One of the most important bills I am presenting to the Legislature this year is LB111, the First Responders and Public Protection Bill. The Bill will address some of the concerns that emerged surrounding officer and public safety during riots this past summer. It will define and enact criminal violations related to rioting, inciting or recruiting, or participating in a riot, violence toward first responders, riot-related vandalism and blocking public roads.
I feel privileged to introduce legislation that will secure the safety of those who put their lives at risk, so the rest of us have the privilege to live without fear of danger. They include police officers, firefighters, emergency care providers, probation officers, Correctional Services employees, and Health and Human Services employees. I have been receiving a growing number of responses from supporters, those in opposition, and the media about the bill.
Ronald Reagan said, “We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.” In a culture that has growing confusion about responsibility and accountability, I find President Reagan’s quote a good reminder. We are each responsible for our actions and behaviors. What I say, do and think is my responsibility. I’m so thankful to live in the great state of Nebraska where we uphold the values of freedom, responsibility and holding each individual accountable.
LB280- Insurance Corporation- As the law currently stands, any insurance company that provides insurance in the state of Nebraska must have at least one member of their board of directors residing in Nebraska. In other words, any new insurance company who might be considering bringing jobs and business to Nebraska, might find it a deterrent that they would have to either add a Nebraska resident to their board of directors, or move one of their current directors to the state. I believe this is potentially an inhibitor to economic development in our state.
LB281- Erin’s Law- The purpose of this Bill is to require that public schools provide four hours of body awareness training to students in K through 5, and teacher training as a preventative method for helping reduce incidents of child sexual abuse. This is an extremely appropriate curriculum and is in no way a sex education class. It simply helps children understand that no one should touch them anywhere that makes them feel uncomfortable. It also gives children who might be experiencing abuse, a voice, where they could safely go and share that they need help.
LB282- Repeal Obscenity Exemption- Laws have been in place for decades that make it illegal for an adult to expose a child to pornographic or obscene material. An example of this is that children under 18 cannot attend R rated movies. There is an exemption however, for an adult in an education setting. Currently an adult in an educational environment cannot be prosecuted when a minor under their supervision is exposed to obscenity. This Bill would close that loophole and assure that a child would be protected in a school environment from any intentional harm.
LB325- Art Therapy Bill- This bill is designed to provide Nebraskans with the best possible care and protect the welfare of vulnerable populations by certifying they are receiving professional, art-based therapeutic treatment. Also, to delineate the professional title of “Art Therapist” as a distinct and separate mental health and behavioral profession, credentialed by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Maintaining Confidence in Nebraska’s Election Process
Last week I shared that I am doing some deep investigations into the security and integrity of Nebraska’s election processes. I want to make sure that the people in District 17 know that they can be completely confident that the elections across our state .
This week I met with Bob Evnan and Wayne Bena, from the Secretary of State’s office to learn every step in Nebraska’s election process. It has been extremely informative to see great lengths were taken in the process to see that our elections are thoroughly run with precision and excellence! In fact, I am so impressed that I am going to be introducing a Resolution, inviting every representative in Nebraska’s Legislature to thank the great folks across the state who once again delivered an excellent election process, especially in the middle of a pandemic!
It is my hope and prayer that you and your family are remaining healthy during this time. As more people are contracting Covid-19, I am grateful for the excellence of District 17’s Health Departments, Emergency Managers and everyone involved with providing great healthcare to our residence.
In Governor Ricketts State of the State Address on Thursday he informed us that, “The federal government has invested over $10 billion in aid into our state. The State steered federal coronavirus relief towards $411 million in grants for Nebraska’s businesses and family farms. We also provided over $80 million to aid non-profit and community-based organizations ranging from food banks to childcare providers.”
According to the Omaha World Herald, Nebraska will start vaccinating anyone 65 years and older as part of its next phase in administering the COVID-19 vaccine. A top official in Nebraska’s vaccine effort cautioned that the shifting priority will add some 300,000 to 400,000 people to the next vaccine group, so it will take cooperation from everyone as we begin to vaccinate our citizens.
The number of positive tests reported for the periods January 8, 2021, and January 14, 2021 in District 17 are as follow:
Dakota County +24 (3678)
Thurston County: +66 (977)
Wayne County: +18 (971)
As always, it is of great importance that I hear from my constituents to effectively do my job as your voice in the Legislature. I encourage you to contact me and I look forward to hearing from you. You can reach me by phone at 402-471-2716 or by email at email@example.com.