The Re-elect Senator Lydia Brasch campaign held a very successful fundraiser event in Lincoln.
Lincoln fundraiser photo album
RSVP by calling (402) 488-4225, or by email: Darlene.Starman@woodsbros.com
Re-Elect Senator Lydia
Over 30 supporters and contributors to the Re-Elect Senator Lydia Brash campaign attended a wonderful fundraising luncheon at Fernando’s Cafe’ & Cantina in Blair on Thursday, October 31, 2013. The gathering included Nebraska State Senators Scott Lautenbaugh, Bill Kintner and John Murante.
Re-Elect Senator Lydia Brasch Luncheon photo album
By Doug Barber email@example.com
Lydia Brasch wishes her mother could see her now.
The daughter of immigrants from Ukraine is in her first year as a state senator and she is literally living her duties.
Brasch was spending more than three days this week staying in Holling Hall on the former Dana College campus with people who have been displaced by the Missouri River flooding. She is hoping to help them cut through red tape and get some answers on government aid.
Brasch asked if it would be alright if she spent some time in the former college dormitory getting to know the people there and figuring out how to help them.
She considers it part of her duties as a state senator.
“I was very respectful and careful in asking to come here,” Brasch said as she sat in the shade at a picnic on the former Dana campus. “I offered to be the undercover senator. I won’t be campaigning for another four years, but today I am truly doing this from the heart because I work for you. I feel it’s my duty and obligation.”
Keeping up on flooding: State Sen. Lydia Brasch, left, and Jan Davis, external affairs manager for Black Hills Energy, listen as Rod Storm, Blair city administrator, explains the flooding situation at the Blair water treatment plant during a tour on Wednesday.
That sense of duty and obligation runs deep in a woman who was raised by parents who spoke no English when they arrived at Ellis Island in 1950.
“When my parents got to Ellis Island, my mother said they kissed the ground, then they thanked the Lord for a glimpse of heaven,” Brasch said.
Her parents came to Nebraska, worked hard, learned English at night and instilled that sense of duty and patriotism in their children.
“We grew up very, very patriotic,” Brasch said. “In Ukraine, they had to pray with a secret Bible with candle in the closet. My mother was not allowed an education.”
Her uncle, a professor in Kiev, was shot and killed when a short-wave radio was found in his room.
Another thing she got from her parents was a willingness to work hard at whatever she does.
“I have a very strong work ethic,” Brasch said. “I take my work very seriously. It’s an honor and a privilege to be a state senator.”
Brasch still wears her mother’s cross on a chain around her neck.
“I wish my mother were still alive today,” she added. “It’s phenomenal. This is truly their American dream. To be here, to raise a family, to leave this life a little better than you found it.”
As of May 27, Brasch’s legislative district now covers all of Washington County, as well as Burt and Cuming counties to the north. It was revised in the redistricting process that moves boundaries each decade to more accurately reflect population shifts.
The realignment came about the time the Missouri River waters started rising from increased releases from reservoirs upstream.
Before the Legislature had even adjourned, Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy called half a dozen senators whose districts run along the Missouri River to show them the Army Corps of Engineers’ inundation maps and to talk about the pending flooding with state emergency officials.
Memorial Day weekend, her home phone started ringing.
“I remember very clearly, a constituent in Decatur was very alarmed because it was windy, the water was rising and boaters were creating wakes and causing significant property damage,” Brasch said.
So, on a Sunday morning, the new state senator called Gov. Dave Heineman’s cell phone and left a message telling him of the problems. Heineman called back in 30 minutes and the ball began rolling to coordinate responses as “things just started going from bad to worse.”
The flooding also forced Brasch to speed up her planned introductions to people in Washington County.
I was going to earn my keep regardless of the flood,” she said. “My intention when I visited with my staff was for Washington County to be a priority. I was going to start in Washington County, then Burt County, then back to Cuming County.
“Now I am here out of necessity more than introduction,” Brasch added. “It’s more a matter of what can we do? How fast can we get it done? What resources are available and how soon can we get them?”
Brasch knows many people face a long road ahead of them. The typical story, she said, is of a working couple with a family, a modest home and the typical debts of a family.
Many of their homes are gone, along with many possessions. They can’t afford another mortgage on top of the one they have, but they need to find a new home and they may not qualify for a new home loan.
Brasch said the federal government may provide programs for the flood victims to get back on their feet.
Brasch knows a lot of other questions remain on a lot of fronts.
School will start before the floodwaters recede. What will that mean for those who are displaced and for the school districts?
