NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

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Megan Hunt

Sen. Megan Hunt

District 8

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Rally at Omaha City Hall on May 3 in support of abortion rights organized by ACLU of Nebraska, Planned Parenthood, I Be Black Girl and the Women’s Fund. Photo credit: Lyndsay Dunn NOISE

BY. SEN. MEGAN HUNT, LD-8

On May 2, in a truly unprecedented event, a draft decision on the Dobbs v. Jackson U.S. Supreme Court case was leaked to the public. If that opinion becomes final, it will strike down Roe v. Wade and set back fundamental rights in this country by half a century. It’s important to note this is not yet an official ruling—but in Nebraska, we should prepare for the worst.

If this leaked opinion becomes official and Roe is overturned, it will be up to each individual state to determine whether women have the right to an abortion. Under our current law in Nebraska, abortion will remain legal until 20 weeks, with exceptions for life endangerment or severely compromised health.

However, that could change very quickly. Soon after the Supreme Court ruling becomes official, the Nebraska Legislature will convene for a special session and once again, try to pass a total ban on abortion in our state. Though the legislature successfully blocked a bill to ban abortion this year, we didn’t protect the right to abortion in our state for good. We only bought more time for Nebraskans to organize, unite, and strategize for a future in Nebraska without legal abortion care.

“If the Nebraska Legislature does convene a special session to ban abortion, I can promise that anti-choice politicians will have an uphill battle, because they will have to go through me. ”

— SEN. MEGAN HUNT, LD-8

While the leak of Justice Alito’s opinion was unexpected, the decision to overturn Roe is not. Far right extremists have been intent on eviscerating federal civil rights protections and regressing the country to an era of forced birth for decades. This outcome is no surprise to the people who have long been working for abortion justice outside the realm of electoral politics, because they never counted on the courts or the Democratic Party to save them.

Of course, voting matters. The ideological balance in the Nebraska Legislature is the only reason Nebraska will not immediately have an abortion ban if Roe is overturned. However, repeated calls to simply vote the problem away—which totally disregard voter suppression laws, those who live and pay taxes in Nebraska but do not have the right to vote, and our current cultural hostility to democracy—ignore how effectively the far right has captured the power of so many institutions outside of the electoral process.

There are many things we must do in addition to voting to change our culture and move the needle toward justice. World Health Organization guidance states that individuals in the first trimester of pregnancy can self-manage a medication for an abortion without direct supervision of a health-care provider. We can expect self-managed abortion to grow more prevalent in years to come, and there are a growing number of resources to learn about the research and efficacy of these methods. In addition to increased education around self-managed abortion and legal protections for those who choose this type of care, local funds for abortion services, including legal defense funds, will play a greater role in our public health landscape. This is infrastructure that abortion justice advocates have been building for decades to protect the right to abortion even when legislators fail to.

Abortion is a right. Abortion is health care.

SEN. MEGAN HUNT “And the decision about whether and when to become a parent does not belong to the government.”

And the decision about whether and when to become a parent does not belong to the government. However we personally feel about abortion, individuals should have the option to make these decisions without political interference. If the Nebraska Legislature does convene a special session to ban abortion, I can promise that anti-choice politicians will have an uphill battle, because they will have to go through me. Whatever the outcome is, we must remember that the power is not in the legislature, in Congress, or even in the courts. The power is with us, our communities, and in our commitment to an ethic of compassion and trust in each other.

We urged reproductive rights supporters to wear pink at the Nebraska State Capitol while lawmakers debated a bill that bans abortion. I am proud to stand with advocates and my colleagues to support Nebraskans’ rights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VICTORY!

Yesterday April 6th, Nebraska Legislature took a historic vote to block LB 993, a total abortion ban. The bill failed in a 31 to 15 vote. Nebraska managed to defeat a bill that would have totally banned abortion in the state, and the filibuster took over 8 hours!

I want to thank all the advocates, volunteers, and colleagues who worked tirelessly to stop this injustice from passing. Issues like these are what motivated me and got me into politics in the first place. In the future, I’ll continue to be a champion for reproductive rights and make sure abortion remains safe and legal in Nebraska.

If you emailed your senator, came to support in person, or reposted information on social media. You are helping the voices of Nebraska be heard. Remember, every election is vital for protecting Nebraskan’s reproductive rights.

Reproductive rights ARE personal rights. You can listen to my remarks about LB 933 here.

How They Voted: 

Yes (31): Aguilar, Albrecht, Arch, Bostelman, Brandt, Brewer, Briese, Clements, Dorn, Erdman, Flood, Friesen, Geist, Gragert, Halloran, B. Hansen, Hilgers, Hilkemann, Hughes, Jacobson, Kolterman, Lindstrom, Linehan, Lowe, McDonnell, Moser, Murman, Sanders, Slama, Stinner, Williams

No (15): Blood, Bostar, J. Cavanaugh, M. Cavanaugh, Day, DeBoer, M. Hansen, Hunt, McCollister, McKinney, Morfeld, Pansing-Brooks, Vargas, Walz, Wishart

Excused (3): Lathrop, Pahls, Wayne

 

LB 121 Advances to Select File

On Tuesday, March 22nd, during floor debate my priority bill LB121 advanced from General File to Select File with 25 yes votes, 17 no votes, and 3 present not voting. Select File is the second stage of debate where a bill is considered by the full legislature. To advance from Select File, a bill must receive 25 yes votes.

LB121 would remove the lifetime Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) ban that denies food assistance to Nebraskans that have had certain drug-related convictions. Under current statute, an individual with a drug-related conviction is ineligible to receive SNAP benefits for life. This ban is counterproductive to the reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals.

