NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

The official site of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Sen. Steve Erdman

Sen. Steve Erdman

District 47

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 serdman@leg.ne.gov

Straight Talk From Steve…
July 10th, 2020

Have you ever wondered why Taiwan, a nation of 24 million people, has experienced so few deaths from the coronavirus that they could all fit comfortably inside of a minivan (7 deaths)? Taiwan’s population is so large that if the nation ever practiced social distancing, people would have to stand out in the ocean! Or, how about Japan? Japan is a nation of 121 million people, but they have only seen 982 total deaths from the coronavirus. Similarly, South Korea has a population of 50 million, but only 288 coronavirus deaths have occurred there, according to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard as of July 10.

So, what are these Asian countries doing that we aren’t doing here in the USA? The answer is actually quite simple: Doctors in these nations are treating hospitalized coronavirus patients with inhaled corticosteroids. Here in the USA we know this respiratory therapy primarily as a Budesonide nebulizer. Budesonide is cheap, it has already undergone extensive testing for more than 20 years in the USA, is safe to use on two pound infants in the Natal Intensive Care Unit, and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat various other respiratory ailments. Now we can add the coronavirus to the long list of diseases treated by inhaled Budesonide therapy.

Dr. Richard P. Bartlett is a physician who practices medicine down in Midland, Texas. Dr. Bartlett recently wrote a letter to Texas State Senator, Bob Hall, recommending Budesonide as a pre-hospital community-based treatment for COVID-19. I am in possession of Dr. Bartlett’s letter. Dr. Bartlett began using inhaled Budesonide therapy back in March of this year and he now reports that 100% of the patients he has treated since March have become symptom free. Dr. Bartlett has treated several high risk patients, including one elderly woman with two types of blood cancers, who was immunocompromised, and who was undergoing chemotherapy and radiation at the time of her Budesonide treatment. She recovered from COVID-19 after receiving inhaled Budesonide therapy.

Another inexpensive drug which has proven effective for treating COVID-19 is hydroxycloroquine. Although this drug was severely criticized in the media and was even withdrawn for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration after it was touted by President Trump, a new study has proven its usefulness after all. A team of researchers at the Henry Ford Health System in Southeast Michigan released the findings of their study to the public on July 2, 2020.

Dr. Marcus Zervos, who is the division head of infectious diseases at the Henry Ford Health System, led the study which followed 2,541 coronavirus patients. 26.4 percent of those who were not given hydroxychloroquine died compared to only 13.5 percent of those who were given the drug. So, hydroxychloroquine represents another effective weapon in the physician’s arsenal against COVID-19.

On the opposite end of the spectrum lies the drug most highly touted by Dr. Anthony Fauci and distributed by Dr. Debra Birx, namely Remdeslvir. A new case report by Dutch investigators published in Clinical Infectious Diseases this month links Remdeslvir to liver toxicity. So this very expensive “miracle drug” has turned out to be not so miraculous after all.

If those leading the fight against COVID-19 were to seriously consider the usefulness of Budesonide and hydroxychloroquine, instead of Remdeslvir, I believe we could defeat COVID-19. The mortality rate in America from COVID-19 does not need to be nearly as high as it currently is. The USA is leading the world in COVID-19 deaths. On Friday the number of coronavirus deaths rose to 133,847 Americans. Hasn’t the time come for us to start listening to those with a proven treatment over the coronavirus? I think so!

Budesonide Inhalation : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures ...

According to the Preamble to the United States Constitution, in order for the people of the United States of America to create a more perfect union, “justice” must be firmly established as well as “domestic tranquility”. In order to accomplish these goals, laws must be passed which promote the “general welfare” and secure “the Blessings of Liberty.” Laws become useless unless they are enforced. The police are our chief law enforcement officials who enforce these laws.

Today our police departments are under attack by lawless radicals, who want to defund them. Autonomous zones, such as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone or the Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone seek to create communities without any law enforcement whatsoever. So, today I would like to demonstrate why police are necessary.

Anarchy breeds evil. Calls to defund the Minneapolis police department began coming in shortly after George Floyd’s wrongful death on Memorial Day, May 25th. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper, shootings in Minneapolis have more than doubled this year. More importantly, though, nearly half of those shootings occurred after George Floyd’s death when riots opened up in the streets, a police precinct was burned to the ground, and the Minneapolis police were told to stand down. Without the establishment of law and order, crime inevitably rises and evil flourishes in the streets.

