We (still) need essential protections for essential workers

Yesterday, the Nebraska Legislature returned to session with now less than 16 days remaining to address the many issues impacting Nebraskans this year. You can find today’s legislative agenda here.

Take Action: Essential protections for essential meat and poultry workers

For the last several months, we have experienced the drastic impacts COVID-19 has had on meatpacking workers our family members and neighbors across our state. We have seen outbreaks in communities throughout Nebraska due to a lack of protections for essential workers in meat and poultry facilities. Workers, their families, and communities have asked for health and safety measures to be put in place in these facilities to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The Governor has not required COVID-19 worker protections in meatpacking plants, despite many calls for action. Now the Legislature is back in session and has the opportunity to act on behalf of meatpacking workers and their families.

Call your state senator and urge them to take action in the next 16 days of the legislative session. Senators need to put in place clear and enforceable temporary protections including six-foot distancing throughout all areas of the plant, transparency of information, effective screening and contract tracing for meatpacking workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Legislature needs to act in these remaining days

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed long-standing systemic inequities that have impacted our Nebraska neighbors, especially communities of color, for many, many decades. The Unicameral has a responsibility to address economic instability, food insecurity, and implement essential protections for essential workers. We will be advocating for the Legislature to take action and you can read more about our 2020 legislative priorities on our blog.

This week’s highlights

Three of our legislative priorities passed Final Reading this morning and now await the Governor’s signature to become law:

LB1061, introduced by Senator Sue Crawford, passed. This bill addresses a number of issues within the child welfare system by reauthorizing the use of alternative response and increasing oversight of non-court cases, also referred to as hidden foster care.

LB1016, introduced by Senator Matt Hansen, passed. This bill enhances wage theft protections for workers across Nebraska.

LB997, introduced by Senator Adam Morfeld, passed. This bill combats surprise billing practices and increases protections for Nebraskans visiting an emergency room.

Stay up to date on Appleseed’s issues

You can keep up with all the happenings at the Legislature by following Appleseed online. Like our Facebook page and follow legislative hearings in real-time on Appleseed’s Twitter feed. Stop by our blog for opinion pieces, informative updates, and news stories.

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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