NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

The official site of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Sen. Megan Hunt

Sen. Megan Hunt

District 8

The content of these pages is developed and maintained by, and is the sole responsibility of, the individual senator's office and may not reflect the views of the Nebraska Legislature. Questions and comments about the content should be directed to the senator's office at mhunt@leg.ne.gov

Welcome
January 8th, 2020

Thank you for visiting my website. It is an honor to represent the people of the 8th legislative district in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature.

You’ll find my contact information on the right side of this page, as well as a list of the bills I’ve introduced this session and the committees on which I serve. Please feel free to contact me and my staff about proposed legislation or any other issues you would like to address.

Sincerely,
Sen. Megan Hunt

Meet Our Staff
January 23rd, 2020

Our office has a whole new staff that will be working tirelessly to serve Nebraskans. Learn more about these amazing individuals below.



Dave Gottschalk

Chief of Staff & Legislative Aide

Dave graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2010. After graduation, he spent time working for labor unions in Washington D.C. before moving back to Nebraska to work as an organizer for Planned Parenthood. He is currently a third-year law student at the University of Nebraska Law School.

In his limited spare time (law student), he enjoys baseball (Go Cubs) and reading, mostly history books. When not at work or school Dave is usually taking his dog to the dog park or on a bike ride. He is also a self-declared cinephile — a lover of movies.

 

Cassy Ross

Communications Director & Administrative Aide

Cassy studied at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, majoring in Political Science and Global Studies. She has been heavily involved with Amnesty International and is currently a Sexual and Reproductive Rights trainer for the organization. She has previously interned for the ACLU, the Nebraska Unicameral, the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center, and Sisterhood is Global Institute in Amman, Jordan.

Cassy is currently studying to become fluent in Arabic and wants to begin to learn Russian next. She loves learning about other cultures through language. In her free time, she fosters animals for the humane society, works as a part-time bartender, and is a plant connoisseur.

 

Temi Onayemi

Intern

Temi is a senior Psychology and Political Science double major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is from the south suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, but has found a home in Nebraska. At UNL, Temi is the current president of the Afrikan Peoples Union, a member of the NU Student Alliance that helps advocate at the legislature on behalf of the university, and a couple of other fun clubs.

Reading, writing, soccer, and chess are all hobbies that Temi loves. Post-grad, he is deciding between a few interests that he might pursue, but he hopes that his road will lead back to Nebraska.

 

Anna Singharath

Intern

Anna is currently a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a major in Global Studies and a minor in French. Her interests include foreign policy and working on basic human rights. Anna says that her position with Senator Hunt will allow her to dive deeper into the political field, which will help with incorporating her interests into her future career.

Anna enjoys traveling and learning about different cultures. After graduation, she hopes to travel to another country to teach English and learn about their government system for a year, then returning to attend graduate school.

Fun Fact: Anna has eaten at the same Mexican restaurant as Barack Obama (S/O La Juanitas in Sioux City, IA).

 

Matt Baldwin

Intern

Matt is a senior Political Science and Accounting double major student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. At school, he has been involved in various independent research projects regarding state legislatures, specifically term limits and ideas on representation. Matt says that coming to the Unicameral is like stepping out of the academic journal and into the wild!

As a lifelong Lincolnite and Nebraskan, he says that the Unicameral has always had a place in his psyche and he is thrilled to help on a team doing work to make this state a more welcoming place. In Matt’s spare time, he loves to read books of all kinds: mythology, psychology, justice, history. He is also a huge fan of the Denver sports teams—Broncos, Nuggets, Avalanche, and Rockies.

Lincoln, Neb. —  1.16.20 — Today, three senators from Omaha introduced four bills (LBs 1037, 1038, 1039, and 1040) to address the lack of access to healthy, affordable foods for workers, families, and children across Nebraska.

“It’s hard to reconcile the fact that 200,000 Nebraskans struggle with food insecurity when they’re living in America’s breadbasket,” said Senators Hunt, Vargas, and Cavanaugh in a joint statement. “Even in a state with expanses of farmland and ranches, many families are worried about how to feed their kids. Every hungry family, every hungry child is relying on answers from our state government.”

LB1040 from Senator Vargas (District 7) would appropriate money to the Department of Agriculture to manage and grow Double Up Food Bucks, a program that doubles the value of federal nutrition (SNAP or food stamps) benefits spent at participating markets and grocery stores. The Double Up program began in Lincoln in 2017, and has since grown to nine locations and benefited more than 700 families. Double Up is currently managed by Nebraska Extension with help from the Department of Agriculture.

“Double Up Food Bucks has been an incredibly successful program with a huge impact for families and farmers over the past few years. LB1040 will grow that program while helping people bring home more healthy fruits and vegetables and supporting local farmers,” said Senator Vargas.