Crime goes up when police stand down. After the neck of Freddy Gray was broken by police officers in Baltimore on April 12, 2015, six police officers were suspended and the police department reduced its patrols in minority neighborhoods. The results have been disastrous for that city. In 2019 Baltimore experienced 348 murders or 57 killings per 100,000 people, the worst rate in that city’s history. Moreover, on April 8, 2020 CBS Baltimore reported that the city’s murder rate this year was already trending worse than in 2019. Similar increases in crime can be demonstrated for Chicago, Milwaukee, and Indianapolis.

Police brutality is wrong. In no way am I condoning police brutality today. What happened to George Floyd was both tragic and wrong. The video tells a very compelling story. Indeed, there are cases of police brutality which cannot be defended, but police brutality is hardly the norm across this country. Whenever it happens, the offending officers need to be dealt with according to the law. But, an even bigger problem than police brutality has been brewing in the streets of America in recent days.

As long people continue to believe in the false narrative that police departments are inherently racist, our nation will never be able to heal. Civil discussions about racism require an honest pursuit of the truth. When truth is honestly pursued, facts and statistics matter. One of those important statistics shows that more unarmed white men are shot by police officers every year than are unarmed black men. If police departments are inherently racist, then this statistic would not hold year after year as it has for the past several years.

The bottom line is that we have now demoralized our police officers. Recruitment levels are down, early retirements are up, and many police officers are quitting the force because they feel they no longer have the backing of civilized society. Therefore, I want encourage you to not only support your local police department, the Sheriff, and the State Patrol, but thank them for their service the next time you see them.

Straight Talk From Steve…
June 26th, 2020

 

Why do we celebrate the 4th of July? July 4, 1776 was the day we declared our independence from Great Britain. The document which contained that declaration was the Declaration of Independence, which was approved by Congress on July 4, 1776.

The Declaration of Independence represents our core beliefs as Americans. It is a guidepost for what it means to be a citizen of the United States of America. The concepts contained in the Declaration of Independence unite us as Americans. The Declaration of Independence is just as relevant for us today as it was for the first citizens of our country. Although we live in a time when many are challenging our American heritage as well as our core beliefs as Americans, I believe the concepts contained in the Declaration of Independence will continue to stand the test of time.
The Declaration of Independence has proven itself to be a timeless document. For instance, it was in the Declaration of Independence that Thomas Jefferson first penned those most famous words, “that all men are created equal.” American society has been slowly reconciling itself to the true meaning of what it means to be equal ever since Jefferson wrote those words. You see, those words have become timeless.

The Declaration of Independence established that rights come from God. Thomas Jefferson stated in the Declaration of Independence that it is a self-evident truth that God has endowed human beings with certain unalienable rights, and that among these are “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” While Jefferson referred to God as our “Creator,” he was clearly referring to the Supreme Being responsible for the existence and design of the human race, and few, if any, would have understood that Being to be different than the God of the Bible at the time when Jefferson first penned the document. Consequently, it is imperative that we understand that these rights come from God, and because they come from God, they cannot be tampered with or infringed upon. The only exception is when a person seeks to deny these rights to another human being, especially another American citizen.

The Declaration of Independence carefully justifies the overthrowing of tyrants. Jefferson reserved most of the space in the Declaration of Independence for outlining the despotism of King George III. He wanted the whole world to know what a rotten and tyrannical king the British people had ruling over them. As Americans, we despise tyranny in all of its forms. The United States of America was founded firmly upon the principle of freedom for all. But, again, that freedom cannot be used as a means to deny others of their freedoms. Whenever governments become so oppressive that they deny basic freedoms to the people they are supposed to serve, the people become justified in abolishing their form of government and instituting a new one. But contrary to the flimsy reasons offered for establishing the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ, but now CHOP), such as the unestablished accusation that the Seattle Police department is beyond reform, Jefferson went through great pains to root his reasons for revolution in established facts. Hence, he wrote, “To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world,” and then he went on to list those facts.

