NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

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Sen. Dan Quick

Sen. Dan Quick

District 35

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 dquick@leg.ne.gov

Welcome
January 8th, 2020

Thank you for visiting my website. It is an honor to represent the people of the 35th legislative district in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature.

You’ll find my contact information on the right side of this page, as well as a list of the bills I’ve introduced this session and the committees on which I serve. Please feel free to contact me and my staff about proposed legislation or any other issues you would like to address.

Sincerely,
Sen. Dan Quick

Due to rising concerns surrounding the prevalence of COVID-19, the Nebraska legislature is suspending the 2020 session until further notice. This decision was made based on advice given to Speaker Scheer by members of the executive committee, Governor Ricketts, and public health authorities. I believe this to be a wise and appropriate measure taken to protect the health and safety of our fellow Nebraskans. The legislature may be called back to session as early as March 23rd to pass emergency appropriation.

Now that the legislative session has been postponed, I feel it is best to let my staff work remotely. I want to continue to ensure our constituents are heard so please do not hesitate to reach out – you can reach me at dquick@leg.ne.gov. Email is the best way to get in touch.

We are halfway through the second session of the 106th Legislature. So far this year we have held floor debate in the mornings and had hearings for bills in their respective committees in the afternoon. I sit on the Banking, Insurance and Commerce Committee on Monday and Tuesday, and the Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. It has been very rewarding to hear from testifiers and learn about bills in depth while in committee. I have also introduced my own bills during these public hearings.

In January, two of my bills had public hearings (LB846 and LB911) and the Legislature engaged in debate on one of my carryover bills from the previous legislative session (LB287). In February, committees held hearings on additional legislation I introduced that will specifically address the health and safety of Nebraskans.

On February 12th the Health and Human Services Committee held a hearing on LB840, a bill which would include electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) in the Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act and ensure that ENDS devices cannot be used in public spaces or inside places of employment. I made LB840 my priority bill this year because I recognize the detrimental impact vaping will continue to have on our youth if it is not curtailed. There are adverse health effects associated with secondhand exposure to aerosol vapors, and this legislation is one important step in reducing the amount of nicotine and other dangerous chemicals emitted by ENDS devices in public spaces. The bill had its first round of debate on February 26th and was advanced to the second round. I look forward to working with my colleagues to strengthen and advance this bill in the coming weeks.

On February 20th the Judiciary Committee held a hearing on LB1048, a bill which creates the offense of sexual assault by a school employee and requires the Department of Health and Human Services to notify the Commissioner of Education if they are investigating a teacher for assault of a student. This legislation is important because it criminalizes school employees who groom and otherwise manipulate students in order to sexually assault them, and it also allows the Commissioner of Education to coordinate resources and investigate alleged instances of abuse. I appreciate the testifiers who came to share their stories with the Judiciary committee, and I will work with members of the committee to advocate for this change in policy to protect children in our schools.

On February 24th, LB424 was heard on the floor of the Legislature. LB424 is my carryover bill from last session, and it broadens the Nebraska Municipal Land Bank Act to allow cities throughout the state to create or join a landbank. Cities in Douglas and Sarpy County are currently the only areas that have access to this tool. This bill would also help cities address abandoned properties through the use of land banks, allowing them to simultaneously address workforce housing issues.

Legislation like LB424 will make neighborhoods safer by fixing dilapidated, unused buildings by expanding the opportunity to form land banks across the state of Nebraska. There will be further debate on LB424 this session, and I will continue to collaborate with stakeholders to advance this important tool for our municipalities.

As we head towards the second half of the legislative session and engage in all-day debate, I want to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have at dquick@leg.ne.gov or at (402)-471-2617.

With the legislative session underway, I’d like to share information on some of the bills I have introduced on behalf of District 35.

On January 24th, LB287, a carryover bill from last session, was heard on the floor of the Legislature. LB287 is a bill which changes and provides duties for the Game and Parks Commission and changes provisions relating to stamps, permits, fees, and hunter orange display requirements. The changes in this bill, which were requested by the commission, will help them maximize their funds while meeting current customer’s needs and recruiting new customers and outdoor recreation activities. I look forward to advancing this bill during this session to ensure that the commission is functioning successfully.

On January 27th the Business and Labor Committee held a hearing on LB846, a bill which changes provisions relating to compensation under the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Act. Under this bill, the waiting period an injured employee must undergo to receive compensation is shortened from seven to three days, and the time period for compensation to be paid to injured workers for the initial time out of work is decreased from six to two weeks. This change will make sure that employees are not returning to work earlier than they should because of the fear that they will lose more money. I appreciate the testifiers who came out to share their stories with the Business and Labor Committee.

