NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

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Mark Kolterman

Sen. Mark Kolterman

District 24

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 mkolterman@leg.ne.gov

On Wednesday, September 8, the Redistricting Committee of the Legislature released two different proposals for the new legislative maps.  One proposal, which I will refer to as “Map A” is a non-starter for me.  According to Map A, Legislative District 24, which comprises Seward, Polk, and York counties, will be dissolved as it is currently situated and the district would be relocated to Sarpy County.

While I am always willing to consider what is best for the State of Nebraska, I believe moving LD 24 goes against the guidelines established under Legislative Resolution 134, which was adopted as the guidelines on how redistricting is to proceed.  Under LR 134, district boundaries shall follow county lines whenever practicable.  The district in which Seward County would be located clearly fails this test as it would contain Butler County, relatively half of Saunders County and Schuyler, which is in Colfax County.  LR 134 also allows for the preservation of the cores of prior districts. By splitting up LD 24, as it is currently established, the proposed Map A clearly does not preserve the core of the district.

Map A also does not preserve communities of interest.  For example, a majority of the population who attends Centennial School District resides in Seward and York Counties, with the remaining population living in Polk and Butler County.  Under the proposed Map A, the population base would be split between LD 23 which would consist of Butler, Seward, part of Saunders and part of Colfax County and LD 34 which would consist of Hamilton, Merrick, Polk and York County.

Another community of interest is the Four Corners Health Department.  As we all have learned over the past year and a half, our local public health departments provide an important task.  Currently, LD 24 resides completely within the Four Corners Health Department.  Under the proposed Map A, LD 23 would be served by three different public health districts and LD 34 would be served by two different health districts.

While this list of concerns are not exhaustive, I look forward to working with the Redistricting Committee and the rest of my colleagues to address the issues I have raised.  With that said, I am adamantly opposed to moving LD 24 to Sarpy County and I will do everything within my power to prevent this from happening.

The application process for the Page Program is now available to any Nebraska college student who may be interested.

A letter of recommendation from your state senator is encouraged. College students from District 24 requesting a letter of recommendation from Senator Kolterman should contact his office at (402) 471-2756 or mkolterman@leg.ne.gov.

The deadline for submitting page applications and letters of recommendation for the 2022 legislative session will be Friday, October 1 at 5:00 p.m. The page selection committee will meet in October to select individuals to fill those positions.

For more information and to apply online, please visit https://nebraskalegislature.gov/unicampages/

 

Weekly Column – August 14th
August 14th, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, we did it.  This year has been unlike anything we have ever faced as a legislative body due to the uncertainty our state faced as COVID ravaged the country and widespread protests calling for criminal justice reform spread across the country.

But the Legislature took action.  After halting the legislative session on March 12, we came back in session to pass emergency appropriations to provide funding to the State to combat COVID-19.

This emergency funding provided much needed assistance for our local communities.  This money was used to purchase needed personal protective equipment and allowed our local public health departments to increase staffing, expand call center operations, and allowed for the purchase of laptops to document the spread of the disease.  Additional funding was used to pay for equipment and systems at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, allowing the University to purchase more testing equipment, increase their lab personnel, and other equipment as needed.

In response to the call for criminal justice reform, Senator Steve Lathrop and the rest of the Judiciary Committee held two listening forums in early June in both Omaha and Lincoln.  It was a challenge for the Committee to conduct such important sessions during a pandemic, but they conducted these sessions in a safe way.  Between the two sessions, the Judiciary Committee heard stories from nearly two hundred people explaining that we, as a Legislature, need to examine what is working in our communities and what can be improved upon.

Even with these unforeseen issues, the Legislature was still able to achieve our major goals this session: the renewal of our State’s business incentives program, significant property tax relief, and legislation that supports the Nebraska Transformational Project, a project that would allow for a significant expansion to the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Nebraska Medicine through a partnership of the federal government, the State of Nebraska, and private partners.

Achieving these three goals in an abbreviated timeframe after we reconvened in late July was a daunting task.  I want to thank all of my colleagues who worked as a team nonstop over the last couple of weeks to come to a bipartisan agreement that a vast majority of the Legislature is able to support.  LB 1107, a bill that combines the ImagiNE Nebraska Act, the Nebraska Transformational Project Act, and significant property tax, passed Final Reading on a vote of 41-4-4 and was signed into law on August 13.

