Legislative Update

Green Lights

greenlightsIn 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.

LB 195 – (the mainline budget bill) and accompanying budget bills: The Legislature spent the bulk of last week debating the budget bills.  After discussion on numerous amendments, few changes were made to the budget as proposed by the Appropriations Committee.  The one major change is that the Legislature did decide not to buy the private airplane the NU Foundation had for sale, and instead chose to study whether to purchase a plane for the Governor’s use.  All the budget bills passed on General File and now move to Select File, the second round of debate.

LB 99 – This bill, sponsored by Sen. Heath Mello, increases and extends the duration of Nebraska’s law enforcement data collection efforts in order to prevent racial profiling.  It was passed on Final Reading (the third and final vote necessary for passage) and has been sent to the Governor.

LB 384 – A bill sponsored by Sen. Jeremy Nordquist that allows for the creation of the Nebraska Exchange Stakeholder Commission for oversight and accountability of our state’s health insurance exchange.  This bill also passed on final reading and has been sent to the Governor.

LB 242 – This bill, sponsored by Sen. Sara Howard, contains an amendment which allows for a review of state agencies who may have violated the Administrative Procedure Act. This bill was brought back down to Select File for a technical amendment and is now on Final Reading.

LB 265 – Introduced by Senator Colby Coash, this bill will allow children in foster care to be placed with a family friend or person with whom the child has had preexisting, significant relationship – known as a “kinship home” – without the foster parent being required to go through a time-consuming licensing process.  This bill was brought back down to Select File for an amendment and is now on Final Reading.

Rally at the Capitol on May 15 to bring Medicaid expansion bill to a vote

NEA_LB577_Campaign_uninsuredA small group of opponents are obstructing LB 577, the bill to expand Medicaid to more low-income, working families, from coming up for a vote on General File.  This bill will help working families get access to health care and boost our state’s economy.  It’s time to make your voice heard!

Join us on the west steps of the Nebraska State Capitol on Wednesday, May 15 at 5:30 for a public rally to show state senators we stand with the 54,000 uninsured Nebraskans and tell them LB 577 deserves a vote!

What: “LB 577 Deserves a Vote” public rally
Where: Nebraska State Capitol, 14th and K Streets
When: Wednesday, May 15, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Click here to tell us you’re coming on Facebook

This bill would help 54,000 uninsured, working Nebraskans get access to health care.  It would provide security to our rural hospitals, our working families, and our veterans.  It is beneficial to our economy, returning $2.3 billion to our state.  And it would save an estimated 500 lives every year.

Bills on Select File or General File

Time is winding down in this year’s Legislative session, but there is still time for these very important bills to be decided upon this year.

LB 216 – A bill introduced by Senator Amanda McGill that would create an age-appropriate, voluntary program offering extended services and support to age 21 for young people who age out of foster care.

LB 216 advanced to Select File, but the fight to pass this bill is not over.  Take action to support LB 216.  Call or write your state senator and tell them this bill gives young people transitioning from foster care a real opportunity to be productive, healthy, and engaged members of our community as adults.

LB 507 – The “Step Up to Child Care Act,” is a bill introduced by Sen. Kathy Campbell that addresses a number of issues in our state’s child care subsidy program.  It would create a quality rating system to help parents assess the type of child care services provided and increases our state’s child care subsidy eligibility for the first time in more than 10 years.  This bill is on Select File.

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.  This bill may receive General File debate this week.

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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