Legislative Update

nebraska-state-capital1-150x150A Good Opportunity and a Real Health Care Solution

LB 577 – February 27 was a big day in the Legislature for health care when LB 577 – the bill that would implement the Affordable Care Act’s new Medicaid program in Nebraska – went in front of the Health and Human Services Committee.

Appleseed testified in strong support of the bill because we believe it is a good opportunity to provide a real solution to provide an affordable health care option to tens of thousands of low-income, working Nebraskans and return hundreds of millions of dollars to our state’s economy.  We were proud to stand alongside doctors, hospital administrators, county leaders, teachers, advocates, and the very people that would be helped by this bill to fight for the right of every Nebraskan to be able see a doctor.  Supporters testified for more than three hours!

You can take action to support LB 577.  Call or write your state senator and tell them this bill is a win-win for the health of Nebraska’s economy and our people.

LB 578 – A bill to establish a Health Care Access and Support Fund to support the Medicaid program that would be implemented by LB 577. Appleseed submitted a letter of support for this bill.

Child Care Assistance

LB 625 – A bill to restore eligibility for child care assistance to its previous level.  Without meaningful access to child care, parents can’t work.  Appleseed testified in support of LB 625 on February 27 in front of the HHS Committee to increase access to child care for Nebraska’s lower-income working families.

See video and read full transcripts of Appleseed’s testimony in front of the Legislature.

Upcoming Hearings

Appleseed plans to offer testimony at several hearings this week including:

LB 368 – This bill would create a subsidized employment pilot program within the Department of Health and Human Services, which would allow employers to grow their businesses and allow low-income workers to gain meaningful job experience. Appleseed supports the bill. Hearing: HHS Committee, March 5.

LB 508 – A bill that would incrementally increase the Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) maximum payment rate in Nebraska to a more adequate level. This bill would help prevent poverty and the unnecessary entry of children into the child welfare system by providing support for the basic needs of very low-income families with children.  Appleseed supports the bill. Hearing: HHS Committee, March 5.

LB 430 – A bill that would align the asset limit rules in ADC and the child care subsidy program with the Supplementation Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This would allow low-income families to save some of their earnings for the future and would help to create efficiencies in the service delivery system. Hearing: HHS Committee, March 5.

LB 381 – A bill that would require Nebraska citizens to have a photo identification with their current address in order vote in elections.  Appleseed is strongly opposed to such an exclusionary voter suppression bill.  It is an unnecessary roadblock to the democratic process that undermines the voting rights of many older Nebraskans, Nebraskans that live in rural areas, students who move several times per year, and Nebraskans with low incomes.  Hearing: Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs, March 7.

Stay up to date on Appleseed’s issues

You can keep up with all the exciting happenings at the Legislature by following Appleseed online. Like our Facebook page and follow issues and legislative hearings in real-time on Appleseed’s Twitter feed.

Plus, stop by our Appleseed Blog for opinion pieces, informative updates, and news stories, and visit our Vimeo page for videos of what we’re working on throughout 2013.

We will keep you updated on the latest bill introductions, hearings, and floor debate.  And, we’ll let you know how you can take action to get involved and make your voice heard!

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