Ensuring worker protections, food security, and housing justice

UnicameralAll-day floor debate is underway and, for the rest of session, debate will take place in both the mornings and afternoons. As a reminder, priority bills from senators and committees will be the focus of debate and you can view those finalized priorities here. We are excited to see a number of important issues designated as priorities by senators and we will keep you updated as those priority bills are scheduled for debate.

Essential protections for essential Nebraskans

Senator Tony Vargas designated LB241 as his personal priority bill for the session. This important piece of legislation protects Nebraska’s meatpacking workers with common-sense and critical COVID-19 protections: 6-foot distancing, sufficient masks, effective screening and quarantine practices, and enforcement mechanisms to ensure compliance.

As the impact of the pandemic continues across our country, it is still vitally important that our essential workers in Nebraska’s meatpacking plants can go to work safely. You can show support for our meatpacking workers and their families by leaving a comment on LB241 on the bill’s page here (“Submit Comments Online for LB241”).

How does the SNAP cliff effect impact you?

We are excited that Senator John McCollister has prioritized LB108 which would address the SNAP cliff effect. The cliff effect occurs when families on SNAP are put in the tough position of passing up raises or better jobs because they would lose more in food benefits than they would gain in pay. LB108 fixes this problem by increasing the “gross income” eligibility limit for the program while also smoothing the step-down of benefits, allowing more Nebraskans to advance in the workplace and keep food on the table.

If you’ve been impacted by the SNAP cliff effect, we’d like to hear from you. If you’re interested in sharing your story, email Megan at mhamann@neappleseed.org to learn more about the bill and opportunities to make your voice heard on this important legislation.

Housing justice bill awaits debate

Update! Because of schedule changes last week, the Legislature has not yet debated LB320. Introduced and prioritized by Senator John Cavanaugh, this bill and its accompanying amendment contains a number of important updates to Nebraska’s Landlord-Tenant Act that will help address Nebraska’s housing needs and provide tenants better access to justice. We expect this bill to be back on the agenda this week, so you still have time to call your senator!

LB320 includes the following changes:

  • Allows a victim of domestic violence to obtain an early termination of a rental agreement, with no additional termination cost other than the current month’s rent.
  • Requires a report from the Nebraska Supreme Court with data on evictions broken down by county.
  • Requires eviction filings to include a statutory reason for eviction so a tenant can understand why they are being evicted.
  • Updates the Mobile-Home Landlord-Tenant Act to reflect changes made to the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act, including changing the 5-day notice to quit for nonpayment to a 7-day notice, and requiring landlords to return the balance of a security deposit without an explicit request.
  • Allows both tenants and landlords the opportunity for one good cause continuance in an eviction proceeding and both parties must prove extraordinary cause for any subsequent continuance.
  • Requires a summons for an eviction hearing be served to a tenant by posting it on the front door of the unit and also mailed by first-class mail to a last known address.
  • Requires landlords give 24-hours written notice providing a reasonable period of time and reason for entering a tenant’s unit except in emergency situations.

These changes are vitally important to ensure housing justice is afforded to tenants in Nebraska. You can express your support for this bill by emailing your senator here.

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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