The past two years have been a whirlwind fighting for these major programs that will benefit the entire State of Nebraska, but I am honored to have been at the table fighting for our community.  As the 106th Legislature, 2nd session wraps up, I hope I have made you proud.  I look forward to serving you for two more years before I will retire.  Even though I am two years away from being term-limited, I promise I will not stop fighting for my district to enact laws and policies that are equitable, fair and just.

As always, if we can be of assistance to you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact my office. My door is open and I have made it a goal to be accessible to the constituents of our district. Please stop by any time. My e-mail address is mkolterman@leg.ne.gov, and the office phone number is 402-471-2756. Tyler and Katie are always available to assist you with your needs. If I am not immediately available, please do not hesitate to work with them to address any issues that you may need assistance. Please continue to follow me on Facebook at Kolterman for Legislature and on Twitter at @KoltermanforLegislature.

The Clerk’s Office of the Nebraska Legislature is Now Accepting Applications for Legislative Page Positions

The application process for selecting pages for the 2021 Legislative Session is now underway in the Clerk’s Office at the Nebraska Legislature. Legislative pages are local college students employed by the Legislature to respond to senators’ requests for assistance on the Legislative Floor, answer incoming calls to the Legislative Chamber, and possibly assist in committee hearings.

The deadline for submitting an application is Fri., October 2nd at 5:00 pm. A letter of recommendation from your state senator is encouraged. College students from District 24 requesting a letter of recommendation from Senator Kolterman should contact his office at (402) 471-2756 or mkolterman@leg.ne.gov.

Applications are available at the link below (PDF) or from the Clerk of the Legislature’s Office, Room 2018, State Capitol, 1445 K Street. For further information on the application process, please contact the Office of the Clerk of the Legislature at (402) 471-2271.

 

2021 Nebraska Legislature Page Application

Small Business Resources
March 30th, 2020

Our Legislative Research Office staff compiled a list of state resources for small businesses that I wanted to make available.

“Small businesses across Nebraska will be impacted in countless ways by the coronavirus global pandemic. Work is being done on many levels to provide relief to Nebraska businesses. The Nebraska Legislature is working with the banking industry, credit unions, local and state chambers of commerce, and others to connect you and your business with relief that is available.”

Small Business Resources

 

Senator Bolz’s office also put together a document with frequently asked questions about Covid-19 state government services.

Covid-19 and State Government Services: Questions and Answers for Nebraskans

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at mkolterman@leg.ne.gov. You are also welcome to call my office at 402-471-2756.  

The Business and Labor Committee collected information on the Department of Labor’s response to the current Covid-19 situation. I want to thank Senator Matt Hansen and his office for sharing this information. 
 

 
Office of Senator Matt Hansen
Chair, Business and Labor Committee
 
There are a lot of questions about those unable to work during the current crisis. First I want to thank the Nebraska Department of Labor and the Governor for their quick response to the pandemic. Below are resources available for those unable to work or working reduced hours during:

 

Short-Time Compensation
​​https://dol.nebraska.gov/stc
● Employers can apply for this program.
● For those still working but limited hours during the pandemic period.
● The Short-Time Compensation program allows employers to uniformly reduce affected​ employees’ hours by 10 to 60 percent while permitting the employees to receive a prorated​ unemployment benefit.

 

Unemployment Insurance
https://dol.nebraska.gov/uibenefits
● For those who are not able to work and not receiving a paycheck during the pandemic period. (If​ you are working from home or using sick or vacation leave then this does not apply to you)
● Under the executive order signed by Governor Ricketts starting March 22 through May 2 the​ following will be in place for unemployment insurance:
○ The waiting week for benefits has been waived
■ Benefits will begin immediately and not with the usual first week unpaid.
○ The work search requirements will be waived
■ Individuals will not have to apply to jobs in order to receive benefits. It will be assumed that they will be able to return to their jobs after the crisis is over.
○ Benefits will not be charged against individual employers accounts.
■ Money will be paid out of the general trust fund as the job losses are not the fault​ of individual employers.
■ Nebraska’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund is well funded and is expected​ to handle the increased number of applications.
 
