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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.
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.
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All the best,