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 216 – The “Young Adult Voluntary Services and Support Act” introduced by Senator Amanda McGill 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 for these youth in a number of areas, including education, employment, and housing stability.  This bill passed on Select File on May 21 and is expected to be on the agenda for Final Reading this week.

Please call or e-mail your senator and thank them for their continued support for LB 216.

LB 507 –  The “Step Up to Child Care Act,” introduced by Sen. Kathy Campbell, improves the eligibility rate for child care subsidies that allows more of Nebraska’s working families to receive child care assistance.  Nebraska currently ranks last nationally in child care subsidy eligibility.

The bill also creates a quality rating system to help parents assess the type of child care services provided, as well as assistance and incentives to help child care providers increase the quality of services they provide.  It passed on Select File on May 22 and will likely be heard on Final Reading this week.

LB 368 – This bill, introduced by Sen. Sue Crawford, 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.  The bill advanced on General File by a vote of 35-1 on May 22.  The bill advanced on Select File on May 23 with an amendment that allows no more than 10 percent of the federal funds to be put toward administrative costs.  We also expect this bill to be on Final Reading some time this week.

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

Senate Judiciary Committee advances immigration reform bill

Take-ActionOn May 21 the Senate Judiciary Committee put America one step closer to having a modern, common-sense immigration system when it advanced S. 744 out of committee with bipartisan support on a vote of 13-5.

From the Washington Post: Senate panel approves sweeping immigration reform bill

The bill, which was designed after months of vigorous discussion and compromises, goes to the Senate floor containing a path to citizenship for more than 11 million aspiring Americans.  Throughout committee hearings, keeping the path to citizenship in the bill remained a top priority.

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

The bill now heads to the Senate floor where it is expected to be debated in the middle of June after this week’s recess.  Now is the time to call Nebraska’s U.S. Senators and your Congressman 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.  Your voice is vital!

  • 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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