Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Becky Gould issued the following statement in response to the Governor’s State of the State address delivered this morning:
“This morning the Governor shared his reflections on the state of the state and priorities for the 2023 legislative session. Governor Pillen spoke about the importance of focusing on a better life for all Nebraskans. This is an important goal as far too many Nebraskans are struggling with finding affordable housing, child care, food, and jobs that pay enough to make ends meet. We can’t build thriving communities or solve our workforce challenges without addressing these key needs. Common sense policies that invest in these core areas are one of the best ways to use the substantial resources the state has this year to build the good life for all Nebraskans.
As we emerge out of the pandemic, there is important work to be done this year to implement policies that would deliver direct and lasting economic support to hardworking Nebraskans and their families. Two pieces of legislation – one that ensures thousands of families can maintain or gain access to food through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and another that extends eligibility for subsidies to help parents afford child care – would provide such support and help us address our workforce challenges. And instead of another round of tax cuts as the Governor proposed, we should focus on adopting tax policies like the Child Tax Credit, a proven and powerful way to reduce child poverty.
We are discouraged to see legislation aimed at undercutting Initiative 433, a ballot initiative that will increase our state’s minimum wage to $15 by 2026, and adjusted annually thereafter to account for the cost of living. The will of the nearly 60% of voters who endorsed this measure in November should be upheld so that Nebraska workers are paid a fair wage. We hope Governor Pillen will stand with Nebraska voters and oppose any attempts to undermine the minimum wage.
For everyone to have access to the good life, it’s critical that all Nebraskans are able to continue to put food on the table, afford child care, access health care, and earn a fair wage. We look forward to working with Governor Pillen, the Legislature, and community members to advance common-sense policies to support Nebraskans and strengthen our communities across the state.”