Positive bills advance; meatpacking protections bill expected on Thursday

Last week was an exciting week at the Legislature! Senators had some late nights with votes on many bills throughout the week, and we saw four Appleseed priority bills advance in the process. This week, LB241, the Meatpacking Employees COVID-19 Protection Act, will be on the floor for debate on Thursday. There are a couple of ways for you to take action to support this critical legislation, which you can read below.

Appleseed priorities that advanced in the Legislature

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. This legislation overwhelmingly passed on final reading, and now awaits the Governor’s signature.

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. Senators voted to move this bill to final reading and it awaits its last round of voting before the bill heads to the Governor for his signature.

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 will allow families to continue to receive the subsidy if their income stays below 200% of the federal poverty level. The legislature also advanced this bill to final reading.

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 state. This bill received 28 votes to move it to select file.

Take Action to support essential protections for essential Nebraskans

LB241, introduced and prioritized by Senator Tony Vargas, is scheduled for its first round of debate this Thursday. This important 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. You can show support for meatpacking workers and their families by attending a vigil on Thursday morning at the Capitol building, and by emailing your senator.

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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