Author: James Goddard

The Legislature Must Act to Appropriate Coronavirus Relief Funds

Last week, we shared Appleseed’s analysis that the Governor acting unilaterally to spend Nebraska’s Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) violates the state’s constitutional separation of powers. There has been no legislative action taken to provide the required and specific appropriation of CRF needed for the Governor to spend these funds, which means the Legislature must formally appropriate CRF to provide the… Read more →

Nebraska’s Coronavirus Relief Funds Require Legislative Appropriation

The coronavirus pandemic has caused major hardship in Nebraska, with unemployment soaring and people facing difficulty making ends meet. Recognizing the damage to be wrought by the pandemic, Congress passed the CARES Act, which included providing Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) for states. CRF are designed to help states respond to the pandemic and weather the first months of the crisis.… Read more →

Legislature listening session on the killing of George Floyd and James Scurlock

The Nebraska Legislature’s Judiciary Committee is holding important listening sessions early next week on the killing of George Floyd and James Scurlock, and the community’s response. These unjustified deaths serve as a stark reminder of the multi-generational injustices and indignities faced by Black communities. These sessions are an important first step for the Legislature to hear the community. State senators… Read more →

SNAP can help make ends meet in hard times

With so many Nebraskans facing unemployment and reduced income, many are confronting challenges making ends meet. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program can help. SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, can help individuals and families get nutritious food on their tables. Who is eligible for SNAP? Because of the major economic changes caused by COVID-19 many people may find themselves eligible… Read more →

El cheque de ayuda económica: Apoyo directo en tiempos difíciles

¿Quién es elegible para el cheque de ayuda económica? La elegibilidad depende de los ingresos y de otros elementos como estatus migratorio. Los individuos que ganaron hasta $75,000 por año y los casados que hacen impuestos juntos quien ganaron hasta $150,000 por año son elegibles. Si quieres saber si eres elegible o cuánto dinero vas a recibir, el IRS ha… Read more →

Economic impact payments: Direct cash support in hard times

At the end of March, Congress passed the CARES Act, which among other things created “economic impact payments” for eligible individuals. These are cash payments directly to those who are eligible, that can be used for food, rent, health care or any other need. Who is eligible for economic impact payments? Eligibility for the payment depends on income and other… Read more →

Los beneficios del desempleo: Un apoyo para la gente de Nebraska durante momentos difíciles

Los beneficios del desempleo: Un apoyo para la gente de Nebraska durante momentos difíciles La pandemia del Coronavirus está afectando nuestras vidas de muchas maneras, incluyendo el desafío de mantener el empleo. La semana pasada, el Departamento de Labor de Nebraska anunció que más de 25.000 personas de Nebraska habían solicitado  beneficios de desempleo. Es afortunado que nuestros líderes hayan… Read more →

Unemployment Benefits: A lifeline for Nebraskans struggling in hard times

Unemployment benefits: A lifeline for Nebraskans struggling in hard times The Coronavirus pandemic is impacting Nebraskans’ lives in many ways, not least of which is the challenge in maintaining employment. Last week, the Nebraska Department of Labor revealed more than 25,000 Nebraskans had filed for unemployment benefits. It is fortunate that our leaders have taken action at the state and… Read more →

TAKE ACTION: Submit a comment to protect SNAP for Nebraskans

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently proposed a drastic change to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that would eliminate access to critical food assistance for 3 million people, including 10,000 Nebraskans.  You can help us fight against this proposal by commenting to protect our neighbors by Monday, September 23. SNAP is an essential tool to fight hunger and… Read more →

RELEASE: Nebraskans file lawsuit to ensure Medicaid expansion starts in 2019

***For Immediate Release*** Monday, August 28, 2019 Contact: Magdalena Cazarez Communications Director Office: (402) 438-8853 Ext 119 Cell: (402) 504-0074   Nebraskans file suit to ensure Medicaid expansion starts in 2019 Officials have a duty to start coverage for 90,000 and bring back $149 million in Nebraska tax dollars   LINCOLN – Today, two Nebraskans filed a lawsuit seeking… Read more →

STATEMENT: Proposed SNAP rule would cut benefits for 3.1 million Americans

Proposed SNAP rule would cut benefits for 3.1 million Americans Food assistance helps reduce food instability and contributes to a healthy Nebraska   Lincoln, NE – Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed a regulatory change that will harm 3.1 million people, including working families with children, the elderly and people with disabilities. The proposed rule would dramatically alter… Read more →

