Legislative Update – January 23, 2017

Last week marked the final day of bill introduction in the 2017 Nebraska Legislative session. Several bills we consider top priorities were introduced, and we’ll be testifying at several committee hearings this week.

Health coverage for hard-working Nebraskans

Last week, Sen. Adam Morfeld introduced LB 441, a bill that would allow nearly 100,000 uninsured Nebraskans with low incomes to get covered through Medicaid.

The bill would let Nebraska bring $775 million of our tax dollars back from Washington, D.C., to make sure workers who are the backbone of our state’s economy are as healthy and productive as they can be. Appleseed strongly supports this bill because every Nebraskan needs access to quality health care, and LB 441 makes sure that care is delivered in the most efficient and cost-effective way.

Call or email your State Senator and tell them you support LB 441.

Read more in the Lincoln Journal Star story on LB 441

 

An old stereotype gets a new bill number

Last week, Sen. Dan Hughes introduced LB 537, which would require recipients of Nebraska’s Aid to Dependent Children cash assistance program to undergo drug testing.

In other states, drug testing people receiving public assistance has proven to be an expensive waste of taxpayer money while further placing stigma on people with low incomes. Appleseed opposes this bill.

 

Constitutional amendment to protect right to vote

LR15CA (Sen. Adam Morfeld) – This amendment to the Nebraska state constitution would protect the right to vote for all eligible voters by prohibiting the costly and time-consuming barrier of requiring a voter ID when going to the ballot on Election Day. Appleseed supports this amendment.

 

Hearings This Week

Appleseed will offer testimony in support of several bills during their committee hearings this week.

LB 235 (Sen. Lynne Walz) – This bill clarifies requirements for local organizations to receive grants that would let them provide free meals to children in the summer months. We support this bill because it will ensure more Nebraska kids get the food they need when school is not in session. Education Committee, Monday

LB 123 (Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks) – This bill contains a package of protections for students at Nebraska’s postsecondary colleges in the event the institution goes out of business. Education Committee, Tuesday

LB 158 (Sen. Pansing Brooks) – A bill that would require all counties to ensure youths in juvenile court receive their right to legal representation. Currently youths are only guaranteed such legal representation in three Nebraska counties. Judiciary Committee, Thursday

LB 180 (Sen. Kate Bolz) – This bill provides clarity about when a juvenile’s court case can be transferred from juvenile court to district court via a bridge order. Judiciary Committee, Thursday

 

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 2017.

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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