Legislative Update

At the Capitol: Day 60 is here

Welcome to the final week of the 2024 Nebraska legislative session, which is scheduled to end this week on Thursday, April 18. Here’s a recap of what happened last week, and what to expect as we wrap up the Legislature’s work. 

Several of Appleseed’s 2024 Legislative Priorities were passed last week, including:

LB20 (Wayne) restores Nebraskans’ voting rights after completing a prison sentence – ending the arbitrary 2-year waiting period. Voting is fundamental for people reentering society & a strong democracy.

LB62 (M. Cavanaugh) addresses language barriers between patients and providers by requiring that translation and interpretation services are reimbursed under Medicaid. Language services are critical to ensuring access to health care. This bill was amended to include LB871 (M. Cavanaugh) and LB1237 (M. Cavanaugh), which will require more thorough reporting for the state’s Medicaid and TANF programs. 

LB233 (J. Cavanaugh) reduces the child support penalty in Nebraska’s Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) program. This will ensure that child support funds are actually used to support children in Nebraska’s lowest income families starting in 2027. 

LB358 (Walz) increases reimbursement rates for Medicaid dental services. Increased provider rates is linked to increased provider participation in the Medicaid program, and therefore increased enrollee access to dental services. 

LB855 (Conrad), which prevents Nebraska school districts from turning unpaid school meal debt over to debt collection agencies, was passed as part of LB1329. This bill will help foster a healthier home environment and more positive home-school relationship. 

The above bills have been presented to Governor Pillen, and we look forward to them being signed into law!

On Thursday we will see one final day of debate, and senators will have the opportunity to override any vetoes from the Governor.

One major bill still on the agenda is LB388 (Linehan), a tax and revenue package that is up for final reading. LB388 will attempt to reduce property taxes by including a new advertising tax, a tax increase on cigarette, vape, and CBD/hemp products, and by eliminating tax exempt status on a variety of services. 

LB388 also includes an increase in Nebraska’s state level Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), from 10% to 15% of the federal EITC. State EITCs build on the success of the federal EITC by helping families afford the basics. Because people of color, women, and immigrants are overrepresented in low-wage work, state tax credits are an important tool for advancing equity. This 5% increase in Nebraska’s EITC means that over 120,000 households will be receiving an additional tax refund on their 2025 taxes, putting more money into the pockets of eligible Nebraskans. 

Follow along: You can livestream all legislative happenings through Nebraska Public Media.

Thank you for your ongoing advocacy!

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