Nebraska District 30 Senator Myron Dorn filed for re-election this week.
Sworn in during 2019, Dorn has stood, debated and voted through four sessions of the Nebraska State Legislature.
“I want to continue to work to make the state strong, to continue to make sure the people of the 30th district have strong representation up here,” Dorn said.
During this session, which started on Wednesday, Jan. 5, Dorn said he wants to focus on Nebraska’s workforce and his role in readjusting the state budget. He sits on the Appropriations Committee, the only of the legislature’s 14 committees which meets every day, Dorn said.
In the rhythm of daily meetings, the Appropriations Committee fashions the budget from hundreds of proposals every two years. The committee made the biennium budget last year, which makes this the year of touch-ups, Dorn said.
“My priorities this year are to help with, I call it, the budget part of what we have going on through appropriations," he said. “But also the appropriating of the ARPA funds to make sure we get the most impact from those dollars.”
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His bills won’t bring sweeping change, but he said, if passed, some will get help to folks who need it. LB760 would appropriate federal funds to the Department of Health and Human Services for licensed emergency medical service programs. Dorn said it would send $5 million toward replacing outdated medical equipment.
One of the bills he has yet to introduce would allocate $5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding for nursing scholarships across the state. He said scholarships will help incentivize more people to enter nursing.
“That’s my part of the bill is asking for $5 million from ARPA funds for scholarships for nurses,” he said. “…I think we found out through Covid exactly how critical nurses are. And we’re finding out the shortage we have and how that shortage is impacting our care. So if that’s something that helps bring people into that part of the workforce, that’s fantastic.”
Dorn’s bills also focus on the agricultural sector of Nebraska, which accounts for 26% of the state’s economic output. LB761, the Precision Agriculture Infrastructure Grant Act, would ask for $10 million in ARPA money to provided broadband to agricultural producers for connectivity and traceability. LB904 would use appropriate $50 million in ARPA funds to the University of Nebraska for cybersecurity instruction, which he said is important in protecting food producers.
“I think that’s critical,” he said. “We had a meat packing plant that was hacked… We have to make sure we are secure.”
In the past, Dorn introduced legislation aimed to alleviate the financial strain on Gage County residents for the $28.1 million Beatrice Six judgement. LB103 provided state funding to cover federal judgments against counties. Dorn said he will not be pursuing anymore legislation related to the Beatrice Six at this time.
Before his work as state senator, Dorn sat on the Gage County Board of Supervisors. He currently serves with the Adams rescue squad and is winding down his work in farming, which he did with his brothers his whole life.
Dorn said he enjoys seeing the work his colleagues put together every session.
“What you really enjoy up here … is knowing that you’re helping the people of the state of Nebraska,” he said. “It’s how can we help make sure the state of Nebraska is in a good place financially.”