Advocating for food security and against harmful voting restrictions

UnicameralWe continued to testify on several bills during hearings last week, including those on paid leave, child care subsidies, and more equitable access for young adults in the Bridge to Independence program. As we noted last week, we are inching closer to the end of all-day hearings. Every committee but Judiciary will wrap up hearings on Thursday, March 4th, while the Judiciary committee’s hearing schedule will end on Friday, March 12th. All-day floor debate begins the week of March 15th, focusing primarily on senators’ priority bills for the session.

While hearings continue, your voice is important in ensuring that we are building a vibrant, diverse, and inclusive Nebraska. Here is how you can safely advocate during hearings, and visit the Unicameral’s website for more information.

Improving food security for our neighbors across Nebraska

TestifyingToday, we testified in front of the Health & Human Services Committee, on three bills that increases access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for Nebraskans and their families. 

  • LB108, introduced by Senator John McCollister, addresses the “cliff effect” in which a small increase in income results in a substantial drop in SNAP benefits. This bill solves this issue so that Nebraskans no longer have to turn down opportunities and can continue to feed their families. 
  • LB121, introduced by Senator Megan Hunt, eliminates the lifetime ban on SNAP benefits for people with certain drug offenses.
  • LB356, also introduced by Senator Megan Hunt, eliminates the excessive penalty that allows Nebraska to disqualify a person from receiving SNAP benefits if they are noncompliant in another program.

Opposing restrictive barriers to voting

The Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee will hold a hearing today on a proposed constitutional amendment that would require voter identification before allowing Nebraskans to vote. LR3CA, introduced by Senator Julie Slama, would introduce a burdensome requirement into our voting process, creating substantial obstacles to voting that would disproportionately affect Nebraskans of color, along with low-income, elderly, disabled, young Nebraskans. Appleseed opposes LR3CA.

Take action: Submit an online comment in opposition of LR3CA.

Submit a Comment

Additionally, tomorrow the committee will hear LB590, introduced by Senator Mike Groene, which would reduce the timeframes Nebraskans have for vote-by-mail and early voting. Appleseed opposes LB590 and urges the Legislature to focus on policies which bring the polls to the people, rather than reducing the amount of time Nebraskans have to vote.

Ensuring equitable access to B2I for more young adults

Nebraska’s Bridge to Independence (B2I) program gives young people who have aged out of the foster care system the supports and services they need to successfully transition into adulthood. Last week, Appleseed testified in front of the Health and Human Services Committee in support of two bills that would provide equitable access to B2I for young adults and address the unnecessary gaps within the program.

  • LB202, introduced by Senator Patty Pansing Brooks, provides eligible youth with juvenile justice experience access to the B2I program.
  • LB262, introduced by Senator Tony Vargas, clarifies that all eligible youth with foster care experience can access the B2I program, regardless of their immigration status.

Read our testimony on LB202 and LB262.

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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