On Wednesday, January 3, the 2024 Nebraska Legislative Session will begin. Because this will be the second year of the 108th Legislative Session, bills introduced in 2023 that did not pass are considered still active and will pick up where they stopped at the end of last session. Plus, hundreds of new bills will be introduced in the first 10 days of session (January 3-17). We must be ready on Day 1 to use our voices to advance and protect gender equity. Are you with us?
Here is a preview of how our policy efforts will be focused in 2024:
Poverty is a policy choice. As such, we will continue to oppose LB 327, which now includes LB 15, that would reduce the recently raised minimum wage and create a discriminatory lower wage for young people. This would be devastating for young Nebraskans, many who rely on minimum-wage jobs to support themselves and their families. Policies that could improve economic security, and that we will work to support, include legislation that would support parents and caregivers by providing a child tax credit (LB 294), and a series of legislation to increase critical cash assistance to families under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). You can read a TANF update via Nebraska Appleseed.
There are a series of bills from the 2023 session still in the Judiciary Committee that would advance housing justice. Research shows that women, especially women of color, face additional barriers to securing stable housing. The lack of affordable housing is also a barrier to survivors of domestic violence. These bills would advance efforts to provide safe and affordable housing to all Nebraskans. See our fact sheet on this series of existing bills (English / Spanish) and read our blog post, “The Impact of Housing Justice on Gender Equity,” to learn more about our policy work in this space.
Our efforts to advance and protect gender equity are for the benefit of all Nebraskans. We will not quietly allow lawmakers to use the guise of “protecting women” or narrowly defining who we are to discriminate against others. This includes opposing LB 575 that would restrict trans youth’s ability to thrive and participate in school activities (more information via OutNebraska), opposing attempts to enshrine sex discrimination against an already marginalized group, and continuing to oppose legislation like LB 810 that would create a broad license in order to discriminate against patients.
Join us in rallying with all those who experience gender-based oppression. Work with us to decidedly put an end to this attempt to co-opt women’s rights to oppress others.
Anti-abortion advocates will not stop in their efforts to completely restrict an individual’s right to access the health care they need, and we’ll continue to fight to protect our rights—always. We’re also looking to expand reproductive health care in Nebraska. In 2024, we’re preparing to support legislation that would make breast pumps more accessible to those on Medicaid and reduce maternal health care deserts (especially in rural communities).
This is a lot, to be sure. The way forward is together. Please join us in 2024 in community to protect and advance gender equity in Nebraska. Together, we are unstoppable.
I have one final request. Before the end of the year, please make a financial donation to support this critical work at the Women’s Fund. Your investment allows us to make a bold impact in our efforts to build a future where everyone can thrive. Support this work today!
Dr. Erin Feichtinger