Other Important Considerations
● Please remind your constituents that there are expected to be long wait times when calling the​ Department of Labor. This is due both to the increased demand and the Department is also​ dealing with the same issues as all employers. If they cannot get through it is best to leave a call​ back number and they will be called back.
● Currently these programs do not apply to contractors or self employed individuals as they do not​ participate in the unemployment system. There may be coming Federal action to help these​ individuals. Please contact your Federal representatives.
● As we are aware the situation is changing rapidly. The Department and the Governor with his​ emergency powers can respond quickly as needed. We have been in close contact with the​ Department of Labor and will keep you updated.
Upcoming Seminars
October 24th, 2019

For Immediate Release – September 23, 2019 – 5:15 p.m.
Contact: Mark Kolterman (402)-641-8471

I was notified today that four licensed skilled nursing centers in Nebraska announced they are closing. These facilities are Crestview Care Center in Milford, Utica Care Center in Utica, both in District #24, and Mory’s Haven in Columbus, and Blue Hill Care Center in Blue Hill.

It is my understanding that these facilities have set a closing date of November 21, 2019, but will not officially close their doors until each resident is safely transferred to an appropriate facility or other setting that matches them in terms of quality, services, and location, while also taking into consideration the needs, choice, and best interests of each resident.

These four facilities, purchased by Azria Health last week, are notifying affected team members, residents, and family members of the closing, and have started assisting residents and their family members in finding a new facility for the residents. They have also started work to help their team members explore new employment opportunities.

Upon learning of these closures, I asked my staff to pull together a meeting with the Department of Health and Human Services so that I can better understand the process that is to follow in the upcoming days, weeks, and months. I also reached out to local economic development organizations to explore potential employment opportunities for those impacted by the closures. If you or a family member has been impacted by these closures and are in need of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me at mkolterman@leg.ne.gov or 402-471-2756. I will do everything I can to assist families as they transition the care of their loved ones to a new facility or assist employees as they look for new jobs.

The closure of these four facilities are a continuation of an unfortunate trend and will add to the volatility of access to long-term care services across the state. This closure will affect 205 state-licensed beds across the four facilities and will impact approximately 240 employees. As a former member of the Health and Human Services Committee, I was well-aware of the challenges faced by our local care centers – and am committed to working with my colleagues to find long-term solutions to address the increasing problem facing some of our most vulnerable citizens.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to work through these issues. Again, please reach out to me if I can assist in any way.

Senator Kolterman will be participating in two Legislative Forums sponsored by the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce on Mon., September 30th.

 

Nebraska Chamber Forums – Seward
7:30am-9am
Seward Civic Center Basement
Contact: Seward County Chamber & Development Partnership, (402) 643-4189

 

Nebraska Chamber Forums – Henderson
Noon to 1:00 p.m.
Perks Cafe
Contact: Kelsey Bergen, (402) 723-4228

 

These events provide an opportunity to get a firsthand look at the legislative process, learn the issues and meet elected representatives.

 

The Nebraska Department of Transportation is holding a public information open house meeting on the proposed improvements to U.S. Highway 81 (US-81) in Polk County. The meeting will be held at the Viking Center, 118 East 3rd Street, Stromsburg, Nebraska on Tues., July 30th from 4pm to 6pm.

All interested parties are invited to attend.

This project is in the design stage. Public input is being sought. Please refer to the attached Notice of Public Meeting for more details.

 

Send comments or questions to:
Sarah Soula
NDOT Public Involvement
1500 Highway 2, PO Box 94759
Lincoln, NE 68509-4759
sarah.soula@nebraska.gov

 

For more information:
Wes Wahlgren
NDOT District 4 Engineer
211 N. Tilden St., PO Box 1488
Grand Island, NE 68802-1488
wes.wahlgren@nebraska.gov
308-385-6265

 

dot.nebraska.gov/projects/

 

Attachment:

NDOT Project – Notice of Public Meeting

Sen. Mark Kolterman

District 24
Room 1101
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2756
Email: mkolterman@leg.ne.gov
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