* vote count from General File, the first stage of debate *

Voting NO: Albrecht, Brewer, Briese, Clements, Erdman, Flood, Halloran, Hansen B., Hilgers, Hughes, Jacobson, Lindstrom, Lowe, Moser, Murman, Sanders, Slama

Present – Not Voting: Aguilar, Arch, Linehan

Voting YES: Blood, Bostar, Brandt, Cavanaugh J., Cavanaugh M., Day, DeBoer, Dorn, Geist, Gragert, Hansen M., Hunt, Kolterman, Lathrop, McCollister, McDonnell, McKinney, Morfeld, Pansing Brooks, Stinner, Vargas, Walz, Wayne, Williams, Wishart

Why LB121 is so important

The intent of this bill is to remove a major barrier to successful reintegration for formerly incarcerated people, while also reducing hunger for affected people and their families. This is my priority bill this year because this bill is very personal to me and I know the effects will be so important for Nebraskans today and for Nebraskans in the future. The population utilizing SNAP is very diverse. I relied on SNAP benefits when I was struggling after a divorce as a young mother. I turned to public assistance for a temporary hand-up, just as thousands of other parents have done in Nebraska for a variety of reasons not in their control. So I’m very personally familiar with the process of applying and qualifying for SNAP and what the requirements are to receive it.

This ban is not in place for any other felony convictions in Nebraska. Currently, 43 states have opted out or modified food stamp access bans, 18 of which have eliminated their ban entirely. These states include our neighboring states of Iowa, Kansas, and South Dakota. Providing SNAP access for people reintegrating back in society reduces recidivism rates. Many of the individuals affected by this ban have children that are negatively impacted. In Nebraska, 17.4% of children are considered food insecure. We could reduce this rate by removing barriers to receiving SNAP benefits. These people have served their time and their families should not continue to be punished.

Often individuals impacted by this ban offended decades ago and have worked hard to change their lives. To even be eligible for snap, recipients must submit to drug testing and workforce training. Even if some people are still actively struggling with addiction, they should not starve. Successful reentry into society from the criminal justice system requires being able to meet basic needs such as food, health care, and housing as well as access to employment and training services. Lack of access to these essential needs have been exasperated by Covid-19. Passing LB121 costs nothing to the state of Nebraska, as the program is federally funded. LB 121 has broad support from Omaha Police, Nebraska Catholic Conference, Appleseed, ACLU, OpenSky, NSEA, Center for People in Need, Food Bank of Lincoln, and RISE. We must pass LB121 to help struggling Nebraskans and their families.

Here are some real stories from Nebraskan’s that would greatly benefit from the passage of this bill:

Ronald, Lincoln NE: Ronald is a formerly homeless veteran who became addicted to morphine after a spinal injury related to a car accident. He received a distribution conviction when he let a friend, who he knew used the same doctor and had the same prescription, take one of his morphine tablets because he had missed his appointment that day. He served 3 years for the conviction. Ronald is on a fixed income, receiving SSI, has an apartment, pays his bills, and would get a job except for his disability. He has been clean for 12 years and is still ineligible for SNAP due to the ban. Ronald feels like he served his time and says he wouldn’t eat if not for the Food Bank of Lincoln.

Melinda, Lincoln NE: Melinda is an expecting mother who moved to Nebraska to start a new life. She is 5 years sober and has recently moved to Lincoln to start a job at Signia as a telemarketer. She lives with her daughter who receives SNAP but since she’s not counted in her SNAP household, it’s often hard to buy enough food, especially during her pregnancy. Melinda believes that people have the power to change their stories and she is living proof. She’s passionate about getting rid of the SNAP ban for drug felonies because she’s seen a lot of folks go back to their old behaviors out of desperation and she wants people to get the help they need to make a new start in life.

Derrick, Omaha NE: Derrick, who now works for the Food Bank of Lincoln, served time for a distribution conviction from 2009 and was released in 2012, his first and only conviction. After being homeless for a time, showering twice a week and eating bananas and water for meals, Derrick got a job in construction. He slowly earned enough to get his own place. During visitations with his daughter he would go without meals to provide for her. In recent years, Derrick’s health has deteriorated with cancer and other issues. He’s been put on a Mediterranean diet that he can’t afford. He currently works at the Food Bank of Lincoln in the operations and child services department. He also serves on nonprofit boards whose causes he believes in. Derrick would like to see LB121 pass because it could help people like him all across the state.

Unfortunately these stories are not few and far between. Real Nebraskans are struggling to feed themselves and their families due to the current statute. Nebraskans deserve better. Banning people from food assistance for life is counterproductive.

Articles about LB121 in the News 

Omaha World-Herald: Bill to increase food assistance for Nebraska drug offenders advances
Times Union: Nebraska advances bill to lift SNAP ban for drug offenders
KLKN-TV: New bill would allow those with prior drug charges to receive SNAP benefits
Unicameral Update: SNAP eligibility expansion advanced
US News and World Report: Nebraska Advances Bill to Lift SNAP Ban for Drug Offenders

Connect with Me

  • Please follow me on FacebookTwitterYoutube, or Instagram to stay up to date with my latest activities.
  • I invite you to visit my office in Lincoln at 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.
March Legislative Update
March 17th, 2022

Note from Meg

Dear friends and neighbors,

On March 3rd, after weeks of passionate hearings and testimony, the committee hearings came to a close. The legislature has now moved to all-day floor debate – beginning with priority bill selections. I hope you continue to stay in touch with me on any issue that is of importance to you throughout this process.

Each Senator is allowed to designate one bill as a personal priority bill and each committee can designate two committee priority bills. In addition, the Speaker designates another 25 priority bills. This session I have prioritized LB121 – a bill that would remove the lifetime ban on SNAP eligibility for people with certain drug convictions. I requested LB932 as a priority bill from Speaker Hilgers. This bill would require the Department of Health and Human Services to notify foster youth and their guardians of their social security benefits. Unfortunately, Speaker Hilgers did not select this bill as one of his priority bills.

A big focus of mine this session has been opposing bills that do not represent the values Nebraskans hold dear. These bills include- LB939LB1023LB1015 among others. LB939 would reduce taxes for Nebraska’s highest individual earners while doing nothing for the majority of Nebraskans; LB1023 would appropriate $200 million of federal pandemic recovery funds to build a lake between Omaha and Lincoln when this money should be used for the services Nebraskans are asking us for such as rental assistance, mental healthcare, etc.; and LB1015 would use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to build a canal that would divert South Platte River water from Colorado to Nebraska. This bill is in search of a problem as Colorado has not violated the water compact agreement between them and Nebraska. The canal will cost $500 million dollars with $100 million coming from ARPA funds. LB1023 and LB1015 would both use relief funds irresponsibly. We need your support in defeating these four bills.

