NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

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Sen. Sue Crawford

Sen. Sue Crawford

District 45

The content of these pages is developed and maintained by, and is the sole responsibility of, the individual senator's office and may not reflect the views of the Nebraska Legislature. Questions and comments about the content should be directed to the senator's office at scrawford@leg.ne.gov

OutNebraska Breakfast

On Monday I attended a breakfast hosted by OutNebraska and heard a presentation about the organization’s priorities this session. OutNebraska is a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring equal rights for LGBTQ Nebraskans. It has grown exponentially since last year when they obtained their official status as a statewide organization and I’m grateful for their efforts to promote equality and fairness in Nebraska workplaces.

FFA Agriscience Students Visit

This week I had the opportunity to speak with Kullen Cartella and Karter Otte from the O’Neill FFA Chapter. They will be participating in the Agriscience Fair this year which requires them to brainstorm about how to solve issues in the agriculture industry. I was happy to answer their questions about how agricultural education has influenced state leaders and wish them the best of luck on the rest of their project.

Governor’s Youth Advisory Council Lunch

On Tuesday I joined many of my colleagues at the Governor’s Youth Advisory Council Lunch, part of the Legislative Days program. The program gives young leaders the opportunity to learn about the legislative process, observe floor debate and connect with their Senators when they visit the Capitol. One of the highlights of the event was hearing each group of students present their stance on bills for us during the luncheon. Nebraska’s future is in good hands with these bright young people.

Final Reading Bills Passed

On Thursday morning we worked through a number of bills on Final Reading and sent them to the Governor’s desk.

One of the bills that we voted to send to the Governor’s desk was my LB 236, a carryover bill from last session. LB 236 allows the Department of Revenue to provide sales tax reports on the Nebraska Advantage Transformational Tourism and Redevelopment Act (NATTRA) to cities who participate in one of their economic development incentive programs in a secure electronic manner. The current law requires that the information can only be accessed if someone from the participating municipality drives to Lincoln and views the information in the Department office. The goal is to make the NATTRA process work more efficiently for both sides. If signed by the Governor, LB 236 will take the standard effective date which is 90 days following the final legislative session day.

Public Hearings

Though there were not any public hearings on my bills this week, another one of my bills was assigned a public hearing date. LB 948 will be heard in the Banking, Commerce and Insurance committee on February 18th. It requires that insurance companies offer coverage at no cost for more intensive breast cancer screening services for women with dense breasts or at higher risk of cancer. The bill also requires that insurance covers their MRIs. I am looking forward to presenting this bill so that women at higher risk of cancer get the coverage they need.

CAFCON Legislative Lunch

The Children and Families Coalition of Nebraska (CAFCON) invited Senators to visit with their member organizations this week on Thursday. The lunch provided an opportunity for us to hear about specific priority bills that would impact them. These bills address issues like the Youth Rehabilitation Treatment Centers needing better regulation and juvenile justice reform. My office has had many conversations regarding child welfare in the past several months so it was helpful to hear from CAFCON about their strategies and intentions for the session.

Stay Up to Date with What’s Happening in the Legislature

  • You are welcome to come visit my Capitol office in Lincoln. My office is room 1012, and can be found on the first floor in the northwest corner of the building.
  • If you would like to receive my e-newsletter, you can sign up here. These go out weekly on Saturday mornings during session, and monthly during the interim.
  • You can also follow me on Facebook (here) or Twitter (@SenCrawford).
  • You can watch legislative debate and committee hearings live on NET Television or find NET’s live stream here.
  • You can always contact my office directly with questions or concerns at scrawford@leg.ne.gov or (402) 471-2615.

All the best,

Nebraska Thriving Index Briefing

On Monday I joined the Rural Futures Institute for their briefing on their recently published Nebraska Thriving Index. The report offers insights and context about economies and quality of life benchmarking in rural parts of the state. They also introduced a comparison tool for tracking regional trends. That tool is up and running for public use and is available here.

Nebraska LEAD Program Breakfast

On Tuesday morning I attended the Nebraska LEAD Program Breakfast honoring my constituent and LEAD Fellow John Bronner. The Nebraska LEAD Program is a nationally recognized organization that discusses agricultural policy, marketing, economics and technology. Congratulations to John for all his hard work and to the rest of LEAD #39 as well.