American patriotism is an appropriate reaction to reading and understanding these truths contained in the Declaration of Independence. Our knowledge and devotion to these foundational principles ought to incubate in our hearts a love and respect for our country. As Americans we should love our country dearly because we are a truly free people, we should revere our founding documents because of the timeless truths they proclaim, and we should honor the American flag because it represents everything that is distinctly American. This year I hope you will celebrate Independence Day with newfound American pride in your heart, love for your fellow American, and thankfulness to God for the gift that has become the United States of America.

Straight Talk From Steve…
June 19th, 2020

 

Before we officially enter into the summer months, let’s give Nebraska’s agricultural economy a check-up, so is time to take an honest look at how Nebraska’s agricultural economy is really doing this year.

Last week the Farm Bureau’s chief economist, Jay Remke, released his own assessment of how Nebraska’s agricultural economy is doing. According to Remke, the outlook is not good. Remke warned that Nebraska’s farms and ranches stand in danger of losing 3.7 billion dollars this year. The primary culprit for these losses being the COVID-19 restrictions.

To break it down, Remke estimates that the beef cattle sector of the economy could lose one billion dollars alone. Corn and soybean losses could total 1.2 billion dollars, and ethanol stands to lose another 1.3 billion dollars. Pork stands to lose 166 million dollars, dairy could lose 66 million dollars, and wheat could lose 9 million dollars. So, Remke’s outlook for Nebraska’s agricultural economy is not good for this year.

Creighton University economist, Ernie Goss, also weighed in on Nebraska’s agricultural economy last week. Goss referenced an economic index for a region comprised of 10 Plains and Western states. Accordingly, the economic index for the month of June was said to be 37.9, where any score below 50 points to a struggling or shrinking economy. Only 3 percent of bankers in the studied area reported economic growth. Goss blamed the poor report on low crop prices as well as the coronavirus restrictions.

There is some good news on the horizon. The good news is that the economic index score for May was only 12.5, so the score for June shows that the agricultural economy is at least moving in the right direction.

Some more good news relates to Nebraska’s unemployment rate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nebraska now has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation. Nebraska’s unemployment rate currently sits at 5.2 percent. There are 54,879 workers who are unemployed in Nebraska, but this number has fallen from April’s high of 92,638 unemployed workers. While this is certainly good news, we should remember that the last time Nebraska experienced an unemployment rate this high was back in May 1983, which occurred in the middle of the farm crisis of the 1980’s.

So, the big question is this: Will Nebraska’s agricultural economy recover in time for farmers and ranchers to make ends meet? Nebraska ranks as the second worst state in the nation for farm and ranch bankruptcies, so the question remains open about whether or not we will be able to weather the current economic storm.

Because the coronavirus has made this a most unusual year for agricultural businesses in our state, I would like to encourage anyone with a small business, including farmers and ranchers, to apply for a Small Business Stabilization Grant. The State of Nebraska has appropriated some of the Cares Act monies into this program in order to help save our small businesses, farms, and ranches.

Last week I received several calls from farmers and ranchers who had trouble applying for these grants. The Nebraska Department of Economic Development temporarily shut down the program until Monday, June 22 due to concerns that too many applicants were being rejected. So, even if you were denied, please consider reapplying. Apply online at:  https://getnebraskagrowing.nebraska.gov/

Economic Development Grant Announcement – Small Business and Livestock Producers

Straight Talk From Steve…
June 12th, 2020

As you know, the nation has been rocked by violent protests for the past three weeks due to the wrongful death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. Last week some of these protestors even took over control of a six block section of Seattle, including a police precinct.

Nebraska has not been immune to these kinds of violent protests. Rioters in Lincoln, for example, destroyed several buildings along the Lincoln Mall near the Capitol Building, including the Blue Cross/Blue Shield building, the headquarters for the Nebraska Association of County Officials (NACO), and the Universal-Inland Insurance Building, which they completely torched, just to name a few.

The tragic death of George Floyd by an uncaring and reckless police officer does not justify the kind of violence we’ve been seeing in the news for the past three weeks. Two wrongs do not make a right. If it was wrong for Officer Derek Chauvin to kill George Floyd, then it is also wrong for protesters to harm police officers. Even as I write this, it is being reported how another police officer was shot in the head by a gunmen in Paso Robles, California. The violence simply needs to stop!

Law enforcement officers are necessary to establish and to keep the peace. American civil society wholeheartedly depends upon our ability to govern ourselves in a civil manner. For this reason, the Preamble to the United States Constitution includes insuring “domestic Tranquility” as an essential component of forming “a more perfect Union.” That is what police officers do. They insure our domestic tranquility. Consequently, those who demand the elimination of our police departments do not understand this most basic tenet of our constitutional republic.

