Legislative Update: Week of February 5

The Nebraska Legislature is in full swing and we want to keep you updated on the issues that are important to the well-being of women and girls. We’ll also let you know when YOU can take action on these issues! The first step is to know your senator. Find your senator here.

Committee Hearing for Bill Supporting Sex Trafficking Survivors on Friday

Tomorrow, February 9, the Judiciary Committee is scheduled for a hearing on LB 1132, a bill supporting sex trafficking survivors. The bill would allow sex trafficking survivors to have convictions linked to their victimization set aside and their related records sealed. Read more about LB 1132.

You can support sex trafficking survivors by contacting senators on the Judiciary Committee asking them to amplify survivors’ voices and move this legislation to general file. These senators include:

The hearing is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 9 at 1:30 pm. You can watch it live here.

Monday’s Hearing on Bill to Cut Reproductive Health Care for Nebraska Women

On Monday, the Appropriations Committee had a hearing on LB 944, Senator Scheer’s bill, at the request of the governor, to restrict access to family planning and remove Planned Parenthood of the Heartland from Nebraska’s Title X program. The result would harm more than 8,000 Nebraskans who count on Title X health centers for access to reproductive health care.

Please continue to contact senators on the Appropriations Committee to let them know that you do not want to see access to family planning services decreased in our state and that you do not support the language in LB 944 that would cut Planned Parenthood from the Title X network.

Read more about what happened in the hearing in the Omaha World-Herald or the Lincoln Journal Star. Learn more about Title X’s impact on Nebraska’s women & girls.

Payday Lending Advocates Continue to Push for Consumer Protections

The Banking, Commerce & Insurance Committee continues to work on LB 194, a carryover bill from the 2017 legislative session. This bill would reform current payday lending practices to provide more protections for borrowers. Please contact members of the committee to let them know that you support payday lending reform. They include:

For more information on payday lending in Nebraska, read this report from our friends at Nebraska Appleseed.

Other Bills That Could Impact Women & Girls

  • LB 844, introduced by Senator Crawford, requires companies to provide employees with a week of paid family and medical leave. The Business and Labor Committee will hear about this bill on February 12.
  • LB 843, introduced by Senator Pansing Brooks, allows employees to discuss their wages, increasing transparency of the gender wage gap. The Business and Labor Committee will hear this bill on February 12.
  • LB 857, introduced by Senator Morfeld, ensures that public universities in Nebraska provide survivors of sexual violence with confidential advisors.
  • LB 898, introduced by Senator Howard, requires public universities in Nebraska to conduct annual surveys on sexual assault.
  • LB 870, introduced by Senator Pansing Brooks, regulates Nebraska’s use of solitary confinement for incarcerated children.

If you have any questions about the information discussed in this Legislative Update, feel free to contact Women’s Fund of Omaha Executive Director Michelle Zych via email at mzych@omahawomensfund.org.