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Happy end of summer! My staff and I have spent our time in-district to reconnect and attend various educational conferences. I will share some information about some of the conferences.
3rd Annual State Aerospace Policy Summit
I attended the Aerospace States Association (ASA) Policy Summit in June. The ASA is a nonpartisan organization of Lieutenant Governors, Governor appointed delegates, academics, and aerospace professionals representing state’s interests in federal aerospace and aviation policy development. Aviation and space interests were discussed, as well as issues and opportunities to grow jobs and expand economic development in our state.
I would like to encourage Nebraska students to be involved and excited about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education and challenge them to participate in the 3M Young Scientist Challenge. This is a national science competition for students in grades 5 through 8. This program asks students to identify a problem and come up with a unique innovation to solve it. Every day we use and enjoy inventions developed from the aerospace industry. Encouraging youth will allow Nebraska to grow our own inventors. I believe it is important to invest in critical areas of our economy in sectors such as aerospace and other STEM fields.
49th Annual American Legislative Exchange Council Conference (ALEC)
I attended the 49th Annual American Legislative Exchange Council Conference. The ALEC Conference is one of the country’s premier state policy organizations. At this conference, I learned about many different subjects not only important to the United States, but also to Bellevue. Some of the topics discussed include inflation, fiscal responsibility, professional licensing, homeland security, health and human services, energy, the environment, and workforce development. It is important to me, as an elected official, to keep learning so that my colleagues and I can use our knowledge to collectively make every piece of legislation better.
State Legislative Leaders Foundation
Self-education has been a priority of mine over the interim. State lawmakers bring their own experience, intelligence, and specialty to the Legislature, however, we do not all have expertise in every issue. My goal is to learn as much as I can so that I can serve District 45 to the best of my ability.
I was nominated to attend the State Legislative Leaders Foundation’s Emerging Legislative Leaders Program in mid-July in Charlottesville, Virginia. This was held at The Darden School on the University of Virginia campus. I learned to use Darden’s case analysis method, which involves testing my mastery of techniques and refining my decision-making processes. The goal was to improve my way of thinking about business perspectives and become a more effective leader, and seek to meet the challenges of the future with confidence.
I was also nominated to be a technical assistance team member by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and the Council of State Governments (CSG) for the National Center for Interstate Compacts. This program supports the development of an interstate compact specific to school psychology credentialing. An interstate compact creates a constitutionally authorized contract that enables professionals in good standing to practice in all states that join the compact. This is especially important as many areas of Nebraska are experiencing a shortage of school psychologists-and this technique is a great way for Nebraska to temporarily address the workforce shortage.
In August I attended the Governor’s Agricultural and Economic Summit in Kearney and sat on a panel discussing policy with the Farm Bureau Foundation. I also had the pleasure of escorting newly-elected Congressman Mike Flood at Offutt Air Base so he could view the intricacies and importance of Offutt and STRATCOM to our state, our country, and the entire world. Later in the month I attended a program hosted by the Strategic Air and Space Museum which included NASA astronaut and Nebraska native Clayton Anderson, who is the new President of the Museum. It was inspiring to chat with Astronaut Anderson, and I had the opportunity to meet with him later that month to discuss Nebraska’s role in aerospace.
Additionally, my staff are joining others in the Legislature to tour the four University of Nebraska campuses. There will also be a policy forum for staff to attend at the Nebraska Innovation Campus in Lincoln in September. Meanwhile the Education Committee, of which I serve on, has several interim hearings scheduled that I plan to attend, focused on preparing for the upcoming session.
The office remains on the 11th floor of the Capitol due to HVAC renovations. This floor is not as easily accessible to the public. We welcome all constituents to email or call with their thoughts, concerns and ideas. Our office telephone number is (402) 471-2615, and my email address is email@example.com
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