As all-day floor debate continues, your voice matters. To learn how to submit online comments, click here. Since committee hearings have ceased this session, online comments will not be included on the official record. However, feedback is still relevant and important as bills progress.

All the best,
Meg

Legislative Update

Committee hearings have drawn to a close, below is an update on bills I have introduced. You can get more information on each bill by clicking on the bill number.

  • LB121: Lift SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) ban for people with drug convictions
    • This ban only applies to individuals with drug-related felonies.
    • Many people did not find out that they were banned from receiving SNAP until they were in desperate need of the service during the pandemic.
    • These individuals have served their time and should not be deprived of essential services. Everyone deserves access to food.
    • Nebraska is the only state with this ban.
    • Placed on General File
    • My priority bill
  • AM2200: Require DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services) to inform foster youth and their guardians of social security benefits
    • After an interim study this past session, we discovered that DHHS in Nebraska does not inform foster youth or their guardians of possible social security benefits they are entitled to.
    • DHHS often was using these funds that were meant for the foster youth to pay for the cost of their care.
    • My bill would require that the foster youth and their guardian(s) are notified of their benefits.
    • AM 2200 to LB1173
    • Advanced to Final Reading
  • LB1137: Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) update for the Fair Pay to Play Act
    • College athletes deserve to be compensated for their name, image, and likeness. This would be a technical update to the Fair Pay to Play Act that was passed into law in 2020.
    • Placed on Select File
  • LB357: Youth in Care Bill of Rights
    • Foster youth are already required to be informed of their basic rights, however foster youth and advocates have expressed that the rights that are currently enumerated are not broad enough nor are they communicated in a way that the youth can retain or fully understand.
    • This bill would provide the foster youth with a more comprehensive list of rights and an avenue for them to file a complaint if they feel as though their rights have been violated.
    • Placed on General File
  • LB250: Adopt the Interior Design Voluntary Registration Act
    • Currently in Nebraska, interior designers are required to hire an architect or an engineer to stamp their design plans; thus, causing unnecessary fees and delays in their project.
    • This is a bill to create a voluntary registration to be administered to the Nebraska State Treasurer for those qualified interior designers in Nebraska to use the title “Registered Interior Designer”. Those registered would have the ability to stamp and seal their interior design construction documents.
    • Placed on General File with AM471

Bills to Watch

Bills I Support

  • LB920 (Lathrop): Create the Justice Reinvestment Oversight Task Force
    • The task force would enact a series of evidence-based strategies to reduce inmate population and lower recidivism rates.
  • LB872 (Brewer): Allows Native American students to proudly wear their tribal regalia
    • Requires that Native American students shall not be forced to remove items of tribal regalia at school or school-sanctioned events.
  • AM1969 (Hansen, M.): Require the Governor to apply for emergency rental assistance under ARPA
    • Nebraska is one of two states who have not yet applied for emergency rental assistance from the federal American Rescue Plan Act.
    • This amendment would require Governor Ricketts to apply for this emergency rental assistance.

Bills I Oppose

  • LB939 (Linehan): A tax break for wealthy Nebraskans
    • Cuts taxes for wealthy Nebraskans, but fails to provide any significant relief for middle to lower-class Nebraskans.
  • LB773 (Brewer): Concealed Carry without a permit
    • Removes the requirement for one to receive a permit to conceal carry a handgun which in turn means people will not have to take a safety class before doing so.
  • LB730 (Lindstrom): Tax credit bill amended to include Opportunity Scholarship tax credit
    • Puts in place a tax incentive that would match dollar-for-dollar donations to private schools.
  • LB1213 (Albrecht): Provides requirements for access to digital and online materials for public schools. Restricts access to “obscene” materials.
    • This is a bill in search of a problem. Obscene is never defined in the bill leaving it up to interpretation which could restrict academic freedom for students. It also takes control away from the library commission and educators who are already filtering online content.
  • LB933 (Albrecht): Bans abortions entirely if SCOTUS overturns Roe
    • Makes it so that if the Supreme Court of the United States overturns all or part of Roe, Nebraska law will reflect that decision immediately.
  • LB1086 (Geist): Put unnecessary restrictions on medication abortions
    • Requires the patient who is taking the medication abortion to partake in pre and post appointments which are not medically unnecessary. This bill also shortens the window you can take the medication down from 11 weeks to 10 weeks. Both of these requirements go against the standard of care of abortion services.
All of the bills listed above are priority bills. To see a full list of Senator, Committee, and Speaker priority bills, click here

February/March in Review

February 24th was a big day for abortion rights at the Unicameral. Three draconian bills, LB933LB781, and LB1086, were being discussed in the Judiciary Committee that day. LB933 would ban abortions entirely if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe. This bill also criminalizes physicians for providing the standard of care.  LB781 would ban abortions at about six weeks, which is well before many people even know they are pregnant. LB1086 would put unnecessary restrictions on medication abortion. These bills attack Nebraskan’s vital reproduction rights. None of these bills take into consideration the standard of care for abortions and they are based on false evidence. Nebraskans showed up in droves to voice their opinions on each bill. Proponents of these bills did not use up all of their allotted two hours of testimony, while opponents of these bills still had people waiting inside and outside of the room to testify after their two hours were up. Anyone who was in the Capitol that day knows that it was an important day. Research shows us that most Nebraskans are in favor of reproductive healthcare. On February 24th, Nebraskans proved this by showing up in astonishing numbers.
On March 1st, I had the privilege of speaking to Thespians from across the state for the first annual Theatre In Our Schools Advocacy Day. I was able to speak about the importance of keeping theater in our schools and how important the arts are in general for students.
The League of Women Voters held a panel on March 3rd to discuss the minimum wage and medical marijuana ballot initiatives. I was able to discuss the various bills I have introduced throughout my time on the legislature addressing the need for a living wage and how I strongly support this initiative.

On March 4th I had the pleasure of speaking at the National Art Education Foundation’s National Conference Panel about my help with defeating LB364, the opportunity tax credit bill. I discussed how this bill is an effort to undermine public schools and chip away at public schools to move towards privatization.

