. Specific shortage areas include: information technology, science, technology, engineering, and math, building trades, and more. The Economic Development Task Force recommendations support new opportunities for education and training for workers to grow our businesses and communities,” states Senator Kate Bolz, chair of the task force. 

The workforce development recommendations include:

i. Recommendation: Support a longitudinal data system to identify gaps in our education and training system, respond to those needs, and build on strengths.

ii. Recommendation: Invest in apprenticeship programs aligned with high demand skills and industries.

iii. Recommendation: Develop a career-education scholarship program for students pursuing careers in high demand, high skill, high wage jobs.

iv. Recommendation: Retain young Nebraskans with needed skill sets through student loan repayment initiatives. 

“Nebraska has difficulty retaining and attracting young talent – our state has one of the lowest growth rates for the population 25-29-years old. Overall, Nebraska has an annual “workforce deficit” of 24,600 per year, ” said Senator John Arch, vice chair of the task force. “Our recommendations provide short and long term strategies for promoting good jobs and vibrant communities.” 

The members of the committee included the following: 

Chairperson of the Appropriations Committee: Senator John Stinner
Chairperson of the Banking, Commerce, and Insurance Committee: Senator Matt Williams
Chairperson of the Urban Affairs Committee: Senator Justin Wayne
Chairperson of the Revenue Committee: Senator Lou Ann Linehan
Chairperson of the Planning Committee: Senator Tony Vargas
Chairperson of the Education Committee: Senator Mike Groene
Chairperson of the Business and Labor Committee: Senator Matt Hanson
At Large: Senator Kate Bolz, Senator Dan Quick, Senator John Arch 

Committee Chair: Senator Kate Bolz
Committee Vice Chair: Senator John Arch 

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Press Release Economic Development Task Force Report

2019 Economic Development Task Force Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Senator Kate Bolz, (402) 802-8312, kbolz@leg.ne.gov

Senator Bolz Statement on the Department of Correctional Services Committee on Industrial Relations Hearing Outcome

March 1, 2019 (Lincoln, NE) —  In response to today’s CIR hearing, Senator Kate Bolz released the following statement:

“We are disappointed there was no increase in corrections staff wages following this week’s Committee on Industrial Relations hearing. We stand with the Department of Corrections staffers and continue to work diligently to pass LB109, which would recognize skill and experience of employees through a longevity pay plan.”

Senator Kate Bolz of Lincoln represents District #29 in the Nebraska Legislature
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PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Senator Kate Bolz, (402) 802-8312, kbolz@leg.ne.gov

New Bill Works to Solve Corrections Staffing Crisis by Providing Wages Based on Skill and Experience

February 14, 2019 (Lincoln, NE) —  Today, Senator Kate Bolz introduced legislation to improve retention for frontline employees at the Nebraska Department of Corrections. The bill, LB109, will be heard today in the Government Committee and creates new pay structures that rewards experience and skills gained while working for the Department.

Currently, employees are not guaranteed wages that reflect experience on the job.

“It’s clear that to solve our prison staffing crisis and cut long-term training costs to the state, we must do more to keep the employees we’ve already invested in” said Senator Kate Bolz.

LB109 requires that beginning in 2021/2022 must create three tiers of experience with increasing pay structures for corrections corporals, sergeants and unit caseworkers, respectively.

The Department of Corrections has suffered from staffing vacancies and high turnover for much of the decade. A 2016 workplace culture study commissioned by the Department showed experience was of high value to operations.  The same report mentioned the necessity of employee retention in maintaining secure facilities, “Keeping quality, trained staff is important for maintaining safe and secure prisons in Nebraska. Not only are staff responsible for keeping offenders and the public safe, they play a vital role in the rehabilitative process for offenders, assisting with their successful reentry into our communities upon release.”

“By introducing new staffing wage tiers, we can recognize the most experienced and highly trained Department of Corrections employees and incentivize them to stay with the Department throughout their careers,” said Senator Bolz.

Senator Kate Bolz of Lincoln represents District #29 in the Nebraska Legislature

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PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Senator Kate Bolz, (402) 802-8312, kbolz@leg.ne.gov

Senator Kate Bolz Introduces Legislation to Make Child Care More Affordable for Working Families

February 7, 2019 (Lincoln, NE) — Tomorrow in the Health and Human Services Committee, Senator Kate Bolz will introduce LB329, a bill to expand eligibility for Nebraska’s successful child care subsidy. The program helps Nebraskans work, find a job, or pursue education while subsidizing child care costs, and creating a path out of poverty for low-income working parents.

