This week marked another week of floor debate and committee briefings. With all day debate in full swing, the Legislature addressed issues as varied as land banks, the learning community and supports for small businesses on the floor.
On Tuesday morning, the Legislature voted to advance LB 205 to Select File. LB 205 is a Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee priority bill. I strongly supported the bill in committee and on the floor because of the tool it provides to entrepreneurs who want to start small businesses. The majority of new jobs are created by small businesses. This bill allows small businesses to access capital to expand their business, upgrade their infrastructure or hire new employees with no cost to Nebraska taxpayers. I am grateful to Senator Schumacher for bringing this legislation to the body this session and look forward to discussing it again on the floor soon.
Photo Credit: Nebraska Unicameral Information Office
On Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, the Legislature discussed the Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties. LB 585, introduced by fellow Sarpy County Senator Jim Smith, addresses concerns raised by several school districts, including Bellevue, regarding transportation costs within the Learning Community. These changes bring savings to member schools. LB 585 also makes additional funds available for early childhood education programming in local schools. I joined my colleagues to advance the bill to Select File on a 42-0 vote.
On Monday morning, the Health and Human Services Committee held a briefing on ACCESS Nebraska and some of the challenges Nebraskans have experienced with the program. Senator Annette Dubas has taken the lead for a study of ACCESS Nebraska over the interim this summer and fall. If you or someone you know has a story to share about your experience with ACCESS Nebraska, please contact me at email@example.com. Stories can also be sent directly to James Goddard at Nebraska Appleseed, who is assisting us in this study. James can be reached at (402) 438-8853, telephone extension 108.
Now that the Legislature has begun full day sessions, the body recesses for an hour and a half over the lunch hour. This allows senators time to visit with constituents and elected officials who are visiting the Capitol, as well as work with staff on bill preparation and so forth. On Tuesday, I attended lunch with mayors from across the state to discuss issues important to their local communities.
On Wednesday, I met with several students from the Lincoln area who participate in Nebraska 4-H’s Robotics program. This year, the students worked with senior citizens to develop robotic solutions to problems facing aging Nebraskans. It was great to see so many young scientists engaged in math and science problems while having fun!
Visiting 4-H students with Senator Rick Kolowski
In the District
On Tuesday evening, I enjoyed meeting with local officials and residents at a Sarpy County Republican Women reception held in Bellevue. On Friday evening, I attended the Sarpy County Democrats Legacy Dinner at Embassy Suites La Vista. It was great to see so many familiar faces at both events.
Social Media Update
Social media platforms continue to make connecting with your representatives easier and easier. This week I became the first state senator to use ‘Vine’ to share short video clips. These clips are very short in length and operate similar to tweets. I look forward to showing you around the building, my office and events in the district. The first video takes you on a quick walk from my office to the Legislature floor for debate on Tuesday afternoon. To watch the video, click here.
Other ways to stay connected include Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/SenatorCrawford), Twitter (@SenCrawford) and Instagram (SenCrawford). I look forward to connecting with you through social media moving forward.
Mail, phone and email still remain ways to contact me. Whatever the method, I encourage you to contact me with any questions or concerns. I am here to serve you in the Nebraska Unicameral.
All my best,