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Last Friday was day 30 of the 90 day session, which means we have made it a third of the way through this session. Even though we still have a few weeks left of bill hearings, the committees have been busy advancing bills to general file so once morning debates commence there will be bills on the agenda to discuss. A few weeks ago I wrote about the redistricting process we must go through every 10 years and I mentioned at that time that the data we need from the federal government may be delayed. We received notice last week that they do not believe that we will get that information before the end of September so that leaves a lot of questions in the air. As I learn new information about what the process will be I will keep you updated. It is important to finish redistricting as soon as possible because 2022 is an election year and people need to know which district they will be in because it may affect their decision whether they will run. On a side note, I encourage you to get involved and run for a local office, the best way to effect change is to get involved.
As most of you know I spent the last 4 years as Chair of the Natural Resources Committee. One of the areas that the committee covers is electricity. One of the things I enjoy about being a senator is getting to learn more about things that are of interest to me. I personally think the power industry is truly fascinating, the way it works and the mix of power generating sources. We are very fortunate in the country to have cheap and reliable electricity, most of the time.
I realize that before last week many of you had probably never heard of the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), the group that manages the electric grid and wholesale power market for the central United States. Due to the recent cold snap, the weaknesses in SPP’s system have been brought to light. In response to this, Senator Bruce Bostelman of Brainard introduced LR 48. The intent of this resolution is to have the Natural Resources Committee provide a report of its findings as to the reasons for and circumstances surrounding the power outages experienced by Nebraskans. These outages could have been more than an inconvenience, for some they could have had dire consequences. The extreme cold temperatures created a very dangerous situation. Even though I am no longer chair of the Natural Resources Committee I am still a member, and I look forward to having conversations with the public power providers and also members of the SPP to hear what happened and what their plans are for the future to ensure this will not happen again.
Reliability and affordability are the two most important factors when it comes to electricity. Thank you to everyone involved in providing electricity to us and a special thank you to our line people.
Please feel free to contact my office with any questions or concerns that you might have. My email address is email@example.com and my phone number is (402) 471-2805. My office is in room 2108 at the Capitol if you are in the Lincoln area. You can read more about bills and other work of the Legislature at www.nebraskalegislature.gov, and you can click on the Live Video Streaming NET logo to watch the session, hearings, and other Capitol events.