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These past few weeks we’ve covered a wide array of topics at the legislature. One example is that we will start a day with debate about telehealth and then just like that we will talk about ready-to-drink cocktails. Some of the topics you think would create more of a stir don’t and then you spend hours talking about what you thought would pass easily.
There were a lot of fireworks on the floor of the legislature while discussing LB 152, a bill introduced by Julie Slama of Peru. The bill would adopt the federal standard of consumer fireworks. Senator Slama’s district borders Missouri, a state that already uses the federal definition, so she has a number of constituents who cross the border to purchase fireworks there instead of here. If you look at the fireworks stands in Nebraska they are run by non-profits or they are mom and pop stands run by your neighbors, so it would be nice to keep some of the money here in Nebraska and help out our friends. Additionally, this bill authorizes the State Fire Marshal to test commercial fireworks and declare them unsafe if necessary. LB 152 has advanced to Select File.
Broadband came back up last week when LB 338 was discussed on the floor. One of the issues we discussed is that the Governor has put $20 million in his budget for the next two years. It also sounds like there will be significant money coming from the federal government for broadband build out from the federal Rescue Act. The challenge we have today is the standard in Nebraska is 25/3 that means 25 megabits per second (Mgps) download and 3 Mgps upload, that 3 is very slow if you need to upload files or have multiple people trying to zoom at once. In Nebraska we’re changing our standard to 100/100 Mgps. If we’re going to build out in unserved and underserved areas we have to build it out right. We need to do this, it is important we have the capabilities for people to work remotely or kids to do their schoolwork from home if they need to.
Please feel free to contact my office with any questions or concerns that you might have. My email address is email@example.com and my phone number is (402) 471-2805. My office is in room 2108 at the Capitol if you are in the Lincoln area. You can read more about bills and other work of the Legislature at www.nebraskalegislature.gov, and you can click on the Live Video Streaming NET logo to watch the session, hearings, and other Capitol events.