The first week of the interim was an opportunity for me to get out of the office and travel the district. It started on Sunday with a visit from the pope’s ambassador to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Peirre, who offered blessings for recent additions to the St. Gregory the Great Seminary. Then on Monday, I joined a community roundtable discussion in Seward hosted by the 1st District Congressman Jeff Fortenberry. On Tuesday, I met with several teachers representing the Nebraska State Education Association in York. The following day on Wednesday, I had breakfast with the local leadership of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation also in York and then spoke to the Seward Rotary Club over the lunch hour.
I traveled back to the Capitol on Thursday to participate in two bill signing ceremonies with Governor Pete Ricketts for LB1120 and LB439. Introduced by Omaha Senator Theresa Thibodeau, LB1120 changes provisions of the Nebraska Liquor Control Act to regulate bottle clubs through the State Liquor Control Commission. Lincoln Senator Anna Wishart introduced LB439 and I prioritized it. This new law will now allow nurses employed by an assisted-living facility to provide health care services to residents. It was an honor for me to work with my colleagues on these important pieces of legislation.
On Friday morning, I participated in a panel discussion at the Mid America Hospital Alliance meeting in Omaha where we discussed health care challenges facing rural Nebraska. Then in the afternoon I celebrated Arbor Day by tending to the trees and bushes around my property. It was a great start to the interim and I look forward to attending as many events around the district as possible.
In addition to traveling the district and attending community events, my staff and I continue to research legislative issues and provide constituent services. This week, I received an email from a constituent with a subject line that read “Help stop the insanity!!” I share her story because I believe it is common issue that we have all been experiencing. She had just answered a call that she thought was coming from the Seward Middle School and it turned out to be a vacation club telemarketer.
The term used to describe this deceptive practice is “spoofing.” While the Nebraska Public Service Commission does not regulate interstate telephone calls, it does provide several useful resources for preventing unwanted calls on its website at:www.psc.nebraska.gov/telecom/telecom_consumer_unwanted_calls.html.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) enforces the Truth in Caller ID Act, which prohibits an entity from transmitting misleading or inaccurate caller ID information. FCC rules also specifically require that a telemarketer transmit or display its telephone number or the telephone number on whose behalf the call is being made. If anyone receives these types of telephone calls, you should file a complaint with the FCC online at www.consumercomplaints.fcc.gov or by calling toll-free (888) 225-5322. For additional information about spoofing and caller ID, please visit the FCC website at www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/spoofing-and-caller-id. On Friday, the Energy and Commerce Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives held a hearing on combating robocalls and caller ID spoofing. For more information about this hearing and the testimony presented, please visit: www.energycommerce.house.gov/hearings/do-not-call-combating-robocalls-and-caller-id-spoofing/