Conversely, those law enforcement officers who abuse their powers and who use more force than what is necessary to deescalate a situation are guilty of violating a most sacred trust placed upon them by the American people. The badge is not a license to kill or abuse. So, the United States of America is neither a police state nor an anarchy; instead, we are a nation of laws, which must be respected by all, regardless of where one stands in relationship to the thin blue line.

Having said this, I believe the time has come for all Americans to restate their appreciation and support for our law enforcement officers. Over the course of the last three weeks, we have seen several police officers pay the ultimate price for our peace and safety. Unfortunately, their lives will mostly be forgotten, save for their loved ones. Who will march in the streets or lead a protest for them? And who will defend their right to live?

Well, today I can proudly report that there are a few Americans who still care about the safety and security of their law enforcement officers. On Saturday June 13 at 11:00 a.m. a parade ran through the streets of Lincoln, honoring and supporting our law enforcement officials. By the way, that parade honored the Directive Health Measures set in place by the Department of Health and Human Services by keeping participants in cars and by marching six feet apart.

Also occurring in Lincoln on Saturday June 13 was another protest rally sponsored by the Black Lives Matter movement. While I am unable to report about how social distancing went down at that rally, it has become readily apparent that social distancing has never mattered or been respected at these rallies. In fact, it can now be safely said that social distancing matters…that is, unless you are protesting against the police.

Straight Talk From Steve…
June 11th, 2020

This is the time of year when farmers and ranchers are receiving the valuations on their parcels of agricultural and horticultural lands.  While most of these valuations have been fair and accurate, some have not been.  This week I received numerous phone calls from agricultural landowners all across the state complaining about how their valuations rose astronomically this year.  Worse yet, these landowners reported to me how the rise in their valuation was due to LB372, a bill I introduced in 2019.  So, today I would like to address the concerns of these landowners and set the record straight.

LB372 was designed to correct the way the Property Assessment Division had been assessing grassland.  Prior to LB372 all agricultural land was being assessed by dryland criteria.  LB372 required the Property Assessment Division to begin using grassland specific data from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) as their primary source for assessing grassland. 

LB372 corrected an already known and established error in the way the Property Assessment Division had been assessing grassland.  I call it a “known error” because twice the Tax Equalization & Review Commission had recognized the Property Assessment Division’s method as an erroneous.

To illustrate this error, consider how the Property Assessment Division had been assessing grassland in the Sandhills.  The Sandhills is important because it comprises approximately one quarter of the land mass in Nebraska and about half of all the pasture land in the state.  The Property Assessment Division had been assessing all parcels of grassland with dryland cropland criteria, even though those particular soils could not hold crops.  Had they used the appropriate data from the NRCS, the soil classifications for those parcels of land would have been based upon forage production instead, making the method much more fair and accurate.

County assessors should welcome this change as it will help to bring their appraisal process into compliance with the law.  Applying a dryland farming criteria to grassland is something no reputable appraiser would ever do as it is unacceptable.

This year the Property Assessment Division began implementing the method prescribed in LB372.  Although the Property Assessment Division has gone through great lengths to train the assessors in how to use the NRCS data correctly, many discrepancies have already been found.

Before I contacted the Property Assessment Division about these problems, I set out to see for myself if assessments were being done correctly.  Consequently, I asked my own expert to reassess a certain parcel of agricultural land where the valuation had gone up $40,000 this year.  Sure enough, several discrepancies were found in the way the assessor had valuated the land.

When the Property Assessment Division trained the assessors earlier this year, they explicitly told them not to use Land Capability Groupings (LCG) as the sole basis for changing agricultural land values, yet this is precisely what some assessors have been doing this year.  For instance, slide number 14 in the training presentation specifically states:  “Agricultural land values should not change based on LCG conversion only,” and “Analysis will be required to avoid raising agricultural values in a declining market.”

As a result of the widespread confusion surrounding this conversion issue, Ruth Sorenson, who heads up the Property Assessment Division, sent out a corrective email to the assessors in all counties.  Please know that I would never introduce legislation that would adversely affect agricultural land valuations.

If you believe your land has been adversely assessed, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (402) 471-2616.  You will need to file your protest and contact your county assessor before the deadline of June 30.