The Nebraska Civic Leaders Program (NCLP) held a Senator panel on March 10th. This program is a partnership between Omaha Public Schools and the University of Nebraska Omaha to give high schoolers hands-on experiences on how government works at all levels. I had the opportunity to speak on my experience as a State Senator in Nebraska.

Our Office in the News

1011 Now: Nebraska bill proposed would help schools discontinue use of Native American mascots
KMTV Omaha: Women of Nebraska Legislature demanding change in wake of Groene resignation
Omaha World Herald: Future of legal abortion at stake in Nebraska legislative hearing
Lincoln Journal Star: State income tax rate reduction advanced for further consideration
Unicameral Update: Bill would expand authorized abortion practitioners
Omaha World-Herald: Nebraska moves to end privatized management of child welfare cases after troubled history
North Platte Post: Bill to end lifetime ban on food assistance before Nebraska lawmakers
KLKN TV: New bill would allow insurance companies to cover abortions in Nebraska 
Omaha World-Herald: Nebraska lawmakers push Ricketts to seek additional federal rental aid
News Channel Nebraska: Big Metro lake brings big questions
KLIN: Lawmakers debate no permit conceal carry

District 8 Events, News, and Resources

Dundee- Memorial Park Neighborhood Meeting: April 11th from 7-8pm at Brownell Talbot click here for more information on the event.
Annual Spring DMPA Garage Sale Weekend: The annual Dundee-Memorial Park garage sale weekend will take place on May 12th-15th, to sign up to sell your cool stuff click here! A list of all the addresses selling items will be available soon.
Benson Community Garden: Benson’s Community Garden is located at 1302 N 60th st. You can sign up to garden or donate through their website. More info here.
BFF: Benson First Friday’s aka BFF has opened a new art gallery in Benson located at 5901 Maple st! Come check it out on Saturdays from 10am-6pm.
Benson Days: The annual Benson Days will take place on July 30th-31st. This event takes place in historic Benson. For more info, click here
17th Annual Omaha Film Festival: Virtual events will take place March 13th-April 2nd. Limited in person screenings will take place March 11th and 12th at the Brownell Talbot Theater. For more info, click here
Food Bank: Benson Baptist Church in conjunction with Food Bank of the Heartland has a food pantry open to the public from 9am-12pm on the last Saturday of every month. The church is located at 6319 Maple St. For more info, click here
Omaha Parks and Rec: Omaha Parks and Rec is looking for employees this summer. Click here or reference the photo below for more information.

Connect with Me

  • Please follow me on FacebookTwitterYoutube, or Instagram to stay up to date with my latest activities.
  • I invite you to visit my office in Lincoln at 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.
January Newsletter
January 25th, 2022

Dear friends and neighbors,

The Unicameral is back in session! Bill introduction is officially over and below you can find a brief overview of my 2022 legislative agenda, testifying procedure updates, bills I support, and dangerous proposals that have been introduced this session.

We are beginning our 60-day session with nearly 700 bills introduced and the added task of allocating over 1 billion in federal funding. This is our chance to make generational investments with the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding by prioritizing affordable housing, racial and gender equity, education, infrastructure, economic justice, and environmental protections.

A handful of my colleagues have continued their relentless attack on abortion rights by introducing roughly six bills to ban or restrict access to reproductive healthcare and comprehensive sex education. We must remember that abortion is a right. Abortion is health care. The decision about whether and when to become a parent belongs to Nebraskans and their medical providers, not the government. Above all, politicians have no place interfering with personal health care decisions. We aren’t medical experts, and we don’t know better than doctors or the patient themselves. However we personally feel about abortion, individuals, not lawmakers, should have the option to make these decisions without political interference. As long as I am in the Nebraska Legislature, and beyond, I am committed to doing everything I can to protect the rights of patients, families, doctors, and ensure that any policy we advance is motivated by evidence, research, and the well-being of all Nebraskans.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office with your thoughts on any upcoming legislation. Your feedback and input are always important to me.

All the best,
Meg

2022 Legislative Agenda

LB 715 – Lift the ban on insurance coverage for abortion care

  • Nebraska is one of 11 states that prohibit abortion coverage from being included in private and public plans. Current restrictive laws serve to “punish” people who have made the difficult decision to end a pregnancy.  Many of these people may already be struggling financially, and the burden of medical bills incurred from abortion care may contribute to keeping them in a cycle of poverty.

LB 716 – Expand the list of providers qualified to provide abortion care to include Certified Nurse Midwives, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, and physician assistants

  • Health care providers are overworked and in short supply. Many duties that are currently performed by physicians can also be safely done by skilled, licensed nurses and physician assistants. This is a simple, effective way to help our health care workers and patients alike.

LB 834 – Eliminate the disability subminimum wage

  • The current practice of setting disability wages based on a worker’s efficiency and ability is exploitive, discriminatory, and dehumanizing, resulting in these workers being paid cents on the dollar due to a little-known 80-year old federal law.

LB 930 – Allow for the use of campaign funds for a child’s travel and childcare related to the office holder’s official duties

  • Being a parent with little to no disposable income should not be a factor in whether or not someone is able to run for office. The aim of this bill is to make it easier for low-income and single parents to fulfill the public service duties they were elected to do.

LB 931 – Counting vacation payouts fairly for unemployment eligibility

  • This bill removes the statute that currently requires lump sum vacation paid out upon separation to be prorated to an amount reasonably attributable to that week and the amount the employee would be entitled to for the weeks thereafter. If a contract employee chooses to save up vacation days rather than take time off in order to get paid out for those days later on,  it is their prerogative to do so; and their unemployment eligibility should not be adversely affected. The employee earned those vacation benefit dollars during the course of employment and is now no longer working, so they should be eligible for unemployment without the lump-sum payment counting against them.
  • Hearing set for Jan. 24th

LB 932 – Establish protections for foster youth’s social security benefits  

  • Establishes notification requirements and transparency measures, requires the state to provide financial literacy training to older youth, and requires the state to establish a savings account for social security benefits for youth starting at age 14.
  • Comes after interim study LR 198 which investigated the state’s practice of interception social security benefits that belong to foster youth under the guise of reimbursing itself for the youth’s care (2.7mil a year) without the youths’ or their guardian’s knowledge.
  • Nebraska is one of at least 10 states that has hired a for-profit contractor to screen youth for eligibility for this money and to apply for it on the state’s behalf, taking the most vulnerable of our vulnerable children and asking them to foot the bill for their own care.
  • Hearing set for Jan. 28th

LB 1027 – Provide grants to schools that discontinue the use of Native American mascots  

  • Incentivizes schools to discontinue the use of Native mascots by allowing them to apply for a grant from the State Department of Education for up to $200,000 to assist with the cost of changing mascots. Currently

LB 1028 – Tipped wage enforcement

  • We know from reports and testimony from hundreds of workers across the state that some employers are not following the current law, but due to the vagueness of the statute, it is difficult to track and enforce
  • The bill makes it explicitly clear it is the employer’s responsibility to make up the difference between a tipped employee’s wage + tips and the regular minimum wage of $9/hr,
    establishes a simplified process to submit complaints, and expands protections for employees.

LB 1029 – Provide employee harassment protections for small businesses

  • Creates harassment and discrimination protections that apply to businesses with 14 or fewer employees
  • The Fair Employment Practice Act (NFEPA) includes protections for employees from harassment, discrimination, and employer retaliation for employers with at least 15 employees. This means there is a giant hole in the Act – employers with 14 employees or less have no protections under this Act or federal law. There is no good reason that small employers should be free to discriminate against and harass their employees without penalty.

LB 1136 – Prohibit senior care living facilities from discriminating against LGBTQ+ individuals 

  • Under current statute, these facilities can deny applications, evict residents, refuse to assign a room in accordance with one’s gender identity, and bully and harasses LGBTQ+ individuals for simply being themselves. This bill will provide vital housing protections for our LGBTQ+ senior Nebraskans.

LR 269CA – Establish an independent redistricting commission 

  • Establishes a politically balanced 9 member independent citizens commission to set district lines for the Legislature’s approval to remove partisan games and restore transparency in the redistricting process.
  • Hearing set for Jan. 27th

Carryover Legislation 

  • LB 121 (General File) – Removes the lifetime SNAP ban for individuals with prior drug convictions
  • LB 205 (in committee)– Places a cap on rental late fees
    • Bringing a new amendment to simplify the math
  • LB 250 (General File) – Establishes the Interior Design Voluntary Registration Act
  • LB 276 (in committee) – Permit telemedicine abortions
  • LB 357 (General File) – Create the Youth in Care Bill of Rights

Testifying Update! 

New this year, the Legislature has updated its procedures for submitting a written position letter. Formally, Nebraskans could submit a written statement on a bill, to be included in the record, by emailing it to committee staff by noon the day prior to the bill’s committee hearing. This process has been discontinued.

To streamline the process, it has been moved online. Nebraskans can now submit comments on the Legislature’s website (www.NebraskaLegislature.gov). Simply search the bill number and click on the submit comments button. If you would like your comments to be part of the formal record, they must be submitted by noon the day before the hearing and you must select the ‘include in hearing record’ button. Comments may be submitted on any bill, at any stage of debate, for all legislative staff and senators to view.

Sponsored Legislation

Racial Justice 

  • LB 814 (McKinney) – Require racial impact statements for legislative bills
  • LB 842 (Brewer) – Include tribal governments to be able to receive Civic and Community Center assistance grants
  • LB 872 (Brewer) – Ensure Native American students can proudly wear their tribal regalia in Nebraska schools
  • LB 1191 (Brewer) – Use federal funds to improve tribal-owned drinking water

Healthcare

  • LB 929 (Wishart) – Extends postpartum insurance coverage
  • LB 1129 (Morfeld) – Provide free birth control
  • LB 1133 (Morfeld) – Allow health workers to qualify for mental health benefits under workers’ compensation
  • LB 1066 & 1067 (Stinner) – Direct federal funds to behavioral health care services
  • LB 1075 (Stinner) – Direct federal funds to youth mental health services

Gender Equity

  • LB 745 (Cavanaugh, M.) – Update marriage language to “spouses” to make it more inclusive
  • LB 881 (McKinney) – Provide for a sale tax exemption for feminine hygiene products and require detention facilities to provide such products

Housing

  • LB 940 (Hansen, M.) – Direct federal funds for housing
  • LB 1002 (McDonnell) – Direct funds to low-income home energy assistance
  • LB 1142 (Vargas) – Direct federal funds to affordable housing
  • LB 1052 (Cavanaugh, J.) – Direct federal funds to a homeless assistance program
  • LB 1070 & 1071 (Williams) – Direct federal funds to rural affordable housing
  • LB 1073 (Wayne) – Create the Department of Housing and Urban Development to address affordable housing needs
  • LB 1252 (Vargas) – Direct federal funds to middle-income housing

Economic Development 

  • LB 991 (Morfeld) – Direct funds to conduct a feasibility study for a high-speed commuter rail between Omaha and Lincoln
  • LB 1024 (Wayne) – Adopt the North Omaha Recovery Act and state intent regarding appropriation of federal funds
  • LB 1114 (McKinney)LB 1116 & 1117 (Wayne) – Encourage business/development in areas of high poverty and/or unemployment
  • LB 1141 (Vargas) – Direct federal funds to legal civil representation for financially struggling clients
  • LB 1201 (Deboer) – Use federal funds on expanded food assistance
  • LB 1203 (Briese) – Use federal funds on child care assistance
  • LB 1238 (Vargas) – Use federal funds on South Omaha Recovery Grant Program

Criminal Justice Reform 

  • LB 920 (Lathrop) – Create the Justice Reinvestment Oversight Task Force
  • LB 946 (Wayne) – Prohibit state agencies from prescribing off-label medications to certain juveniles
  • LB 952 (Cavanaugh, J.) – Provide Medicaid enrollment assistance to inmates prior to release
  • LB 1111 (McKinney) – Designate funding for reentry and restorative justice programming
  • LB 1154 (McKinney) – Smart justice reform to support reentry and rehabilitation
  • LB 1155 (Cavanaugh, J.) – Smart justice assessment of pretrial release, supporting bond reform
  • LB 1276 (McKinney) – Allow for civil actions against police officers who commit misconduct

Voting 

  • LB 793 (McCollister) – Provide for ranked-choice voting

Opposed Legislation

  • LB 768 (Albrecht) – Ban health and sex education in public schools
  • LB 781 (Slama) – Ban abortion at six weeks, before many Nebraskans even know they’re pregnant
  • LB 785 (Groene) – Shortens the window of when ballots can be mailed out to voters
  • LB 859 (Clements) – Prohibit health departments from implementing directed health measures without approval from DHHS
  • LB 933 (Albrecht) – Ban abortion entirely if the Supreme Court overturns Row vs. Wade
  • LB 938 (Linehan) – Reduces corporate income tax rates
  • LB 963 (Murman) – Allows for healthcare workers to deny almost any kind of care based on personal beliefs, creating a sweeping license to discriminate
  • LB 1011 (Budget proposal) – Continued push for a $240+ million new prison, instead of investing in smart justice solutions
  • LB 1077 (Hansen, B.) – Classroom censorship bill to restrict discussions of race and gender in K-12 classrooms, higher education, and government agencies’ professional development training
  • LB 1078 (Hansen, B.) – Prohibit students from having cell phones in classrooms
  • LB 1181 (Groene) – Adds new mail voting restrictions
  • LB 1086 (Geist) – Further restricts medication abortion, a safe, effective, and FDA-approved method of care
  • LB 1179 (Groene) – Allow for teachers to use physical intervention in classrooms
  • LB 1213 (Albrecht) – Digital censorship in schools
  • LR 282CA (Slama) – Undoes the nonpartisan nature of our unique Unicameral elections
  • LR 278CA (Linehan) – Eliminate the State Board of Education

District 8 Events

COVID-19 Vaccinations

Benson First Friday Art Walk

  • Supporting the emerging artistic community in Omaha and our surrounding areas starting Friday, February 4th.

Hand Up Food Pantry

  • January 27 at 3:30 pm – 5:15 pm at First Presbyterian Church’s on 216 S 34th St, Omaha. This is a recurring event every Thursday.

Season of Lights

  • Experience a winter’s night and stroll in the glow of a cherished holiday tradition – tens of thousands of white LED lights strung throughout Turner Park and along Farnam Street. Happening now through February 14, 2022.

Valentine’s Day Pop-Up Events with Mauve Moon Florals 

  • February 6th embrace your inner goddess pop-up at Bellevue Social Center
  • February 12th Galentine’s Day Pop-Up at Shop Five Nine (Benson)

Our Office in the News

Lincoln Journal Star – Sen. Megan Hunt proposes expanded access to abortion care as Legislature returns

Omaha World-Herald editorial – Midlands Voices It’s vital for Nebraska leaders to stand up for all women by Megan Hunt

3 News Now – School choice bill fails in Nebraska Legislature despite unlikely political alliances

ACLU of Nebraska – Advocates announce new bills to protect abortion rights

KETV Omaha – Abortion stakes high in upcoming legislative session

Lincoln Journal Star – Social Security tax repeal bill delayed by fiscal uncertainty

Connect with Me

  • Please follow me on FacebookTwitterInstagram, or Youtube 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.
Intern With My Office!
September 28th, 2021

Apply here!

Interns will gain a unique, first-hand understanding of the Nebraska Unicameral operations and the legislative process in a fast-paced environment. Internship applications are due Friday, November 19, 2021, by midnight. The selected applicants will begin their internship concurrently with the 2022 legislative session on January 5th.

Responsibilities may include:
– Attending committee hearings
– Drafting correspondence
– Conducting legislative research
– Event coordinating
– Bill proposal research
– General office management
– Social media engagement
– Basic photography and videography

Requirements:
– Current undergraduate student
– Good verbal and written communication skills
– Ability to work in a fast-paced environment
– Self-motivated
– Ability to work ~10 hours/week (flexible)

LB 260 Signed into Law!
May 26th, 2021
My priority bill, LB 260, was signed into law by the Governor. This means it will take effect three calendar months following the adjournment of the Legislature, which is Thursday. So as of late August, Nebraskans who have been in the workforce but have a temporary gap in employment are able to apply for the unemployment benefits they are entitled to. I am proud to have 25 cosponsors on this bill and a broad base of bipartisan support.
LB 260 adds “caring for a family member with a serious health condition” to the list of reasons that are considered “good cause for voluntarily leaving employment” in our Employment Security Law. In other words, it would allow people who have made every effort to preserve employment but who have to leave work for temporary family caregiving needs to be eligible for unemployment if and when they are ready and willing to look for new work.

As is often the case, important bills like this often take several years of work and strategizing and compromising before we get the reward of seeing them passed. I’d like to thank Senator Sue Crawford (who introduced the bill before me), The AARP of Nebraska, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Nebraska AFL-CIO, and the many advocates and individuals who testified, called, and emailed Legislators about the need for LB 260. I’m also grateful to my colleagues across the political spectrum who cosponsored and supported the bill, and so proud that we passed it “clean” (meaning, without an amendment)!
After the year we have had, it’s been my goal to do something that will provide some tangible relief to Nebraskans. More Nebraskans than ever this past year have had to make the difficult choice to stay home with a loved one who is seriously ill. With the passage of LB 260, Nebraska is officially recognizing family caregiving as a legitimate reason for leaving employment. Benefits are available only for a limited time up to a limited amount while the worker seeks to rejoin the workforce – just like it is for any other applicant. Over half of the states have passed a law like this, and I’m proud to have Nebraska join their ranks. To the caregivers – we see you, and recognize the sacrifices you make. I hope that this can help those in the future who face similar circumstances, in some small way.
May Newsletter
April 29th, 2021

Dear friends and neighbors,

Here in the Legislature, we have started late-night debates to provide more time for discussion as we only have 20 days of session left until we adjourn. Last week, we passed the state budget and it was sent to the Governor who could have vetoed individual parts of the budget. Fortunately, the Governor approved the budget with no vetoes this time.

