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Legislature - District 39

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    Allison Heimes

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    Lou Ann Linehan

Biographical Information

Does Nebraska need to change its method of redistricting? Why or why not?

How should the problem of prison overcrowding be handled?

Do you feel there is a need for voter ID, if so why and how should it be implemented?

Should there be increased restrictions on money in politics? Why or why not and what specific restrictions would you support? (Online only)

Does Nebraska need a paid family medical leave program? Why or why not? (Online only)

Education JD, Creighton University School of Law MS, Creighton University BA, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Military experience Military Spouse
Volunteer experience Foodbank of the Heartland, Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Kim Foundation, Attorney of the Day for immigrant kids, Honor and Remember, etc.
We need to use algorithmically derived district remapping that optimizes the creation of new districts based on equal numbers of voters and compactness and avoid the anti-democratic practice of gerrymandering.
Is the primary function of prison to punish individuals for misdeeds or is it to rehabilitate people who have taken a wrong turn in life? I believe prison’s primary function is to rehabilitate individuals so that they can rejoin society. Thus, we need to create rehabilitative programs and provide mental health treatment to inmates. We can limit the amount of people in prison for non-violent drug offenses and offenses related to mental illness if we address the root causes of criminal behavior.
No, there should not be any barriers to voting. It is my opinion, that in addition to no voter ID laws, election day should be a national holiday so that everyone can participate in their civic duty. In light of the pandemic, we should normalize having the election commission send out vote by mail applications as a reminder for people to vote. We should install more drop-boxes for ballots.
We need campaign finance reform. I have many ideas on this matter, but to keep my answer brief and to the point, we need to have a ceiling on how much money can be raised total. Ceilings would prevent incumbents from being able to out-raise challengers before it’s even an election year, they would prevent big companies and millionaires from being able to buy elections, and it would even the playing field for candidates who aren’t wealthy, but who truly want to advocate for their districts.
The healthcare system we currently have is not ideal. It is difficult to find affordable insurance, hospitals bill high amounts for basic treatments, and few employers offer paid sick leave, so when an individual gets sick it is catastrophic for a family. Medical emergencies bankrupt families. We need to offer a parachute for suffering families. If your reasons for running for office don’t include taking care of your constituents and their families, then you aren’t running for the right reasons
Current Public Office, dates held State Senator, Legislative District 39 including Elkhorn, Valley, Waterloo and portions of Millard and West Omaha, elected 2016; chair, Legislature’s Revenue Committee, elected 2019
Past Public Office, dates held none
Education attended University of Nebraska-Lincoln and University of Nebraska at Omaha; Lewiston (Nebraska) High School
Military experience None/ While working for the U.S. Department of State, Lou Ann was assigned to Iraq several times between 2008 and 2012 where she worked closely with the U.S. Military.
Volunteer experience St Patrick’s Catholic Church, Elkhorn; Women’s Center for Advancement of Omaha, 2014 Distinguished Honoree; City Charter Review; Cable Television Board; past president, Meyer Board Auxiliary; treasurer, Parent Teacher Assoc; CCD education teacher
Redistricting is a specific and clear duty of Nebraska’s non-partisan Unicameral Legislature. In fact, Article III Section 5 of Nebraska’s State Constitution explicitly places this authority with the Legislature with the following sentence: The Legislature shall redistrict the state after each federal decennial census. I do not support delegating this duty outside the Legislature where the State Constitution clearly and appropriately places this authority.
The solution is more beds and adequate programming for inmates who will re-enter society after prison. In the last two years more beds have been added including a 100 bed dormitory and a 160-bed work-release facility for women. One hundred beds are under construction at the State Penitentiary, and work has begun on a 64-bed facility for elderly and mentally ill inmates. The Legislature has also approved 384 more beds at the Lincoln Correctional Center for the state’s worst-behaving inmates.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, as of December 31, 2019 a total of 36 states have laws requesting or requiring voters to show some form of identification. Voter identification laws are intended to prevent in-person voter impersonation and increase confidence in the election process, and I agree with those objectives. However, these laws cannot infringe on individual voter rights or serve as a discriminatory poll tax so they must be implemented carefully.
Nebraska candidates disclose all contributions and expenses over $250 and non-individuals, including corporations, also report contributions in excess of $250. These requirements provide transparency for how campaigns are funded. Adding restrictions on campaign contributions increases the likelihood contributions will end up in dark money organizations which lack any transparency. Consequently, I oppose more restrictions which would increase unregulated, unaccountable campaign spending.
Many large employers offer paid family medical leave and I applaud them for choosing to do so. What many employers have found is that in order to compete for employees they need to offer an attractive benefits package including things like paid family medical leave. However, many smaller employers can find it cost prohibitive to offer this benefit and I don’t support imposing a mandate that would hurt small businesses which are the backbone of our state’s economy.