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Thank you for visiting my website. It is an honor to represent the people of the 38th 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.
Sen. Dave Murman
As a member of the Education Committee of the Unicameral, I have been receiving a huge number of concerns and complaints from citizens regarding the proposed health standards concerning sex education from the Nebraska Department of Education. I appreciate the quick response from Governor Ricketts and from the public in commenting on this matter.
Currently there are state statute requirements implemented by the Nebraska accreditation office for math, reading, writing, science, and social studies. If these alleged “health standards“ were to be adopted, they would likely carry the same weight as the requirements for the other five subjects. These draft standards were written by so-called “professionals“ and “experts“ that were given bias training before writing and were advised by OutNebraska and HIV/sexual health education experts and others. In my view they need input from the real experts: the parents and every day common sense Nebraskans.
The most concerning areas are under “human growth and development“ The following is a list of concerns but there are many more:
It is the primary duty of parents to educate their children, not the state. While schools would not currently be required to adopt these standards, it is important that we let the Department of Education know what we think of the standards. The survey can be found at https://www.education.ne.gov/ and click on the health education standards survey box.
The website of Nebraska Family Alliance (nebraskafamilyalliance.org) has more information and a link to connect to the Department of Education to complete the survey of your ideas. Good information can also be found at the Nebraskans for Founders Values website (nffv.org). Click on minuteman alert #28 at the nffv.org site. On both of these sites you will find parts of the health standards that are most concerning and who to contact to make your voice heard! You may subscribe to both of these sites to get up-to-date information on proposals such as this one and bills being presented at the Legislature.
No matter what website you reference, it is imperative that you promptly contact or email your representative on the State Board of Education and Commissioner Blomstedt and, preferably in your own words, respectfully tell them you oppose the proposed health standards and why. Also complete the survey. Most likely, it will be important to be persistent because it is probable we will need to contact them again in the early fall before the standards are finalized.
While these particular health standards will not be required under state law, school districts are required by the state to have written health standards for health education so, it’s important to contact your local school district as well.
I would welcome any comments, questions or ideas you may have. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office at 402-471-2732.
As I stated in my last article, I introduced LB390 at the request of the Governor. LB390 would allow holders of certain health care licenses from other states to more easily receive a license to practice in Nebraska. It is intended to supplement and not replace existing methods of issuing a credential based on reciprocity or an existing compact.
After the start of the pandemic last year, the Governor issued an executive order (Executive Order No. 20-10) to make it easier for certain health care professionals currently licensed in other states to practice in Nebraska. The executive order has worked well and this bill builds upon that order.
The bill as amended will focus on professions who do not already have an expedited reciprocity process in place and excludes certain practices that already have an expedited reciprocity process, which this bill would have made redundant. Physicians, which have an existing compact, are excluded. It also removes the residency requirement for the issuance of a temporary credential to a spouse of an active duty member of the United States Armed Forces assigned to duty in Nebraska.
A person who has a current and valid credential in another state (for at least one year) may apply for an equivalent credential after submitting the required documentation, fees, and passing a criminal background investigation (if required). The relevant board will determine the appropriate credential and the Department of Health and Human Services determines the documentation required. The applicant’s current credential cannot have been subject to revocation, other disciplinary action, or other conduct which would have disqualified them in Nebraska. If they meet all of the requirements, health care professions may obtain a Nebraska license before moving here. However, an applicant who obtains a credential pursuant to the provisions of this bill must establish residency in Nebraska within 180 days after issuance of the credential.
Eight other states (including our neighboring states of Iowa and Missouri) have similar laws now. A number of other states (including our neighbors of South Dakota and Wyoming) are pursuing similar legislation this year.
While Nebraska currently has various compacts with other states that allow certain professions to qualify to practice in each other’s states, a number of large states (e.g. California, Massachusetts, New York) don’t belong to any compacts but produce a large number of health care professionals. This bill will provide a vehicle for individuals from many states (including those mentioned) to come to practice in Nebraska.
Most importantly, I believe that LB 390 will help address the health care shortages we have (especially in rural Nebraska) by having an expanded pool of health care talent to draw from.