Senator Hunt’s (District 8) LB1038 would remove SNAP restrictions on an individual with three or more felony convictions for possession or use of a controlled substance if they participate in a substance abuse program. The bill would remove a major barrier to successful reintegration for formerly incarcerated people, while reducing hunger for the individuals and their families that are negatively affected by this restriction. LB1037 would ensure that eligible children aren’t removed from benefits due to someone in the household being disqualified. Under the current SNAP system, if one person in a household is disqualified from participation in the program, the entire family loses access.

“Over 600,000 individuals are released from state and federal prisons every year who face monumental barriers to attaining employment and housing. Restricting access to basic necessities for these populations perpetuates the cycle of poverty and increases rates of recidivism.” said Senator Hunt. “Additionally, Nebraska’s current rules around SNAP qualification exclude children who live in a household with an adult who may not qualify. Children shouldn’t go hungry because our state hasn’t adopted this common sense, compassionate approach.”

LB1039 from Senator Cavanaugh (District 6) would create the Hunger-Free Schools Program, ensuring that every public school student in Nebraska is provided with breakfast and lunch during the school day at no cost to their family. Participating schools will be reimbursed by the Nebraska Department of Education for the total difference between their expenses and federal reimbursement. Schools will also maximize their participation in federal reimbursement programs such as the Community Eligibility Provision, bringing Nebraskans’ tax dollars back to Nebraska.

“With over 80,000 children in Nebraska facing food insecurity, meals at school are one of the most effective tools available to ensure they get the nutrition they need and deserve,” Senator Cavanaugh said. “Studies have shown that well-fed students are well-performing students, receiving better grades and better health. By making these meals freely available to all public school children, regardless of income, we can eliminate needless bureaucracy, better prepare our children for educational success, and let our educational professionals focus on education.”

Lincoln, NE— 1.15.20 — Today the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) recognized Senator Megan Hunt with the 2020 Inspiring Efficiency Award in the Leadership category. The Inspiring Efficiency Awards honor leaders who delivered groundbreaking advancements in energy efficiency in five categories: Leadership, Education, Impact, Innovation and Marketing.

“Today more than ever, the power to build a sustainable world rests on the shoulders of state and local officials,” Hunt said. “Nebraska is a nationwide leader in energy efficiency, creating economic opportunities, protecting the environment and advancing clean energy across the Midwest. I’m proud to play a role in finding solutions to build a healthier, more sustainable world.”

MEEA selected Senator Hunt as an award recipient because of her leadership as the sole sponsor of Nebraska Legislative Bill 405, which updated the Nebraska Energy code from the 2009 IECC to the unamended 2018 IECC, a three-version code jump signed into law in 2019. Senator Hunt shepherded the bill through the legislative process, defending against harmful amendments, and rallying support when necessary. Senator Hunt convinced a politically diverse body of state lawmakers to adopt the most progressive energy code in the country.

ABOUT THE MIDWEST ENERGY EFFICIENCY ALLIANCE:
The Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) is a collaborative network advancing energy efficiency in the Midwest for sustainable economic development and environmental stewardship across 13 states. MEEA is the Midwest’s key proponent and resource for energy efficiency policy, helping to educate and advise a diverse range of stakeholders on ways to pursue a cost-effective, energy-efficient agenda. Through partnerships, programs and a dynamic annual conference, we curate a forward-thinking conversation to realize the economic and environmental benefits of energy efficiency.

Lincoln, NE— 1.13.20 — Today Senator Megan Hunt introduced two bills with the purpose of establishing creative districts in Nebraska, funded by the sale of Support the Arts license plates. LB 942 tasks the Department of Motor Vehicles to design a Support the Arts license plate in coordination with the Nebraska Arts Council. The bill also creates the Support the Arts Cash Fund, with the primary purpose of funding the establishment of creative districts in the state. LB 943 grants the Council authority to propose a plan for identifying and certifying creative districts in Nebraska. Once established, these creative districts would be able to apply for a grant from the Council, funded by the sale of Support the Arts license plates.

“Creative districts can revitalize neighborhoods and improve the quality of life for its residents,” Hunt said. “These districts can bring physical transformation, economic growth, and greater community and cultural cohesion. There are over 300 creative districts across the country, but Nebraska is one of the few states that does not recognize any creative districts. We need to embrace the amazing grassroots artists in our state for how much excitement, economic development opportunities, and cultural vibrancy they bring to neighborhoods across Nebraska.”

“The arts put people to work, fostering a skilled workforce of creative occupations that contribute to economic productivity,” Hunt said. “The arts and culture industry produces substantial federal, state, and local tax revenue that only continues to grow.”

