2019 Legislative Update: May 8

Trafficking Bills Up for Debate This Week

The package of trafficking bills, advanced from the Judiciary Committee, are on the agenda for debate this week—potentially as early as Thursday. LB 519, introduced by Senator Julie Slama and prioritized by the State Tribal Relations Committee, includes provisions from LB 516 and LB 517 to ensure that:

  • All children in Nebraska who are being sold for sex, also known as sex trafficking, are recognized as abused and neglected children and are connected to needed services and supports (LB 516);
  • Trafficking victims have increased opportunities for justice by pursuing damages resulting from their victimization (LB 517); and,
  • Offenders can be held accountable through lengthened statute of limitations and additional investigative tools for prosecution of traffickers (LB 519). 

Please call or email your senator and ask them to support survivors of sex trafficking by voting to advance LB 519. If you’d like additional talking points, see our fact sheet.

Also this week…

Today is Budget Day—the Speaker has reserved the majority of the day for debate on setting the state budget for the next two years, as proposed by the Appropriations Committee. See Lincoln Journal Star‘s article “State budget has a few sticking points, but Appropriations chairman says it’s ‘responsible‘.”

LB 690, the Healthy Pregnancies for Incarcerated Women Act, makes an appearance at the end of today’s agenda. Introduced by Senator Machaela Cavanaugh and selected as a “Speaker Priority” bill, LB 690 prohibits a pregnant inmate from being shackled during labor, except in extraordinary or dangerous circumstances. The Women’s Fund submitted a letter in support of this bill. 

On Tuesday, a bill dealing with information on medical abortion advanced and the time ran out on the property tax proposal—for now. 

  • LB 209, as introduced, required information about “abortion reversal” be provided to patients seeking a medical abortion. Similar “abortion reversal” laws are being proposed across the country despite the statement by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) that “claims regarding abortion ‘reversal’ treatment are not based on science and do not meet clinical standards.”
    • The Judiciary Committee amended the original language to require that medical providers include additional information to patients seeking a medical abortion that pursuing a partial course of treatment is “not always effective in ending a pregnancy,” and requires the Department of Health and Human Services to make information available for patients about continuing a pregnancy after taking the first of two medications involved in a medical abortion.
    • You can see the vote count to advance the bill here and an overview of the first round of debate on LB 209 here. We will continue to monitor this bill and work to ensure women have access to the health care they need.

Thank You for Your Help on LB 532

Thanks to all who reached out to your senator in support of LB 532 and protection orders for victims of domestic and sexual violence and harassment. LB 532 was advanced nearly unanimously by a vote of 41-0. The 8 senators who were “present, not voting” were members of the Revenue Committee and not on the floor at the time of the vote. See how your senator voted.

You’re Invited!

A new federal rule to protect borrowers by ensuring that payday lenders must consider their ability to repay their loan was on track to go into effect later this year. Payday lenders have lobbied the Trump administration to roll back these new protections, and now the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is proposing to gut the rule.

Our friends at Voices for Children are hosting an event on Thursday, May 9. Join them to learn more about CFPB’s proposal to repeal this rule and TAKE ACTION by submitting a public comment and sharing why you believe predatory lending is a step in the wrong direction for working families in Nebraska. RSVP Today!