Public hearings this week

This week we continued the presentation of legislation at public hearings. Four of my bills were heard: LB 983, 842, 870 and 1061.

LB 983 and LB 842 were both heard on Monday in the Transportation and Telecommunications committee. LB 983 eliminates the current provision that one point be issued against a driver’s license for any speeding violation of five miles an hour or under . LB 842 relates to motor vehicle taxes imposed on military service members. This bill creates a vehicle tax exemption for active duty members of the armed forces who are Nebraska residents as well as their spouses.
LB 870 was heard on Tuesday in Urban Affairs. This is a bill that allows cities to directly borrow funds from a bank to supply infrastructure and services following a natural disaster.
I presented LB 1061 in the Health and Human Services committee on Friday. The bill makes a number of changes to Nebraska’s Child Protection and Family Safety Act. Thank you to the child welfare advocates that testified in support of this bill that will protect parents, children and caregivers.

Public hearings coming up
The next bill hearing I have scheduled is for LB 933. LB 933 changes provisions relating to the discontinuation of utility services. This bill would prevent tragedies resulting from customers with medical needs being disconnected from their utilities. The hearing will take place on February 13th in the Natural Resources committee.

Hall of Fame Banquet

On Thursday night I joined many of my colleagues at the Nebraska Chamber’s Hall of Fame Banquet. Each year the Chamber holds this event to celebrate business leaders in Nebraska. This year’s inductees were Richard Bell (former chairman and CEO of HDR in Omaha), Bill Marshall (former president of Five Points Bank in Grand Island) and Roland Temme (founder and owner of TMCO, Inc. in Lincoln). Congratulations to all of the inductees and thank you to the Chamber for putting on this event to honor our state’s leaders in business.

Nebraska Veterans Council Day

The Nebraska Veterans Council annual Legislative Day was held at the Capitol yesterday. They spoke with legislators about their priorities and interests for this session. I was glad to welcome them to the Unicameral this year and update the group on LB 841, LB 842 and LB 153, three bills that would greatly benefit Nebraska veterans and active duty members.

Elevating Nebraska’s Early Childhood Workforce Program

The Nebraska Early Childhood Workforce Commission and Buffett Early Childhood Institute shared their new report and recommendations in a program on Thursday morning. Public and private sector leaders came together to discuss the need to prioritize the early childhood workforce in Nebraska for children and families. The report is available here and explains their comprehensive plan to ensure the workforce is highly qualified, diverse and engages stakeholders in the process.

Stay Up to Date with What’s Happening in the Legislature

  • You are welcome to come visit my Capitol office in Lincoln. My office is room 1012, and can be found on the first floor in the northwest corner of the building.
  • If you would like to receive my e-newsletter, you can sign up here. These go out weekly on Saturday mornings during session, and monthly during the interim.
  • You can also follow me on Facebook (here) or Twitter (@SenCrawford).
  • You can watch legislative debate and committee hearings live on NET Television or find NET’s live stream here.
  • You can always contact my office directly with questions or concerns at scrawford@leg.ne.gov or (402) 471-2615.

All the best,

Supporting Survivors Luncheon

I was happy to attend the Supporting Survivors Luncheon this week, hosted by Senator Robert Hilkemann, Survivors Rising, the Women’s Fund of Omaha, and the Coalition for a Strong Nebraska. This was a great opportunity to show our support of survivors of trafficking, sexual assault and domestic violence and encourge their continued advocacy in the Legislature.

Week 3 Bill Introduction

This week I introduced one more bill for a total of 10, not including carryover bills. LB 1061, introduced Tuesday, is about the alternative response program and non-court cases within the child welfare system. Over half of our child welfare cases in Nebraska are now non-court involved cases. LB 1061 would set statutory parameters for those cases to ensure that children are safe. You can see the full list of my bills for this biennium here. If you would like more information on any of these proposals please contact my office.

Public Hearings This Week

This week marked the end of bill introduction and the start of public hearings on legislation. Two of my bills, LB 871 and LB 841, were presented this week in the Judiciary and Revenue committees respectively. LB 871 creates a mechanism for the Attorney General to take action against companies suspected of engaging in unfair pricing. LB 841 would allow permanently disabled veterans to verify their disability status just once, instead of having to verify their disability status on an ongoing basis.

