This week I wanted to mention one of our significant legislative activities, namely the annual “Northeast Nebraska Day at the Capitol.” Northeast Nebraska Day at the Capitol on March 27 is a collaborative effort of local Chambers of Commerce from our region. Chambers of Commerce from Blair, Columbus, Fremont, Norfolk, Wayne and West Point come together for this event.
The day begins at 3 p.m. with a valuable series of educational sessions. We’ll hear from Kyle Schneweis, the director of the Nebraska Department of Roads regarding projects in northeast Nebraska and some general process questions, as well.
Sen. Jim Scheer is the latest Speaker of the Unicameral from northeast Nebraska and he will also speak to our group. We have invited Gov. Ricketts to also speak, and he is making every effort to fit this in to his schedule.
All Nebraska senators and other state leaders are then invited to join the northeast delegation for an evening reception. I’m pleased to say we always have a good group there, including virtually all of our State senators from the region. This is our opportunity to communicate our shared legislative priorities to the Senators one-on-one in an informal setting. The chambers always identify shared priorities, both specific bills and general areas of interest. For example, in the past we have advocated in these areas:
Workforce - supporting measures that help train and recruit individuals to fill workforce shortages
Roads/Transportation - ensure that there continues to be a funding mechanism to maintain and grow our state’s infrastructure and complete the Expressway system
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Agriculture - increase agriculture-friendly environment for economic opportunities.
I’m mentioning the date early so you can put this on your calendar. We will have limited slots available for each community so I’d encourage you to your response in now if you know you’ll want to attend. All employees of members of the Columbus Area Chamber are invited. You simply RSVP to the Chamber office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 564-2769.
Northeast Nebraska Day is sponsored by a coalition of businesses and organizations across the region. Between that support and local sponsors such as Cornhusker Public Power and Loup Public Power, Columbus Area Chamber members can attend at no cost. Their support is appreciated!
We are proud to work with our partners across the region to share issues of importance with the elected leadership of our state.
Staying connected with the people who make laws and execute policy is a critical role of your Chamber Legislative Committee and our organization as a whole.
K.C. Belitz is the outgoing president of the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce.