Sen. Mike Gloor
District 35

Welcome

January 8th, 2014

Welcome to my web page with the Nebraska Legislature. I’m so glad you stopped by. This website has a wealth of information on the people and the processes of the Legislature as well as information on the specific legislative bills introduced and passed. In addition, you’ll find links to Nebraska statutes, the Nebraska Constitution and many related documents and institutions. Of course if you can’t find what you need please contact me or my staff and we’ll be happy to assist you.

It is my honor to represent the people of District 35. I look forward to hearing from you.

Mike Gloor

Senator Gloor invites District 35 youth to participate in Youth Legislature

March 19th, 2014

News ReleaseYouthLegislature2014

Opinion on health care transformation by Lincoln Journal Star

March 5th, 2014

The following opinion was published in the February 27, 2014 Lincoln Journal Star.

 

Sen. Mike Gloor of Grand Island presented a potent argument this week in favor of a legislative bill that would expand Medicaid coverage in Nebraska under the Affordable Care Act.

In explaining his vote to advance LB887 to the full Legislature, Gloor, a former hospital administrator, said that the bill would help transform health care in Nebraska in ways that would have long-term benefit.

Those benefits would stay in place even if the Affordable Care Act does not survive, Gloor said.

Among the benefits listed by Gloor include a focus on primary care, accountability for patient results, control of spending and patient-centered medical homes, which describes a concept in which patients develop a relationship with a doctor and staff at a clinic in a throwback to the days of the small-town family doctor.

“It’s an appropriate focus on where our health care seems to be headed in this country, and we’re building our Medicaid system around it,” Gloor told the Journal Star’s JoAnne Young.

Gloor’s support for the measure is significant. Last year he opposed a different approach to expanding Medicaid in Nebraska under the Affordable Care Act. That bill never came to a vote because of a filibuster.

This year’s bill, introduced by Sen. Kathy Campbell of Lincoln, represents a new approach that would be unique to Nebraska. Among its major provisions are an emphasis on personal responsibility — for example, people who go to the emergency room for non-emergency health care would have to pay a $75 co-payment.

Importantly, the bill would staunch the hemorrhage of federal tax dollars that Nebraskans are now sending to other states which have expanded Medicaid coverage under the ACA.

Under the federal law, 100 percent of the cost of expanding Medicaid in Nebraska would be covered by the federal government through 2016. After that the federal share would fall gradually to 90 percent.

If Nebraska continues to refuse the expansion, about 54,000 Nebraskans, often working poor who earn too much to qualify for regular Medicaid and too little to buy coverage on the federal exchanges, will continue to be without coverage.

If senators and other Nebraskans examine the facts and think rationally, they will reach the same conclusion that Gloor did. Yes, we understand that at the national level Republicans want to use the fight against the ACA to rally the troops to take control of Congress. But refusing state participation is too costly to Nebraska. Passing the bill is the practical thing to do, and it would provide long-term benefit to the state.

Gloor Names State Services Relocation bill his priority for 2014

February 3rd, 2014

Gloor Names State Services Relocation Bill as Priority

Senator Mike Gloor, Grand Island, named LB 935, a bill about relocation of state services, such as the Grand Island Veterans Home, as his personal priority bill. He introduced LB 935 in response to the process used recommend the relocation of the Grand Island Veterans Home that pit cities against each other in a bidding process that created a win-lose scenario. “LB 935 would apply a legislative process to the proposed relocation of any state service estimated to cost $15 Million or more. Other states long ago recognized the oversight of relocation and restructuring of state agencies as a legislative duty,” Gloor stated.

By naming the bill his personal priority it gives the bill a better chance at passage this year. If the bill is advanced by the Government committee, priority designation then places the bill at the front of the line for debate scheduling. “Because of the high priority the people of District 35 place on this issue, I feel that I need to do everything I possibly can to get this bill through the Legislature,” Gloor said.

The bill would require state agencies considering a relocation of a state service to prepare a report to describe, justify, set goals and provide cost estimates of the proposed relocation, along with any alternative plans. Additionally, the report would need to include any economic development activity undertaken or planned to fill the economic hole left in the impacted community.