GracePointe Assisted Living & Memory Care Suites

 

Today we know a lot more about COVID-19 than we did before the outbreak first occurred in China’s Wuhan Province. Unfortunately, those who make the policies for our states, do not always get their information from the right sources.

We’ve known since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in America that the elderly were most at risk, especially those living in nursing homes and long term care facilities. We’ve known this about the coronavirus because on March 17 Stanford epidemiologist, John Ioannidis, warned the American public that “…even some mild or common-cold-like coronaviruses have been known for decades [to] have case fatality rates as high as 8 percent when they affect people in nursing homes.”

Dr. Ioannidis’s statement has since been confirmed by the data we now have about the coronavirus. Here in the United States, the problem has been greatest in our nursing homes and in our long term care facilities. In Minnesota, for example, 81 percent of all COVID-19 deaths have occurred in nursing homes and long term care facilities. In Ohio the number is 70 percent of all COVID-19 deaths, and in Pennsylvania it is 69 percent. Here in Nebraska, 55 percent of all COVID-19 deaths have occurred in nursing homes and long term care facilities.

On the national level, an average of 43 percent of all COVID-19 deaths have occurred in nursing homes and long term care facilities. So, it can be safely said that 43 percent of all COVID-19 deaths occur in facilities which house only 0.62 percent of the American population.

Therefore, America does not have a COVID-19 problem; instead, we have a nursing home problem. Because the vast majority of COVID-19 deaths occur in nursing homes and long term care facilities, I believe it is time for us to start taking the care of our elders a lot more seriously. Moreover, there is no reason to lockdown society any longer. The COVID-19 fatality rate for those under age 65 in the USA is no different than the seasonal flu.

Nebraska needs to adopt policies that are similar to Florida’s. Whereas many states have required their nursing homes and long term care facilities to accept COVID-19 patients, Florida has not. Instead, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order on March 15 prohibiting nursing homes and other long term care facilities from accepting COVID-19 patients. The head of Florida’s agency for Healthcare Administration said at the time, “I understand that for 20 years it’s been ingrained, especially through Medicare reimbursement policy, to get individuals in and out [of hospitals]. That is not our focus today. I’m not going to send anyone back to a nursing home who has the slightest risk of being positive…”

In Florida all healthcare workers are required to be screened for COVID-19 symptoms before entering a nursing home or other long term care facility. Florida also prioritized personal protective equipment for their nursing homes and long term care facilities early on, and the result has been that Florida’s COVID-19 death rate has paled in comparison to other states. The COVID-19 death rate in Florida is currently 4 percent compared to the national average of almost 6 percent.

While Nebraska currently enjoys a very low COVID-19 death rate, we share many of the same bad policies as New York and New Jersey, which have accelerated their death rates above 6.5 percent. New Jersey’s COVID-19 death rate is 7.2 percent. Unless we begin to care for our elderly in a similar way as Florida, we could see our COVID-19 death rate begin to accelerate. Therefore, Nebraska needs to prohibit hospitals from sending patients back to these kinds of facilities before self-isolating for 14 days.

Sen. Halloran of Hastings has drafted a letter to Gov. Ricketts which I have co-signed. That letter asks the Governor to create a new policy to protect our most vulnerable citizens by requiring those residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 to be quarantined at another location before returning to a nursing home or long term care facility. Our hospitals are not being overwhelmed, but our nursing homes and long term care facilities are being overwhelmed. Nebraska’s elderly are not expendable, and our state’s COVID-19 policies should reflect how much we care about them!

 

While some may read this after Memoria Day, remembering
our fallen soldiers is something we should never forget. So,
on this Memorial Day I am reminded of this poem written by
Lawrence Vaincourt back in 1987 called “A Soldier Died today”:

He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion, telling stories of the past.
Of a war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies; they were heroes, every one.

And tho’ sometimes, to his neighbors, his tales became a joke,
All his Legion buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.
But we’ll hear his tales no longer for old Bill has passed away,
And the world’s a little poorer, for a soldier died today.

He will not be mourned by many, just his children and his wife,
For he lived an ordinary and quite uneventful life.
Held a job and raised a family, quietly going his own way,
And the world won’t note his passing, though a soldier died today.

