Appleseed priorities for the rest of the 2021 session

UnicameralThis week, the Governor signed the state’s biennial budget into law. As we noted last week, that means the remainder of the legislative session will be dedicated to senator, speaker, and committee priority bills.

Appleseed priorities moving through the legislative process

Here are a few pieces of legislation we are closely watching and hope to ultimately see passed into law. 

  • LB108, Senator John McCollister’s priority bill, addresses the SNAP cliff effect to help families avoid the tough choice between accessing better job opportunities and keeping food on their tables. This bill is awaiting its second round of debate as early as this week and you can still email your senator to share your support!

  • LB241, introduced and prioritized by Senator Tony Vargas, 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 essential workers in Nebraska’s meatpacking plants can go to work safely. This bill is still waiting for the first round of debate, so you can show support for meatpacking workers and their families by emailing your senator.

  • Nebraska is the only state in the country where DACA and TPS recipients and other work authorized immigrants cannot access unemployment benefits that they have earned and that their employer has paid. LB298, introduced and prioritized by Senator Mike McDonnell, would update and bring consistency to our state law to fix this issue.

  • LB306, Senator Tom Brandt’s priority bill, would expand eligibility for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), a critical tool to help with the heating, cooling, and energy needs of vulnerable households across the country. It’s expected this bill will be up for debate on general file this week or next.

  • LB320, prioritized by Senator John Cavanaugh, 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. These changes are crucial to ensuring housing justice is afforded to tenants in Nebraska. You can continue to show your support for this bill by emailing your senator here as it is soon expected to face its final vote before heading to the Governor’s desk.

  • LB485, introduced by Senator Wendy DeBoer, makes long-needed improvements to expand initial eligibility for the child care subsidy program to Nebraska families whose income is at or under 185% of the federal poverty level, and allow families to continue to receive the subsidy if their income stays below 200% of the federal poverty level. This bill has made it through the first round of voting and is now on select file.

For all of these bills, you can also voice your support by leaving a comment on each bill’s webpage (click on “Submit Comments Online for [legislative bill number]).

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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