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Bellevue Town Hall
On September 27th Mayor Rita Sanders and I co-hosted a town hall at Richmont Village. Sarpy County Commissioner Brian Zuger and Bellevue City Councilman John Hansen were also in attendance. We had a great turnout, and had good conversations with attendees about what’s going on at the state, county, and city levels of government. Many thanks to all those who attended!
Military Spouse/Transitioning Service Member Meeting
The Offutt Enlisted Spouses Club and Bellevue/Offutt Rising Professionals are two groups that work with military families to help them succeed and make Bellevue more welcoming. The two organizations held a joint meeting on September 26th to discuss professional licensing barriers for military spouses and military members transitioning back to civilian life. This interim my office has been working on LR436, a study I introduced to examine the steps taken by the state to support transitioning military members and military families. The study is also focused on what else can and should be done to make full and gainful employment easier for these populations. Input we received at the OESC/BORP meeting gives us a deeper understanding of both the state’s challenges and opportunities in this area.
Paid Family Leave Research
For the last few months my office has also been conducting research on paid family leave policies in Nebraska. As part of those efforts, I am seeking input from the business community and would love to hear from you! If you own a business that offers Paid Family Leave (PFL) or a business that would like to offer PFL but cannot do so at this time, and you are willing to share your experiences, please contact my office. Your assistance is appreciated!
CBD UNMC Results
The FDA announced its intention to approve Epidiolex, a cannabidiol oil therapy, in late June. The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) was in the process of conducting a study on that same drug, as allowed by my LB390 in 2015. This month UNMC released its annual report on that study, which confirmed that the majority of patients enrolled saw benefits after taking Epidiolex. I am thrilled for the patients and families who have already benefited from this trial, and for all those who may do so in the future as the drug becomes more widely available. I am also proud that our university system has contributed to the scientific record for this product. If you would like to read UNMC’s annual report, it can be found here.
Policy Summit Season
Each fall as the next session approaches, various organizations hold informational gatherings to share information and suggestions for potential legislation – a time my staff have dubbed “Policy Summit Season.” In September my office attended two such summits, hosted by OpenSky (September 5th) and the Platte Institute (September 13th). These summits covered everything from property and business taxes to rural demographics, and from Medicaid expansion to professional licensing. These summits are a good opportunity to hear new ideas and mull over existing priorities.
Twin Ridge Elementary Visit
LD 45 had its first capitol visitors of the 2018-19 school year on September 12th, when 4th graders from Twin Ridge Elementary came to Lincoln to learn about their state government. My staff met them up in the main rotunda and talked about what they can do to be good leaders now and in the future.
I hope these bright young people had a wonderful time in their state capitol!
Radio Talking Book Service Interview
I had the opportunity to tour the Radio Talking Book Service (RTBS) broadcasting office and do a short interview on-air about the upcoming session on September 27th. RTBS provides a unique service to blind, elderly, and learning disabled students throughout Nebraska who have trouble reading printed text. A dedicated team of staff and volunteers read daily newspapers, magazines, and other publications live on air, and host other live programs to share news on sports, health, and the community. RTBS offers a way to access local, current information, and it was a pleasure to join them.
Bellevue Mobile Food Pantry
Bellevue Public Schools and the Food Bank for the Heartland (FBH) are partnering again this year to bring FBH’s mobile food pantry to Bellevue. The mobile pantry will be at Mission Middle School on the third Wednesday of each month from 5:00-6:30 pm. A clothing closet for 12-18-year-olds will also be open during those times. Please spread the word about this important service to anyone you know who may be in need of a little extra help. You can check on other mobile pantry locations in the Omaha metro area and beyond here.
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All the best,