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Preventing future flooding, working with youth
FROM THE STATE SENATOR

Preventing future flooding, working with youth

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Over the interim, I continue to work on issues that affect District 23 youth. My work with the Juvenile Justice Coalition and Juvenile Services is tasked with helping at-risk and disadvantaged youths. Specifically, the coalition works with individuals with probation or truancy issues in order to help them get back on track and to stay out of future trouble. Early intervention helps prevent kids from going down the wrong path and helps them to succeed later in life.

I would like to highlight a new task force aimed at helping the State of Nebraska prepare for future flooding events. The task force was recently signed into law by Gov. Ricketts in LB632. LB632 contains LB1201, a bill which I introduced, which will help identify existing resources that communities can use in response to flood events and evaluating floodwater management issues.

Nebraskans in District 23 and across the state suffered from the worst flooding in memory in 2019. This task force will help the state plan, so we can be prepared to meet the challenge of future flooding events. Six additional Senators joined LB1201 as cosponsors. The bill received unanimous approval during the final round of debate as a part of LB632, the Natural Resources committee package. I want to thank my colleagues and Governor Ricketts for helping take this important step.

I have been working extensively over the past year in evaluating the state’s future planning and needs for flood response. As co-chair LR241, we held meetings to evaluate the impact of flood on the state. During the interim study, the committee visited the Lincoln well field, Ashland National Guard camp, Loup Canal at Genoa, Schuyler, Winslow, and the Spencer Dam. We were also able to meet with numerous emergency managers, county highway superintendents, commissioners, public power, private landowners, and city officials.

The United States Department of Agriculture recently announced there is still grant funding available for relief from the 2019 floods through the Community Facilities Program. Public bodies, nonprofits, and municipalities located in disaster declared counties which include Butler, Colfax, and Saunders County. These grants may be used for disaster and non-disaster related projects which would benefit the community such as a new ambulance. For more information about the grant visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services and click the “Community Facilities Program” tab on the left. You may also find assistance by contacting your local USDA Rural Development office.

As fall activities increase, we have seen a spike in COVID-19 cases around District 23. I would like to remind everyone to follow state and local health department’s guidelines, which include properly social distancing using the six foot rule, wearing masks as recommended and not running nonessential errands. As a reminder for everyone we need you to stay home if you are sick and stay home while you are awaiting your test results.

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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