Legislative Update: January 31

We’re officially on the second week of morning floor debate and afternoon committee hearings. Rules debate is over and many of the partisan changes limiting the power of the minority were voted down or delayed, meaning many of the rules that have been in place remain. The one change will be how many bills can be introduced by senators in the future—with senators capped at 20 bills per session.

The next month will move quickly as all bills need to be heard in committee by the end of February. We’ll do our best to keep you updated as bills get scheduled and provide information about our position as it relates to the impact of the legislation on gender equity.

Upcoming Hearings and Action Steps

Below is a list of hearings for bills we’re following over the next two weeks. Make your plan now to attend in person or submit your online comment. New this year—online comments can be submitted up until 8:00 am (CST) the day of the hearing to be considered as part of the official record. If you don’t want your information and testimony to be part of the record, simply select “no” under “including comment in public hearing record.” This means committee members can see your comment but it won’t be part of the public committee statement. As always, you can watch hearings thanks to Nebraska Public Media.

Thursday, February 1

Support LB 952 (Senator Jen Day) to require the Department of Health and Human services implement the summer EBT program. No child should go hungry in our state. This bill has now been prioritized by Senator Ray Aguilar.

Friday, February 2

Support LB 913 (Senator Megan Hunt) to provide six months postpartum coverage as part of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which would include prenatal care, labor and delivery for those who do not qualify for Medicaid or CHIP bringing medical coverage closer to in line with Medicaid. In short, it would provide postpartum health care to those who need it in our state.

Monday, February 5

Support LB 1139 (Senator Machaela Cavanaugh) to adopt the Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act. FMLA is not enough and it’s not the same. Learn more about this bill and how it will support working families in our state.

Support LB 1213 (Senator Lynne Walz) to require employers provide up to 20 hours of paid leave per year for school-related activities. This positively supports parental involvement in schools and allows families to show up for their young people’s school activities without missing pay.

Tuesday, February 6

Support LB 1046 (Senator John Cavanaugh) that would require a court to appoint a free lawyer in an eviction brought by the public housing authority in Omaha. Read more about this bill via our Housing Justice fact sheet.

Oppose LB 1339 (Senator Tom Brewer) that would allow school boards and districts to create policies allowing guns in schools. Gun violence is the leading cause of death of children in America and the presence of a gun increases the risk of violence. Follow Moms Demand Action – Nebraska to learn more about why opposing this bill is critical to keep children safe in schools.

Oppose LR 278CA (Senator Dave Murman) that would change the make-up of the Nebraska Board of Education making the board more partisan through gubernatorial appointments and less representation for Nebraskans.

Bills We’ve Testified On To Date 

We’ve been busy spending our days at the Capitol testifying in committee hearings, meeting with senators and impacted folks, and collaborating with advocacy partners. Here are the bills on which we’ve provided testimony, either in person or written, so far this session. If you missed a hearing, you can email respective committee members with your position on any bill.

  • Support LB 845 (Sen. Hunt) prohibits eviction of families with school-aged children, educators and school support staff during the school year.
  • Support LB 855 (Sen. Danielle Conrad) ensures families aren’t sent to collections for school meal debt.
  • Support LB 856 (Sen. John Fredrickson) provides child care subsidies for child care workers. Read more about this hearing via Omaha World-Herald.
  • Support LB 870 (Sen. M. Cavanaugh) amends the Sexual Assault Victims’ Bill of Rights. Read more about this hearing via Unicameral Update.
  • Support LB 929 (Sen. Fredrickson) allows for the coordination between 911 and 988 crisis lifeline services to better serve Nebraskans in need and avoid unnecessary law enforcement intervention.
  • Support LB 937 (Sen. Elliot Bostar) adopts the Caregiver Tax Credit Act to ensure family members who take care of their relatives with disabilities are paid for their critical caregiving work. Read more about this hearing via KETV.
  • Support LB 976 (Sen. Carol Blood) provides education and training for judges and court staff as based on federal law outlined in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

Now is the part of session where your voice can truly make a difference—if you have five minutes or five hours—make that time count by submitting online comments, testifying in committee hearings and reaching out to your senator.

Together, we can protect and advance gender equity in our state!