Call to Action: Unicameral Debates and Hearings to Watch the Week of March 11

All the bills listed below will have hearings during the week of March 11 through March 15. Unless otherwise stated, the League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha supports these bills.

Find your senator via the Unicameral website, and contact them to urge them to support these bills. Follow the Unicameral Update to find out what happens next with these bills.

Bills Being Debated on Tuesday, March 12: General File

  • LB 400 – Change the minimum wage for persons compensated by way of gratuities
  • LB 217 – Prohibit retaliation against employees for communicating about wages

Hearings on March 12

Banking, Commerce and Insurance

Committee members are Senator Williams (Chair), Senator Gragert, Senator Howard, Senator Kolterman, Senator La Grone, Senator Lindstrom, Senator McCollister, Senator Quick

  • LB 295 – Adopt the Unsecured Consumer Loan Licensing Act and clarify licensing provisions under the Delayed Deposit Services Licensing Act and the Nebraska Installment Loan Act (oppose)
  • LB 379 – Change provisions under Delayed Deposit Services Licensing Act (OPPOSE)

Education

Committee members are Senator Groene (Chair), Senator Brewer, Senator Kolowski, Senator Linehan, Senator Morfeld, Senator Murman, Senator Pansing Brooks, Senator Walz

  • LB 702 – Change provisions under Delayed Deposit Services Licensing Act

Hearings on March 13

Appropriations

Committee members are Senator Stinner (Chair), Senator Bolz, Senator Clements, Senator Dorn, Senator Erdman, Senator Hilkemann, Senator McDonnell, Senator Vargas, Senator Wishart

  • LB 531 – Creates Motor Voter Fund for improvement of voter registration process

Judiciary

Committee members are Senator Lathrop (Chair), Senator Brandt, Senator Chambers, Senator DeBoer, Senator Morfeld, Senator Pansing Brooks, Senator Slama, Senator Wayne

  • LB 164 – Prohibit electronic transmission or online posting of certain photographs or videos, redefine sexual exploitation, & provide registrable offense under the Sex Offender Registration Act
  • LB 173 – Define/redefine terms of coercion & w/out consent & provide for applicability with respect to sexual assault
  • LB 475 – Create offense of sexual extortion, redefine sexual exploitation, & provide registrable offense under the Sex Offender Registration Act
  • LB 519 – Change statutes of limitations for certain sexual & trafficking offenses & authorize interception of communications relating to such offenses
  • LB 630 – Create offense of sexual extortion & change elements & penalties for sexual offenses

Hearings on March 14

Government, Military and Veterans Affairs

Committee members are Senator Brewer (Chair), Senator Blood, Senator M. Hansen, Senator Hilgers, Senator Hunt, Senator Kolowski, Senator La Grone, Senator Lowe

  • LB 687 – Provide for voter registration of applicants for driver’s licenses and state identification cards

Health and Human Services

Committee members are Senator Howard (Chair), Senator Arch, Senator Cavanaugh, Senator B. Hansen,Senator Murman, Senator Walz, Senator Williams

  • LB 555 – Adopt the Sexual Assault Emergency Care Act and provide for disciplinary action against hospitals

Hearings on March 15

Government, Military and Veterans Affairs

Committee members are Senator Brewer (Chair), Senator Blood, Senator M. Hansen, Senator Hilgers, Senator Hunt, Senator Kolowski, Senator La Grone, Senator Lowe

  • LB 709 – Provide for a place to express breast milk in the State Capitol

Judiciary

Committee members are Senator Lathrop (Chair), Senator Brandt, Senator Chambers, Senator DeBoer, Senator Morfeld, Senator Pansing Brooks, Senator Slama, Senator Wayne

  • LB 176 – Eliminate certain mandatory minimum penalties

Revenue

Committee members are Senator Linehan (Chair), Senator Briese, Senator Crawford, Senator Friesen, Senator Groene, Senator Kolterman, Senator Lindstrom, Senator McCollister

  • LB 535 – Prohibit employment discrimination by qualified businesses under the Nebraska Advantage Act

Black Women in History and Politics

In honor of Black History Month, LWVGO board member Krystal Fox talks with Terri Crawford, Adjunct Professor of Black Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, about the history of black women in politics.

Go Vote Omaha! is our locally produced informational television program. Watch Go Vote Omaha at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday nights on Cox channel 22 or CenturyLink channel 89 or anytime on YouTube. You can also listen to these episodes as podcasts on Podbean.


Urge Your Representative to Vote Yes on HR1 This Week

Voters across the country voted for democracy reform up and down the ballot in 2018, sending the 116th Congress a clear message that the country is ready for bold, comprehensive democracy reforms.

And now, HR1, the For The People Act is on the verge of passing the House of Representatives – THIS WEEK the House will vote on this historic piece of legislation.

Call your Representative TODAY through the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to vote to pass H.R. 1 – the  “For The People” Act.

HR1 is the biggest democracy reform agenda many of us have seen since the Voting Rights Act. This bill will revamp our voting system, implement fair redistricting, and crack down on dark money in elections so that voters have a stronger voice at the ballot box.

