Legislative Wrap-up 2015

Nebraskans for Peace advocated on over 20 bills during this legislative session. Volunteers testified on 5 bills, letters were sent to committees on 15 bills, Action Alerts were sent out to NFP members and friends state-wide on key bills, numerous posts were placed on our Facebook page throughout the session, emails were sent to Senators and letters were hand delivered to the offices of some Senators.

Thank you to all who read the updates sent to you throughout the session and to those who called, emailed or visited your Senators to make your voices be heard.

We experienced some successes and some set-backs, and some bills are on hold until next session. Here is the outcome on some of our key pieces of legislation:

Voting Rights

LB 111, a bill that would have placed undue burdens on Nebraska voters, was bracketed (essentially defeated) by the Nebraska Legislature. NFP advocated against this bill.

Equality

LB 586, a bill that would prohibit discrimination in the work place based on sexual orientation, was advanced from committee to the floor of the legislature. When it became clear that there was not enough support to advance the bill at this time, it was passed over. The bill remains on General File and will carry over to the next session. NFP will continue to advocate for this bill over the interim and into next year.

LB 623, a bill to allow Dreamers to apply for drivers licenses, was passed by the legislature. Following a veto by the Governor, the legislature overwhelmingly voted to override the veto. The bill is now law. NFP advocated in support of this bill.

Criminal Justice/Prison Reform

LB 268, a bill to repeal the death penalty, passed the legislature over the Governor’s veto. NFP advocated in support of this bill.

LB 605, a comprehensive criminal justice/ prison reform bill, was passed by the legislature. The bill included changes in sentencing, probation and parole, and addressed some aspects of inmate overcrowding. NFP supported most of the changes made in the bill, but recognized that much more work needs to be done on this issue.

LB 294, a bill to create the Human Trafficking Victims Civil Remedy Act, was passed by the legislature. The bill creates a way for minors to seek reparations from human traffickers as well as increased the penalties for perpetrators involved in human trafficking. NFP advocated in support of this bill.

Healthcare

The legislature failed to advance LB 472, a bill that would have addressed the insurance coverage gap that leaves some 74,000 Nebraskans with no access to affordable health care. NFP will continue to advocate on this very important issue over the interim. LR 306, a legislative interim study, will examine ways the state can successfully address this problem in the next session. We all need to write, call, email, and visit our State Senators over the interim and encourage them to bring a solution to our friends, neighbors and fellow Nebraskans who cannot get the health care they need.

Please feel free to contact me at nfp.tessa@gmail.com if you have any comments, suggestions, or questions regarding Nebraskans for Peace Legislative Advocacy. 

Sincerely,
Tessa Foreman
Nebraskans for Peace

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