dist46_05We had an incredible session with the passage of six pieces of my legislation into law ranging from workforce development and licensure credentialing for veterans, providing $10,000,000 of need based financial aid scholarships to working Nebraska families, removing unnecessary “red tape” when buying and selling a home, to ensuring young Nebrsakans facing alcohol related emergencies receive the medical assistance they need. Much work remains with several pieces of my legislation still pending for next session including but not limited to tax credits for businesses offering skilled apprenticeships, workplace protections for LGBT Nebraskans, and continuing to make higher education more affordable for working families.

As a member of the Education and Judiciary Committees I had the opportunity to learn a great deal about and address some of our most challenging issues facing the state. On average one-third of all legislation goes through these two committees so there were many late nights in hearings and sorting through reports and studies. As I learn more and gain additional experience I will continue to take the lead on important early childhood, K-12 and post secondary higher education issues while ensuring we are smart on crime. I firmly believe that if we do our job correctly in Education Committee that we should not have near the work load in Judiciary Committee.

Finally, I was proud to be at the forefront of the passage of one of the largest prison reforms in Nebraska’s history, the repeal of the death penalty, and providing more funding in the property tax relief fund and to ensure higher education affordability.

Working Families Agenda – Living wage jobs, affordable education, creating a strong business climate

PENDING IN COMMITTEE – LB 255 – Provide Tax Credits for Business Utilizing Apprenticeships – Working with the Chamber of Commerce and Labor to address under employment and bringing skilled trades to Nebraska is a top priority for me. LB 255 will provide a $2000 a year income tax credit per apprentice to businesses providing qualified apprenticeships across the state.

PASSED INTO LAW – LB 264 – Provide Civilian Professional Credentials Based on Military Education, Training, or Experience – Our military members who are transitioning out of the military should have a place for their expertise and skills right here in Nebraska. This will allow military members who have specialized training and have it recognized with civilian licensure, particularly in the health field.

GENERAL FILE – LB 586 – Prohibit Workplace Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation – Hardworking Nebraskans should be judged for the quality of their work and not based on who they are and love. Both the Lincoln and Omaha Chambers of Commerce have strongly supported LB 586 and work place protections provided by this legislation and I am proud to work with them to ensure equality and competitiveness.

Ensuring High Quality K-12 Education and Affordable Higher Education for Working Families

PENDING IN COMMITTEE – LB 153 – Make Electronic and Paper Textbooks Sales Tax Free – The skyrocketing cost of tuition, housing and fees is quickly making a higher education for middle and low income Nebraskans unattainable and impracticable. LB 153 would exempt electronic and paper textbooks from sales tax.

PASSED INTO LAW – LB 355 – (amended onto LB 519) Provide $10 million Nebraska Opportunity Fund for Need Based Scholarships – Need based scholarships for middle and lower income Nebraskans seeking higher education are critical and this bill will ensure current funding for these programs is maintained out of the state lottery funds, which is set to expire in 2016.

Creating Modern and Safe Communities

PASSED INTO LAW – LB 439 – Provide Limited Immunity to Intoxicated Minors Requesting Medical Assistance – The safety of our youth should be our first priority while still holding them accountable for their actions. Minors in need of medical assistance for alochol intoxication will receive limited immunity from only the Minor in Possession charge as long as they 1) call for medical assistance, and 2) cooperate fully with the police and other authorities. This would only provide immunity for the MIP charge, not any other crime. The Lincoln Police Department and University of Nebraska supported this legislation.

PASSED INTO LAW – LB 546 – (amended into LB 390) Allow for Naloxone to be Prescribed Over the Counter – Naloxone can save the lives of loved ones experienced opiod drug overdoses (administered much like an Epi-pen for bee stings). Nebraska would join 28 states that make this drug available over the counter to friends and family of those with addiction issues to restore breathing and save lives.

PASSED INTO LAW – LB 253 – Eliminates unnecessary notary requirements from the 1800’s when selling your home that would otherwise delay the purchase or selling of a home.

Ensuring Retired Nebraskans Have Access to High Quality Care

PENDING IN COMMITTEE – LB 440 – Ensuring High Quality Care for Alzheimer’s Patients via Rate Study – Currently, seniors suffering from Alzheimers are not receiving the best care possible because Medicare rates are not adequate for the high quality care required for those who have memory loss.

Be sure to visit this website for regular updates and on how to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I will be sure to keep the website updated with news clips, events and hearings that I will be a part of, and of course always feel free to call me at 402-471-2720 or amorfeld@leg.ne.gov.

It is an incredible honor to serve Downtown and Northeast Lincoln in the Legislature. Your views and ideas are important to me and I answer all mail, emails and other correspondence!

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