Legislative Update

Green Lights

nebraska-state-capital1-150x150In the Capitol’s legislative chamber, there is a large sign listing each Senator’s name. When a Senator votes in favor of a bill, a light next to their name turns bright green. “Green Lights” highlights the passage of bills that advance justice and opportunity in Nebraska.

With action picking up on the floor of the Legislature, here are the bills that were on the move last week that Appleseed is monitoring.

LB 530 – This bill, which aligns foster care payments more adequately with the cost of providing such care, advanced to Select File last week.

LB 613 – This bill, which would create a commission to study Nebraska’s state tax system, advanced to Select File last week.

LB 363 – A bill that increases access and reduces cost to obtain public records received an amendment on Select File and advanced to Final Reading last week.

Committee hearings end this week, and starting Wednesday, floor debate will run all day.  You can watch the floor debates at any time on NET2 and online here.

Hearings Last Week

Appleseed offered testimony and monitored several bills in committee hearings last week.

LB 452 – Would require a Medicaid waiver to provide coverage for family planning services. Appleseed submitted written testimony in support to the HHS Committee on March 20.

LR 22 – Directs the HHS Committee and the Banking, Commerce, and Insurance Committee to form a partnership to examine ways to control health care costs, change our health care delivery system to better serve patients, and improve health care quality. This will be a critical companion to LB 577, the bill to implement the new Medicaid program in Nebraska.  Appleseed testified in support to the HHS Committee on March 20.

LB 518 – Would repeal a law passed last year that restored prenatal care for all low-income babies in Nebraska, ensuring that they have the chance at a healthy start in life.  Prenatal care was restored through LB 599 which was passed through a veto override after a deliberate and reasoned debate.  Prenatal care is fiscally responsible, good health policy, and the right thing to do.  That was true a year ago when LB 599 passed and it is true today.  Appleseed testified in opposition to LB 518 to the HHS Committee on March 21.

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

Hearings this week

Appleseed will provide testimony on and monitor several bills during the final week of committee hearings including:

LB 20 – Would appropriate funds for a rural health care provider incentive program. Hearing: Appropriations Committee, March 25.

Appleseed will also testify on budget priorities relating to Medicaid and Child Welfare during agency hearings in front of the Appropriations Committee on March 25-26.

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 in 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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