Legislative Update

At the Capitol: Bipartisan Support for Summer EBT!

Last week, the Nebraska Legislature officially kicked off its 2024 session!

New bill introduction began last week and will continue through Wednesday, January 17th (Day 10). We will keep you posted on key pieces of legislation that are introduced over the next several days. 

Floor debate will begin this week and we will start off with discussion on any proposed rule changes. Once the rules are finalized, we will move on to debate on bills. Hearings will start the week of January 22nd in the afternoons, while floor debate will take place in the mornings.  

Several bills were introduced last week, including a few of our 2024 priorities:

  • LB871, introduced by Senator Machaela Cavanaugh, would provide transparency and accountability when it comes to our state’s use of TANF money and allow Nebraska to make the best use of funds available. 
  • LB913, introduced by Senator Megan Hunt, helps Nebraska take a major step forward in ensuring that postpartum health care is available to all women and people who need it, which is critical for keeping babies, families, and our communities healthy.
  • LB945, introduced by Senator Jana Hughes, would require that children leaving foster care receive important documents, information, and materials as they transition into adulthood.
  • LB952, introduced by Senator Jen Day, would provide summer grocery-buying benefits to low-income families with school-aged children by requiring the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to implement the federal Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (Summer EBT) Program.

We anticipate more of Appleseed’s priority bills to be introduced this week and next. Stay tuned for further updates! 

Summertime can make it harder for kids to get the food they need. School meals aren’t being served, and Summer Food Service Program sites that offer free meals can be few and far between. Additional food costs for parents can add up. Sometimes that means kids don’t eat.

Nebraska has the chance to opt into a new program to help: Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (or Summer EBT). This program, which has the potential to support feeding 150,000 kids each summer, would give each child who receives free or reduced price school meals an EBT card with $120 in grocery benefits for the summer months.

We’re particularly excited to share that LB952, introduced by Senator Jen Day, already has 17 bipartisan cosponsors! We appreciate the Legislature taking initiative to ensure kids can access food during the summer months. We are also excited to see such broad bipartisan support for this issue and thank all the cosponsors who have added their name to the bill. 

As the bill progresses, we’ll be sure to keep you up to date on how you can take action to keep Summer EBT front of mind for our legislators!

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!

ICYMI: In our previous legislative update, we shared a few important ways that you can share your voice on legislation that’s important to you this year. Next week, we’ll also host a virtual beginner’s workshop on how to make your voice heard this session!

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