2019 Legislative Update: March 5

Protecting Pay Transparency

The full Legislature will be debating LB 217 very soon – possibly as early as Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, and your voice is needed in combating Nebraska’s wage gap. LB 217 would prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who disclose and discuss their compensation. Knowledge is power and gaining information about comparable compensation helps Nebraska’s women to advocate for fair pay.

The Women’s Fund testified in support of LB 217 during its hearing with the Business and Labor Committee on February 11. The bill has since been advanced to General File and now needs broader attention from your Senator.

Please email or call your State Senator, tell them why pay transparency matters to you (see our fact sheet for talking points, and urge them to support LB 217.

Support for Sex Trafficking Survivors

A hearing has been scheduled for this week on LB 518 to support survivors of sex trafficking and their connection to services. The hearing will be on March 6 at 1:30 pm in the Health and Human Services Committee.

In a recent survey of service providers across Nebraska, more than 80 percent of providers reported that they do not believe statewide resources are meeting the needs of trafficking victims. Additionally, nearly half of law enforcement reported they do not believe there are adequate resources to refer sex trafficking victims to for services. LB 518 would support survivors of sex trafficking by creating an Advisory Board, an Office of Support for Trafficking Survivors, money for services, and a process for reimbursing law enforcement for victim-centered trafficking investigations.

If you are interested in testifying on LB 518, you can either testify in person on March 6 or submit written testimony. All written testimony should be addressed to Chairperson Sarah Howard and sent to the Health and Human Services Committee by 5 pm on March 5. If you are interested in testifying in person, or would like help with written testimony, please contact Tiffany Joekel at tjoekel@omahawomensfund.org.

Regardless of whether you wish to testify, everyone can support LB 518 by contacting members of the Health and Human Services Committee and urging them to pass this bill through to General File.

Additional Updates

We testified in support of the following bills during their respective hearings and are awaiting updates on their progress in moving to General File:

  • LB 516 to ensure all child victims of sex trafficking are recognized as abused and neglected children and connected to necessary services;
  • LB 532 to clarify, simplify and strengthen the process of obtaining legal protection through protection orders for survivors of harassment, domestic abuse and sexual assault;
  • LB 43 to increase support for survivors seeking medical care or justice through the Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights;
  • LB 329 to expand child care assistance for low-income workers;
  • LB 305 to provide workers paid sick and safe leave;
  • LB 311 to provide workers paid family leave;
  • LB 423 to update laws relating to school-based health centers;
  • LB 498 to expand access to family planning coverage for low-income Nebraskans; and
  • LB 395 to protect tenants from eviction resulting from domestic violence.

Once bills move to General File, this is when your senator needs to hear from you! Find your senator and make sure they know how you feel about these bills!