Legislative Update – 02/17/2015

NE_Appleseed_Icons_StateCapital-128Harmful voter suppression bill debated this week

Today the Legislature began floor debate on harmful voter suppression bill LB 111.

Appleseed was one of many groups to oppose this bill in a committee hearing because it will be an unnecessary barrier to vote for many groups of voters including seniors, people with low incomes, and students. The debate is expected to continue for the next several days.

Act now!  Contact your State Senator and urge them to vote “No” on LB 111.

Committee Hearings last week

Appleseed testified on several bills during committee hearings last week.

LB 493 – A bill introduced by Senator Jeremy Nordquist that would require businesses to provide employees a minimum of one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours per year and will allow hard-working Nebraskans to recover from illness or injury without jeopardizing their job status or losing wages.

Appleseed testified in support of this bill before the Business and Labor Committee on Feb. 9.

LB 524 – A bill introduced by Senator Kate Sullivan that would help to clarify how Nebraska schools can take up the community eligibility option and still obtain the information needed to maintain their funding streams. Under community eligibility, school districts in high-poverty areas can provide free and reduced-priced meals to all children in their district.

Appleseed testified in support of this bill before the Education Committee on Feb. 9.

Upcoming Committee Hearings

LB 335 – A bill introduced by Sen. Heath Mello that would create an Intergenerational Poverty Task Force made up of members of the Legislature and the Department of Health and Human Services. Appleseed supports this bill. Hearing: Health and Human Services Committee, Feb. 18.

LB 357 – A bill that would drastically destabilize the state’s revenue structure by automatically reducing income taxes over several years with no way to be flexible to future economic conditions. The bill also takes a large amount from the ‘rainy day’ cash reserve fund, which could further damage the state’s ability to fund key responsibilities. Appleseed opposes this bill. Hearing: Revenue Committee, Feb. 18.

LB 441 – A bill introduced by Sen. Kate Bolz that ensures young Nebraskans in foster care who are in a guardianship have access to the Bridge to Independence (B2I) program. The bill will help young Nebraskans maintain their guardian relationships while accessing tools to help transition to a healthy adulthood.  The bill also implements stakeholder recommendations and needed statutory “cleanup” identified now that the B2I program is up and running. Appleseed supports this bill. Hearing: Health and Human Services Committee, Feb. 19.

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 2015.

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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