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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.
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.