There are only three full weeks of session remaining.
Last week, senators continued debate on the mainline budget bills and on various appropriations issues. Once the budget is done, senators will complete other bills that distribute state funds and work towards finishing up the session over the few remaining weeks.
In addition to monitoring the budget, we’re keeping a close eye on the Department of Health and Human Services’ plans for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds. Nebraska receives $56 million every year in the federal TANF block grant and it has not spent the full amount of that grant for many years. The state now has a TANF “rainy day” fund balance of over $130 million, and several senators took time talking on the floor about how that fund should be spent on those most in need in Nebraska.
LB574 – Including Abortion Ban Amendment – Up Today
Today, LB574 (Senator Kathleen Kauth), which bans gender affirming care for youth, will be on the floor for debate today. Senator Ben Hansen has introduced an amendment to LB574 that would include another attempt at an abortion ban.
We are opposed to any bill banning gender affirming care AND any added amendments to try to ban abortion access again. Any version of this bill is a continued attack on our ability to access life-saving health care.
- Contact your senator NOW and tell them to OPPOSE LB574. No bill can legislate for every medical situation. Any law that restricts a medical professional’s ability to provide safe and medically-backed care undermines our entire health care system.
- Join us on the North Steps of the Capitol today at 5:30 PM for a rally with all of our friends. Then, join us inside to watch the debate for LB574.
Voter ID Legislation Expected to Advance Soon
Our democracy is strongest when all eligible voters have access to the ballot and their voices are heard on election day. Adding additional voter identification requirements unnecessarily restricts every eligible voter’s constitutional right to freely and fairly cast their ballot and are particularly harmful to rural voters, BIPOC communities, students, and voters who are low-income or living with disabilities.
Unfortunately last November, voters approved Initiative 432, which changed our state constitution to require a photo ID to vote. This constitutional amendment, however, left it up to the Legislature to pass a bill to determine how exactly that requirement should work.
The Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee is expected to advance a voter ID implementation measure sometime soon. We hope to support the proposed amended bill’s reported language, which would allow voters to use a variety of student, government, or tribal identification documents – including expired IDs – as long as the documents show the person’s name and a photo. We will keep you updated on how you can take action as this legislation moves forward.
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