Legislative Update: February 14

Today is Day 28 of our 60-day legislative session, and it’s been a busy month keeping up with public hearings. Only nine more days of committee hearings, and tomorrow is the deadline for senators to submit their priority designations.

Remember that each bill will have a public hearing, and there is normally seven days’ notice for each public hearing. With only nine days left, if your bill hasn’t had a hearing yet, it’s coming up quick!

Upcoming Hearings

Thursday, February 22

Support LB 1106 and LB 1107 (Sen. Jen Day) to support breastfeeding parents. LB 1106 requires Medicaid to cover lactation consultation visits to increase breastfeeding support, and LB 1107 would provide personal breast pumps to Medicaid recipients for as long as they choose to breastfeed. Add your comment in support by 8:00 am on 2/22!

Bills We’re Working On This Week

If you missed the chance to submit comments online for the public record and a bill is still in committee, reach out directly to senators on each respective committee with your feedback and expertise. As hearings come to an end, they will be making decisions about which bills will advance for full debate on the floor.

  • Support LB 1278 (Sen. Terrell McKinney) would require Medicaid to cover doulas and doula services and support pregnant Nebraskans’ choices for childbirth care. The hearing for this bill is today!
  • Support LB 904 (Sen. Wendy DeBoer) allows the Department of Health and Human Services more flexibility in calculating child care reimbursement, increasing access to affordable child care.
  • Support LB 928 (Sen. John Fredrickson) requires the Department of Corrections to hire a full-time mental health direction, which will help address our Freedom from Violence work for system-involved individuals. The hearing for this bill is today!
  • Oppose LB 1330 (Sen. Dave Murman) that would prohibit funding and support for diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives at public universities, state colleges and community colleges.
  • Oppose LB 1381 (Sen. Ben Hansen) would impose more work requirements on SNAP recipients and increase barriers for critical economic supports for Nebraskans.

What’s On The Move

While we are still very much in committee hearing mode through the end of this month, some bills have already been voted out of committee and are being scheduled for first round debate! As bills move out of committee and to general file, contact your senator with how you’d like them to vote as your representative.

✅ LB 233, which would increase economic security of Nebraska families by allowing TANF recipients to receive child support payments, has advanced out of the Health and Human Services Committee by unanimous vote. The bill, introduced by Sen. John Cavanaugh, moves now to general file and is ready to be scheduled for floor debate.

✅ LB 857, to create a prenatal plus program to support parents under Medicaid, has also been voted out of committee and placed on general file for debate today. Introduced and prioritized by Sen. George Dungan, this bill will reduce pre-term and low birthweight births by supporting mothers and parents.

In The News

Right to counsel for public housing residents considered – Unicameral Update

Nebraska lawmaker brings thinner, updated proposal for K-12 school transparency – Nebraska Examiner

Nebraska legislature considers paid work leave proposals – Omaha World-Herald

Nebraska governor opts into summer food aid program after changing mind –Lincoln Journal Star

NU leaders, students reflect on anti-DEI bill ahead of Tuesday debate – The Daily Nebraskan

Ballot Initiatives Update

Not every issue is addressed directly by the Nebraska Legislature. Thankfully in our state we have voter-driven ballot initiatives that allow Nebraskans to vote directly on issues. In preparing for the 2024 Election in November, the Women’s Fund is currently involved in two ballot initiatives—Paid Sick Leave for Nebraskans and Protect Our Rights.

No Nebraskan should have to choose between their paycheck and their health or the health of their family. That’s why we are working on a collaborative effort to collect signatures to get paid sick leave on the ballot. If passed by the majority of Nebraska voters, the ballot initiative would require all businesses to offer paid sick leave to employees—so they can earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Learn more at PaidSickLeaveForNebraskans.org.

We believe that everyone has the right to make their own decisions about their lives, bodies and futures—without political inference. That’s why we are also part of a coalition of reproductive rights, health and justice advocates working on a ballot initiative to protect Nebraskan’s right to access abortion care. Interested in signing the petition? Get all the details at ProtectOurRights.com.