“Nebraska’s economy benefits when working parents have access to safe and affordable child care,” states Senator Bolz.

LB329 would allow more working poor families to access child care assistance.  The eligibility limits were dramatically decreased in 2002. LB 329 would modestly raise the  Nebraska’s Child Care subsidy eligibility to 165% of the federal poverty level, or roughly $27,159 for a single parent and one child. In 2018, the annual cost of child care for an infant in Nebraska averaged $7,926. Currently, eligibility is limited to those making 130% of the federal poverty level, or $21,398 for the same family. 

The outsized costs of child care leaves Nebraska parents with few options, “My income meets my budget needs. Once this baby is born, I will be short $800/month unless I can find a child care that will take a toddler and infant for $1000/month, so far, that doesn’t exist – even for in home providers,” said Omaha mother Bobbi Jo Howard. “My electricity, car payment, car insurance, fuel, and food costs are also as low as they can be. I don’t subscribe to cable and my phone bill is currently covered by a family member. However, my child care, despite charging in the lower range for a center in the Omaha area, has wiped out my reserves and will soon be completely unaffordable when the child I am carrying is born.”

LB329 would also extend eligibility after 12 months to 200% of federal poverty level and bring Nebraska into compliance with federal regulations by removing the 24-month limit for families below 200% of federal poverty level and revising the requirements for background checks.

“Without Nebraska’s child care subsidy, many working Nebraskans would be unable to maintain employment and find a stable child care provider,” said Senator Bolz. “Raising Nebraska’s child care subsidy gives working parents the opportunity to continue their jobs, without fearing that their kids are not safe. LB329 will help to ensure that every child in Nebraska has the supports necessary for healthy growth and development.”

Senator Kate Bolz of Lincoln represents District #29 in the Nebraska Legislature

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PRESS RELEASE Sen Bolz Child Care Subsidy 2-7-19

Senator Bolz LB563 Statement
February 5th, 2019

February 5, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Senator Kate Bolz, (402) 802-8312, kbolz@leg.ne.gov

Senator Bolz issued the following statement in advance of the LB563 hearing in the Education Committee today:

“The Access College Early Tech Promise Act will give Nebraska high school students a jump start on college classes toward Career and Technical Education. The scholarships provided in LB563 will help students access these programs and provide valuable foundation for future career success.

With February being Career and Technical Education month, there’s no better time for our state to give these students the tools to excel in these high demand fields, and help solve our state’s ongoing workforce shortages.”

Senator Kate Bolz of Lincoln represents District 29 in the Nebraska Legislature

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2018 Senator Bolz LB563 Statement 2-5-19

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Senator Kate Bolz, (402) 802-8312, kbolz@leg.ne.gov

Senator Kate Bolz Introduces Legislation to Enhance Community Violence Prevention in Nebraska

January 11, 2019 (Lincoln, NE) — Senator Kate Bolz introduced legislation today to give Nebraska cities, police departments and nonprofits additional tools to fight violent crime in their communities. The legislation, cosponsored by Senator Robert Hilkemann, would increase the appropriation for Nebraska’s Office of Violence Prevention to $1,525,000 and create a new partnership with the University of Nebraska Medical Center for enhanced data analysis and program evaluation.

“We all continue to be shocked and saddened by instances of violence in our state, and we know the tragic outcomes that happen when we fail to prevent violent incidents in our communities,” said Senator Kate Bolz. “It’s time that we increase our state’s preventative measures against violence.  We have over a decade of data showing that Nebraska’s Office of Violence Prevention empowers local governments and organizations to prevent violence in their communities and we should act on this.”

Nebraska’s Office of Violence Prevention was established in 2009 and provides over $350,000 in competitive grants process to organizations that have shown a history of documented success in helping reduce crime in Nebraska. Programs which can provide evidence-based strategy or proven success are prioritized for funding. Grantee organizations include municipalities, police departments, and nonprofits.

Before introducing the bill, Senator Bolz was joined by Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler, Omaha Senator Robert Hilkemann, Lincoln Police Captain Jason Stille, Omaha mother Salinas, Leadership Lincoln students and a number of community supporters, who pledged support for the measure.

