Access to school meals legislation and more housing bills up this week

UnicameralLast week, Appleseed testified in support of a number of bills that will make positive impacts across our state. There are several more hearings up this week that Appleseed and others will be participating in too. All-day hearings will continue through at least the end of February and floor debate will resume once hearings wrap up. Your voice is vital to ensuring we are building a vibrant, diverse, and inclusive Nebraska. See our legislative update from last week to learn how you can advocate safely during hearings and visit the Unicameral’s website for more information. 

Ensuring all kids can access school meals

Yesterday, our Food and Nutrition Access program manager, Eric, testified in front of the Education Committee in support of LB117, the Hunger-Free Schools Act. Introduced by Senator Machalea Cavanaugh, this bill would make school breakfasts and lunches free to students across our state – no matter their household income – to help ensure that no child goes to bed with an empty stomach. Read our testimony here.

Nebraskans should have access to safe, affordable housing

Last week, several positive housing bills were up for hearings in front of the Judiciary Committee and tomorrow the Committee will hold hearings on more legislation that will help address Nebraska’s housing needs. Appleseed, along with our Collective Impact Lincoln partners, will be testifying in support of a number of these bills including:

  • LB196, introduced by Senator Tony Vargas, would eliminate discrimination based on a tenants’ use of lawful sources of income, such as housing vouchers, to pay rent. 
  • LB419, introduced by Senator John Cavanaugh, would provide legal counsel to all tenants in eviction cases.
  • LB394, introduced by Senator Adam Morfeld, would clarify that municipalities are able to enact moratoriums on evictions in times of public health crisis.

In addition to these legislative hearings on Thursday, please check out some of the other events happening around housing access with Collective Impact Lincoln:

  • Thursday: Take a virtual tour of the exhibit, ‘Evicted’ hosted by the Nebraska History Museum. 
  • Friday: Join us on February First Friday for the film screening of ‘Behind on Rent’ by Gabriella Parsons. 
  • Saturday: Learn how you can advocate for this session’s housing justice bills at our Community Builder Workshop

Strengthening young people’s knowledge and power

Last Thursday, our child welfare program director, Sarah, and former foster youth, Jacob, testified in support of LB357. Introduced by Senator Megan Hunt, the bill would create the Nebraska Youth in Care Bill of Rights. Jacob shared his story, how the child welfare system impacted him, and why this bill is especially important for young people:

“The one thing I never got as a foster kid was a forever home…If the caseworkers spent one minute to actually spend time getting to know the kids, it would make a difference. The thing I would like to see change is the overall care of each kid in the system. Help me help others find their voice.”

This bill would strengthen young people’s knowledge and power to advocate for themselves and to seek support when their rights are not being met while they are in our child welfare system. To learn more, read our fact sheet here.

Stay up to date on Appleseed’s issues

You can keep up with all the happenings at the Legislature by following Appleseed online. Like our Facebook page and follow legislative hearings in real-time on Appleseed’s Twitter feed. Stop by our blog for opinion pieces, informative updates, and news stories.

We’ll let you know how you can take action to get involved and make your voice heard throughout the session!

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