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The Nebraska Legislature has officially hit the halfway mark of the 2022 Legislative Session! This month has been a busy time for my office and I; my colleagues and I’s days have been filled with floor debates in the mornings and committee hearings in the afternoons.
We are completing our last round of committee hearings before beginning all-day debate on March 8th. My time in the Education Committee and the Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee has been time well spent as I have learned a lot about the needs, wants, and policies within the retrospective committees. I am particularly excited to begin all-day floor debates as it allows me to support and learn more about other areas, such as tax reform, agriculture, etc.
I have 9 bills that have had hearings and have either advanced out of their retrospective committee, or are waiting to be voted out of committee. Here is a look at some of the notable pieces of legislation I have introduced:
– LB 928 requires closed captioning or transcripts of certain campaign advertisements. This bill is designed to make political advertisements more accessible and transparent, especially to those who may be deaf or hard of hearing.
– LB 1080 supports 100% disabled Veterans by reducing burdensome application requirements when applying for a homestead exemption.
– LB 1158 modernizes our academic transparency policy AND makes learning materials more accessible to parents and guardians.
You can see the full list of bills I have introduced, as well as details on each proposal here.
I have designated LB 1158 as my priority bill for the 2022 Legislative Session. LB 1158 updates a 30-year-old statute regarding parental involvement and academic transparency. This bill is meant to address and recognize the role that technology plays in our classrooms. In essence, LB 1158 asks districts to address digital materials, and other materials, in their policies. This bill also mandates that any public hearing must include an opportunity for public comment.
Another significant priority of mine is LB 1233. As you know, Offutt Air Force Base is one of Nebraska’s crowning jewels. Yes, it provides an economic impact of $2.9 billion annually, but it’s more than just that: the service members and their families enrich our community with their time and talent. This is why it’s important to grow Offutt whenever we can. Some rough estimates of Offutt Air Force Base’s potential economic impact suggest numbers above $6 billion, which helps put that potential into perspective.
Last year, the Appropriations Committee (led by Senator Stinner) set aside $50 million to help construct a Space Command headquarters if Offutt Air Force Base was chosen for the location. Unfortunately, we were not chosen – but, the favorable financial situation for Nebraska this year gives us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to keep the state’s commitment to the community. My bill, along with Senator McDonnell’s LB 1232, repurposes that $50 million so that it still helps grow the Offutt community. Here’s the key part: every state dollar is matched at 100% or more, and the economic impact of Offutt will climb to possibilities we haven’t even imagined before.