Lincoln, NE— 1.13.20 — Today Senator Megan Hunt introduced LB 962, allowing student athletes the right to earn money from their name, image, and likeness. Student athletes are the only college students who are prohibited from earning an income for their skill or talent. The Fair Pay to Play Act gives students who are athletes the same opportunity as the rest of their classmates to participate in the market and earn money for their skills and talent. This bill will not cost taxpayers or universities a dime, because it opens up the opportunity for all student athletes to leverage the value of their talent and skill through the free market and entrepreneurship. LB 962 was introduced with the bipartisan support of 11 cosponsors.

“NCAA athletic programs generate tons of revenue, while players who generate this money can only be compensated with performance-based athletic scholarships,” Hunt said. “These athletes give free labor for no compensation and at great risk to their physical health. That’s why ensuring all student athletes have control over the value of their name, image, and likeness rights is so important to leveling the playing field and ensuring the civil rights of all students.”

“LB 962 is about the right of every person to work, to participate in the free market, and to gain a living through their work and talent,” Hunt said. “Today, colleges and universities profit greatly from intercollegiate sports while athletes struggle to have enough money for food. With the Fair Pay to Play Act, players will finally enjoy the right to benefit from the value of their name, image, and likeness rights through markets and entrepreneurship.”

2020 Legislative Priorities
December 17th, 2019

2020 Legislative Priorities

Senator Hunt has worked tirelessly over the interim to create her 2020 agenda, focused on protecting Nebraskans. Below is a list of the major bills she plans to introduce this session.

  • Ban conversion therapy for minors.
  • Introduce a more expansive Child Welfare Bill of Rights.
  • Expand access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for individuals with prior drug convictions.
  • Repeal LB 209, a bill requiring doctors to include information on the abortion pill reversal process when consulting with patients about abortion.
  • “Pay the Players” bill, to allow student-athletes to be compensated for their name, image, and likeness rights.
  • Increase the tipped minimum wage to $4.50/hour.
  • Amend the Mobile Tenant Act to change provisions relating to the return of rental deposits, damagers, and the period of time relations to a written notice of termination of a rental agreement

Moving Offices

New Office: 1523 (first floor)

At the end of this month, our office will be moving from the 11th floor down to a much more accessible spot on the first floor. Our new location will be in office 1523. We are excited to be able to more easily meet with constituents and visitors this coming session!

Experiences in the Interim

Senator Hunt spoke at the GenderWorks conference in early November. The conference is dedicated to providing medical and mental healthcare providers with education and training on how to competently serve transgender patients and clients. “Thank you to the University of Nebraska Medical Center for leading on this in Nebraska, for a future with quality of life and dignity for every person,” says Senator Hunt.

 

Senator Hunt congratulates, Steve Tamayo, a constituent, who was recognized in the Congressional Record for his contributions to the arts and his advocacy for Native American culture and conservation.

 

In mid-November, Senator Hunt visited Washington D.C. to attend the Victory Institute’s International LGBTQ Leaders Conference. Senator Hunt had this to share, “There are over 800 LGBTQ+ elected officials in the US today because of the support, mentorship, and network facilitated by the Victory Institute. This is a room of changemakers, groundbreakers, people I’m so grateful to learn from.”

 

Senator Hunt was thrilled to host Nebraska AIDS Project’s annual fundraiser, Night of a Thousand Stars. She said, “To change the world and continue moving in a direction that opens up equity and opportunity to people affected by HIV, we must lift up the facts, refocus our policymakers on science and research, and support the people at the Nebraska AIDS Project who do the work to put that evidence into practice.”

 

On November 23rd, Dominique Morgan – of Black and a Pink – opened the Lydon House, the first home for system-involved LGBTQ+ people in the country. Each room was dedicated with intention to an important voice in the movement, like Brandon Teena pictured here.

 

Senator Hunt spoke with representatives for Nebraska Medicine and Dr. Jean Amoura, who runs the transgender specialty care clinic in Omaha. Senator Hunt toured the clinic and discussed upcoming bills for the next session, addressing how we will organize at the Capitol for trans and gender-diverse Nebraskans. Nebraska Medicine has been at the forefront of care on this issue and we are so thankful for Dr. Amoura’s work.

Senator Hunt attended the Council of State Governments annual conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where she served on the National Interbranch Affairs Committee.
“I’m delighted to have been named to this position and look forward to offering leadership and guidance to the organization on behalf of Nebraska.” – Senator Hunt

Our Office in the News

KMTV – TD Ameritrade announces sale, move to Texas

Lincoln Journal Star – Omaha Senator: Abortion reversal bill must be repealed

The Intercept – A Push to Repeal the Death Penalty Gains Ground Across the Western United States

VICE News – An ‘Abortion Reversal’ Study Left Women Hemorrhaging. State Lawmakers Still Support Doctors Telling Patients About the Treatments.

Connect With Me

  • Please follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram to stay up to date with my latest activities.
  • I invite you to visit my office in Lincoln at the Nebraska State Capitol. Call my office to coordinate. (402) 471-2722
  • You can watch the Legislature live on NET TV or find NET’s live stream here.

