Legislative Update: February 22

It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks at the Nebraska Legislature, with several lengthy hearings. The good news—we’ve seen impressive turnout of Nebraskans at the Capitol, overwhelming online comments with opposition to harmful legislation and sharing diverse perspectives during committee hearings. Additionally, one of our priority bills in support of survivors of gender-based violence, LB 315, was voted out of the Judiciary Committee unanimously!

The bad news—you filled the Capitol, waited your turn to share your testimony and maybe were turned away several times. Do not get discouraged. We will not be silenced, and we will not back down. Together, we will continue to advocate for everyone’s rights and dignity.

Upcoming Hearings

Friday, February 24

Oppose LB 606 (Senator Albrecht) that would provide tax credit donations made to anti-abortion centers, also known as “crisis pregnancy centers.” Heavy in deceptive and manipulative tactics and low in actual health care, anti-abortion centers already receive millions of dollars in state funds. This bill will not directly benefit pregnant people and is another attempt to push care and discussions around abortion out of reach for all Nebraskans.

Thursday, March 2

Support LB 35 (Senator DeBoer) and investments in the workforce by supporting affordable child care. Working parents and caregivers need stable child care arrangements to be able to work and provide for their families. Investments in affordable child care help to meet workforce needs and support employees full participation in the workforce while increasing economic stability for families.

Support LB 84 (Senator Day) to maintain increased access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Every household in Nebraska has a right to consistent and reliable access to food.

What Happens Next

Several bills have been heard by committees and now are waiting to be voted on. If the committee takes no action or opposes the bill, the bill is essentially done for the session. If the committee votes it out, the bill will go to the floor for three rounds of debate by the full legislature. Once that happens, there are two ways to advocate for the issues you care about:

  1. Contact your senator via phone or email to let them know your position on a bill. Call them every day. Invite your family and friends to contact their elected officials, too—no matter how they’ve voted on the issue in the past. See a list of bills impacting gender equity.
  2. Show up during the debate. Sit in the balcony. Fill the Rotunda. Talk directly to your senator. We’ll send out advocacy alerts with additional action items when debate is scheduled.

The rights and freedoms you considered secure are no longer. As soon as today, oppressive bills heard by committees, including bills that would insert politics into your healthcare, could be voted on. We must continue to steadily apply pressure in all the ways.

Bills Still Waiting

There are several bills that would positively impact many Nebraskans, including those facing housing instability and victims of sexual abuse, that are still waiting to be scheduled for hearings by committees. Once these are scheduled, we will let you know.

  • LB 175 (Senator Dungan) adopts the Residential Tenant Clean Slate Act to seal a tenant’s eviction records for proceedings that end in a dismissal
  • LB 187 (Senator Cavanaugh) requires the appointment of counsel for tenants in eviction proceedings
  • LB 488 (Senator Hunt) adopts the Sexual Assault Emergency Care Act to ensure survivors get the care they need
  • LB 545 (Senator Conrad) extends eviction timeline for tenants to allow them more time to prepare to leave the property and secure future housing

If you are frustrated that these bills are still waiting to be heard while the legislature prioritizes harmful and discriminatory bills instead, feel free to contact your senator to let them know.