Legislative Update – May 8, 2017

This week the Legislature will take a vote on passing the state budget while debating two items that will have a big impact on voting rights.

Take Actions to protect voting rights

Monday, the Legislature will vote whether or not to override the Governor’s veto of

LB 75. Introduced by Sen. Justin Wayne, LB 75 would end the arbitrary two-year delay before Nebraskans are able to vote after completing their felony sentence. The bill will need 30 votes to override the veto.

Last week, Sen. Wayne joined several of his colleagues for a press conference to illustrate how Nebraska’s current voting ban disproportionately harms people of color and people with low incomes – two groups that historically have been disenfranchised at the voting box.

Contact your State Senator today and tell them to vote “Yes” on LB 75 to override the veto and make sure every Nebraska citizen’s vote counts.

LR1CA (Sen. John Murante) – Tuesday, the Legislature will debate this proposed amendment to Nebraska’s State Constitution that would mandate that voters present state-issued photo ID in order to vote.

We joined many other civil rights organizations in opposing this amendment during its committee hearing in March. Requiring state-issued photo ID creates cost and time barriers for many Nebraskans with low incomes, seniors and others who don’t drive, people who move frequently, college students, rural Nebraskans with limited DMV access, and people with disabilities – all of whom should be able to participate in our elections freely.

We urge you to tell your State Senator to vote “No” on LR1CA.

Dangerous tax bill fails to advance

LB 461 (Sen. Jim Smith) – This dangerous tax bill failed to receive the 33 votes needed to end General File debate last Tuesday, meaning it is done for the year.

LB 461 would have cut income taxes for Nebraskans with the highest incomes, but leave us with long-term budget problems and force enormous, damaging cuts to schools, child welfare, and other important investments that give all Nebraskans a better quality of life.

Please thank the State Senators who did not vote “Yes” and opposed a costly income tax cut for the wealthy while Nebraska faces a $1 billion budget shortfall.

State budget debate continues this week

The Legislature held lengthy periods of debate last week before advancing the Appropriations Committee’s proposed budget to Final Reading, where it is expected to be voted on today and tomorrow.

Appleseed continues to speak with senators about the importance of protecting programs that help keep children safe, families united, and help hard-working Nebraskans get ahead. Many of these investments are threatened by possible cuts proposed throughout budget debate.

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

Stay up to date on Appleseed’s issues

You can keep up with all the exciting happenings at the Legislature by following Appleseed online. Click here to get this weekly Legislative Update email. 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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