SNAP can help those facing flooding

The recent flooding in Nebraska has been devastating for many communities. For those that need food, or have lost food due to the flooding, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly food stamps, may be able to help. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, “Residents of Butler, Cass, Colfax, Dodge, Douglas, Nemaha, Sarpy, Saunders or Washington counties… Read more →

RELEASE: Proposed Farm Bill Would Protect SNAP

***For Immediate Release*** December 11, 2018 Contact: James Goddard Economic Justice Program Director Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402)438-8853, Ext. 108 Email: Proposed Farm Bill Would Protect SNAP Legislation released this week would support thousands of working families LINCOLN — The nutrition provisions of the farm bill that the House-Senate Conference Committee recently released would ensure that thousands of struggling families and individuals… Read more →

Why the new Farm Bill could harm Nebraskans struggling with hunger

Right now, Congress is considering the reauthorization of the Farm Bill. While the name may make one think of fields and agricultural equipment, the Farm Bill has a far-reaching impact on programs that ensure food security and fight poverty in the United States.   Farm Bill Background The Farm Bill is a broad piece of legislation that addresses most federal… Read more →

STATEMENT: House does not vote on AHCA

House pulls bill that would strip health insurance from millions of Americans Friday afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives pulled the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The bill was projected by the Congressional Budget Office to cause 24 million Americans to lose health insurance by 2026, and Medicaid would be cut by $880 billion. Last-minute amendments to the bill, which… Read more →

Take Action – House to vote on health care Thursday

Reports are the House of Representatives will vote Thursday morning on it’s dangerous ACA-replacement bill, the American Health Care Act. Will you call your Congressman today and urge them to vote “No”? Call your Congressman today! Let their office know you oppose this bill and want them to work on legislation that protects Nebraskans’ quality health insurance.   Dist. 1… Read more →

Take Action – House bill would cause millions to lose their health insurance

Now is the time to protect affordable health care for all Nebraskans. Will you take action today? A bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives that removes many of the important parts of the Affordable Care Act and would bring huge cuts to Medicaid. This would strip health insurance from millions of Americans – including thousands of people… Read more →

Take Action – Oppose damaging tax plan and protect “The Good Life”

Every time there is a shortfall in our state budget, investments in hard-working Nebraskans are often the first to be cut. Nebraska is facing a budget shortfall of more than $1 billion. Despite this challenge, Governor Ricketts and members of the Legislature are proposing a big income tax cut that won’t do anything for our state’s middle-class and low-income families,… Read more →

Take Action! Good health coverage is at stake

We know tens of thousands of Nebraskans are among the millions of Americans who can now get quality, affordable health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. For the first time ever, thousands of Nebraskans have good insurance that covers prescription medicines and life-saving preventive care, and they can’t be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. But Congress could vote… Read more →

Nearly 16 percent of Nebraska families with children face hunger

This week, the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) released its national analysis of food hardship in the U.S. in a report titled “Food Hardship in America: Households with Children Especially Hard Hit.” The analysis, which used research from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being survey, contains both national and state-level data on hunger. According to the survey, 15.9 percent of Nebraska households… Read more →

McCleery chosen as New Leaders Council-Omaha Fellow

Appleseed is excited to announce our health care staff attorney Molly McCleery has been chosen as one of 20 members in the 2016 class of Fellows by New Leaders Council-Omaha! New Leaders Council (NLC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that is the premier leadership and professional development, training, mentoring, networking, and career and political advancement program for young professionals. Fellows… Read more →

Education under ADC is a proven success

Education is the clearest pathway out of poverty. And in Nebraska, we have emphasized the importance of education in our Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) program. ADC is Nebraska’s cash assistance program for low-income families with children. Most people who participate in the ADC program must engage in a work activity every week. Under Nebraska’s ADC program, participants can choose… Read more →

Investing in Adult Education essential for future economy

The jobs of the future will require Nebraska’s workforce to have training and education beyond the high school level. By 2018, 64 percent of the available jobs in Nebraska will require a post-secondary education. Yet, nearly 10 percent of all Nebraskans ages 18 to 64 lack a high school degree or an equivalent and almost 25 percent of Nebraskans age… Read more →

New Aid to Dependent Children changes go into effect today

This June, the Nebraska Legislature increased the payment rate for Nebraska’s Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) program for the first time in nearly 30 years by passing LB 607. ADC is the state’s welfare-to-work program that includes cash assistance and employment activities for low-income families with children. This increased payment rate goes into effect today, and Appleseed has created this… Read more →