Upcoming Town Hall

Senator Hunt would like to invite you to her upcoming town hall on November 23rd from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. It will be held at the Rathskeller Bier Haus and appetizers will be provided. Drinks are available for purchase from Rathskeller.

The event is free and open to the public.

 

Constituent Survey

Senator Hunt would like to invite you to take a few minutes to complete her Constituent Survey. Click here to complete it.

“As your Senator, it is an honor and a privilege to be able to represent and serve you. To ensure my staff and I are doing the best we can to fulfill this responsibility, I am always interested in hearing your thoughts, concerns, and suggestions about how I can best represent you and the rest of District 8.”

The information you provide is confidential and will be used to help Senator Hunt and her staff to better serve the people of District 8. If you have any questions or if our office can be of additional assistance, please contact our office at (402) 471-2722.

 

Interim Studies Update

Introduced LR 135

In late September Senator Hunt introduced LR 135, a legislative resolution exploring food insecurity in Nebraska.
“Food insecurity” is the term used to describe the problem families face when they don’t have enough access to affordable and nutritious food, whether that’s financial or geographic. 11.6% of Nebraska’s population is food insecure, according to the Map the Meal Gap report from Feeding America. Over 200,000 Nebraskans struggle with food insecurity. That’s hard to reconcile with the fact that this is America’s breadbasket. We’re working so hard to bring food to everyone else. But even in a state with expanses of farmland and ranches, many families are worried about how to feed their kids. According to a report from the Center for Rural Affairs, enrollment for food assistance programs like SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is consistently lower in rural Nebraska. So these are people who are eligible for benefits and aren’t receiving them.

We can all agree that Nebraskans are in need, and as state lawmakers, we share the responsibility of identifying solutions. That’s why Senator Hunt has worked with stakeholders to identify a package of policy recommendations that vary in fiscal impact, which Senator Hunt will introduce next session.

 

Experiences in the Interim

 

Senator Hunt would like to share some personal and professional news with you:

“My partner Sarah and I are closing Hello Holiday, the clothing boutique we have owned for the past 7 years.

We are happy, excited, and ready to do what’s next. At the same time, today is tough and it’s starting to hit me. Although I’m confident about our decision and excited about growing a new project, being a Small Business Owner™—THIS kind of Small Business Owner—has been foundational to my self-image and identity for the past 15 years, and change this big is always emotionally challenging.⁣

By following our instinct to use our business as a platform for social good and political engagement, Sarah and I built something that meant a lot to people. We had not seen a company like ours before, and working without a map or an example, we successfully grew a business that went beyond traditional retail. I know this because so many people have told us that the work we did at Hello Holiday motivated them to start a business of their own, to have confidence in their bodies, to quit a job they hated, to run for office, to go back to school, to move to a new city, to do any number of things that represent bravery, courage, and authenticity that comes when you choose to apply your most deeply held values to all aspects of your life.⁣

I got to do something very rare and special with Hello Holiday. Time for the next chapter.”

 

New Americans Civil Leadership Academy Kickoff

Senator Hunt spoke at the kickoff party for the New Americans Civil Leadership Academy, coordinated by Lutheran Family Services and Civic Nebraska in September! Nebraska leads the nation in resettling refugees, and Senator Hunt’s purpose is to protect and support our newest neighbors who want to live the good life here in our state. We are glad you’re here!

 

 

Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative Civic Engagement Institute

In early October, Senator Hunt spoke to this year’s participants in the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative Civic Engagement Institute. Each of these individuals are civic leaders in their own countries (including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Laos, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam).

 

 

 

Health Policy Conference

Senator Hunt had a great opportunity to speak to student residents and physicians at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Health Policy Conference.

 

 

 

LGBTQ Victory Institute Leadership Summit

In October, Senator Hunt attended the Omaha Leadership Summit held by the LGBTQ Victory Institute. She had this to say about the event: “Seeing so many LGBTQ+ candidates and electeds in one room completely changed my perspective about the deep bench of talent and experience we have in our state leadership pool. I am so excited to work with MSHRC, Victory Institute, Huespring, and other local organizations to help mentor, train, and develop a pipeline of new leaders.”

 

Honor Roll Award

Also in October, Senator Hunt received an award from the Holland Children’s Movement, as a part of their Honor Roll Awards. She was recognized for her work to increase the minimum wage and expand access to SNAP.

 

 

 

Our Office in the News

WOWT – Nebraska State Sen. Megan Hunt to propose college athlete pay bill

NET Nebraska – NCAA Decision Could Bring Legislative Proposals In Nebraska

KGUN – A bill to pay college athletes will be proposed in the Nebraska Legislature

Sen. Megan Hunt

District 8
Room #1523
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2722
Email: mhunt@leg.ne.gov
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