I am grateful to Barbara Bolter for bringing this issue to my attention and testifying at the hearing for LB 841.

Public Hearings Next Week

Next week four more of my bills will have hearings: LB 983, 842, 870 and 1061.

LB 983 eliminates the current provision that one point be issued against a driver’s license for any speeding violation up to five miles per hour. The hearing on LB 983 is on Monday before the Revenue committee.

LB 842 relates to motor vehicle taxes imposed on military service members. This bill provides that active duty members of the armed forces who are Nebraska residents, as well as their spouses, can qualify for a motor vehicle tax exemption.

LB 870 is a bill that allows cities to directly borrow funds from a bank to supply infrastructure and services following a natural disaster such as a flood. With this in place, communities impacted by natural disasters can quickly obtain the funding they need to provide essential resources like water to their residents. This bill will be heard by the Urban Affairs committee next Tuesday.

LB 1061 makes a number of changes to Nebraska’s Child Protection and Family Safety Act which will protect and provide greater clarity for parents, children and caregivers involved in Nebraska’s child welfare system. Several of these changes to alternative response include clearer definitions of response pathways for reports of child abuse and neglect and the establishment of an advisory group under the Nebraska Children’s Commission. Changes to non-court involved cases include the requirement for a temporary delegation of parental authority when a child is placed out of the home and notification of rights for the parent and/or caregiver. LB 1061 will be heard by the Health and Human Services committee next Friday.

The schedule for bill hearings can be found here. If you have any interest in testifying at a public hearing, please contact me or my staff at 402-471-2615.

State of the Judiciary Address

On Wednesday, Chief Justice Mike Heavican delivered the annual State of the Judiciary Address to the body. He discussed the Supreme Court’s Language Access Program, child welfare in the courts and the expansion of services and programing within the Judicial Branch despite challenges like the flooding last spring. I was especially glad to hear about the outreach programs across our state that work to improve the juvenile court system and hope to see those programs expand and improve once again this year.

Nebraska Volunteer Firefighter Association Breakfast

Early this week I joined the Nebraska Volunteer Firefighters Association for their annual breakfast for elected officials. The breakfast is always well-attended and offers a chance to show our appreciation for these volunteers.

YRTC Health and Human Services Briefing

In August, members of the Health and Human Services Committee learned of improper living conditions and problems caused by understaffing at the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Centers (YRTCs) in Geneva and Kearney. These centers serve youth ages fourteen to nineteen in the state’s juvenile justice system and are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health and Human Services. The HHS Committee held public hearings, tours of the facilities and interviews with stakeholders over the interim to determine how to best approach the problem. On Wednesday, Senator Howard held a briefing about the Committee’s recommendations and the six bills they will introduce this session in response to the situation. I am hopeful that these pieces of legislation will improve the environment of the YRTCs and create a supportive framework for the treatment programs they provide.

Nebraska Conservation Breakfast

On Thursday I attended the Nebraska Conservation Roundtable Breakfast. The Nebraska Conservation Roundtable serves as a resource for Senators in the Legislature as they approach sustainability issues in our state. At the breakfast we discussed the impact of climate change on agriculture and possible agricultural legislative changes to address climate change such as support for ground cover crops.

Stay Up to Date with What’s Happening in the Legislature

  • You are welcome to come visit my Capitol office in Lincoln. My office is room 1012, and can be found on the first floor in the northwest corner of the building.
  • If you would like to receive my e-newsletter, you can sign up here. These go out weekly on Saturday mornings during session, and monthly during the interim.
  • You can also follow me on Facebook (here) or Twitter (@SenCrawford).
  • You can watch legislative debate and committee hearings live on NET Television or find NET’s live stream here.
  • You can always contact my office directly with questions or concerns at scrawford@leg.ne.gov or (402) 471-2615.

