By now, all registered voters in Nebraska should have had the opportunity to fill out an application for an early (absentee) ballot. That application should be mailed to your county’s Election Commissioner, which for most folks reading this will be your County Clerk. Once you have your ballot, please be sure that it is received by your county offices by the 12th. I’d like to take this opportunity to encourage all of you reading to exercise your constitutional right to vote. I won’t use this space to advocate for any particular candidate, as our local papers afford me these column inches not as a candidate, but in my capacity as a public official. However, I will remind you that voting is the best way to change the way your government is working for you. With that in mind, be sure to read up on the candidates on your local ballot, find out where they stand on the issues that matter to you, and always vote your conscience.

Also coming up are some relaxations of the Directed Health Measures which have been in place for us for several weeks now. All nine of the counties I represent (Antelope, Boone, Garfield, Greeley, Howard, Pierce, Sherman, Valley, and Wheeler) are included in the counties which will see eased restrictions on May 4th. Among the businesses which will be allowed to see patrons, with various restrictions, are restaurants, beauty and hair care salons, barbershops, massage therapists, and tattoo shops. There will still be requirements regarding social distancing, the use of masks, restaurant capacity, and daycare groups, for instance, among others. But this is very good news for many of the small businesses in our community which have been struggling to keep their heads above water for several weeks now.

Along with voting, I would encourage you to do your duty for your community, and support our local businesses in any way that you can, if your family has the financial means to do so.

As always, I am interested in hearing from you on state-level issues that matter to you. You can email me at tbriese@leg.ne.gov and you can call my office at (402)471-2631. Someone is only in the office a few hours a week while stricter measures are still in place in Lincoln, but my staff and I check the voicemail several times a day, so please leave a message if you call and we will get back to you.

In other news

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