Finally, on January 30th the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee held a hearing on LB911, a bill I introduced to start the process of turning the Grand Island Veterans Home Cemetery into a state veterans’ cemetery. I worked with advocates for veterans in Hall County to bring this bill forward, and I have received countless emails and letters of support from constituents. I look forward to working with my colleagues to turn this dream of honoring our veterans into a reality.

I’d like to thank every constituent that has called, emailed, and sent letters to me during this session. Hearing your thoughts and concerns makes it possible for me to stay informed and advocate for you to the best of my ability. Please don’t hesitate to reach out — you can contact me at 402-471-2617 or at dquick@leg.ne.gov.


January 9th, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 9th, 2020

Senator Quick introduces bill to include electronic delivery systems in the Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act

Statement from Senator Quick

LINCOLN, NE – This week, State Senator Dan Quick introduced LB 840, a bill which would add electronic nicotine delivery systems in the Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act. This addition would prohibit the use of these devices, such as e-cigarettes and vapor products, in public places and workplaces. During the 2019 legislative session, Senator Quick introduced and passed the bill which regulated electronic nicotine delivery systems in Nebraska and raised the age to purchase vaping and tobacco products to 19. Quick also introduced an interim study to examine health concerns and secondhand exposure related to the public use of electronic nicotine delivery systems, where public health experts testified that the aerosol vapor these products produce can be harmful.

Last summer, the CDC reported that over 2,500 individuals were hospitalized, and fifty five people have died from injuries related to the use of vapor products. This outbreak of severe lung illnesses confirmed concerns Senator Quick raised on the floor of the legislature about health hazards related to vaping.

“Last year, we were able to raise the age to purchase these products and regulate them in a way we hadn’t before. After we adjourned, we started hearing reports of the vaping epidemic across the country. These products are hazardous to your health, and I’m proud to have led Nebraska’s fight against underage use of these devices. Including these products in our Clean Indoor Air Act is the right thing to do to keep our citizens safe and healthy,” Senator Quick said.

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2019 Wrap-Up
December 31st, 2019

In January, the Nebraska legislature will reconvene to begin the 2020 Legislative Session. In the first few weeks of session, bills will be introduced and debated in different committees and on the floor of the legislature; before that happens, however, I want to share some of the studies I have conducted and work my staff and I have done in preparation for the next legislative session.

During the legislative interim my staff researched several different topics, including health concerns and current state laws related to vaping, Nebraska’s involvement in the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Compact (MIPRC), and the level of funding and programming utilized at the Youth Rehabilitation Treatment Centers (YRTCs) in Geneva and Kearney, NE. I introduced these interim studies several different hearings throughout the state. We will be moving forward on these topics in hopes that we can create and pass legislation that addresses some of the most important issues in District 35 and in Nebraska overall.

I also spent time at meetings, hearings, and conferences to better understand how I can serve my district and ensure that it continues to thrive. For example, I was able to attend the CSG National Conference this year During the conference I met with legislators around the country and learned more about disability employment policy, tools and resources for states to grow their economy through trade and investment, and how to use data to improve policies on children’s well-being. As a legislator, it’s important that I continue to expand my knowledge about a variety of topics that affect Nebraskans; in this way the conference was beneficial because it gave me new information about existing issues in our state. I hope to take all that I’ve learned during the interim and let it inform my decision making process during the upcoming session.

Senators will be debating many important issues next year, including property tax relief, state school aid and university funding, prison reform, and Medicaid expansion. There will be plenty of difficult and contentious discussions to be had over these topics, but I am looking forward to the 2020 Legislative Session and collaborating with my colleagues to create positive, long-lasting change for all Nebraskans. Until then, I want to hear from you. If you have questions or concerns you’d like to share with me, feel free to contact me at (402) 471-2617 or dquick@leg.ne.gov.

(Pictured: Republic of Kenya Cabinet Secretary for Trade, Industries and Cooperatives Peter Munya and me)

CELEBRATING ENTREPRENEURSHIP AT THE ZABUNI COFFEE AUCTION

On November 19th I had the privilege of attending the Zabuni Specialty Coffee Auction in Grand Island. Created by Laban and Cora Njuguna, the auction changes the way specialty coffee is supplied and traded by allowing coffee makers to create direct trade connections with buyers. Premium coffee beans are sourced from small family farmers in Kenya and are then sold to coffee roasters, who roast the beans and sell them to customers in Grand Island.

This event, which spanned over two days, provided a wonderful opportunity for local businesses and customers to buy premium coffee beans while supporting and creating connections with small Kenyan farmers. I highly enjoyed meeting with the Njugunas and members of the Kenyan Parliament, and I look forward to seeing the Zabuni Specialty Coffee Auction grow and become a long-term, established business in our town.

