Sen. Mike Gloor
District 35

Welcome

January 7th, 2015

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

Capitol Comments: LB 610, the gasoline tax and Senator Chambers speech

April 13th, 2015

Senator Mike Gloor, Capitol Comments, April 8, 2015
My last column was on the topic of taxes and, at the end, I stated I would do a follow-up on the subject. However, two new issues seem to be constituent ‘favorites’ so this column will address those topics. Besides, there may be more to report on taxes with the next two weeks.
The first topic that has caught people’s attention is the proposed gas tax increase of 6 cents per gallon over four years. This bill advanced out of my Revenue Committee after a hearing inundated by testimony in favor of the increase. The broad base of support included trucking, shipping and agricultural interests. In summary, the support came from the very users of our roads who would be impacted by the increase. There were few opponents testifying against the bill.
The same has been true when it comes to feedback from my district. Why? I believe there is a widespread understanding that we have an infrastructure challenge in this country with deteriorating roads and bridges that need repair and replacing. The Omaha World Herald reported recently on an unfortunate consequence of an unsafe bridge the school bus stops at on one side of the bridge, the parents stop on the other side, and the students walk across. Vehicles are banned due to the bridges’ unsafe condition.
The state of our roads and bridges is disconcerting considering that our state and country, in the aftermath of World War II, prided itself on the economic growth that came from linking communities together with roads, State Highways and Interstates.
Many surrounding States (the Legislature loves comparisons) have increased their fuel taxes. Although no Senator enjoys hiking taxes, this increase is a user fee. The more you drive the more you pay and that includes the tens of thousands of visitors who travel across the state each year. I’ve also found it telling that some of the strongest support for the increase has come from the rural Senators who are usually more conservative than their Omaha and Lincoln peers. They see the need in their smaller communities and especially their counties for roads funding.
At the invitation of engineers with the District office of the State Department of Roads, I pulled on work boots several years ago for a full day tour to see the problems for myself. The tour included viewing highway surfaces on hands and knees and climbing under bridges, large and small. My observations verified that we have a challenge. The challenge comes with a big price tag. It is also increasingly clear that our Federal Government cannot be counted on to help with the level of funding necessary to address the problem.
The second round of debate on LB 610 will likely be within the next week. The bill has a long way to go but, as is often the case with important issues before us, the more significant the issue the more lively the debate. That is a good thing.
The other topic that has garnered local, state and national interest, is the latest rant from Senator Chambers. I doubt I need to repeat the details. Webster’s dictionary defines rant as: to talk loudly and in a way that is unreasonable. You may have noticed, he does that a lot. After all, this is a man who sued God several years ago. Really?!
There is not a Senator in the Legislature who supports his comments but we grow somewhat immune to his outrageousness. To be sure, he is an incredibly intelligent individual and his ability to talk on literally any subject knows no bounds. It’s what makes him so effective in debate. However and inevitably, the sheer volume of his comments occasionally produce controversial sound bites.
What to do? We could continue to call him to task every day during debate. He loves the attention. We could seek legislative action, such as censure. He loves the attention and would use the rules to draw out the required procedural discussion for days, eating up precious time that could be used taking action on other bills that could benefit Nebraska and Nebraskans. We could encourage his constituents to not reelect him next year. However, term limits were passed, in large part, in hopes Senator Chambers would disappear. After a 4 year hiatus his constituents brought him back.
There has been significant public chastisement. That’s appropriate and necessary. Whether Senator Chambers will use caution when he comments on law enforcement in the future remains to be seen. Right now, any added focus on his comments draws attention to him and, as I have emphasized, he thrives on attention.
I’ve begun sharing a quote from George Bernard Shaw, and Irish dramatist and wit, with constituents. It seems to help them cope with their frustration. Shaw’s metaphor, wryly delivered in his lectures as he discussed politics was; “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a hog. You both get dirty, and besides, the hog likes it.”
The time has come to ignore him until, of course, it happens again.

Capitol Comments: Taxes

April 9th, 2015

Senator Mike Gloor, Capitol Comments, March 2, 2015

Some of you will recall that I am now the Chair of the Revenue Committee of the Legislature.  This Committee, charged with evaluating bills that impact the state’s flow of revenue (read taxes) meets three days a week to handle the volume of bills on the subject.  We have had numerous bills referenced our way this year; 92 exactly.  Not surprisingly, very few of these bills are ideas that would raise taxes. The overwhelming majority are requests to exempt individuals or businesses from taxes.  By category we have; 7 bills on income tax, 26 bills(!) dealing with property tax, 18 on sales tax, 15 pertaining to tax credits, 6 with ideas on retirement benefits and 20 that fit into a broad category of ‘miscellaneous.’  Our legislative procedures require the Revenue Committee to ‘advance’ the bill, also termed ‘voting a bill out of Committee,’ for it to have any chance at being debated and signed into law.  Since there are 8 Senators on Revenue Committee, a majority (5) must vote in the affirmative.  On any Committee, but especially in Revenue, advancing a bill is no easy task.

Given the volume of bills and the limits on the States’ ability to give away its income, the question often asked of me is, “How do you decide which bill deserves to go forward?”  The answer is involved and lends itself to a dialogue rather than the limited space of a column.  Certainly, as Chair of the Committee I have control of agendas.  I view that as an opportunity to be selective rather than obstructive.

