On Tuesday, March 26th, I joined Governor Ricketts, Senator Gragert (LD 40), Executive Director of the Commission on Indian Affairs Judi Gaiashkibos, and representatives from the Nebraska Emergency Managements Agency (NEMA) and the Federal Emergency Managements Agency (FEMA) on a tour of the flood damage in Niobrara. We met with leaders from the Omaha Tribe, Winnebago Tribe, Ponca Tribe, and Santee Sioux Nation to discuss the FEMA process and options to address water system concerns. Nebraska and FEMA have been dedicated to working with our tribes and local communities to ensure that all issues from the flood are addressed. Thurston County is one of the 15 counties that have been approved for residents and businesses to apply for disaster assistance for losses resulting from the flood. How to apply for assistance:
- Online, visit DisasterAssistance.gov.
- On a smartphone, download the FEMA app and click on “disaster resources,” then “apply for assistance online.”
- By phone, call FEMA’s toll-free registration line at 800-621-3362. Telephone registration is available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT seven days a week.
- Visit a Disaster Recovery Center and speak to a FEMA specialist one-on-one. To find the nearest recovery center, go online to gov/DRC.
This week marked the end of committee hearings for the year, meaning the Legislature will go into full-day debate on Tuesday, April 2nd. On Monday, March 25th, LB 320, which I introduced on behalf of the Department of Agriculture was debated. LB 320 aligns the Nebraska Pesticide Act with new federal requirements, cleans up language throughout statute to clarify intent, and removes unnecessary language. LB 320 advanced to Select File without any “no” votes.
Thursday, March 28th I attended the Siouxland Ethanol Annual Meeting in South Sioux City with Governor Pete Ricketts. Nebraska is the second largest ethanol producer in the country and the ethanol industry has created great paying jobs for Nebraskans in small and rural communities. Siouxland Ethanol in Jackson has been a great economic driver for our community and was presented the Ethanol Industry Appreciation Award at the Nebraska Corn Board’s 2019 awards dinner this week. Siouxland was recognized for their dedication to producing a quality, clean-burning renewable fuel, which builds corn demand while also supporting other industries, such as the livestock sector. Northeast Nebraska is lucky to have such a great company in our community.
Attorney General Doug Peterson released information this week to help Nebraskans protect themselves from unethical contractors in the aftermath of the recent floods. While it is inexcusable for anyone to take advantage of victims of a natural disaster, consumers should take steps to protect themselves and their property. Please consider the following information to protect yourself:
- Before allowing anyone to repair your damaged home, verify his or her credentials.
- Check with the Nebraska Department of Labor to find out whether your contractor is properly registered and insured. You can search their website at https://dol.nebraska.gov/LaborStandards/Contractors/Overviewor call 402-471-2239. Check with city officials to find out whether contractors must be licensed to perform specific work in your area.
- Never sign any document or pay any contractor before verifying their license and/or registration.
More tips and information can be found at the Attorney General’s website: https://ago.nebraska.gov/news/attorney-general-peterson-provides-information-regarding-contractors
Those who suspect a home improvement scam should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division athttps://protectthegoodlife.nebraska.gov or 800-727-6432.
Live coverage of the full session of the Unicameral is available at www.netnebraska.org/capitol.
It is of great importance that I hear from my constituents to effectively do my job as your voice in the Legislature. I encourage my constituents to reach out to me and I look forward to hearing from you.