At the Capitol: Priority Bills Are Due Today!

Senators and committees must designate their legislative priority bills before they adjourn for hearings today. You can view the full list of what has already received a designation here. Speaker Arch will announce his own set of priority legislation tomorrow.

We were extremely disappointed to see Senator Jane Raybould prioritize LB327. Last week, the Business & Labor Committee combined two minimum wage bills into LB327, and advanced it out of committee. This legislation would significantly undermine last November’s ballot initiative to gradually increase our minimum wage to $15 by 2026 and create automatic cost of living adjustments starting in 2027.

LB327 would substantially weaken the annual cost of living increases and create a subminimum wage for young workers and trainees. We are strongly opposed to this legislation and encourage you to call or email your senator to let them know you are opposed to this bill because it isn’t what nearly 60% of Nebraskans voted for last year.

Last week’s highlights

We testified in front of the Health and Human Services Committee in support of two bills: LB290 (Sen. Michaela Cavanaugh), which puts money in the pockets of families who need it by increasing the eligibility limit for Aid to Dependent Children (ADC), the direct cash assistance program funded by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant; and LB310 (Sen. Danielle Conrad), which increases the amount of aid available to families in need by changing the maximum payment level under the Aid to Dependent Children program (ADC).

It was a big week in front of the Judiciary Committee and testifying in support of four housing bills, including: LB248 (Sen. Tony Vargas), which protects families’ ability to rent housing, regardless of how they would pay their rent, by prohibiting discrimination based on lawful source of income (SOI); LB175 (Sen. George Dungan) which adopts the Residential Tenant Clean Slate Act to allow tenants to obtain clean slate relief when they have faced wrongful eviction actions; LB187 (Sen. John Cavanaugh), which requires a court to appoint counsel in an eviction proceeding for any unrepresented tenant unless the tenant waives court-appointed counsel; and LB8 (Sen. Carol Blood), which strengthens tenant protections within our Mobile Home Landlord Tenant Act by requiring mobile home landlords to have good cause to initiate an eviction proceeding, and amending mobile home lien procedures.

This week’s hearings

Our team is at the Capitol for another week of hearings as we continue to fight for all Nebraskans!

YESTERDAY’S HEARINGThough the deadline for comments to become a part of the official hearing record has passed for these bills, you can still submit an online comment to committees.

Yesterday, we testified in front of the Business and Labor Committee on LB618 (Sen. Mike McDonell) – SUPPORT – which fixes Nebraska’s unemployment insurance gap to ensure DACA, TPS, and other work-authorized Nebraskans can access the unemployment insurance support they earned and their employers already paid for. (Submit an online comment.)

TODAY’S HEARING – Though the deadline for comments to become a part of the official hearing record has passed for these bills, you can still submit an online comment to committees.

Today, we’ll testify in front of the Education Committee about LB627 (Sen. Eliot Bostar) –SUPPORT – which adopts the Free Student Meals Act, which would make breakfast and lunch served in schools across Nebraska free to all students. (Submit an online comment.)

TOMORROW’S HEARINGSThough the deadline for comments to become a part of the official hearing record has passed for these bills, you can still submit an online comment to committees.

Tomorrow, we’ll testify in front of the Health and Human Services Committee in SUPPORT of two important bills that support Nebraska families: 

  • LB88 (Sen. Megan Hunt) – SUPPORT – helps Nebraskans support themselves by eliminating the ban on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for former drug felons. (Submit an online comment.)
  • LB85 (Sen. Jen Day) – SUPPORT – saves Nebraska families time and resources by providing for express lane eligibility under the Medical Assistance Act and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. (Submit an online comment.)

THURSDAY’S HEARINGS – Online comments due Wednesday by 12:00 PM

On Thursday, we’ll testify in front of  the Health & Human Services Committee on the following pieces of legislation:

  • LR19CA (Sen. Megan Hunt) – SUPPORT – a constitutional amendment to protect the right to reproductive freedom and prohibit the state from taking adverse action for exercising or assisting in the exercise of such right. (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.

P.S. You’re invited to our Mid-Session Mixer on Tuesday, March 21 at 5:00 PM at ZIPLINE Beer Hall to get an update on Nebraska Appleseed’s priority bills, gather with other Nebraska change makers, and learn how you can get involved during the second half of the 2023 Legislative Session. Light refreshments will be provided and a cash bar is available. RSVP to let us know you are attending!

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