Thousands of acres of farmland are under water and it may take years for some of it to recover.
Brasch has asked the Legislature’s Agriculture Committee, of which she is a member, to meet to talk about the situation. She expects the flooding aftermath to be a major topic of next year’s session of the Legislature.
“People are going to lose their income,” said Brasch, whose husband, Lee, is a fifth-generation farmer. “That’s one thing we know about farming: If we don’t have a crop, we don’t have a paycheck. There is some flood insurance for this year, but how long will it be before the land is recovered?”
Despite the flooding and her overloaded schedule, Brasch said she is happy doing what she is doing and is proud to be a Nebraskan.
“This is truly the good life,” Brasch added. “I am proud to be an American. It doesn’t get any better than that. It’s all good.”
As I become familiar to procedures and accustomed working 12-hour legislative days, it is impressed upon me the hard work and dedication of so many of you who also work extended days. I am quickly finding that every bill introduced offers an opportunity to learn about an issue and grant respect to various viewpoints. I look forward to hearing from you about your views on bills before the Legislature. You can watch our Legislature daily online at http://www.netnebraska.org/publicmedia/capitol.html or on television on NET2.
Continuing to expand my knowledge of important policy matters, this week, along with my fellow senators, we studied our funding process for K-12 education. While the state aid formula is based on needs and resources of school districts, there are other components that ultimately determine the state aid dollars received. This is an important issue as we consider budget cuts, and I will continue this learning process to ensure that District 16 schools benefit fairly.
Committee hearings began last week in the Legislature. I experienced my first hearing as a member of the Agriculture Committee on Jan. 18. We heard testimony in support of Tam Allans re-appointment to the State Fair Board, as well as testimony on LB 109 and LB 110, both introduced by Agriculture Committee Chair Sen. Carlson. LB 109 eliminates the registration requirement of agricultural liming products to correspond to requirements governing fertilizers and feeds not requiring similar product registration. LB 110 removes the requirement that all soil conditioner products be registered with the Department of Agriculture and requires the manufacturer or product guarantor be included with labeling information provided on or with products distributed commercially. The Ag Committee unanimously recommended Mr. Allan for re-appointment.
The Government, Military, & Veterans Affairs Committee also met for hearings this week. Among the bills that we heard testimony on were LB 14 and LB 101. Both of these bills have prompted a great deal of e-mail and letter correspondence. County clerks in District 16 expressed support of LB 14, a bill that increases register of deeds fees to provide for modern technology for records documentation. LB 101, introduced by Sen. Schilz of Ogallala, eliminates daylight savings time. I have heard a great deal from those in support and opposition to this idea, although there was no testimony in opposition to LB 101 at the public hearing. Both bills remain in committee at this time.
Bill introductions wrapped up on the 10th day of session, Jan. 19. I will carry five bills this session. This week I introduced LB 368 to prevent political parties from nominating candidates for office if the party did not have a candidate on the primary ballot. This legislation is supported by the Secretary of State. LB 690 is another bill that I brought on behalf of Americans United for Life. This legislation furthers existing parental notification requirements for an abortion by requiring parental consent or consent of a family member or legal guardian. The fifth bill that I introduced this session is LB 691. LB 691 was brought to me by the Soybean Association and will require state agencies to give purchasing preference to biobased products. Biobased products are derived from agriculture products, such as soybeans, corn and other plants or forestry materials that can build upon our agriculture base in Nebraska.
Sen. Lydia Brasch represents Nebraska’s 16th District. She can be reached at (402) 471-2728, District 15, State Capitol Lincoln, NE 68509 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lydia Brasch was officially sworn in as Nebraska State Senator from District 16 in the Unicameral chambers of the Nebraska State Capitol building today, Wednesday January 5, 2011:
Chief Justice Mike Heavican of the Nebraska Supreme Court swears in Nebraska State Senators including District 16 Senator Brasch:
District 16 Senator-elect Lydia Brasch will officially become a Nebraska State Senator tomorrow! Nebraska’s 102nd State Legislature will commence Wednesday January 5, 2010 with a swearing in ceremony beginning at 10:00 am. Watch live video streaming of the swearing-in ceremony HERE.
News articles regarding Senator-elect Lydia Brasch:
Fremont Tribune article: Brasch prepares for her freshman year
Wausa News article: Nebraska Legislature Starts Wed
West Point News article: Brasch eager to begin new job representing District 16
The Lydia Brasch for Legislature Victory Party on election night at Horizon Inn in West Point was a joyous occasion with Lydia handily unseating the incumbent Democrat. Please see the election night photo album.