The report would be assigned to the legislative committee of jurisdiction to investigate and hold at least one hearing on. The Committee would then introduce a resolution to either approve or disapprove of the relocation, or take no position. That resolution would then go to the full Legislature for one round of debate, possible amendment, and a vote. A majority of 25 votes

would support the position of the Committee, either to approve, disapprove or take no position. Less than 25 votes would also be taking no position, thereby allowing the proposed relocation.

“This bill, if passed, would require any state agency relocation proposal through a transparent legislative process,” Gloor stated. “At least then the Legislature would be able to provide the public with opportunities for input and cities would be assured that the decision is made with the interest of both cities, and the state as a whole, taken into consideration.”

Senator Annette Dubas, District 34, and Senator Kate Sullivan, District 41, are co-signers of the bill.

 

 

 

Capitol Comments, Biggest Story of the Year – Grand Island Veterans Home, January 13, 2014

January 17th, 2014

 Readers of the Grand Island Independent were recently asked to vote on the biggest local story of the year. The announcement of the relocation of the Grand Island Veteran’s Home (GIVH) garnered 50 percent of the votes. That overwhelming response mirrors my personal experience in my interactions with constituents. For that reason, my introductory column as we begin this legislative session will deal solely with the GIVH issue.

Let me start with my assessment of the situation in frank and straightforward terms:

  • The decision itself is wrong on many fronts: It disrespects the veteran residents; it locates the new home at an inferior site; it will cost more to operate in the long run; and Central Nebraska communities were pitted against each other.
  • Although there remain many valid concerns about the community scoring process, it was inconsequential as it relates to the final decision. The selection process was used to distance the Governor from the final decision but I believe, as do many District 35 constituents, that the move was already a done deal. Because a legislative process for reviewing such a decision is not spelled out in statute, the Office of the Governor has the ability to locate the replacement Veteran’s Home wherever it decides. However, never before had a Veteran’s Home in Nebraska been relocated without a legislative process and public input. Therefore the legislative process I began in 2009 to begin looking at replacement of the Home at its current location, was delayed due to the economic down turn and then supplanted by the selection process chosen by the Department.
  • I do not see the City of Kearney as overly complicit in this move. We don’t blame the student who is a teacher’s “favorite” for getting the highest score on every test. Was Kearney given advantages? Yes! Did they work hard to get the move? Absolutely, but so did every other community.
  • Grand Island’s proposal was an excellent effort in stating the obvious: the GIVH flourished in this community and would have continued to flourish well into the future. I’ve reviewed all four proposals from Kearney, Hastings, Grand Island and North Platte, listed here in the order they finished in the ranking. In my analysis of the scores, were I to change anything, I would assign a current market value to the 64 acres of land donated by the community 126 years ago. It would have added millions to our proposal. As I stated earlier, however, I don’t think it would have made a difference.
  • Grand Island’s long history of caring for our state’s veterans included periods when the quality of care or administration was questioned. Frequently, these questions and concerns found their way to media. In my experience, these criticisms had the residents’ best interests in mind. However, they seem to have been viewed as a show of disrespect to the Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs and, by association, the Governor’s Office. Speaking bluntly, “tugging on Superman’s cape” has consequences no matter how unfair the result.

I have shared these assessments, and many more, with anyone who has engaged me on the topic over that past several months. In response, I will introduce legislation that I hope will correct, as one constituent put it, this “head-scratching decision.” Be forewarned, it will be an uphill battle.

A final thought: Although I am a Vietnam-era veteran, my commitment to this issue is largely due to the fact that I was reared around veterans, most of whom, including my father, uncles and closest family friends, were World War II/Korean War veterans. I respected them not only for their military service but for the excellent citizens they became after they served. The GIVH is filled with these “citizen soldiers” who earned our respect because they served their families, churches, employers and communities in the ensuing years as honorably as they fulfilled their military service.

These men and women were NEVER given the opportunity to express their preference at any time during this lengthy and painful process. THAT’S disrespectful. THAT merits engaging in an uphill fight.

 

Capitol Comments, State Services Relocation bill, January 16, 2014

January 17th, 2014

Capitol Comments, The State Services Relocation bill

My previous column attempted to set the stage for my legislative bill on the GIVH replacement and relocation and shared my personal beliefs and the motivations behind this bill.

