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On Thursday, November 21st, I held a town hall meeting on Bellevue University’s campus. I appreciate the twenty-five people who braved the cold and snow that night to join us. During the town hall meeting, we discussed a variety of issues including taxes, health care and education. I also shared several of my priorities for the upcoming session. One of the conclusions from the town hall meeting was that I always seem to pick bad weather days for my town hall meetings. So, we thought we’d try something different in January. Stay tuned for details about a virtual town hall/Google hang out after the new year.
Photo from the town hall meeting
Last update I discussed several interim study hearings held in front of the Health and Human Services Committee. While some committees, like the Tax Modernization Committee, have completed their hearings and are working on their final reports, others, like the Health and Human Services Committee, continue to hold hearings.
For example, the Health and Human Services Committee will hold an interim study hearing on Wednesday, December 18th, to discuss a “Nebraska Plan” to provide health insurance to as many as 50,000 uninsured, working Nebraskans. The hearing will begin at 1:30 PM in room 1510 in the State Capitol. These hearings are open to the public. All are encouraged to attended.
While the upcoming session may be short on the number of days the Legislature will meet, there will be a number of big issues debated next year. These include tax reform, prison reform, health insurance, education funding and water sustainability following the recent special master’s decision regarding the Republican River and Nebraska’s water compact with Kansas.
I ran on the promise to ensure we as a Legislature do what we can to make sure we have Good Jobs, Good Government and Good Education in Nebraska. Next session, I intend to introduce several bills that have the potential to bring more jobs and greater transparency to state government. I will be working along with other senators to continue to push for appropriate funding and innovation in P-16 education for our state.
As the Senator from LD45, I also take my responsibility to military families and our veterans very seriously. We have two bills related to military and veterans issues: one allowing for delegation of custody when a member is deployed and one that allows veterans to qualify for in-state tuition when they separate.
Because it is a short session and there are many big issues on the table, we will only introduce a small number of bills this year. We continue to collect and compile the best ideas we receive from constituents regarding potential legislation for future years. One of the bills we will be introducing this year comes directly from discussions with a constituent after the tragic loss of her father. If you have an idea for a bill that you would like to share, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our office seeks two interns for next session. The positions have a time commitment of approximately 10 hours/week. The internships run from January 6th through April 30th. Interns are expected to work in Lincoln at least one day a week and complete other tasks remotely. One intern will help with office communications and outreach while the other will help track bill implementation and rules and regulations oversight. The internship is open to all interested individuals.
If you or someone you know is interested in this opportunity, please send a cover letter, resume and a list of two references to my administrative aide, Courtney Breitkreutz, at email@example.com.
There are many events happening in Bellevue this December that promise to get you in the holiday spirit.
Sarpy ornament on Capitol tree
On Friday, December 13th bring your family to Bellevue Public Library for a chance for children to make holiday gifts for their families at Crafts and Cocoa. The event begins at 4:30 PM.
Gifts are needed for veterans living in Victory Apartments. These veterans were formerly homeless who now have a safe and warm place to live while they get back on their feet. This event is organized by DJ’s Dugout and the Bellevue American Legion Post 339. To participate, individuals should pick up an ornament card at any DJ’s Dugout location, including their Bellevue location.
Gifts mentioned on the cards can also be returned to any DJ’s Dugout. All gifts must be received by December 22nd.
Besides reading my legislative updates, to keep updated on my work for LD45 you can follow me on social media. You can “like” my facebook page or follow me on Twitter at @SenatorCrawford and use the hashtags #neleg #unicam #dis45.
My family and I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas!