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Advocacy | January 31, 2023

Legislative Update: First Session Reflections

By Renee Fry, Policy Consultant

This is a guest blog from Renee Fry, Policy Consultant for the Weitz Family Foundation. This blog is estimated to take 2 minutes to read.

This year’s first session got off to the most partisan start that I have witnessed in the 25 sessions I have been working in or around the Nebraska State Legislature. Key committees have the votes to advance the most controversial of bills. Some bills that previously did not make it out of committees will advance and likely even pass.

Examples of controversial bills include LB 77, permit-less concealed carry, and LB 626, a six-week abortion ban. Numerous bills target LGBTQ+ individuals and those of other marginalized communities. Proposed bans on teaching Critical Race Theory, removing vote-by-mail options/requiring ID to vote-by-mail as part of Voter ID implementation, and transitioning to a winner-take-all approach for assigning presidential electoral votes are also on the table.

Even so, there are a few bright spots! LB 199 would allow “federally authorized aliens” to obtain driver’s licenses. Affordable housing development has bi-partisan support. There is a strong likelihood that the Commission on Asian American Affairs will be enacted. While these measures should be celebrated, they are likely to be overshadowed by other controversial legislation.

While the governor’s tax and education plans infuse more money into K-12 education, they also cap K-12 funding at 3% per year, put other entities like community colleges and private schools in competition for taxpayer dollars, and sharply reduce revenue through tax cuts. In other words, the governor is proposing to reduce the size of the pie by cutting taxes and adding more entities to get a piece of said pie.

With so much at stake, it is critical that Nebraskans make their voices heard! If you are looking to get involved in policy this year, I hope the Weitz Family Foundation’s Robia will inspire you. Last week, she testified at the legislature (in her personal capacity) for the first time! If you are new to policy, there are many resources to help you get started. The Coalition for a Strong Nebraska, the Nonprofit Association of the Midlands, and the Nebraska Civic Engagement Table are great places to start. They hold weekly meetings at noon on Thursdays for their members. Please contact Hannah Young at to sign up. If you need more individualized help, please feel free to contact me at


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General | November 14, 2023

Helping Grantees Educate Our Policymakers

By Katie Weitz, PhD

This blog is estimated to take 2 minutes to read. […]

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