We’re busy at the Capitol as senators and committees continue to designate their legislative priorities, which are due by March 14. We’re excited to see LB294 (Sen. Danielle Conrad), which would help families fight the cost of living by adopting the Child Tax Credit Act (CTC), make the priority bill list. Unfortunately, we also saw the prioritization of LB626 (Sen. Joni Albrecht), which bans abortions at six weeks, and LB574 (Sen. Kathleen Kauth), which bans gender affirming care for youth.
A priority designation helps ensure that a bill will have time on the floor during session, so stay tuned for updates on how you can make your voice heard this session.
In case you missed it: Read all about Appleseed’s 2023 legislative priorities.
Last week’s highlights
Last week, we testified in front of the Appropriations Committee in opposition to the appropriation of funds to construct a new prison, and submitted a comment in support of LB20 (Sen. Justin Wayne), which restores voting rights to many system-impacted people. We also advocated for increased funding to extend our state’s meatpacking coordinator to a full-time position through LB755 (Sen. Tony Vargas).
Our Child Welfare team had a huge week, testifying in front of the Judiciary Committee in support of LB14 (Sen. George Dungan), which expands Nebraska’s Bridge to Independence (B2I) program to include youth with juvenile justice system involvement. We also testified in support of LB42 (Sen. Ben Hansen), which updates and clarifies Nebraska’s definition of neglect, and LB271 (Sen. Terrell McKinney), which addresses racism and disproportionality within our child welfare system.
This week’s hearings
We have several more hearings this week, as the Appleseed team continues to fight for a Nebraska where everyone can thrive.
We kicked off a week of hearings in front of the Health and Human Services Committee, testifying in SUPPORT of LB62 (Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh), which removes language barriers between patients and providers by requiring that translation and interpretation services are reimbursed under Medicaid. (Submit an online comment.)
Unfortunately, ballot Initiative 432’s passage now means the Nebraska Legislature is considering three voter identification bills. Any voter identification bill considered by the legislature must protect voting access for all eligible Nebraska voters. Tomorrow, we’ll testify in front of the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee on three bills related to voter identification:
- LB675 (Sen. Jen Day) – SUPPORT – presents requirements that are the least restrictive, as it includes expanded criteria for acceptable IDs as well as funding for additional DMV accessibility and a public awareness campaign. (Submit an online comment.)
- LB228 (Sen. Steve Erdman) – OPPOSE – requires in-person voting for most Nebraskans by limiting eligibility for mail-in voting to military personnel and certain live-in care facilities. (Submit an online comment.)
- LB230 (Sen. Steve Erdman) – OPPOSE – narrowly defines what qualifies as an acceptable photo ID and will exclude rural, BIPOC, and disabled voters from our electoral process. (Submit an online comment.)
Today, we’re testifying in front of the Health and Human Services Committee in SUPPORT of two bills that support families who are navigating the rising cost of living:
- LB84 (Sen. Jen Day) ensures families have access to food by eliminating the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)’s upcoming eligibility provision sunset. (Submit an online comment.)
- LB35 (Sen. Wendy DeBoer) helps parents afford the child care they need by extending the sunset date on Nebraska’s current child care subsidy eligibility increase. (Submit an online comment.)
We’ll wrap up the week with the Executive Board and Health and Human Services Committee, testifying in SUPPORT of two opportunities that the Legislature has to protect Nebraska children:
- LR5 (Sen. Carol Blood) which is a legislative resolution to ratify an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to regulation of child labor (Submit an online comment.)
- LB233 (Sen. John Cavanaugh) ensures that child support is used to support kids by eliminating child support income as a factor in determining families’ eligibility for Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) benefits. (Submit an online comment.)
Stay up to date on Appleseed’s issues
You can keep up with all the happenings at the Legislature by following Appleseed online. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Don’t miss out on our live updates on legislative hearings on Twitter.
We’ll let you know how you can take action to get involved and make your voice heard throughout the session!
Want to help support Appleseed’s efforts? Become a monthly Sustaining Supporter by giving $5, $10, or $15 per month. Now through March 15, a supporter will make a $100 contribution for the first 25 new monthly sustainers, making your support go even further.