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As the flood recovery continues, I would again like to thank everyone from volunteers, to local, state, and federal personnel who have dedicated their time to help our communities and those who have been affected by the disaster.

Moving forward through the recovery phase, the Legislature has been meeting with NEMA, FEMA, and the Small Business Administration on how to help those who have been impacted. FEMA and the SBA have relayed that if you need relief, apply through your insurance company, the FEMA disaster assistance programs, as well as the SBA Disaster Assistance Loan programs as all three can have different uses. Disaster Relief Centers are being set up around the state with federal and state resources to help work with those seeking assistance.

When applying for individual assistance through FEMA, there are three ways to apply. First, you can apply online through disasterassistance.gov. Also, there is a toll free number which is 1-800-621-3362 and should you call they have translators for a variety of languages that will be able to assist. Finally, there is FEMA app where you can apply for individual assistance.

The Small Business Administration is offering low interest loans at a rate 2.068 percent for home owners, renters, business owners and private non-profit organizations. Home owners may borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary home. Furthermore, homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to replace personal property. Businesses may borrow up to $2 million dollars to repair or replace disaster property damage. To apply for loans visit disasterloan.sba.gov/ela or call 800-659-2955.

If you own a farm and have been impacted by the flooding, please contact your county USDA Farm Service Agency office. The FSA will be able to help with the loss of livestock and can also provide emergency loans. If you live in Colfax County, contact the office by calling 402-352-5200 extension 2. For Butler County, call 402-367-3074. If you live in Saunders County, their number is 402-443-4106.

After 43 days of committee hearings, they have come to a close and the Legislature began full day floor debates this week. Sessions now re-convene at 1:30 p.m. after the usual noon adjournment for lunch. This extra time will allow for more time to work through and debate bills on the floor of the Legislature. The Legislature has also begun debating this session’s priority bills. Priority bills are generally moved to the front of the agenda and get to be considered by the Legislature before other bills. Each Senator has the choice of one priority bill, the Speaker is allowed 25 priority bills, and each committee can prioritize two bills.

Finally, I would like to thank the fourth graders of Yutan, Ashland-Greenwood, and Wahoo Elementary I had the pleasure of meeting the past few weeks. These young students had the opportunity to tour the Capitol and learn about the three branches of government.

I appreciate hearing from constituents on issues affecting District 23 and encourage you to contact my office on legislation at 402-471-2719 or bbostelman@leg.ne.gov.

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