(Pictured: Co-chairs Sen. Tony Vargas and State Court Administrator Corey Steel, me, and other members of Nebraska JDAI)

A PLAN IN THE WORKS: REDUCING JUVENILE DETENTION

Every month I attend a meeting hosted by the Nebraska Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI). The goal of Nebraska JDAI is to find ways to reduce the use of juvenile detention while providing alternative, more effective interventions. Youth who are placed in detention centers (rather than at home or in an alternative supervision program) prior to their court date are more likely to be found delinquent by a judge. Sending a juvenile to a detention center before they go to court can have very serious impacts on their success as engaged, hardworking citizens in their communities; which is why we need a better solution.

At this month’s meeting, the Nebraska JDAI team unveiled and implemented their 2020-2025 Strategic Plan. I am eager to see how the plan will unfold, and I want to thank the co-chairs and Nebraska JDAI members for their hard work. Their plan will go a long way in improving the juvenile justice system in Nebraska overall.

HONORING OUR VETERANS

On November 11th, we took time to honor the individuals who sacrifice everything to keep our country free and safe. While Veteran’s Day has passed, it’s important to remember that we shouldn’t take just one day to honor our servicemen and women. By volunteering, endorsing causes that support veterans and veteran-owned companies, or simply taking a private moment to be proud of our country, we have multiple opportunities everyday to pay tribute to our veterans.

I understand the importance of making sure veterans are supported as they reenter their communities; that is why I have endorsed legislation in the past that provides them with the assistance. Last year I voted ‘yes’ on bills such as LB223, which provided a state-sponsored life insurance program for members of the NE National Guard, and LB6, which changed residency provisions for those on active duty and their dependents for college tuition purposes. I will continue to support our veterans in both a personal and professional capacity, and encourage all of us to find ways to give back to those who fight so that we may live in freedom.

(Pictured: President of the Holland Children’s Institute and Movement, Andy Holland, and me at the Honor Roll Awards)

ATTENDING THE HOLLAND HONOR ROLL AWARDS

The Holland Children’s Movement is an organization that aims to ensure Nebraskan children and families are included in the state’s budget and policy decisions. In October, I attended their Honor Roll Awards ceremony, which pays tribute to state senators. According to the organization’s 2019 Legislative Scorecard, I earned a 100% score in support of children and families. The score is based on votes I took on bills that pertained to early childhood education, quality health care, and economic opportunity.

I am looking forward to crafting and introducing legislation this session that serves Nebraskan families. Until then, I want to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me at (402) 471-2617 or at dquick@leg.ne.gov.

Thanks for reading,

LR200 HEARINGS: MORE PROGRAMMING AND STAFF NEEDED

On October 2nd and 3rd I introduced my interim study, LR200, at hearings with the legislative Health and Human Services committee. The goal of this study is to analyze the current programming at the Youth Rehabilitation Treatment Centers (YRTCs) in Geneva and Kearney. As of right now YRTC juvelines have access to limited programming, and the treatment facilities are experiencing detrimental staff shortages. Something must be done to improve the quality of life in these facilities for both the youth and staff.

Over the past few weeks I have heard from YRTC staff, public officials, and others who have had experience with YRTC youth. The consensus is clear: providing programming will give youth the opportunity to foster the skills and tools they need to successfully reenter their communities. Additional funding will also benefit staff at these treatment facilities, ensuring that YRTC staff remain safe while giving support to those who need it the most. I look forward to moving along with this study and supporting legislation to benefit YRTC youth and staff.

If you have experience with the YRTCs in Geneva and Kearney and would like to share your story, please feel free to contact me at (402) 471-2617 or at dquick@leg.ne.gov.

(Pictured: DHHS CEO Dannette R. Smith, DHHS staff, YRTC administration, members of the HHS committee, and myself after a tour of YRTC facilities)

INTERIM STUDIES

Currently I am working on four interim studies to learn more about issues facing Nebraska:

LR173: Study to examine health concerns related to the public use of/secondhand exposure to electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and other similar products.

LR184: Study to examine how to provide a sustainable and adequate stream of state funds to local public health departments to ensure they meet their core responsibilities.

LR190: Study to examine Nebraska’s involvement in the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Compact.

LR200: Study to examine programming at the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Centers in Geneva and Kearney.

LR173 HEARING: ADDING ENDS DEVICES TO THE CLEAN AIR ACT

Towards the end of September I attended a hearing to discuss LR173, my interim study that looks at the effects of secondhand smoke from electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and other devices. The study also examines the possibility of including these devices in Nebraska’s Clean Air Act.

Currently, the Clean Air Act prohibits smoking in public spaces and places of employment to protect people from secondhand smoke. At least 20 states and 600 cities have already included ENDS devices in their smoke-free laws.