I would welcome any comments, questions or ideas you may have. Please feel free to email me at email@example.com or call my office at 402-471-2732.
The Nebraska Legislature has been in session for around a month now, and I thought it would be a good time to let you know of the bills I have introduced this year. These bills are briefly summarized below.
LB 210 – This bill would allow home school students to participate in extracurricular activities offered by public schools in the district in which they live and likely pay property taxes or rent, without requiring class enrollment.
LB 211 – The bill that I introduced is a modified version of a similar bill I introduced last session. It would remove reflexologists from the massage therapy license and create a separate registry for them. Reflexologists should not have to participate in a full massage therapy program just to practice reflexology. Reflexologists would need to complete a certification examination to be on the registry to practice reflexology.
LB 390 – I have introduced this bill at the request of the Governor. It would allow holders of certain health care licenses from other states to more easily receive a license to practice in Nebraska. Nearly a year ago, after the start of the pandemic, the Governor issued an executive order to make it easier for certain health care professionals currently licensed in other states to practice in Nebraska. The executive order has worked well and this bill builds upon that order. It will help address the health care shortages we have (especially in rural Nebraska) by having an expanded pool of health care talent to draw from.
LB 418 – The Solemn Covenant of States to Award Prizes for Curing Diseases compact would, once six states have adopted the compact, award cash prizes for successful cures of various diseases. This is an innovative approach to incentivize the private sector to find cures for many of the diseases that afflict us today.
LB 583 – This bill essentially requires that prescribers utilize electronic prescription technology to prescribe controlled substances beginning January 1, 2022. As many of you are aware, the opioid crisis in Nebraska (as well as all across this country) has been a real problem adversely affecting many individuals and families. As a result, more than half of the states are requiring or will soon require the utilization of electronic prescriptions for controlled substances. This is an essential step in curtailing abuse of overprescribing opioids and keeping individuals from “shopping” for doctors who would readily write a script. Additionally this bill would bring Nebraska in line with federal law which will mandate the use of e-prescribing for Medicare Part D by January of 2022.
LB 670 – The Department of Transportation has a program to allow a sign near the site of a fatal accident memorializing the victim along with a safety message (e.g. “Don’t Text and Drive”). This bill would give the family the option of adding an emblem of belief to the sign such as a cross or Star of David.
LB 671 – The intent of this bill is to authorize funding for the next two years for the AgrAbility program at the University of Nebraska Extension for needs not covered by the USDA. The program would help fund needed supports such as lifts or modified equipment that would enable physically challenged farmers and ranchers to keep working.
LB 672 – This bill would provide better define the sales tax exemption for agricultural machinery and equipment and specifically include head haulers, seed tender trailers, livestock fans, and livestock curtains.
LB 673 – The purpose of this bill is to adopt the Education Behavioral Awareness and Support Act. This Act intends to give each school district the opportunity to provide behavioral awareness and intervention training for teachers and other school employees to safely manage inappropriate behavior without allowing that behavior to escalate and to provide legal protection for teachers who take reasonable and appropriate measures. Every student in Nebraska deserves a safe school to foster a better learning environment. Funding for the training would come from the Nebraska Lottery.
Our session schedule has already been altered this year. Instead of splitting up the day between floor debate in the morning and committee hearings in the afternoon like in years past, we are having committee hearings in the morning and afternoon then will switch to all day debate next month.
I would welcome any comments or ideas you may have. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office at 402-471-2732.
With the election less than two weeks away, I again urge the citizens of District 38 to vote. This is not only a civic duty but also a privilege that we have in this free country.
You may vote at your designated polling place on Tuesday, November 3rd. Polls open at 8 a.m. (7a.m MT) and close at 8 p.m. (7p.m. MT). If you have requested an early voting ballot or live in a county that mails ballots to all registered voters, your ballot needs to be received (by mail or delivered in person) by your county election official’s office by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Early voting ballots must be received by mail or be returned during regular business hours, or deposited in the drop box located outside the office — every county has at least one.
