A state senator has resigned from the Unicameral to lead a new organization formed to devise an economic blueprint for the state.
In fact, the group is actually called Blueprint Nebraska.
Former state Sen. Jim Smith of Papillion is its first executive director. Smith says it will seek input on a plan to stimulate economic growth.
“What we’re trying to do with this effort is to be as broad and comprehensive as possible, involving people across the state and, then, to back it up with research,” Smith tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Smith has served in the Unicameral for the past eight years, serving as chair of the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee and the Revenue Committee. Smith had to leave the legislature at the end of the year, due to term limits.
Blueprint Nebraska touts itself as an organization seeking to produce a comprehensive, long-range economic plan for the state; a plan that seeks to make Nebraska more competitive while building on its strengths.
Smith says industry councils will be formed throughout the state so Nebraska citizens can provide input, looking at a range of issues covering agriculture, manufacturing, health care, education, taxation, housing, as well as technology and innovation. The input gathered will be combined with research from the University of Nebraska to settle on an economic plan.
Smith says he’s excited about the opportunity push the state forward.
“Nebraska, we all know, is a great place to live,” smith says. “The people are great. The work ethic is strong and the way we go about conducting our business really makes Nebraska a unique place to live and do business.”
Union Pacific Chairman, President and CEO Lance Fritz, based in Omaha, and 21st Century Holdings President and CEO Owen Palm, based in Scottsbluff, helped put together Blueprint Nebraska, which will be supported by chambers of commerce throughout the state.
More information is available at www.blueprint-nebraska.org.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports: [:45]