Legislative Update – The 2016 session has begun!

NE_Appleseed_Icons_StateCapital-128On Wednesday, January 6, the 2016 Nebraska Legislature began their 60-day session. Over the next few months, State Senators will consider many bills that will affect justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans including health coverage for the uninsured, improving the child welfare system, and increasing economic opportunity for hard-working families.

Each week, we will let you know about movement on our priority bills and important moments to take action on issues we all care about.

Health coverage for 77,000 uninsured Nebraskans

This session, State Senators will make another attempt at creating a path to affordable health insurance for nearly 77,000 Nebraskans that have no way to get coverage.

The proposal, which will be introduced as a legislative bill soon, was developed with leadership from State Sens. John McCollister, Kathy Campbell, and Heath Mello. Last week, a pair of Omaha corporate leaders announced their support for the plan, which would help our state have a healthier workforce.

Take Action – On Tuesday, January 19, you’re invited to a public press conference at Noon inside the State Capitol rotunda to learn more about this plan that will return our tax dollars to Nebraska and allow our hard-working friends and neighbors to get the health coverage they need.

We urge you to contact your State Senator and tell them this must be the top priority of the 2016 session. Leaving so many Nebraskans unable to get health insurance is a problem that can no longer be ignored.

Important bills introduced in first week

Several important bills were introduced in the session’s first week that Appleseed will be following throughout the year.

LB 746 (Sen. Kathy Campbell) – The Nebraska Strengthening Families Act would clear barriers for foster youth to have important developmental experiences and allow foster parents the ability to make more day-to-day parenting decisions for the youth in their care.

Appleseed issued a statement in support of this bill.

LB 701 (Sen. Heath Mello) – A bill that reauthorizes education as one of the work requirements to participate in the Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) cash assistance program. This would allow Nebraskans to continue meeting their basic needs while learning new skills to get better jobs.

LB 690 (Sen. Adam Morfeld) – A bill that would remove Nebraska’s ban on receiving food assistance for people with drug crimes in their past. LB 690 can remove a barrier to successful reintegration in our communities by eliminating this ban while also reducing hunger for the families affected.

LB 752 (Sen. Sue Crawford) – This bill would create the Adult Career Pathways Task Force to make recommendations that connect Adult Education programs with high-demand jobs in order to better train Nebraska workers to have the skills needed to fill the demands of our workforce.

LB 850 (Sen. Sue Crawford) – A bill that would allow Nebraska workers to contribute to a fund that would cover paid family leave from their jobs in order to care for a loved one.

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.

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 2016.

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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