As I previously wrote, you need to take a very close look at all of the candidates, both federal and local. Good websites to find information on the federal elections are: ballotpedia.org and FRCAction.org. Some of the major issues you may wish to consider include:
While there are many other issues for you to also consider, the choices this year are in stark contrast to each other. Upon examining the issues, you need to decide what candidates are best not only for you; but also for your families, your community and the future prosperity, freedom and security of our country.
The second Monday in October has traditionally been recognized as “Columbus Day”. Since the Legislature passed LB 848 this year, it will subsequently be known as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Columbus Day”. While the original bill wanted to completely remove “Columbus Day”, a compromise was reached to include both designations.
In promoting revisionist history, we have recently seen many examples of dismissing or maligning historical figures and founding fathers; and we have seen the toppling or vandalizing statutes such as Christopher Columbus. While he was not a perfect man, I believe that his legacy has been unfairly attacked.
Living during the “Age of Exploration”, Columbus was arguably the greatest sailor of his day and courageously explored lands previously unknown to western civilization. He was a devout Catholic who was reportedly a humble man. He made four voyages to the Americas between 1492 and 1504.
Revisionists are quick to blame Columbus for things he did not do but rather, were done by those who came after him. Upon landing on San Salvador, he had a favorable impression of the indigenous people and instructed his sailors not to take advantage of them. He later hung some of his own men who committed crimes against the native people. He then adopted the son of a Native American leader who had died. While Columbus may accurately be accused of subsequent mismanagement he has inaccurately been maligned, most recently by those citing the writings of a political rival.
Rather than joining the popular culture that wants to subject Columbus to the trash bin of history and erase his memory, a more thorough and balanced examination of his life is warranted. Clearly, his legacy and accomplishments deserve to be recognized because it has shaped the world we live in today
With less than 40 days until the election, campaigns are out in full force trying to earn your vote. Whether it is through phone calls, door-to-door canvassing, or the necessary evil of fundraisers, candidates and their teams are putting in long days with very little sleep. All of this highlights the importance of your power as a citizen to vote.
Most of the focus this election cycle is on the Presidential election. A couple of good websites to find information on the Presidential elections are: FRCAction.org, and ballotpedia.org.
I urge you to take a very close look at your candidates for legislature, school board, county commissioner, city council, etc. The closer the level of government is to you, the more it will have an effect on your day-to-day life. Do you want lower property taxes? A good way to ensure lower property taxes is to elect school board members who would hold your levy the same or decrease the levy if valuations go up. One way to find candidates for the state legislature who are friendly to agriculture and will most likely vote for property tax relief is to “google” NEFB-PAC and find the September 10, 2020 Friends of Agriculture endorsements.
This country was founded on Christian principles, limited government and individual responsibility. We need to continue to seek those principles in choosing our elected officials. Be informed about the candidates as well as the important issues of the day.
Early voting request forms should have been sent out to each one of you. If you have not received one and would like to vote by mail, please contact your local county election office. Early voting ballots started being sent out September 28th.
The election is November 3rd. This is your best chance to influence the direction of your government. Please vote. Thomas Jefferson said, and I quote, “We do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.”
September 4th was the last day to sign onto the petition to call a special session of the Legislature to address racism/police powers/crimes and COVID-19 issues. The petition required 33 signatures to hold a special session, and it fell short of that number. I did not sign on for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the increased cost to the taxpayer.
While these are very important issues, I do not believe a special session gives enough time to adequately address them. A special session would lead to a rushed process which would eliminate the opportunity for many to testify on these complicated issues. I believe that during the next Legislative session starting in January, there will be a number of bills dealing with these issues which will provide a better chance for a variety of individuals to be heard.
We can make other changes to fight racism as well. Lack of school choice is a big issue for minority populations. There needs to be a way for students to be able to leave an underperforming school and receive assistance to attend a better performing school. Also, we need to remove the many abortion clinics that are in and around areas that are populated mostly by minorities. These clinics have a horrible, racist history of attempting to slow the increase in number of certain races by targeting them.
The breakdown of the family has been a problem in our country for decades across all demographics. It has been especially troubling in the black community. As a society we must encourage families to stay together.