All the best,

Week 2 Bill Introduction

This week we had four full days of bill introduction. By the end of the day Thursday 314 bills and 18 resolutions had been introduced this year. I introduced 3 bills this week. They are:

LB 948 requires that insurance companies offer coverage at no cost for more intensive breast cancer screening services for women with dense breasts or at higher risk of cancer. The bill also requires that MRIs be covered by insurance for these women. This bill ensures that women at higher risk of cancer get the coverage they need and are not stuck with surprise medical bills due to their intensive testing needs.

LB 983 eliminates the current provision that requires 1 point be issued against a driver’s license for any speeding violation up to 5 miles per hour. Nebraska’s point system is stricter than surrounding states and a small speeding violation can increase insurance costs.

LB 1001 requires that the Suicide Hotline number be printed on public school student IDs. The bill brings awareness to suicide prevention and encourages struggling students to access the suicide hotlines if they are in crisis.

Bills on the Agenda

This week we debated several key bills on General File first-round debate. Those include two of my own, LB 305 and LB 322.

LB 305 creates the “Healthy and Safe Families and Workplaces Act” and requires employers with four or more employees to provide employees with one hour of “sick and safe” leave for every thirty hours worked. Safe leave can be used by employees experiencing domestic violence or stalking. The discussion on LB 305 will continue next week.

LB 322 deals with tobacco compliance checks performed by law enforcement and tobacco prevention coalitions and establishes a uniform process for those checks state-wide. Compliance checks allow law enforcement and tobacco prevention coalitions to work with young people to test whether retailers are selling tobacco products to minors. The bill advanced to the Enrollment and Review stage with unanimous support from the body.

Suicide Prevention Press Conference

Senator John McCollister and I held a press conference on Wednesday morning to bring awareness to the suicide prevention legislation that is being brought forth by each of our offices this session. My bill, LB 1001, would require that public schools print the Suicide Hotline number on student ID badges. Senator McCollister’s bill, LB 816, would put a 48-hour waiting period on purchasing a semi automatic rifle or shotgun so local law enforcement can conduct a background check. His bill also requires that suicide prevention material be provided with certification and a background check when purchasing a firearm at a gun show.

The statistics regarding teen suicide are sobering to say the least. LB 1001 is one small step we can take toward reducing teen suicide. I appreciate Channel 3 News covering this story and have linked their article here for those who would like more information on the subject.

 

Bill Hearings Begin Next Week

Next week will mark the start of public bill hearings. I have two bills scheduled for hearings next week: LBs 871, my bill about price gouging, and 841, my bill about veterans’ disability status and certification. You can find the schedule for bill hearings here. Committees must give at least one week’s notice to the public before a hearing, so the schedule will continue to be updated as the session progresses.

Bill Tracker Tool

My colleagues and I have introduced 314 bills this year. If there are particular bills in that collection that you want to keep track of, our bill tracking tool is a great way to do so! You can sign up for the bill tracker here.

The Bill Tracker tool allows you to receive updates on up to 15 bills at a time for free or to sign up for a premium account to track an unlimited number of bills. If you check the box to receive email updates you will be sent a notification when a bill you selected is scheduled for a public hearing and when it is advanced through each round of debate.

Stay Up to Date with What’s Happening in the Legislature

  • You are welcome to come visit my Capitol office in Lincoln. My office is room 1012, and can be found on the first floor in the northwest corner of the building.
  • If you would like to receive my e-newsletter, you can sign up here. These go out weekly on Saturday mornings during session, and monthly during the interim.
  • You can also follow me on Facebook (here) or Twitter (@SenCrawford).
  • You can watch legislative debate and committee hearings live on NET Television or find NET’s live stream here.
  • You can always contact my office directly with questions or concerns at scrawford@leg.ne.gov or (402) 471-2615.

All the best,

106th Legislature, Second Session Convenes

Wednesday, January 8th was the first day of the second session of the 106th Legislature. I look forward to a productive session serving you all alongside my 48 fellow senators. Please feel free to reach out to Hanna Murdoch, my legislative aide, or Lillian Butler-Hale, my administrative aide, with questions. Our office phone number is 402-471-2615 or you can send me an email at scrawford@leg.ne.gov.

