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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 email@example.com.
(Pictured: DHHS CEO Dannette R. Smith, DHHS staff, YRTC administration, members of the HHS committee, and myself after a tour of YRTC facilities)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading,