Legislative Update

At the Capitol: All-day debate has begun

The Legislature is officially done with hearings and moved into all-day debate this week. Debate will typically take place from 9 am – 12:00 pm and 1:30 pm – 5:00 pm, with the potential to go later into the evening starting the week of March 18th.

We testified or submitted comments on the following bills last week:

  • LB1237 (M. Cavanaugh) specifies data Nebraska DHHS must provide in its annual Medicaid report to ensure transparency and availability of critical information regarding Nebraskans’ access to Medicaid health coverage. (SUPPORT)
  • LB871 (M. 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. (SUPPORT)
  • LB1417 (Brewer) would terminate the Nebraska Children’s Commission’s Alternative Response and Bridge to Independence Advisory Committees. (OPPOSE)
  • LB1357 (McDonnell) would criminalize homelessness, harming unhoused people who already face barriers to safety & stability. (OPPOSE)

Yesterday, ✅ LB906 (Riepe), which increases penalties for child labor law violations, advanced to select file. This bill responds to a recent federal investigation that discovered more than 30 children were employed to clean Nebraska meatpacking facilities in 2022. Large-scale meatpacking continues to be one of Nebraska’s most dangerous industries; this bill takes a step in the right direction by increasing penalties for child labor violations. As our state continues to address labor violations in the meatpacking industry, we urge the state to hold corporate actors accountable for these violations (rather than individual people like parents). 

Other Appleseed priority bills on the agenda this week include:

LB1115 (Dungan) recognizes Nebraskans’ Constitutional right to a trial by jury in eviction cases. It also ensures that tenants will be informed of their right and protects against leases that would require tenants to waive their right to a trial by jury. LB1115 has been amended onto LB175 (DeBoer), which provides eviction clean slate mechanisms. “Clean slate” means sealing an eviction record. This bill would provide immediate clean slate relief for tenants whose eviction proceedings were dismissed, and if a tenant was evicted, they can apply for clean slate relief after 3 years.

LB62 (M. Cavanaugh) removes language barriers between patients and providers by requiring that translation and interpretation services are reimbursed under Medicaid. Language barriers impact care at every point an individual interacts with the health care system, and hundreds of thousands of Nebraskans access health care through Medicaid. 

LB1170 (Riepe) reduces unemployment benefits from 26 weeks to just 16 weeks, making it more difficult for Nebraskans to support themselves and their families when between jobs or when faced with unexpected circumstances, like when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its most severe. Because discrimination in hiring and other structural barriers make it more difficult for workers of color to find jobs, cutting benefit weeks has the worst impacts on Black, Latinx, and Native American workers.

Follow along: You can livestream debate through Nebraska Public Media.

Collective Impact Lincoln’s 2024 Housing Affordability & Justice Lobby Day provides a unique platform for participants to learn, engage, and advocate for positive change in Nebraska’s housing landscape. 

Join us next Wednesday, March 13 at the Capitol to amplify the voices calling for housing justice and working towards a more equitable, accessible, and affordable future for all! Click here for more information and to register.

We hope to see you there!

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