Over the past several decades, we have created a structural deficit and we have eroded our revenue with special interest exemptions, carve-outs, tax credits, and incentives that are designed to grow Nebraska’s economy and attract more people to the state. Instead of growing our state, these exemptions have cuts into the resources we have to provide property tax relief. We don’t have the funding. We need to look at new revenue sources for Nebraska so we can not only provide property tax relief, but make sure we have a fair public school funding system and that Nebraskans can access the public services they need.

Our thinking is shortsighted. Part of this may be because of term limits–maybe we are thinking in four or eight-year increments instead of thirty, fifty, or one-hundred-year increments for the long-term sustainability of people in Nebraska. When we look at all of these carve-outs and write-offs and credits that have eroded our tax base, we see that this loss of revenue cuts into the resources that we have to provide property tax relief.

A comprehensive strategy for property tax relief has to raise revenue and attract more people to our state. It means keeping our promises to fund our schools, including early childhood care. Keeping tax dollars in the public education system to serve all our children. Expanding SNAP benefits. Legalizing recreational and medical marijuana. Allowing those with marijuana charges to modify their records. Passing policies that emphasize support and equity for the LGBTQ community. Raising the tipped minimum wage. Reforming police. These are smart ways to grow our tax base.

We are losing our college graduates, young people are fleeing our state, and people say they do not want to live in Nebraska. A big reason for this is the racist, discriminatory, old-fashioned policies that we pass in this state. Our growth rate ranking is 39th in the country. We have to do more to attract and retain talent.

My colleagues say reducing property taxes will help us achieve this. The young people I know are not concerned primarily about property taxes — most of them do not own property! For many Nebraskans, the dream of homeownership is unfathomable. They cannot get ahead because we do not pass policies in this body that says we value them. What we need instead of this is more targeted tax relief and rebuilding our safety net for Nebraskan families. With policy like this, instead of saying “look at our great policies” or “look at our great quality of life” or “look at the great culture we have in our state,” we are merely saying “look how cheap it is to live here.” The majority of young people are not excited to move here and that is in large part because we have given up asking “how do we make our state the best state” and we just keep chipping away at our culture, focusing only on making our state the cheapest.

There are things we can do to tangibly improve Nebraskans’ quality of life, without costing anything and without giving a tax giveaway to corporations. We cannot keep cutting taxes at the expense of services and programs. We have to raise revenue. We can do this by enacting LGBTQ protections, providing paid family leave, legalizing cannabis, supporting public schools, having affordable housing, raising our tipped minimum wage, expanding tolerance and nondiscrimination policies for migrants, and accessible reproductive healthcare.

This is the comprehensive way to deal with property tax relief. It is not about what percentage of tax cuts we debate over in a single bill. These are not short-term solutions like we have seen so many times before. This is the systemic change Nebraska needs. 

Best,
Meg

Status of My Bills

  • LB 121 – Expand SNAP access by lifting the ban to food benefits for people with prior drug convictions
    • Advanced to General File on March 9th
  • LB 131 – Municipal updates bill package
    • Advanced to General File
    • Urban Affairs committee priority
  • LB 250 – Interior Design Voluntary Registration Act
    • Advanced to General File on February 17th
    • Will likely be debated in 2022
  • LB 260 – Unemployment for caregivers in the Employment Security Law
    • Advanced to Final Reading
    • Designated as my personal priority 
  • LB 277 – Harmonize the Mobile Home Landlord and Tenant Act
    • Amended into a Judiciary Housing Package via LB 320 (Cavanaugh, J.)
    • Advanced to Final Reading on April 20th
  • LB 357 – Youth in Care Bill of Rights
    • Advanced to General File on March 12th
    • Will likely be debated in 2022

Priority Bills I Support

By no means is this list comprehensive. I want to highlight some of the most impactful priority bills my colleagues have introduced this session.
  • LB 320 (Cavanaugh, J.) – contains my LB 277; Judiciary Housing Bill Package
    • LB 320 provides housing protections for victims of domestic violence
    • Committee amendment (AM 450) included portions of several bills addressing Landlord/Tenant issues into LB 320. Portions of LBs 4546246268277, and 402 are included in the amendment.
    • Advanced to Final Reading on April 20th
  • LB 258 (Vargas, Hansen, M. priority) – Adopt the Healthy and Safe Families and Workplaces Act
    • Requires employers to provide employees with access to paid sick and safe leave.
    • Advanced to General File on March 17th
  • LB 108 (McCollister) – Addresses the SNAP cliff effect
    • There is a two-part income eligibility test under SNAP: first, gross income eligibility (130% of federal poverty limit) and second, net income eligibility.
    • When a family applies for SNAP, the first question is whether their gross income is at or below 130% of the federal poverty guidelines
    • LB 108 would set gross income eligibility at 185% of the federal poverty guidelines. The net income eligibility limit would not change
    • Advanced to Select File on April 20th
  • LB 298 (McDonnell) – Extend unemployment benefits to all eligible work-authorized immigrants
    • Placed on General File on March 29th
  • LB 241 (Vargas) – Adopt the Meatpacking Employees COVID-19 Protection Act
    • Advanced to General File on March 17th
  • LB 474 (Wishart) – Legalize medicinal cannabis by adopting the Medicinal Cannabis Act
    • Advanced to General File on March 31st
  • LB 306 (Brandt) – Expand eligibility for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
    • Changes requirement from 130% of the federal poverty level to 150%, making more Nebraska households eligible.
    • Advanced to General file on March 9th
  • LB 485 (DeBoer) – Expand eligibility for the Child Care Subsidy program
    • Increase income eligibility limit from 130% to 185% of the federal poverty level

Priority Bills I Oppose

  • LB 2 (Briese) – Reduces the valuation of agricultural land for school bonding
    • This will cause revenue losses resulting in cuts to schools, health care, and other services Nebraskans need
  • LB 11CA (Erdman) – Replaces current tax system with a consumption tax
    • If passed, it will reduce state revenue by $4 billion and adds taxes to essential services, disproportionately shifting the tax burden onto low and middle-income Nebraskans.
    • Tax policy experts largely disagree with this approach
  • LB 408 (Briese, Geist priority) – Limits property tax growth requests from localities to 3% per year
    • This undermines local control and will have harmful impacts on local governments, who are already accountable to their constituents to keep property taxes low
    • The state does not need to overreach and set an inflexible limit that communities should decide for themselves
    • I support property tax relief through increased state support for schools and think these proposals cut in the opposite direction
    • This bill was filibustered and is considered dead for the year
  • LB 281 (Albrecht) – Requires school districts to adopt specific instructional programs
    • Mandating curriculum is a legislative overreach
    • The authority to craft education standards should remain with the NE Board of Education

COVID-19 Updates

Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) is now providing free vaccinations to those 16 years old and over.