“Keeping Nebraskans safe should be among our highest priorities as elected officials, and part of any statewide plan to reduce crime and violence involves prevention,” said Senator Kate Bolz.

Specific grantee examples include the City of Omaha’s web-based gang database project and analyst that streamlines information to provide data-informed gang policing; Lancaster County’s Operation Tipping Point, which teams Lincoln police with community partners coordinate meetings with LPS, parents and schools to reduce gang membership; the Village Basketball Alliance, which runs a 100 student basketball league shown to increase pro-social behaviors and decrease acceptance of gangs; and the Urban Youth B.O.L.T. program has averaged a total of 80 graduates annually in a 10 week program to that targets youth with minor criminal charges and works to increase positive societal attitudes through reinforcement of families and their peers.

Senator Kate Bolz of Lincoln Represents District 29 in the Nebraska Legislature

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PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Senator Kate Bolz, (402) 802-8312, kbolz@leg.ne.gov

Senator Bolz Introduces Sexual Assault Survivor Bill of Rights

January 9, 2019 (Lincoln, NE) — In her first action of the 2019 session, Senator Kate Bolz introduced legislation today to create a Sexual Assault Survivor Bill of Rights meant to ensure survivors of sexual assault in Nebraska receive the necessary supports available to them during medical and law enforcement interactions.

“Survivors of sexual assault have existing rights within our legal system and deserve to have information about these rights presented to them in a clear manner,” said Senator Kate Bolz. “This bill will provide survivors with important information about the formal and informal supports available to them in the medical system and about the options available to them in the criminal justice system.”

Senator Bolz first announced her intention to bring this bill forward in October 2018 after hearing from those affected by sexual assault throughout the interim, “This was inspired by constituents who reached out to me about the need to update existing laws concerning sexual assault. We must make sure we are effective in providing assistance and answers to those seeking help.”

The legislation was developed with the assistance and support of the Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence. The legislation requires that survivors be notified of their existing rights under current law when contacting law enforcement or medical personnel. The rights of survivors of sexual assault include:

  • The right to be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect;

  • The right to consult with a sexual assault counselor or victims advocate;

  • The right to be informed;

  • The right to be heard and participate in the criminal justice process;

  • The right to timely disposition of the case;

  • The right to notice about the status of the case; and

  • The right to apply for compensation.

Each day hundreds of Americans are affected by sexual violence. Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted and every 8 minutes, that victim is a child. The Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights will give survivors consistent guidelines and information during an uncertain and traumatic time.

Senator Kate Bolz of Lincoln Represents District 29 in the Nebraska Legislature

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PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Senator Kate Bolz, (402) 802-8312, kbolz@leg.ne.gov

Senator Kate Bolz to Introduce Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights Legislation

October 2, 2018 (Lincoln, NE) — Senator Kate Bolz announced today that she will introduce legislation to establish rights for survivors of sexual assault in Nebraska. The Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights will ensure that survivors of sexual assault are notified of formal and informal supports available to them during medical and law enforcement interactions.

“There are many reasons why survivors of sexual assault choose not to come forward, but we must do all we can to ensure that victims are aware of the rights they hold in our criminal justice system” said Senator Kate Bolz. “This legislation gives survivors of sexual assault the information they need to make informed decisions about the resources that are available to them at the time of reporting. Learning more about what steps to take following sexual violence can help victims in a difficult time.”  Bolz noted that she made the decision after hearing from constituents in recent weeks.

The legislation was developed with the assistance and support of the Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence. The legislation requires that survivors be notified of their existing rights under current law when contacting law enforcement or medical personnel. The rights of survivors of sexual assault include:

  • The right to be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect;
  • The right to consult with a sexual assault counselor or victims advocate;
  • The right to be informed;
  • The right to be heard and participate in the criminal justice process;
  • The right to timely disposition of the case;
  • The right to notice about the status of the case; and
  • The right to apply for compensation.

Each day hundreds of Americans are affected by sexual violence. Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. And every 8 minutes, that victim is a child. The Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights will give survivors consistent guidelines and information during an uncertain and traumatic time.

Previously, Senator Bolz introduced the Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights Act, LB1126, during the 2018 legislative session.  A new, streamlined version will be introduced in 2019.

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Senator Bolz 10-2-18 Release

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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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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