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The Legislature had another busy and productive week. LB155, introduced by Sen. Brewer, was debated on the floor for a second time in the session. LB155 as amended would allow landowners to contest the use of eminent domain when it is being used to develop a privately owned renewable energy generation facility. LB155 was advanced to select file.

Sen. Blood’s bill LB138 was also debated on the floor last week. LB138 was amended to include two bills I introduced, LB696 and LB697. This bill allows for the creation of new specialty license plates honoring those who have served in a number of military campaigns. LB696, as amended into LB138, creates a new separate license plate for the Nebraska Air National Guard. The new plate specifies Army or Air National Guard and uses their respective logos. Another one of my bills, LB697, eliminates the annual license plate fee on the Gold Star Family, Pearl Harbor, Disabled Veteran and Purple Heart plates while also making them permanent plates. This bill advanced to Select File.

Director Schneweis of the Department of Transportation gave senators a briefing on the rebuilding progress of highways throughout the state. After the initial disaster, there were 3,300 Highway miles closed across the state. As of April 17, only 11 miles are still closed. He indicated the construction of highway 15 is on schedule to be completed by June.

As Nebraska continues to recover from the flood, FEMA asks that should you have registered for Individual Assistance and your contact information, insurance and bank deposit information has changed, to let FEMA know so no one misses important correspondence from the agency. You can update your information on disasterassistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362.

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The Nebraska Energy Office will now offer Dollar and Energy Saving Loans, these ultra-low interest loans to all Nebraskans to make energy efficient home and farm improvements. You do not need to be affected by flooding to participate in this special loan offer. *Subject to lender approval. You will find more information on loan amounts, energy efficiency requirements and loan application forms at the Nebraska Energy Office Dollar and Energy Saving Loans Program webpage: http://www.neo.ne.gov/loan/index.html

The Small Business Administration has approved low interest loans, at a rate of 2.75 percent in terms up to 30 years, for nonprofits in additional 20 counties including Saunders County. Now, Butler, Colfax and Saunders counties’ nonprofits will be eligible to receive up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. Nonprofits needing assistance should contact Public Information Officer Jodie Fawl of the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency by calling 407-471-7428. The deadline to apply for property damage assistance is June 4th and the deadline to apply for economic injury is Jan. 6, 2020.

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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