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Disaster Assistance Now Available to Private Nonprofit Organizations in Additional Areas
Low-interest federal disaster loans are now available to certain private nonprofit organizations in Sarpy County. SBA may lend private nonprofits up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets, and can also lend additional funds to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future. In addition, private nonprofits of any size may apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. “Economic Injury Disaster Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The deadline to apply for economic injury is Jan. 6, 2020. Applicants may apply online and receive additional disaster assistance information here.
Cottage Law Update – Implementation
LB304, my cottage foods bill, will go into effect soon. It will take the standard effective date, which is 90 days following the final legislative session day which is August 29 this year. Under the new law, Nebraskans will be allowed to sell the same foods currently allowed for sale at farmers markets directly to consumers from the producer’s home, at certain events, or for pick up or delivery. There are a few requirements for producers including registration with the Department of Agriculture, completion of a food safety and handling education course, testing of well water if used in food production, and proper signage and labeling. My office has produced an informational flyer with more details about these requirements. If you would like a copy, just send me an email at email@example.com. Details of LB 304 implementation are under the purview of the Department of Agriculture, so specific questions about provisions or requirements of the law should be directed to the Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-471-2341.
Economic Development Summit
On July 17th I attended the Governor’s Economic Development Summit. The summit brought together economic development experts, policymakers, business people, and other stakeholders to discuss Nebraska’s economic strengths, as well as areas for improvement. Several of the important topics we discussed were housing and talent recruitment.
Interim Committee Work
The interim is a great time to hold collaborative meetings and focus on in-depth studies to address issues that we do not have time to fully explore during the session. It provides us with time to discuss and adapt bills from the past session for success in the coming session, as well as contemplate new bill ideas. For example, we met with the Governor’s staff to discuss possible changes to LB 323 to make it more likely to get full support and a good fiscal note. LB 323 would make it easier for people with disabilities to work and make more money while still having access to Medicaid benefits. During the interim, committees meet to discuss various topics raised by interim study resolutions. You can find more information about those study resolutions here. This month, the Revenue Committee continued the conversation about property tax reform and reviewed sales tax exemptions. In August and September more of my committees will start meeting to tackle interim study issues. One of the other tasks that our office works on over the interim is going over emails that have come to our office with ideas for new bills. During the session we accumulate these emails and letters and take time to return to them during the interim. If you have a bill idea, now is a good time to send it our way so we have some time to research and consider it.
Bellevue Farmers Market
I had a great time meeting everyone at the Bellevue Farmers Market this year. I am proud to sponsor it each year. It will run until September, so there is still plenty of time to enjoy all of the booths. Specific information about vendors and products is available here.
Endeavors Ribbon Cutting
On July 18th I had the pleasure of attending a ribbon cutting for a new Endeavors facility for ENCOR. ENCOR provides services for individuals with developmental disabilities. The new Endeavor site and programming helps individuals with disabilities work and volunteer in the community. A new Endeavor facility is coming to Bellevue soon. It was good to see state dollars at work empowering individuals with disabilities.
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All the best,