 

Week 1 Bill Introduction

Our primary business this week was the introduction of new bills. Because this is not the beginning of a new biennium, some bills from last session carry over. I will give a more in-depth description of my bills as they come up for public hearings in the next few months. Briefly, however, my newly introduced bills this week are:

LB 833 provides that Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, or PACE Programs, are exempt from state licensure requirements. Currently, these programs are subject to four separate state facility licensing requirements, which are duplicative of existing federal requirements

LB 841 is a bill relating to certain certifications for homestead exemptions. If enacted, this bill would allow permanently disabled veterans to verify their disability status just once with the county assessor or Tax Commissioner, instead of having to verify their disability status and provide certification on an ongoing basis.

LB 842 changes provisions relating to motor vehicle taxes imposed on military service members. This bill provides that active duty members of the armed forces who are Nebraska residents, as well as their spouses, can qualify for a motor vehicle tax exemption.

LB 870 is a bill that would allow cities to directly borrow funds from a bank to supply infrastructure and services following a natural disaster, such as a flood.  This will allow communities impacted by disasters to more quickly obtain the funding they need to provide essential  resources like water to their residents.

LB 871 amends Nebraska’s Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act to define an “unconscionable” pricing. This bill would create a mechanism for the Attorney General to take action against companies suspected of engaging in unfair pricing.

LB 933 changes provisions relating to the discontinuation of utility services. The intent is to prevent tragedies resulting from customers with medical needs being disconnected from their utilities. This provision already exists, but utility companies aren’t required to grant the postponement of the shutoff.

Climate Crisis Press Conference

Yesterday I joined several of my colleagues for a press conference for a climate change resolution , introduced this year by Senator Kolowski and cosigned by me. Students at Prairie Hill Learning Center wrote the resolution this interim to bring awareness to climate change and how it impacts Nebraska youth. I am impressed with the commitment of these young people to taking care of the planet and was happy to join the press conference to bring more attention to the resolution.

Policy Breakfast with Senator Blood

This week Senator Carol Blood hosted a breakfast meeting to deliver an update on the Veterans’ Bill of Rights legislation that she is introducing this session. I have cosponsored it and look forward to working with her on this important legislation.

Judiciary Committee Brieifing

On Thursday, Judge Doyle delivered a briefing about problem solving and mental health courts. The briefing reviewed the growth of problem-solving courts in Nebraska and evidence of their effectiveness. Problem solving courts, like our Veterans courts and Sarpy’s DUI court, allow an intensive supervision alternative to traditional courts to help those who most need services to turn their lives around. I appreciate Senator Lathrop inviting members of the body to be a part of this important conversation.

OpenSky Legislative Symposium

The OpenSky Policy Institute had its first of their annual symposiums on Thursday. The symposium included conversations about current proposals to address property taxes. It also featured a presentation from Jeff Chapman, Director of The Pew Charitable Trust’s State Fiscal Health Initiative, who discussed revenue volatility and projections. Overall, the symposium stressed the need to carefully consider budget sustainability issues as we decide what to do with our current annual budget.

Capitol Construction

Much like the beginning of last year, there is a construction crew working here at the Capitol to allow for updates to the HVAC systems in select offices. My office location has not changed since the last session and is easily accessible from the north or west doors. If you are trying to reach the information desk, it is still accessible from all four directions.

Stay Up to Date with What’s Happening in the Legislature

  • You are welcome to come visit my Capitol office in Lincoln. My office is room 1012, and can be found on the first floor in the northwest corner of the building.
  • If you would like to receive my e-newsletter, you can sign up here. These go out weekly on Saturday mornings during session, and monthly during the interim.
  • You can also follow me on Facebook (here) or Twitter (@SenCrawford).
  • You can watch legislative debate and committee hearings live on NET Television or find NET’s live stream here.
  • You can always contact my office directly with questions or concerns at scrawford@leg.ne.gov or (402) 471-2615.

All the best,

Welcome
January 8th, 2020

Thank you for visiting my website. It is an honor to represent the people of the 45th legislative district in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature.

You’ll find my contact information on the right side of this page, as well as a list of the bills I’ve introduced this session and the committees on which I serve. Please feel free to contact me and my staff about proposed legislation or any other issues you would like to address.

Sincerely,
Sen. Sue Crawford

Sen. Sue Crawford

District 45
Room #1012
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2615
Email: scrawford@leg.ne.gov
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