News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – May 2013

In this May edition of “Appleseed in Action”

  • Take Action to support Health Care and Child Welfare Bills
  • April Activity at the Unicameral
  • Federal Immigration Reform
  • Save the Date for the 2013 Good Apple Awards
  • Match your donation on May 16 for Give to Lincoln Day!

Take Action on Important Bills that Expand Opportunities for Nebraskans

Take-ActionNow is an important moment for YOU to take action on several important bills on the floor of the Legislature that expand opportunities for Nebraskans.

LB 577 – This bill would implement the Affordable Care Act’s new Medicaid program in Nebraska.  It would provide health care access to at least 54,000 uninsured Nebraskans, bring more than $2 billion in tax dollars back to our state, grow the economy, and save lives.

The bill was debated vigorously in the Legislature on April 16 and 17.  Yet after lengthy discussion, opponents would not allow a vote on the bill.  LB 577 did not have the 33 votes needed to end debate and bring the bill to an up-or-down vote.

This bill is too important to Nebraska not to have a vote this year.

We need your help to make that happen.  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.

  • Ask them to let this bill have an up-or-down vote.

Without LB 577, 54,000 of our family members, co-workers, friends, and neighbors will have no access to health care coverage, so we must act now.

Extending Services and Supports to Foster Youth to Age 21 Passes First Round of Debate

LB 216 – This bill would would take advantage of a federal option to create transition services and supports for young people who age out of Nebraska’s foster care system.  These critical services would better meet the needs of these young people in a more inclusive and age-appropriate way.

LB 216 advanced on General File on April 5, but still must pass two more rounds of debate.  Call or write your state senator and tell them this bill gives young people transitioning from foster care a real opportunity to continue to be productive, healthy, and engaged members of our community as adults.

Read our blog about the youth advocates pushing for LB 216

Appleseed priority bills advance at the Unicameral

Appleseed was very active at the State Capitol in April working with senators and partners on bills that support justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans.

LB 99 – This bill, sponsored by Sen. Heath Mello, contains several provisions to strengthen data collection efforts of Nebraska’s current ban on racial profiling.  This bill passed 39-0 on General File with a committee amendment that strengthened the bill.

LB 240 – This bill, sponsored by Sen. John Harms, would allow Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) participants over the age of 24 to count basic educational activities, such as GED classes, toward the ADC program’s work requirements. This bill encourages low-income Nebraskans to further their education in order to achieve the goal of economic stability.  It has no fiscal note and passed on General File 30-0.

LB 269 – This bill, sponsored by Sen. Kathy Campbell, changes provisions relating to foster care and juvenile justice and basically implements the recommendations of the Children’s Commission.  This bill passed on General File 34-0.

LB 507 – This bill, introduced by Sen. Campbell creates a quality rating system that tells parents what services child care providers are giving, as well as helping providers to increase their quality of care through assistance and incentives.  An amendment to the bill increases access to Nebraska’s child care subsidy program by making a modest adjustment to the eligibility level.  The bill passed General File with the amendment 27-0 on April 30.

You can watch all floor debate live, online courtesy of NET.

Federal Immigration Bill Introduced in the U.S. Senate

On April 17, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators, known as the Gang of Eight, officially released their immigration bill, taking a long-overdue step toward modernizing our immigration laws. This bipartisan bill would finally create a process for millions of aspiring Americans — people who are our friends, neighbors, and family members, and who are an important part of our communities and economy — to take a step forward on the road to citizenship. The bill needs improvement, but it represents a historic opportunity to create an immigration process that can be a solid foundation for Nebraska’s families and communities and lives up to our values.

Read Nebraska Appleseed’s statement on the bill. Check our website for links to the bill, summaries, and other informational resources as they become available.

On April 4, more than 40 Nebraska organizations from diverse perspectives held a press conference for common-sense immigration laws that provide a clear and inclusive process for citizenship. Appleseed staff traveled with a delegation of Nebraskans to Washington, D.C., on April 10 for the Rally For Citizenship, which drew tens of thousands of people from across the country.  The group met with Nebraska’s congressional delegation in the morning to urge our leaders’ support for updated immigration laws that reflect Nebraska values and keep our communities strong.

See our Facebook photo gallery from the April 10 Rally For Citizenship in Washington, D.C.

Your voice can make a difference! Now is an important time to call your U.S. Senators and Representative to ask them to support common-sense immigration laws with a clear and inclusive process for citizenship:

  • Sen. Mike Johanns (202) 224-4224 or (402) 476-1400

  • Sen. Deb Fischer (202) 224-6551 or (402) 441-4600

  • Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (202) 225-4806 or (402) 438-1598

  • Rep. Lee Terry (202) 225-4155 or (402) 397-9944

  • Rep. Adrian Smith (308) 384-3900 or (202) 225-6435

Match your donation on May 16 for Give to Lincoln Day!

2013_give-to-lincoln_logo-lCF_blueDonate to Nebraska Appleseed on May 16 and your gift will help us receive a share of a $200,000 challenge match pool!

The Lincoln Community Foundation is hosting its second annual Give to Lincoln Day, a 24-hour period to encourage people to donate to Lincoln-based nonprofit organizations.

Whether you can give $10 or $100 your gift in support of our fight for justice and opportunity for all will be enhanced!

Here is all you have to do:

  1. Between midnight and 11:59pm on May 16, visit Nebraska Appleseed’s Give to Lincoln Day webpage.

  2. Donate at this link.

  3. Share with a friend!

Nebraska Appleseed will receive your gift plus a proportional share of the $200,000 match pool. For example, if Appleseed raises just 1% of all nonprofit donations made on May 16 Appleseed would receive an additional $2,000 from the Lincoln Community Foundation.

Additionally, the top five nonprofits with the most donors on May 16 will receive bonus gifts of $1,000! Finally, ten random donors throughout the day will have a bonus $200 added to her or his gift.

Don’t want to wait? Schedule your donation TODAY!

on_a_giving_dayVisit Appleseed’s Give to Lincoln Day page and select “On a Giving Day” under the Make This Donation Occur dropdown. There, you can schedule your donation to automatically occur on May 16!

Your gift will have an enormous impact on Appleseed’s ability to fight for justice and opportunity for all.

Learn more about the Lincoln Community Foundation’s Give to Lincoln Day

Thank you for considering this great matching opportunity!

Save the Date for the 2013 Good Apple Awards

save-the-dateSave the date! Join Appleseed on Thursday, September 12, 2013 for an evening of live music, art, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a community awards ceremony honoring Nebraskans who stand up for justice and opportunity for all!

Thursday, September 12, 2013
Social Hour: 6pm
Program: 7pm

Livestock Exchange Building Ballroom
4920 South 30th Street
Omaha, NE

Stay tuned to for more information about our 2013 honorees!

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