Legislative Update – February 23

NE_Appleseed_Icons_StateCapital-128Nebraska Appleseed’s Legislative Update
News and Updates from the Nebraska Unicameral
February 23, 2015

Legislature votes down restrictive Voter ID bill

Last Wednesday, after several hours of floor debate, the Legislature voted down harmful voter suppression bill LB 111. Senators voted 25-15 on a motion to “bracket” the bill, which ends debate and essentially tables the bill until after the session is done.

Appleseed opposed this bill because it would have been an unnecessary barrier to vote for many groups of voters including seniors, people with low incomes, and students.

Please contact these State Senators who voted against LB 111 and tell them thank you for protecting voting rights.

Bill to “Close the Coverage Gap” set for HHS Committee hearing Wednesday

LB 472 – the Medicaid Redesign Act – is an innovative bill that would close the health coverage gap and allow more than 54,000 working, low-income Nebraskans to get affordable health coverage while providing a healthy boost to Nebraska’s economy. The bill will have a hearing on Wednesday afternoon in front of the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee.

This bill is one of Appleseed’s biggest priorities of the 2015 session, and we want you to voice your support to the HHS Committee members. Please contact them and urge them to send LB 472 to the floor.

Email Phone
Sen. Kathy Campbell 402-471-2731
Sen. Sara Howard 402-471-2723
Sen. Roy Baker 402-471-2620
Sen. Tanya Cook 402-471-2727
Sen. Sue Crawford 402-471-2615
Sen. Mark Kolterman 402-471-2756
Sen. Merv Riepe 402-471-2623

 

Committee Hearings last week

Appleseed testified on several bills during committee hearings last week.

LB 335 – A bill introduced by Senator 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 supported this bill in front of the HHS Committee on 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 opposed this bill in front of the Revenue Committee on 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.

Appleseed supported this bill in front of the HHS Committee on Feb. 19.

Upcoming Committee Hearings

Besides LB 472, several other Appleseed priority bills will have committee hearings this week.

 

LB 81 – A bill introduced by Sen. Tanya Cook that strengthens Nebraska’s child care subsidy program, a critical work support for working families with low incomes. This bill would reduce the sudden loss of child care assistance if an eligible family accepted a slight increase in earnings, known as the “cliff effect.” Appleseed supports this bill. Hearing: HHS Committee, Feb. 26.

 

LB 566This bill introduced by Sen. Colby Coash strengthens and clarifies aspects of Nebraska’s Indian Child Welfare Act. Appleseed supports this bill because it will maintain ties of culture and tradition that are essential to the well-being of native children and families. Hearing: Judiciary Committee, Feb. 26.

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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