***For Immediate Release***
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Contact: Magdalena Cazarez
Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed
O: (402) 438-8853 ext 119
C: (402) 504-0074
Response to the Governor’s State of the State Address
Opportunities abound to support workers, strengthen the child welfare system, address the crisis in our prison system, and implement Medicaid Expansion
Lincoln — Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director, Rebecca Gould issued the following statement in response to Governor Ricketts’ State of the State Address delivered Wednesday morning:
“Today, Governor Ricketts shared his reflections on the state of the state and announced his priorities for the 2020 legislative session. We agree that there is important work that can be done this year to increase support for Nebraska workers, strengthen the child welfare system, address the crisis facing Nebraska’s correctional system, and start Medicaid expansion without a waiver and unnecessary delay.
The best way to address the workforce needs of our state is to invest in our people, not only through education and training programs, but by ensuring fair wages and benefits, and critical work supports like child care, food assistance, and health care.
We need to bring into the sunshine the hidden foster care system that is keeping children and families from the support and services that will help them succeed and eliminate structures that create instability in the system, such as privatized case management.
We need to invest in smart justice reforms that will curb the steady increase in Nebraska’s prison population that disproportionately impacts communities of color. We need to support people in prison by providing safe and adequate conditions, including health care and mental health services. And we need to grow and enhance programs that help Nebraskans reentering our communities succeed.
Finally, we need to ensure the speedy implementation of Medicaid expansion without a waiver, which would immediately enhance the lives of 90,000 Nebraskans and honor the will of the voters. We look forward to working with the Governor, the Legislature, and Nebraskans all across the state to seize these opportunities for meaningful change that will strengthen our communities and our state.”