NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

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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

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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LB 309 – Press Release
March 15th, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

CONTACT:

Senator Kate Bolz

Nebraska State Capitol

Room 1522

(402) 471-2734

 

 

BOLZ BILL ESTABLISHES THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES DELIVERY IMPROVEMENT AND EFFICIENCY ACT

Lincoln, NE – The Legislature’s committee on Health and Human Services will hold a public hearing on LB309 introduced by Senator Kate Bolz at 1:30pm today. The bill aims to bring greater efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability to the delivery of public benefits.

Bolz states, “Shortly after I entered the Legislature, Iheard from a service provider for elderly individuals who waited over an hour on the phoneto speak to a health and human services worker. This is a solution oriented bill to decrease paperwork and to create efficiency and improved service overall.”

The Department of Health and Human Services provides essential services to Nebraskans, such as proving eligibility for elderly individuals to receive Medicaid upon entering a nursing home. In the past, clients worked with a caseworker and the Department of Health and Human Services verified client information by receiving hard copies of documents, and kept all such information in case file. Managing services changed in 2008 when HHS modernized and created the ACCESS Nebraska system. ACCESS Nebraska significantly reduced HHS staff, created electronic client case files, and emphasized call centers rather than local offices.

LB 309 simplifies service provisions by implementing the least burdensome means of verification allowed by federal law and by better using existing databases and technologies. The legislation will direct the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to coordinate and streamline eligibility paperwork, expand information sharing across programs and governmental agencies, and provide reasonable efforts to prevent people from cycling on and off the system.


LB 309 is intended to address many of these problems by simplifying the service delivery process, making things easier for clients and state workers – saving time and improving service delivery. “Simplification is important for call center workers who are managing large call volumes. We can simplify while continuing our tradition of accurate program administrationexplains Bolz.

Senator Kate Bolz represents the 29th District of the Nebraska Legislature. She serves on the Appropriations Committee and the Developmental Disabilities Special Investigative Committee. She was elected in 2012.

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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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