Greetings District 36. We are now more than two thirds of the way through this 60 day legislative session. Committee hearings have ended and we have begun full day debate. Along with full day debate will come long evenings so that we have an opportunity to complete as much work as possible. We have many bills that have been prioritized that deserve to have a discussion on the floor of the Legislature.
Major areas of discussion that have not yet been heard include revising our biennial budget, Medicaid expansion, the “right to farm” constitutional amendment, medical marijuana, and of course tax issues and school funding. This is a very long and important list when you consider the amount of time left in the session.
My priority bill concerning expanding problem-solving courts has passed the first two rounds of debate and is ready for a final vote. I was very pleased that other senators saw the need for this improvement in our judicial system. Problem-solving courts are more efficient, save money, and produce better outcomes than our prison system.
The bill I introduced on synthetic drugs was debated and also passed the first round of debate with a vote of 35 to 0. We organized a task force of people to work on this important issue. This task force included members of the Judiciary Committee, law enforcement, prosecutors, defense councils, and the pharmaceutical industry. This group worked hard to find a solution to the K2 issue in our state. Our goal was to find a way to remove K2 from the shelves, keep it off the shelves, and not further penalize the young people who may be in possession of this dangerous substance. We believe LB1009 is a positive step forward.
This past week we had the joy of hearing the Cozad High School Choir under the direction of Stacie Blackmore perform in the rotunda of the Capitol. They were invited to perform during Music Education Week. The choir performed exceedingly well and we are very proud of their efforts.
I also had the opportunity to meet a group of 4th grade students from Lexingtons Bryan Elementary during their visit to the Capitol. I always enjoy visiting with young people as they learn about our states history and government. We have much to be proud of and its a treat to share that message with the students of District 36.
I appreciate hearing from those of you back in the District. Please feel free to contact our office at any time with your questions or comments at (402) 471-2642 or by email at email@example.com.