We must get this bold, transformative set of reforms to strengthen our democracy and return political power to the people over the finish line but we cannot do it without your help!

Call your Representative TODAY through the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to commit to vote YES on  H.R. 1.

Call to Action: Unicameral Debates and Hearings to Watch the Week of March 4

Bills Being Debated on Monday, March 4: General File

The following bills will be on general file starting Monday, March 4:

  • LB 627 – Prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or sexual identity
  • LB 141 – Provide for the offense of assault by strangulation or suffocation
  • LB 400 – Change the minimum wage for persons compensated by way of gratuities
  • LB 217 – Prohibit retaliation against employees for communicating about wages

Hearings on March 4

Business and Labor Committee

The following bills will have hearings in the Business and Labor Committee on Monday, March 4. Committee members are Senator M. Hansen (Chair), Senator Chambers, Senator Crawford, Senator Halloran, Senator B. Hansen, Senator Lathrop, Senator Slama.

  • LB 526 – Change provisions relating to compensation for temporary disability under the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Act
  • LB 487 – Require the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court to adopt an evidence-based drug formulary (oppose)

Hearings on March 5

Education Committee

The following bills will have hearings in the Education Committee on Tuesday, March 5. Committee members are Chair Senator Groene, Senator Brewer, Senator Kolowski, Senator Linehan, Senator Morfeld, Senator Murman, Senator Pansing Brooks, Senator Walz.

  • LB 534 -Require public postsecondary educational institutions to conduct an annual sexual assault climate survey

Hearings on March 6

Health and Human Services Committee

The following bill will have a hearing in the Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday, March 6. Committee members are Senator Howard (Chair), Senator Arch, Senator Cavanaugh, Senator B. Hansen, Senator Murman, Senator Walz, Senator Williams.

  • LB 518 – Adopt the Support for Trafficking Survivors Act

Judiciary Committee

The following bills will have hearings in Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, March 6. Committee members are Senator Lathrop (Chair), Senator Brandt, Senator Chambers, Senator DeBoer, Senator Morfeld, Senator Pansing Brooks, Senator Slama, Senator Wayne.

  • LB 179 – Authorize the appeal of certain motions as final orders (oppose)
  • LB 231 – Change provisions relating to legal defense of juveniles
  • LB 690 – adopt the healthy pregnancies for incarcerated women act

Government, Military and Veterans Affairs

The following bills will have hearings in the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee on Wednesday, March 6. Committee Members are Senator Brewer (Chair), Senator Blood, Senator M. Hansen, Senator Hilgers, Senator Hunt, Senator Kolowski, Senator La Grone, Senator Lowe.

  • LB 163 – Opens vote by mail for any sized county in lieu of establishing precincts.
  • LB 711 – Change provisions relating to voting qualifications for any person convicted of a felony
  • LB 211 – Make elections for county offices non-partisan (oppose)

LWVNE Testimony in Support of LB 532

On Feb. 21, LWVNE submitted written testimony in support of LB 532, a bill to change provisions relating to harassment protection orders, sexual assault protection orders, and domestic abuse protection orders.

Download the submitted testimony or read the full text below.

Senator Steve Lathrop, Chair

Ms. Laurie Vollertsen, Clerk

Judiciary Committee

PO Box 94604

Lincoln, NE 68509

RE: LB 532 (Senator Cavanaugh)  

Dear Senator Lathrop and Judiciary Committee Members,

We write in support of LB532.  The League of Women Voters of Nebraska strongly supports the long overdue protections for survivors of harassment, sexual assault, and domestic abuse.  Too often the shame of being a victim of such abuse has debased that victim’s ability to believe herself or himself worthy of restorative measures.

The U.S. League of Women Voters adopted its position on preventing violence in 2014.  The position supports the role of government in preventing violence. The LWV of Nebraska believes that the protection orders are surely appropriate for people who have been harassed, sexually assaulted, and the subject of domestic abuse—the conditions identified in Senator Cavanaugh’s  LB 532. Such protection orders decrease the chance of the victims being victimized again by the same people.

LWVNE believes LB 532 provides appropriate protection from violence.  We hope the Committee and the Legislature will approve and pass the bill.  

Sincerely,

John F. Else                                                        

Director of Social Policy  

Sherry Miller

President

LWVNE Testimony in Support of LB 516

On Feb. 21, LWVNE submitted written testimony in support of LB 516, a bill to change provisions relating to child abuse, the Child Protection and Family Safety Act, human trafficking, and child welfare services.

Download the submitted testimony or read the full text below.

Senator Steve Lathrop, Chair

Ms. Laurie Vollertsen, Clerk

Judiciary Committee

PO Box 94604

Lincoln, NE 68509

Re:  Lb 516 (Pansing Brooks)

Dear Senator Lathrop and Judiciary Committee Members:

We write in support of LB516, introduced by Senator Pansing Brooks and supported by Senators Linehan and Slama.  The League of Women Voters of Nebraska strongly supports the revision of child abuse language in Nebraska laws to include abusers who traffick or attempt to traffick minors into sexual or labor exploitation—and to remove time limitations for prosecution for such crimes.  We also believe it important to develop and provide services specifically for these victims and to include information on the number of services and outcomes for these victims in the annual child welfare report issued to the Legislature.

