Legislative Update – February 25

NE_Appleseed_Icons_StateCapital-128News and Updates from the Nebraska Unicameral

February 25, 2014

This marks the halfway point of the 2014 Legislative session and this is the final week of committee hearings at the Capitol.

Several of Appleseed’s priority bills are on the move and now is a pivotal time for you to take action.

Wellness In Nebraska bill moves to the floor

We took a step closer to making sure all Nebraskans can get affordable health care insurance when the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee advanced LB 887 – the “Wellness In Nebraska” (or WIN) bill to the floor of the Legislature on Monday.

Read Appleseed’s statement on WIN being advanced to General File.

Now is a very important time for state senators to hear from you.  Last year, a bill that would have allowed 54,000 uninsured Nebraskans to access health coverage was blocked from receiving a vote.  We must take action this year!

Please call or write your state senator and urge them to support LB 887.  Leaving these 54,000 working people behind is not a Nebraska value.  Wellness In Nebraska will save lives, save dollars, and makes sense in our state.

Minimum wage bill passes out of committee

LB 943 – This bill to raise Nebraska’s minimum wage to $9 per hour was passed out of the Revenue Committee on February 19 and was given a priority designation by its introducer, Sen. Jeremy Nordquist.  The bill also contains an amendment which originally took the form of LB 947 to raise the minimum wage for people who make tips to 70 percent of the minimum wage for non-tip earners.

Appleseed is a strong supporter of this bill, which would help more hard-working Nebraskans make ends meet and be a step toward rebuilding our middle class.

Other bills of interest

LB 853 – This bill, which would implement stakeholder recommendations and strengthen the implementation of the Bridge to Independence program, which extends services and support to young people aging out of foster care under last session’s LB 216 was prioritized by HHS Committee on February 20.

Read Appleseed’s fact sheet on LB 853

LB 661 – This bill would allow voters to register to vote online through the Secretary of State’s web site and use their information provided to the Department of Motor Vehicles to safe time and increase accuracy.  This bill was passed on General File by a vote of 30-0 on February 20 and now moves to Select File.

LB 719 – This bill introduced by Sen. Sue Crawford contains a change to the Administrative Procedures Act that requires agencies to provide a written summary of public comments made during a hearing for a new rule or regulation.  This will ensure greater transparency and help the public understand why rule changes are made by agencies.  It was designated a priority bill by Speaker Greg Adams on February 21.

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 2014.

We will keep you updated on the latest bill introductions, hearings, and floor debate.  And, we’ll let you know how you can take action to get involved and make your voice heard throughout the session!

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