Legislative Update – April 24, 2017

It’s the week of budget debate. State Senators will begin debate on the Appropriations Committee’s recommended budget on Tuesday, and we’re urging the protection of important programs that help kids and hard-working families.

No vote after debate on dangerous tax bill

Friday morning, the Legislature spent three hours debating LB 461 but adjourned without taking a vote. This bill would would be a big tax cut for the wealthiest Nebraskans, but make it impossible to close our budget deficit without drastic cuts to schools, child welfare, and other important investments that give all Nebraskans a better quality of life.

There is a chance this bill could come up again later this session so call or email your State Senator and urge them to vote “No” on LB 461.

State budget debate begins Tuesday

With close to a $1 billion budget shortfall, it’s important to protect programs that help keep children safe, families united, and help hard-working Nebraskans get ahead.

Two weeks ago, child welfare advocates opposed a $15 million cut to the foster care system proposed by the Governor that would endanger the lives of at-risk youth. Parts of that cut were reduced in the Appropriations Committee’s budget, but be ready to take action this week.

We will let you know if there is a key moment to contact your State Senator to defend programs that lead to secure families and remove barriers to opportunity for low-income Nebraskans.

Voting Rights and Foster Care bills on Final Reading Monday

Two bills Appleseed supports are scheduled for Final Reading votes on Monday.

LB 75 (Sen. Justin Wayne) – This voting rights bill would end the two-year delay before Nebraskans are able to vote after completing their felony sentence or probation. The bill passed its first two votes with wide margins, but contact your State Senator today and urge them to vote “Yes” on LB 75 and send it to the governor’s desk.

The current voting restriction disproportionately harms people with low incomes and people of color. Democracy works best when everyone has an opportunity to let their voice be heard and to make their vote count.

LB 225 (Sen. Sue Crawford) – This comprehensive bill contains several improvements to the foster care system we detail here including continuing the Alternative Response pilot project and ensuring youth in the juvenile justice system have access to important normalcy experiences.

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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