Take Action – Tell U.S. Senate to fund Children’s Health Insurance Program

Today is an important day to take action by asking our U.S. Senators to make children’s health care a priority by extending funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The Senate is back from recess today and their first action must be to extend funding for CHIP, a program that provides health coverage for over 55,000 Nebraska children. The… Read more →

New report shows Minority working families in Nebraska are falling behind

***For Immediate Release*** March 16, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Report: Minority Working Families in Nebraska falling behind Latino Immigrants at Greatest Risk; Study Concludes State Can Address the Problem LINCOLN – A new study concludes that a sharp racial and ethnic divide has emerged within the world of low-income… Read more →

New report shows more working mothers in Nebraska make low incomes

More than 26,000 low-income families in Nebraska are headed by working mothers according to the new report, “Low-Income Working Mothers and State Policy: Investing for a Better Economic Future.” The report, which was released today by the Working Poor Families Project and utilizes the latest data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, finds that Nebraska ranks 15th in the… Read more →

Government shutdown could have consequences for Nebraska families with low incomes

As you likely know by now, Congress has not been able to come to an agreement to continue to fund many activities and programs.  That means on Tuesday, the federal government was shut down. Although many public benefits programs will be able to keep operating because they currently are able to access funding from the prior year, an extended shutdown… Read more →

Take Action! Protect SNAP for Nebraska children and families!

SNAP is at risk – We need your help! No Nebraskan should go hungry.  However, nearly 14 percent of Nebraskans were food insecure in 2012. This means about 250,000 people in our state struggled to get enough to eat, including 80,000 children who received SNAP benefits. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a vital support to these Nebraskans who… Read more →

Take Action to support accessible and high quality child care

Every Nebraska child should be safe while their parents are working, so affordable, quality child care is vital to allow our state’s families to be strong. You have a chance today to take action to strengthen working Nebraska families.  Please call your senator and ask them to support LB 507, “The Step Up to Child Care Act.” Each year about… Read more →

Child care assistance bill would strengthen Nebraska families

Affordable child care is vital to allow families to work and to keep children safe. In Nebraska, the Child Care Subsidy Program provides assistance to low-income families that are working their way toward independence by helping cover the costs of childcare.  Unfortunately, Nebraska ranks at the bottom of the country in income eligibility for the Child Care Subsidy Program, creating… Read more →

New Report shows SNAP strengthens families in Nebraska

A new Nebraska Appleseed report shows how Nebraska’s working families are strengthened by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). “Policies That Work: How the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Can Help Working Families,” provides an overview of the challenges many working Nebraska families face to pay for their basic needs, and illustrates how policy change to allow greater access to SNAP… Read more →

Working Poor Families Report shows more families working low-paying, unstable jobs

Despite more families holding jobs, the ranks of the working poor are increasing according to a new report from the Working Poor Families Project. The report, “Low-Income Working Families: The Growing Economic Gap,” shows nearly one-third of the nation’s working families are paid wages so low they struggle to meet their basic needs. Indeed, according to the report, 32 percent… Read more →

Bridge programs train high-skilled workers for a stronger economy

Nebraska Appleseed does a lot of work to encourage more educational opportunities for people with lower incomes because we believe education is the best ladder for people to climb out of poverty. Better education means better, higher-paying jobs that can support families and allow hard-working Nebraskans to be self-sufficient.  By 2018, 66 percent of all jobs in Nebraska will require… Read more →

Wage subsidy bill would help put more Nebraskans to work

The great work ethic of Nebraska’s labor force is one of the most important drivers of our economy.  Nebraskans work hard, and our businesses – especially small businesses – count on that hard work for success and economic growth.  At the same time, Nebraska’s working people need new opportunities to earn family supporting wages. That’s why Nebraska Appleseed testified Thursday… Read more →

SAVE Asks Organizations to Sign On to Protect Vital Services from Budget Cuts

As we discussed last week, Nebraska and every state is facing devastating cuts to important programs beginning January 1, 2013. That is, unless Congress replaces these cuts with a different approach. Recently we encouraged our Congressional delegation to replace these across-the-board cuts with a balanced approach to deficit reduction, one that would include significant new revenues. We are not alone… Read more →