When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing and proclaim that they were great.
Papers tell their whole life stories, from the time that they were young,
But the passing of a soldier goes unnoticed and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land
A guy who breaks his promises and cons his fellow man?
Or the ordinary fellow who, in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his Country and offers up his life?

A politician’s stipend and the style in which he lives
Are sometimes disproportionate to the service that he gives.
While the ordinary soldier, who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal and perhaps, a pension small.

It’s so easy to forget them for it was so long ago,
That the old Bills of our Country went to battle, but we know
It was not the politicians, with their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom that our Country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger, with your enemies at hand,
Would you want a politician with his ever-shifting stand?
Or would you prefer a soldier, who has sworn to defend
His home, his kin and Country and would fight until the end?

He was just a common soldier and his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us we may need his like again.
For when countries are in conflict, then we find the soldier’s part
Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor while he’s here to hear the praise,
Then at least let’s give him homage at the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline in a paper that would say,
Our Country is in mourning, for a soldier died today.”

Enough is enough! We are now 60 days into the COVID-19 pandemic. When the pandemic first reached American soil, predictions were made by medical experts about its severity and mortality rate. At that time they said the virus was going to be horrific because they were basing their opinions upon insufficient information about the virus. But, at that time it was all they had to go on.


Now we know the facts about COVID-19, and the facts do not back up what was originally projected to happen. The hospitals have not been overrun, we have not exceeded our ventilator usage, and the real death toll from the coronavirus has been much lower than expected. In fact, it has been very similar to an epidemic of influenza.

There is scientific proof that sunlight kills the virus. Likewise, there is no proof that anyone has ever contracted the virus by being outside. The motto to “stay home and stay safe” may not be your best option! It is now known that going outside is far safer than staying indoors.


I have received numerous emails, phone calls, and text messages from across the state. People are trying to make sense out of the Directive Health Measures that have been placed on them, especially the one limiting group sizes to ten people or less. Because of this rule, the Governor has announced that there will be no group gatherings at cemeteries on Memorial Day to honor our veterans. Instead, he plans to hold a virtual Memorial Day observance in the rotunda at the State Capitol Building, which will be televised on NET.


The veterans who paid the ultimate sacrifice did so to protect our freedoms! The people currently serving in our armed forces are defending our freedoms as well. They have not, and are not currently serving in order to protect our virtual freedoms! Americans have given up a lot of their freedoms in the past 60 days, yet there is no such thing as a virtual freedom! Liberty either exists, or it does not.


The extinguishing of our freedoms has extended all the way out to include youth sports, especially Little League baseball. The restrictions placed on a child to participate in youth baseball are ridiculous. There is no way for a coach to adhere to all of the restrictions or enforce all of the new rules that have now been put into place. Instead, I believe the players and coaches need to be allowed to abide by the same rules they have had in place for years.


Even the swimming pools have been closed! The reasons for closing the pools are tenuous, at best. Why? Because chlorine kills the coronavirus. So, why are we closing the pools?


Now, the county fairs are even in jeopardy. One county official shared with me how the Extension Office is training people on how to conduct a virtual fair. Our young people have worked very hard to perfect their projects and spent their savings on them, but they will not have an opportunity to show their work or present their animals live at the county fair. It is time to lift these restrictions and let our kids be kids.


Please remember this principle: If the government is big enough to supply all of your needs, then it is also big enough to take everything you have! Unfortunately, that is exactly what is happening to many of us during this pandemic. For many people these restrictions have taken away from them everything they’ve ever worked for, such as their small business or farm.


Therefore, we need to open up the economy now. Restricting businesses to 50% of their capacity does not accomplish anything at all. We as Nebraskans need to be able to make decisions about our own lives, where we go, and what we do without a government official deciding these matters for us.


People can decide for themselves whether the activity they want to engage in is dangerous or if it affects others. When it affects others, they can decide what precautions need to be taken in order to protect themselves and others.


It is peculiar that the same restrictions apply to counties that have no COVID-19 cases as those with the most numbers of cases. One size does not fit all. The Governor has already admitted that one size doesn’t fit all. Therefore, it is time for him to start differentiating between those counties which have many cases of the coronavirus from those which have zero or very few cases!

Why is the Liberty Bell cracked? - HISTORY

The Liberty Bell

Sen. Steve Erdman

District 47
Room #1124
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2616
Email: serdman@leg.ne.gov
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