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These past few weeks I have spent some time traveling around the district. I first stopped in Alma and spoke at the open house/dedication of the Alma Municipal Airport Terminal Building. While I was in McCook I spoke with the Chamber for a town talk over breakfast and stopped by the Coffee with a Cop to speak with constituents. I then had the opportunity to meet with the County Commissioners from two different counties in my district; Red Willow and Furnas. If you would like me to speak at a town hall feel free to contact my office to arrange a time.
The interim is a good time for senators to look deeper into issues that need to be addressed. Next week a few of the legislative committees will begin to hold interim briefings. On Tuesday, June 27 the Health and Human Services Committee will hold two briefings, which are open to the public or you can watch them on NET livestream. The briefings held in the Health and Human Services Committee will be on rate methodology for dual-eligible and a quarterly briefing on Heritage Health. The majority of the other interim hearings will begin in late summer. I will try to keep you updated on hearings that may be of interest to the 44th legislative district.
I mentioned in my last article that I am a member of the LR 127 committee (Nebraska Justice System Special Investigative Committee) besides this committee a number of senators will be looking into issues which also affect our correctional system. LR 114 is an interim study to examine Nebraska’s statutes relating to geriatric or compassionate release laws for elderly inmates. LR 191 Interim study to examine possible legislative reforms to Nebraska’s mandatory minimum sentencing laws. LR 221 Interim study to examine possible reforms to Nebraska’s sentencing laws to accommodate an option of deferred judgment probation. Addressing the issues with corrections is not a simple process, there are a lot of different things that affect the system as a whole and we must not only identify the issues within the facilities but we need to find ways to reduce the recidivism rate and keep people from coming back.
In 2016 the legislature created the Transportation Innovation Act. Created through this act is the County Bridge Match Program, this program targets $40 million to replace or repair structurally deficient county bridges. This program provides financial assistance to counties for construction costs. The first year 68 bridges were selected and of those 6 are in the 44th legislative district. Safe and dependable roads are vital to rural communities.