Across-the-Board Budget Cuts will Hurt Crucial Nebraska Programs

Nebraska and all the states will face devastating cuts to their federal funding beginning January 1, 2013, if no action is taken by Congress to address the automatic cuts required by the Budget Control Act. The Budget Control Act required a committee to come to a deal regarding budget cuts to make for deficit reduction. Unfortunately, the committee did not… Read more →

Important Information on New Prenatal Care Law

A few months ago the Nebraska Legislature passed Legislative Bill 599 (LB599), which restores coverage of prenatal care to all unborn children, regardless of the immigration status of the mother.  The law went into effect on July 19, so women can start applying for and receiving coverage for prenatal care services as long as they meet certain Medicaid requirements. There… Read more →

ACCESS Nebraska Update

Nebraska Appleseed has been watching carefully the implementation of ACCESS Nebraska, our state’s new way of managing public assistance programs like food stamps and Medicaid. Some of you may be wondering: how is it going? This article from the Omaha World Herald provides an update on ACCESS Nebraska from multiple perspectives: “Nebraska’s Food Stamp Errors Carry High Cost” In summary,… Read more →

Lawsuit Filed to Protect the Rights of Nebraska Children with Autism and Developmental Disabilities

Today, Nebraska Appleseed and the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) filed a class action lawsuit in Lancaster County District Court against two officers of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on behalf of two children who have been denied necessary behavioral health treatment recommended by their doctors. The suit challenges an HHS Medicaid policy that excludes certain… Read more →

LB 1063 Aims to Fill Medicaid Gaps & Help Parents Keep Their Kids

The state’s child welfare system is in great need of reform. A vital piece of ensuring reform is effective is to prevent children from entering the system unnecessarily. LB 1063 is intended to address gaps in Medicaid services for children, which needlessly push children into the system to obtain the mental health services they need. Indeed, LB 1063 makes certain the Medicaid program plays its… Read more →

Improve Service Delivery and Efficiency in the Department of Health & Human Services

On February 1, the Health and Human Services Committee held a hearing on LB 1041 and LB 1016. Both of these bills are intended to address problems with the ACCESS Nebraska system. Appleseed supports both of these bills. LB 1041 would streamline HHS systems to make them more efficient and effective for everyone. LB 1016 would provide resources to community… Read more →

Legislative Bill 465 and Lawful Permanent Residents

In April 2011, the Legislature passed LB 465. This new law changes eligibility for some public benefit programs for certain lawful permanent residents. A lawful permanent resident (LPR) is an immigrant with a green card, who is legally admitted to the U.S. to live and work on a permanent basis. Below is a Q&A to help you understand who is… Read more →

Nebraska Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Low-Income Parents Dropped from Medicaid

Last week Appleseed won a lawsuit in the Nebraska Supreme Court which restored Medicaid benefits to hundreds of low-income parents unlawfully dropped from the program by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In the suit, Davio v. HHS, 280 Neb 263 (2010), class members challenged HHS’ policy of terminating a person’s Medicaid benefits as the result of… Read more →

Economic Independence and Access to Health Care Go Hand-in-Hand

For many years, Nebraska Appleseed has worked to protect access to health care for low-income families in our state. We continued to strive towards this goal recently in the Nebraska Supreme Court, by representing a class of over 400 low-income families that had lost Medicaid health care coverage. In the case of Davio v. Nebraska Department of Health and Human… Read more →

State-level Immigration Enforcement Is Costly & Confusing

On Friday I had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion on state-level immigration and integration policy at the UNO-hosted conference “4th Annual Latino/Latin American Cumbre/Summit of the Great Plains.” An audience of participants and panelists from around the country and the world gathered to discuss state-level policy approaches to immigration. As part of this discussion, I shared Nebraska’s… Read more →

Questions and Answers about Medicaid Coverage of Prenatal Care for Pregnant Women

For many years, Nebraska’s Medicaid program covered prenatal care for the unborn children of pregnant women, regardless of a woman’s immigration status. But, on March 1, many unborn children of pregnant women lost prenatal care covered by Medicaid. Since this changed happened there seems to be confusion about what services Medicaid will continue to cover. At Nebraska Appleseed, we are… Read more →

Immigrants and Public Benefits in Nebraska: An Update on Implementation of LB 403

In the past few months you might have heard about Legislative Bill 403 (LB 403), which went into effect on October 1, 2009. LB 403 was passed by the Nebraska Unicameral in March, 2009. LB 403 has two distinct parts. First, LB 403 requires state agencies and political subdivisions to verify the lawful presence of applicants for “public benefits.” Second,… Read more →