Legislative Update – May 4, 2015

NE_Appleseed_Icons_StateCapitol-200Last week was quite the week at the State Capitol. The Legislature gave first-round approval to the state budget and debated several of Appleseed’s priority bills.

 

Governor vetoes bill that fights poverty for hard-working families

On Thursday, April 29, Governor Ricketts vetoed LB 89, a bill that fights poverty for Nebraska’s poorest families.

LB 89, which passed Final Reading with 30 “Yes” votes in the Legislature, would use existing funds to give a slight increase to the state’s Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) payment for Nebraska’s poorest working families with children. ADC has not been raised in Nebraska in nearly 30 years and helps ensure our lowest-income parents can meet their children’s needs by affording essentials like food, utilities, and housing.

We were stunned the Governor would use his first veto to harm Nebraska’s poorest families. We’re asking you to contact your State Senator today and urge them to support overriding the Governor’s veto.

 

Bill to improve Bridge to Independence program advances

LB 243, a bill which creates a pilot program to establish connections between youth in foster care and their family members, advanced to Final Reading on April 29. The bill contains an amendment that makes important changes and technical clean-up to the Bridge to Independence program for youth who age out of foster care. Appleseed supports this bill and thanks the senators who voted in favor of it.

 

Legislature advances bill to cut student workers’ wages

Also on April 29, the Legislature voted to advance LB 599 to Final Reading. LB 599 would allow employers to pay high school student workers less than other employees, which is in direct contrast to the results of November’s election when Nebraskans voted to raise the minimum wage. The bill could be up on Final Reading this week.

Appleseed opposes this bill because it unfairly discriminates against student workers and could even encourage students in low-income families to drop out of school in order to earn a higher minimum wage.

 

Upcoming this week

LB 566 – Will strengthen and clarify aspects of Nebraska’s Indian Child Welfare Act and help maintain ties of culture and tradition that are essential to the well-being of native children and families. The bill is scheduled for Select File debate this week.

 

Stay up to date on Appleseed’s issues

Keep up with all the exciting happenings at the Legislature by liking Appleseed’s 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!

Find these updates useful? Please consider making a donation to Nebraska Appleseed and help us continue our efforts.

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