The bidding process for the Grand Island Veteran’s Home pitted Nebraska communities against each other in a win-lose scenario. When communities compete for out of state businesses considering a move to Nebraska the net result is economic gain for both the community selected and the State. Conversely, moving state agencies and services from one community to another is a win-lose scenario for communities involved with no net economic gain for the State and with potential long term relocation expense and on-going increased operating expense. There is also the potential for political game playing and favoritism. Both Kansas and Missouri recognized these possible scenarios and long ago demanded the transparency that comes from requiring their legislatures be involved in these decisions.

To that end I have introduced the State Services Relocation bill. If this bill becomes law, any proposed relocation of a state service or agency from one community to another within Nebraska that is estimated to cost $15 Million or more would become subject to the public hearing process of the Legislature. Any proposed relocation meeting this financial threshold would need approval of the Legislature prior to implementation.

The bill would require that a description, justification, goals and costs of the proposed relocation, along with any alternative plan, be reported to the Legislature by the appropriate state agency. Additionally, the report would need to include any economic development activity undertaken or planned to fill the economic hole left in the impacted community. The Legislative committee of jurisdiction would investigate the proposal and hold at least one hearing on the proposal. The Committee would then introduce a resolution to either support the proposal, disapprove of the proposal or take no position. That resolution would then go to the full Legislature for one round of debate, possible amendment, and a vote. A majority of 25 votes could approve the resolution and the position of the Committee. Less than 25 votes would be taking no position, thereby allowing the proposed move.

The University of Nebraska, Nebraska State Colleges, courts, Legislature, or any officer or state agency established by the Constitution of Nebraska (Department of Education and the Public Service Commission along with the constitutional officers) would not be subject to this process.

As introduced, this bill would apply to any move of a state service proposed on or after January 1, 2013 unless the move was proposed prior to the effective date of the bill and all sources of funding have been secured or conditionally approved. This component is the one that provides the opportunity to reverse the decision to move the GIVH. We would finally get the opportunity to present our case to the Legislature, the true representative branch of government. The Legislature has the right and indeed, the duty, to oversee large expenditures of this nature and to provide an opportunity for Nebraskans to voice their opinion. This is a measured and reasonable response to a very emotional and politically charged issue.

I hope the majority of my colleagues in the Legislature see this bill as appropriate policy but because of the way this proposed move has been handled, I’m sure it will be an uphill battle. George Ayoub, in his usual insightful way, pointed out in his weekend column that he doubts Senators outside the area would have much enthusiasm for the bill, seeing it as a dispute between the Governor and Grand Island. My conversations with fellow Senators confirm that and, I would add, they also are not enthusiastic about having to choose between Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings and North Platte. However, the lack of enthusiasm doesn’t mean they aren’t empathetic. The challenge will be to turn that empathy into votes.

Gloor introduces State Services Relocation bill

January 17th, 2014

Senator Mike Gloor introduced LB 935 that would bring proposals to relocate state services through a legislative process. This bill is in response to the proposal to move the Grand Island Veteran’s Home. See the link below for more information.

 

 

News Release 2014 St Services Relocation bill

PCMH press information

December 18th, 2013

pcmh BASIC explanation

PCMH press packet 12 18 2013

PCMH press conference agenda

PCMH Final agreement on ltrhd 12 18 2013 corrected

PCMH News Release 12 2013 ltrhd

Final Pediatric Quality MeasuresFinal

Adult Quality Measures for PCMH

NHA Letter2 Senator Gloor & Wightman

PCMH new conference and press release

December 17th, 2013

PCMH News Release 12 2013 ltrhd

 

Join us for the document signing and press conference announcing the agreement between physicians and insurance companies in Nebraska to build a statewide network for patient centered medical home.

Final PCMH Participation Agreement and Quality Measure Menus

November 13th, 2013

Final PCMH Participation Agreement 11 7 13

Final Pediatric Quality Measures

Final Adult Quality Measures for PCMH

 

These documents were approved at the Nov. 7, 2013 stakeholder group meeting.