Legislative Update – March 16

NE_Appleseed_Icons_StateCapital-128Nebraska Appleseed’s Legislative Update

News and Updates from the Nebraska Unicameral

March 16, 2015

Last week, committees met and discussed two of Appleseed’s top priority bills, but we still await action on one of them during this final week of committee hearings.

HHS Committee advances LB 472 to the floor

On March 10, the Health and Human Services Committee voted 5-2 to advance LB 472 – a bill to close the health coverage gap and help approximately 54,000 uninsured Nebraskans get health coverage – to the floor of the Legislature. The bill was given a priority designation by the HHS Committee.

Thursday, March 19, you’re invited to attend a Lobby Day at the State Capitol to urge your State Senator to support this greatly needed bill that will make our health care system make sense for all Nebraskans.

Sign up to attend this free event and make your voice heard!


DREAMers driver’s license bill still in committee

On March 12, the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee met to discuss LB 623, a bill that would allow young immigrant Nebraskans who qualify for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to apply for driver’s licenses.  Nebraska is the ONLY state that does not allow these young immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.

The committee voted 2-1 to advance the bill with three members abstaining and two members being absent. The bill will need a minimum of five votes to advance.

In the meantime, please thank State Sen. John McCollister for making LB 623 his priority bill for this session! That designation means if the bill is advanced from committee, it is sure to be debated by the full Legislature. This bill is a wise, practical policy to ensure public safety for all and so that young immigrant Nebraskans can more fully contribute their talents to Nebraska communities.


Other Hearings last week

LB 411 – This bill introduced by State Sen. Tanya Cook would reduce the sudden loss of food assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program if an eligible family accepted a slight increase in earnings, known as the “cliff effect.”  Appleseed supported this bill at a hearing of the HHS Committee on Mar. 11.

LB 333 – This bill introduced by State Sen. Mike Gloor would establish a Health Care Services Transformation Advisory Committee to advise the Department of Health and Human Services on how best to meet the changing health care needs of Nebraskans and our health care industry. Appleseed supported this bill at an HHS Committee hearing on March 11.


Upcoming Hearings

LB 233 – Department of Health and Human Services Appropriation – Appleseed will testify regarding the need for additional employees to fix the problems in the ACCESSNebraska public benefits system. Hearing: Appropriations Committee, Mar. 16.


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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