The larger issue to me is how the Committee sets priorities given the volume and diverse nature of the bills.  We are fortunate in that we have some help in that effort.  In 2013 the Legislature authorized a temporary Committee titled the Tax Modernization Committee that conducted hearings across the state.  The Committee was charged with reviewing and evaluating the State’s tax laws and making recommendations to update or modernize the revenue system.

I will discuss the list of recommendations of the Modernization Committee in more detail in a subsequent column but the one tax issue that rose to the top was – property tax relief.  If you have paid attention to newly elected Governor Ricketts priorities, property tax is also one of his top priorities.

The challenge to the Revenue Committee and the Legislature is the design and impact of property tax relief.  As I mentioned earlier, we have 26 separate bills that propose some change in property taxes.  Since funding for our schools is attached at the hip through formula this is a complicated and often delicate process.

I have little doubt we will include some degree of property tax relief in our budget this year.  Hopefully this column will better allow you to follow our debates on this important issue.

My next column will cover some of the additional recommendations of the Tax Modernization Committee and bills enacted in response.

As always, you can contact me at: Senator Mike Gloor, District 35, P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509-4604. Phone number (402) 471-2617.  E-mail address mgloor@leg.ne.gov.

Timeline of PCMH activity in Nebraska (April 2015)

April 9th, 2015

Senator Mike Gloor

Timeline for Patient-Centered Medical Home Activity in Nebraska

April 9, 2015 revision

 

2008 – Nebraska Academy of Family Physicians holds seminar with national speakers

2009 – LB 396 introduced by Senator Gloor, creates pilot program in Medicaid

Senator Gloor and Medicaid representatives participate in NASHP grant

2010 –Nebraska Medicaid Pilot Program begins

2011- Nebraska Medicaid puts PCMH requirement in managed care contracts

2012 – LB 239, PCMH mandate introduced but held in committee

Insurance and physician stakeholder group forms to discuss PCMH participation

Senator Gloor, physicians, MCOs form lead team for NASHP multi-payer grant

Pilot program ends in December

2013 – Medicaid Pilot Program report recommends PCMH continuation

Participation agreement finalized and signed

2014 – Participation agreement implemented in January

Nebraska invited to participate in national collaborative by Milbank Foundation

Nebraska PCMH agreement subject of article in NASHP publication

Nebraska Medicaid plans to enhances PCMH requirement in new MCO contracts

3rd NASHP grant “Project Community” learning collaborative

December – Stakeholder reports at December meeting for year 1

2015 – LB 333, Senator Gloor to establish the Health Care Services Transformation program within Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Rural Health

2015 – LB 549, Senator Campbell to establish the Health Care Transformation Act

Nebraska PCMH Participation agreement part of Health Affairs article

April 9th, 2015

The full article can be accessed at http://www.nashp.org/making-multipayer-reform-work-what-can-be-learned-from-medical-home-initiatives/ until May 11, 2015.

PCMH stakeholder meeting, Dec. 5, 2014 minutes and handouts

December 23rd, 2014

minutes 12-5-2014

PCMH- Arbor PowerPointLincoln [Repaired]

Nebraska PCMH-Dec5-Final

coOp NE PCMH Contracts Progress Report 2014

Aetna Report 12 2014

2014 Dec 5 SERPA ACO Report

coOportunity PCMH Participation Agreement Progress Report 2014

UHC letter

BCBS PCMH letter plus chart

PCMH Stakeholder mtg, Dec. 5, 2014 hand outs/presentations

December 17th, 2014

 

Nebraska PCMH-Dec5-Final - this link is the HHS presentation on the chronic disease grant program they are working on through the Division of Public Health

 

PCMH- Arbor PowerPointLincoln [Repaired] - this link is the presentation/report from Arbor Health Plan

 

coOp NE PCMH Contracts Progress Report 2014 - this link is coOportunity Health’s presentation

coOportunity PCMH Participation Agreement Progress Report 2014 - this link is coOportunity Health’s accompanying letter

 

 

 

Aetna Report 12 2014 - this link is Aetna (Coventry) presentation

 

UHC letter - this link is the letter/report from United Health Care

 

BCBS PCMH letter plus chart - this link is the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska letter and report

 

2014 Dec 5 SERPA ACO Report - this link is a presentation from SERPA (Southeast Rural Physicians Alliance)

 

 

 

December 5, 2014 PCMH meeting agenda

December 2nd, 2014

Multi-payer patient-centered medical home stakeholder group
Senator John Wightman and Senator Mike Gloor
Meeting date: Friday, December 5, 2014, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Meeting place: Room 1524, State Capitol Building, Lincoln, Nebraska
Conference Access Number: (888) 820-1398; Attendee Code: 1971560#

Technology note: Any Power Point presentations to be used in reports need to be emailed to mkohl@leg.ne.gov by Wednesday, December 3rd in order to be preloaded onto Legislative equipment. If handouts are used, please bring at least 35 copies.

 

Agenda

A. Welcome & introductions
B. Anti-trust statement
C. CDC grant program introduction by NDHHS, Division of Public Health staff
D. Formation of a committee to review and update Nebraska Medicaid PCMH standard
E. Reports from insurers on their participation in PCMH
F. Information exchange
1. CMS Practice Transformation or Support and Alignment network grant
G. Set next meeting date and time

 

Final PCMH Participation Agreement and Quality Measure Menus

November 13th, 2014

Full agreement with outcomes Dec 14

PCMH Stakeholder meeting minutes, September 8, 2014

September 18th, 2014

minutes 9-8-2014