Bold Nebraska works with partner organizations including Nebraskans for Civic Reform, Nebraska Appleseed, Common Cause Nebraska, Center for Rural Affairs, Nebraska Wildlife Federation, Nebraska Farmers Union, ACLU of Nebraska and Nebraska Sierra Club to bring you informed coverage of bills under consideration and actions to make sure your voice is heard.
You can watch live gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Nebraska Unicameral in session via NET Nebraska:
- TV: tune to NET Television‘s NET2 World channel
- Radio: NET Radio listeners can hear legislative highlights of each weekday session at 5:30 p.m. CT during “All Things Considered,” as well as at 7:06 a.m. CT during “Morning Edition.”
- Web: Live streaming video coverage of the Unicameral in session available at this link. You can then choose the Senate floor or a hearing room.
- Mobile: Access live and on-demand video of the Unicameral via the Nebraska Capitol Live Mobile App.
- Twitter: The hashtag is #neleg
INDEX OF BILLS
- MORATORIUM ON WIND PROJECTS (LB504) would provide for a moratorium on industrial development of wind energy projects and requests a task force study.
- EXTREME WEATHER PREPAREDNESS (LB 646) would provide for an extreme weather preparedness task force and strategic action plan specifically in dealing with climate change.
- STATE ENERGY INVESTMENTS (LB412) would require determination of amount of state investment in fossil fuels and clean energy.
- FRACKING LIMITATION (LB533) would restrict location of oil and gas drilling wastewater injection wells and require $5 million in liability insurance for each well.
- MEDICAID EXPANSION (LB441) would change eligibility provisions under the Medical Assistance Act to expand the availability of Medicaid to 77,000 uninsured Nebraskans.
- WHITECLAY TASK FORCE (LB407) would create and provide duties for the Whiteclay Public Health Emergency Task Force, to address the alcohol sales to residents of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in S.D.
- LGBT WORKPLACE PROTECTIONS (LB 173) would provide workplace protections from being fired for LGBTQ Nebraskans.
Moratorium on Wind Projects (LB504)
Hearing: Natural Resources Committee
March 1, 9:15 a.m. Room 1525
LB 504: SUPPORT*
(*Bold supports LB 504 only if an amendment is added requiring a moratorium on pipelines and other infrastructure projects in the Sandhills region.)
Introduced by Sen. Brewer, this bill would halt all Wind Energy projects in the Sandhills.
- Bill would create a two year moratorium that would ban wind energy development in the Sandhills to study the potential effects of that that ecosystem and the aquifer.
- Bold would support this bill if an amendment is added that would also halt pipelines throughout the state, as well and study the effects of the pipeline on that ecosystem and the aquifer.
ACTION: Contact Sen. Brewer and urge him to amend the bill asking for a moratorium on pipelines as well for LB504.
Extreme Weather Preparedness Act (LB646)
Hearing: Executive Board
Feb 6, 12:00 p.m., Room 2102
Introduced by Sen. Pansing Brooks, LB 646 would create climate change planning Task Force.
- This task force would develop a strategic plan of action to deal with the effects of “extreme weather” and climate change in Nebraska.
- Based on the 2014 UNL Climate Change Assessment, the task force would create evidence based, data driven action plan related to extreme weather (high winds, flooding, pests, drought etc) due to Climate Change.
- This bill would also set a greenhouse gas emissions baseline for the state.
ACTION: Please contact the legislature and express it is past time to have a climate plan, action is needed. You can find contact information for legislators here.
State Energy Investments (LB412)
Hearing: Retirement Systems Committee
Feb 21, 12:00 p.m., Room 1525
Introduced by Sen. Bolz, LB 412 would require determination of amount of state investment in fossil fuels and clean energy.
- This bill would determine the extent to which the state of Nebraska currently holds investments in fossil fuel industries and clean energy production.
- It would also create a report on the investments in fossil industries and clean energy production.
ACTION: Contact your legislators and urge them to support LB412. You can find contact information for legislators here.
Limits on Fracking (LB 533)
Hearing: Natural Resources Committee
March 2, 1:30 p.m., Room 1525
LB 533: SUPPORT
Introduced by Sen. Vargas, LB 533 would restrict location of injection wells and require $5 million in liability insurance.
- This bill adds a requirement to hold $5 million in liability insurance on every well in the state of Nebraska to an already existing bill.
- This bill prohibits drilling of enhanced recovery injection well or wastewater disposal wells, if the well will be located either where drinking water aquifer would be less than 50 ft below the surface, or in Level 3 Eco Region 44 (aka the Sandhills)
ACTION: Please contact the legislature and recommend they support LB533. You can find contact information for legislators here.
Medicaid Expansion (LB 441)
Hearing: Health & Human Services Committee
March 8, 1:30 p.m., Room 1510
Introduced by Sen. Morfeld, LB 441 would change eligibility provisions under the Medical Assistance Act.
- This bill would expand groups eligible for medical assistance.
- It would expand medical assistance to cover around 90,000 people in Nebraska.
- Those covered would be single adults, couples without minor children, and parents and disabled people with incomes up to 133 percent of the poverty level.
ACTION: Please call your senators and urge them to vote in favor of LB441, especially in light of the President Trump’s action to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. All Nebraskans deserve access to affordable healthcare. You can find contact information for legislators here.
Whiteclay Task Force (LB 407)
Hearing: Executive Board
(No hearing date scheduled yet)
Introduced by Sen. Pansing Brooks, LB 407 would create and provide duties for the Whiteclay Public Health Emergency Task Force.
- The task force will examine public health effects of alcohol sales in Whiteclay, NE, predominantly to residents of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation just across the border in nearby South Dakota.
- An executive committee consisting of 5 persons – chairperson of the state Tribal relations committee of the legislature, the chairperson of the health and human services committee of the legislature, and 3 at-large members. One of the at-large members will be an official of UNL Medical Center appointed by the Chancellor of the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
- The report will be completed Dec. 2017, and carried out the following year.
ACTION: Please contact the legislature and ask them to speed along this process. We do not need a task force, we need immediate action. We would also like to make sure that at least one of the at-large seats in the committee belong to a person from the Native community. You can contact Sen. Pansing Brooks or the legislature here.
LGBT Workplace Protections (LB 173)
Hearing: Judiciary Committee
Feb. 22, 1:30 p.m., Room 1113
Introduced by Sen. Morfeld, LB 173 would prohibit discrimination based upon sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace.
- Previously introduced in 2015 and 2016, Sen. Morfeld again is backing this bill that is crucial to protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans* and queer Nebraskans from being fired from their job just because of who they are.
- A similar LGBT workplace protections ordinance was enacted by the Omaha City Council in 2012 with no negative consequences reported.
ACTION: Please contact the legislature and recommend they support LB173 to provide a safe workplace for all Nebraskans. You can find contact information for legislators here.