As always, we must continue to look for ways to improve law enforcement. The worst thing we could do is defund the police. Everyone, no matter what our race, wants to be protected from criminals, thieves, drug dealers, etc.
We have had an overwhelming response to COVID-19 from the federal, state, and local governments. COVID-19 is a continuing issue, but soon our focus must turn to paying for the dramatic increase in spending that has occurred.
Finally, I want to bring to your attention two events that are happening on September 12th. Both are being put on by Nebraskans for Founders’ Values at the Hastings Evangelical Free Church. The first is a workshop that discusses the legislative process and how a bill becomes a law. It will be from 10-11:45 a.m. and will feature Lieutenant Governor Foley as the featured speaker. The second is a Constitution Day lunch with featured speaker Senator Julie Slama, who in a very short time has become a star in the legislature. Registration begins at noon, and closing ceremonies will take place at 2 p.m. You can RSVP to both by contacting Mark at 402-490-8612 or email@example.com; or Marilyn at 402-660-2323 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact my office at 402-471-2732, by email at email@example.com, or by visiting my Facebook page.
A bill I was privileged to introduce over the past two years was LB 705, which dealt with ABLE accounts. ABLE accounts offer tax free savings options for education, housing, and other needs of a disabled person. These accounts allow those who are disabled to receive donations from family or friends and not have such donations count against their income that would otherwise put them over the income cap for receiving assistance.
Previously, upon death, ABLE accounts were only allowed to be transferred to the ABLE account of a disabled sibling of the original owner. Otherwise the funds would be given back to the state. Very few families have more than one child that is disabled, so most of the funds were being given back to the state to do with what they wanted. Those funds should be able to go to someone else who has an ABLE account. How many of us have disabled family members or even best friends who we would love to be able to help out if we could? LB 705 allows those with ABLE accounts to help those family members and friends by allowing them to transfer their ABLE account to anyone with an ABLE account. This legislation removes a major objection to those who have been reluctant to previously fund ABLE accounts and encourages private donations to continue to help those with ABLE accounts; without the fear that the government would claw back those funds.
ABLE accounts open doors for their owners. They can use this money for education, to attain job training, for work transportation, medical appointments, and any other essential assistance such as help with bathing, dressing, walking, toileting, eating, and needed supervision.
I was glad to have the support of Treasurer Murante’s office, ARC of Nebraska, First National Bank, and ABLE account owners and their families. Thanks to their support, LB 705 passed unanimously at the end of session and was signed into law by Governor Ricketts on August 6th.
This was supposed to be a session of hope for those wanting property tax relief. Instead, we got delays, fighting, and a last minute “grand” compromise that does not do nearly enough for property taxpayers, especially farmers.
I really thought we had a chance at substantial property tax relief. Senator Linehan’s LB 974 and LB 1106 were both bills that would have done at least a serviceable job at providing relief. Both of those bills were held up by the major school districts in Omaha and Lincoln and the senators that represent those districts.
Senator Linehan repeatedly brought stakeholders to the table, trying to determine the best way to achieve property tax relief while addressing some the concerns of the schools. Everyone knew that the other two major issues in the compromise, business incentives and the NExT project, would not be passed without property tax relief.
In the middle of negotiations, COVID-19 hit. This presented a major problem for getting everyone together to negotiate.
Finally, we were brought back for 13 days of session, and we only had around ten of those to get a deal done that would give the Legislature enough time to pass the bill through all three rounds of voting. LB 1107 is what ended up as the result.
I am not happy with the very limited relief our property taxpayers are receiving in LB 1107. The bill will actually only provide a decrease to the increase in property taxes over time. I did vote for the bill because it is at least a step in the right direction to provide some nominal relief.
Property tax relief will be a continuing struggle and ultimately Nebraska needs a complete restructuring of its tax system to achieve equity and fairness. That will most likely never come through the Legislature and may take a vote of the people.
The fight for property tax relief is not over, we will work over the interim and start again next session. It remains to be seen how receptive the rest of the Legislature will be. We will have to wait until after the November elections to see if the makeup of the Legislature will be inclined to spend less. That is the only way to truly cut taxes.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact my office at 402-471-2732, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or my Facebook page.