The U.S. League of Women Voters adopted its position on preventing violence in 2014.  The position supports the role of government in preventing violence. The LWV of Nebraska believes that including this new category of criminal behavior will clearly specify society’s intolerance of such behaviors—and hopefully reduce the terrible violence of such abuse of children.  

LWVNE supports LB 516 and hopes the Judiciary Committee and the Legislature also supports and approves and passes the bill.  .

Sincerely,

John F. Else                                                       

Director of Social Policy

Sherry Miller

President

LWVNE Testimony in Support of LB 175

On Feb. 20, LWVNE submitted written testimony in support of LB 175, a bill to change provisions regarding candidate committee funds.

Download the submitted testimony or read the full text below.

Senator Tom Brewer, Chair

Government, Military, and VA Committee

State Capitol

Re:  Hearing for LB 175 (Chambers)  to change provisions regarding candidate committee funds

Dear Senator Brewer and Members of the Committee,

The League of Women Voters has worked on transparency in campaign finance since the early 1970s, spurred by spending abuses in congressional and presidential campaigns.  The Nebraska League has turned its attention to monitoring transparency in state level campaigns.  

We support Senator Chambers’  bill because of its solid protection for donors who wish to give to a particular candidate’s campaign with the expectation that their donation will support their candidate of choice.

We urge you to advance LB 175 to General File for full debate by the members of the Senate.

Respectfully submitted,

Lynne Elwood, Government Director                         

Sherry Miller, President

Lethal Injection & Legal Aspects of the Death Penalty

In this episode of Go Vote, Omaha, first aired on June 28, 2016, Geri Simon and Professor Eric Berger from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln discuss lethal injection and other legal aspects of the death penalty.

Go Vote Omaha! is our locally produced informational television program. Watch Go Vote Omaha at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday nights on Cox channel 22 or CenturyLink channel 89 or anytime on YouTube. You can also listen to these episodes as podcasts on Podbean.

LWVNE Testimony in Support of LB498

On Feb. 20, the League of Women Voters of Nebraska submitted testimony in support of LB498, a bill to provide for medical assistance coverage of family planning services as prescribed.

Download the submitted testimony or read the full text below.

February 20, 2019

Senator Sara Howard, Chair

Health and Human Services Committee

State Capitol

Re:  LB 498 (Wishart) Provide for medical assistance coverage of family planning services as prescribed

Dear Senator Howard and Members of the Committee,

Based on the following positions, the League of Women Voters strongly supports Senator Wishart’s bill:

“The League believes that one of the goals of good social policy should be to promote self-sufficiency for individuals and families and that the most effective social programs are those designed to prevent or reduce poverty.”

As part of this desirable goal, “the League believes that every one should have access to a basic level of health care that includes:  the prevention of disease; health promotion and education; and primary care, including prenatal and  reproductive health).”

Family planning services described on pages 4 and 5 of the bill could well be instrumental in reducing poverty among Nebraskans whose income and/or lack of insurance coverage prevent access to regular preventive or supportive health care for women of child-bearing age.

The additional coverage for cancer screening, birth control methods, and domestic violence screening can diagnose cancer earlier, prevent unwanted pregnancies, and stop domestic abuse; these steps are also part of a path out of poverty.

Dollars spent to anticipate, treat, and prevent health issues in human reproduction are dollars wisely allocated, freeing dollars to go to other social needs of our state, including schools.

We urge you to advance LB 498 without delay to General File for full debate by the Senate.

Respectfully submitted,

Phyllis Salyards, M.D.
League of Women Voters of Nebraska
Sherry Miller, President
League of Women Voters of Nebraska


LWVNE Testimony Supporting LB 43

On Feb. 20, the League of Women Voters of Nebraska submitted testimony in support of LB43, a bill to adopt the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act.

Download the submitted testimony or read the full text below.

February 20, 2019

Senator Steve Lathrop, Chair

Judiciary Committee

State Capitol

Re:  LB 43 (Bolz)  Adopt the Sexual Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act

Dear Senator Lathrop and Members of the Committee,

The League of Women Voters of Nebraska strongly supports LB 43 and its long overdue protections for survivors of sexual assault.  Too often the shame of being such a victim has debased that victim’s ability to believe herself or himself worthy of restorative measures.

The U.S. League of Women Voters adopted its position on human trafficking in 2014.  Part of the position states that “Extensive essential services for victims should be applied where needed.”  The LWV of Nebraska believes that Senator Bolz’s Bill of Rights accurately defines those essential services that will help bring healing, along with justice, to all victims of sexual assault.

We urge you to advance LB 43 to General File for full debate by the members of the Senate.

Respectfully submitted,

John Else, Social Policy Director
Sherry Miller, President