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Advocacy | February 27, 2024

Legislative Update: The Session Thus Far

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.

The Legislative Session continues to remain collegial and there have also been many bright policy spots thus far. The Governor announced that the state will participate in the summer EBT program, providing food to 150,000 Nebraska children over the summer. LB 307, Senator Hunt’s harm reduction bill, is on final reading, the third round of debate, and appears to have the votes to pass. Senator Dungan’s Prenatal Plus program, LB 857, is also on final reading and has strong bi-partisan support. Other bills that have been prioritized and thus go to the front of the line if they have advanced from committee are Senator Wayne’s LB 20, which would provide for restoration of voting rights upon completion of a felony sentence or probation, LB 840, Senator McKinney’s bill to establish a statewide poverty elimination plan, and LB’s 856 and 904, introduced by Senators Fredrickson and DeBoer respectively, that would tackle aspects of our child care crisis. Click here for a complete listing of the session’s priority bills.

While the Speaker and other leaders on both sides of the aisle seem committed to maintaining collaboration, many contentious bills have been introduced and prioritized, and some will come up for debate eventually. Most notoriously, LB 575 which requires students to use the bathroom and play sports according to their birth gender, has been prioritized but remains in committee. Several bills have been introduced that would limit public school funding and several would reduce, eliminate, or change the makeup of the State Board of Education – none have been prioritized but could come up in a committee package. LB 1330 effectively bans Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in higher education, but was not designated as a priority. LB 1315, introduced on behalf of the governor, increases the sales tax rate. While LB 1315 was not prioritized, a sales tax increase could end up in LB 388 or LB 1317, which will be the vehicles for any tax changes. The governor continues to maintain a focus on reducing property taxes. Several bills that would chip away at our current system of elections in Nebraska did not receive a priority designation.

The Appropriations Committee is working on crafting the budget and has been tasked by the Governor with finding money to reduce property taxes. How much they can come up with remains to be seen. The mid-biennium budget is slated to be placed on general file (the first round of debate) on March 7th, with debate and passage of the budget package taking place March 12-26th. The legislature will adjourn no later than April 18th.

Hopefully, the legislature will continue to work collaboratively to solve the state’s issues!


A group of people building.

A group of six people with hard hats on are working together at a construction site.

General | May 3, 2022

Easy Multiplier Effect for Economic Justice Philanthropy

By Katie Weitz, PhD

Omaha is a town that loves to build! There is […]

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