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 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 on May 10th and was signed by the Governor and become law on May 16th.

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 passed on final reading on May 10th and was approved by the Governor on May 16.

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

Crowd rallies at Capitol to call for vote on Medicaid bill

DSC_0033_webOn May 16, approximately 300 supporters gathered at the State Capitol to show their support for LB 577, the bill that would extend Medicaid to 54,000 uninsured Nebraskans, bring more than $2 billion back to our economy, and sustain thousands of jobs.

The crowd brought signs, chanted for a vote, and made their voices heard to senators inside the Capitol that Nebraskans deserve a vote on LB 577.

On May 20, Senator Campbell introduced LR 241, an interim study to continue the conversation on helping our uninsured people get health care access in case LB 577 continues to be blocked.  But, there is still time left in this session to get a vote!  Please call or e-mail your senator and tell them we all deserve to know where each senator stands on this bill.  It is too important to our uninsured, working people, our hospitals, and our economy not to receive a vote this session.

See some of the news coverage of the May 16 rally:

Associated Press:  Medicaid bill supporters rally at Neb. Capitol

Lincoln Journal Star:  Medicaid expansion supporters fill up west steps of Capitol

Omaha World-Herald:  Rally calls for an end to Medicaid bill filibuster

VIDEO 10/11:  Medicaid Bill Supporters Rally at State Capitol

VIDEO KLKN Channel 8: Supporters of Medicaid expansion rally at State Capitol

See all the photos in our Facebook photo album of rally

Take action TODAY to support bill to improve outcomes for foster youth

Take-ActionTime is winding down in this year’s Legislative session, but today is a day to take action on a bill that could make a great difference in improving lives of young Nebraskans that age out of foster care.  LB 216 is scheduled for Select File debate in the Legislature this morning, and your voice counts!

LB 216, the “Young Adult Voluntary Services and Support Act,” is a bill introduced by Senator Amanda McGill which would create an age-appropriate, voluntary program offering extended services and support to age 21 for young people who age out of foster care.

National research has shown programs like this improve long-term outcomes in a number of areas, including education, employment, and housing stability.  LB 216 passed on General File, but still has two more rounds of approval to go to become law so now is a critical time.

Please call or e-mail your senator and ask for their support on LB 216.  It is a good investment in the future of our children and our state.

Read a recent Lincoln Journal Star story on one young Nebraskan who is working hard to overcome barriers after aging out of foster care.

Immigration reform bills enter Congress

This week the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to finish markup of the Senate immigration bill (S. 744) with amendments to Title II, including path to citizenship and future immigration in the family and employment-based systems. Here is a link to the Senate Judiciary Committee website where you can see today’s list of amendments. You can find links to summaries of the bill and amendments passed so far during markup on our website under “Federal Policy.”

This bill takes a long-overdue step of finally creating a process for 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.

Read Nebraska Appleseed’s statement on the Senate immigration reform bill.

Call Nebraska’s U.S. Senators and your Congressman this week and ask them to support common-sense immigration reform that keeps families together, provides a clear and inclusive process for citizenship, and strengthens Nebraska communities.

  • 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

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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