Our research has found that the vapor created by ENDS devices releases nicotine and other harmful chemicals in to the air, which is especially dangerous to children. Several public health officials testified at the hearing and agreed with this assessment. We will continue to move forward with our study in an effort to keep public spaces completely smoke free.

INTRODUCING A NEW TEAM MEMBER

I am pleased to share that we have welcomed a new member to my staff.

Katie Esters started as my Administrative Aide on September 23rd. She is recent graduate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and received a B.A. in Political Science and English. When she’s not in the office you can find her reading at the downtown Lincoln library, grabbing a cup of joe at the Foundry coffee shop, or attending local community events.

Some of Katie’s responsibilities include maintaining my schedule, helping me communicate with constituents, and distributing important information to staffers, the press, and members of District 35. She is happy to speak with anyone who comes in to my office and can answer questions you may have at (402) 471-2617 or at kesters@leg.ne.gov.

Thanks for reading,

LEGISLATURE ADJOURNS SINE DIE
On Friday, May 31, the Legislature adjourned sine die, which means that we have concluded the First Session of the 106th Legislature and will reconvene next January for the Second Session.

This session, your 49 state senators were able to come together and enact important legislation related to regulating the hemp industry, medication abortion notification, and telephone “spoofing” investigations. We also passed a budget which includes more property tax relief funding. Although we were unable to advance substantive property tax relief, I am optimistic that my colleagues on the Revenue Committee will continue to work over the interim to find the best path forward that represents true tax relief and not a tax shift.

I look forward to staying busy over the interim conducting interim studies (listed below) and preparing legislation for the next session, as well as interacting with all of you in Grand Island. If you have any comments, concerns or questions, please call my office at 402-471-2617 or email me at dquick@leg.ne.gov. I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to reach out to me over the past several months, and I look forward to continue working with you and for you.

INTERIM STUDIES
I have introduced and will be working on four interim studies to help inform legislation for the next session. They are:
LR173 – Interim study to examine health concerns related to the public use of and secondhand exposure to electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and other products
LR184 – Interim study to examine how to provide a sustainable and adequate stream of state funds to local public health departments to ensure they are able to meet their core responsibilities
LR190 – Interim study to examine Nebraska’s history of involvement in the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Compact
LR200 – Interim study to examine programming provided at the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center-Geneva and the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center-Kearney and the need for additional programming

JOURNEY OF HOPE

On Tuesday, July 9, I met with Journey of Hope bicyclists and Arc of Central Nebraska members. The Journey of Hope team is a group of cyclists traveling from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., from June 4 to August 10, and each participant raised at least $6,000 for people with disabilities. I appreciated visiting with this team of young people from across the United States who are riding to bring awareness to people with disabilities.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATES
April has been another busy and productive month at the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature. The last afternoon committee hearings were held at the end of March, so we have now started full-day legislative debate on the floor.

My personal priority bill, LB149, was advanced out of the General Affairs Committee. LB149 increases the age of purchase for all tobacco and vapor products to 19 years of age and requires retailers to be licensed in order to sell electronic nicotine delivery systems. Vapor products have become a major issue for schools and are being used by children at surprising rates, and this bill works to proactively address this problem. It passed its first round of debate on April 30.

Another one of my bills, LB424, was prioritized by Sen. Stinner of Gering and started its first round of debate this month. LB424 would allow cities across the state to create and join land banks. A land bank is a useful tool for communities to clean up problem properties and put homes back on our tax roles.

SKILLSUSA CHAMPIONSHIPS

This month I had the honor to tour the SkillsUSA Nebraska Leadership and Skills Conference with other state officials and representatives here in Grand Island. SkillsUSA is a national partnership of students, teachers, and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled work force. Students competed in over 100 areas of career and technical education, including CNC Milling, Turning, Tech and Carpentry.

I’m glad I was able to attend and learn more about SkillsUSA, and I’m proud of Grand Island for hosting the state championships!

A SPECIAL GUEST!

One of my favorite parts of my job is meeting with fourth graders visiting the Capitol and sharing with them what makes the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature so unique. This month I welcomed a very special visitor to the Capitol: my granddaughter Amaya, who was touring with her fourth grade class from St. Pius X/St. Leo Elementary in Omaha.

SAFE DIGGING POSTER CONTEST

This month I enjoyed meeting Leo, winner of the 2019 Safe Digging Poster Contest from Knickrehm Elementary. The contest helped to promote Nebraska 811, a free and easy service that should be called before the public excavates or digs to ensure safety.

Thanks for reading,

Sen. Dan Quick

District 35
Room #1406
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2617
Email: dquick@leg.ne.gov
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