Vaccines for Minors
If you are 16, 17, or 18 years old, you will need parental consent and a guardian present with you in order to get the vaccine. Click here to see which vaccine you are eligible for if you are a minor.

COVID-19 Testing
You can use the Douglas County Health Department’s interactive map to find a testing site that is best for you. Sort testing options by location, price, rapid results offered, and more.

Vaccination Locations
Click here to use DCHD’s interactive map with both long-term and temporary vaccine clinics

  1. Douglas County Community Clinic Locations
  2. Temporary Locations: 
    1. Heartland Family Services Intergenerational Campus (4318 Fort St., Omaha, NE 68111) – Only Pfizer Vaccines available – Click here to find available appointments
  3. OneWorld Community Health Center (for patients)
  4. Charles Drew Health Center: Please call 402-451-3553 to schedule an appointment
  5. Fred Leroy Health Center (for patients)
  6. Baker’s locations: Click here to find available appointments
  7. CVS locations: Click here to find available appointments
  8. Hy-Vee locations: Click here to find available appointments
  9. Kubat Health Care: Click here to find available appointments
  10. Kohll’s Pharmacy:  Click here to find available appointments
  11. Walmart locations: Click here to find available appointments

Walk-ins are now welcomed at most clinics but appointments are still available.

Contact the COVID-19 Information Line at (402) 444-3400

Schedule an Appointment
Vaccine FAQ

District 8 Events

2021 Homestead Exemption Applications

  • Accepted until June 30th; file with the Douglas County Assessor/Register of Deeds
  • Douglas county homeowners (seniors 65+), disabled individuals, and/or veterans with 100% service-related disabilities may qualify for a homestead exemption, which is a property tax relief program
  • You can find more information on the program
    here

Castlepalooza at Joslyn Castle

  • Free neighborhood festival on June 5th (3pm-9pm) with live music, activities for families, vendors, food trucks, beverages, and more

Picnics at the Castle

  • Every Thursday in July from 5pm -8pm at Joslyn Castle enjoy a picnic and family-friendly activities. Food trucks will be present or you can bring your own food

National Night Out

  • Save the date for Tuesday, August 2nd

Keep Clarkson Park Beautiful

  • Seeking volunteers to assist with trash clean-up. Sign up here

2021 JCNA Spring Cleanup

  • May 22nd from 9am-2pm at Duchesne Academy’s Parking Lot (36th & California Street)
  • Free disposal of bulk items too large for normal trash pickup (couches, TVs, computers, anything but hazardous waste)

2021 Benson Neighborhood Clean-up

  • May 15th from 9am-2pm at Omaha Home for Boys (4343 N. 52nd St)
  • Accepts any bulky household items except tires, batteries, and hazardous waste

Our Office in the News

Lincoln Journal Star – Extended protections for student journalists fail to advance in Legislature

Lincoln Journal Star – State lawmakers advance bill to allow food aid for more Nebraskans

San Francisco Chronicle – Nebraska prison proposal clears big hurdle in Legislature

NET Nebraska – In-state college sports betting ban rejected; budget passes after debate over police, prisons

The Neighbor / Omaha World-Herald – Nebraska budget heads to Ricketts’ desk as focus turns to other tax, spending ideas

KETV Omaha –  State takes step forward in building a new prison

The Neighbor / Lincoln Journal Star – Legislature advances police reform bill, looks for compromise on issues concerning rural senators

Newsweek – Radio Host Chris Baker Fired Over ‘Racist’ Tweet About Derek Chauvin Verdict

Sioux City Journal – Legislature won’t consider convention of the states

NET Nebraska – Convention of states blocked in Legislature

Scottsbluff Star Herald – Local journalism teachers disappointed after bill fails

North Platte Telegraph – Lawmakers advance bill creating statewide Farm to School network

Scottsbluff Star Herald / Omaha World-Herald –  Proposed corporate tax cut narrowly survives vote in Nebraska Legislature

Connect with Me

  • Please follow me on FacebookTwitterYoutube, 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.
March Newsletter
March 15th, 2021
Dear friends and neighbors,

On March 12th, after weeks of passionate hearings and testimony, the committee hearings came to a close. The legislature has now moved to floor debate – beginning with priority bill selections. I hope you continue to stay in touch with me on any issue that is of importance to you throughout this process.

Each Senator is allowed to designate one bill as a personal priority bill and each committee can designate two committee priority bills. In addition, the Speaker designates another 25 priority bills. This session, I have prioritized LB260 – a bill to classify caring for a family member with a serious health condition as a qualification for unemployment. This would allow workers who need to temporarily leave employment to care for a family member with a serious health condition to be eligible for unemployment if they are ready and willing to rejoin the workforce.

This session, I am seeking a speaker priority on three bills – LB 121, LB 250, and LB 357: LB 121 would remove the lifetime ban on SNAP eligibility for people with certain drug convictionsLB 250 creates a voluntary registration for interior designers, allowing them to stamp their own documents if they choose; and LB 357 creates a “Youth in Care Bill of Rights” to inform foster and juvenile system-involved youth of their rights at regular intervals and ensure they know how to advocate for themselves. Each of these bills is vital in providing equitable support and assistance to our Nebraska residents.

Speaker Hilgers will be selecting his priority bills this Wednesday, March 17th. If you’d like to support any of these bills, I encourage you to reach out to Speaker Hilgers at mhilgers@leg.ne.gov or (402) 471-2673 and urge him to select them as speaker priorities. The significance of priorities is that these bills will jump to the top of the line in debate, essentially guaranteeing that it will get a chance to be debated and voted on by the full body before we adjourn. Since we hear so many bills and there’s not enough time to debate all of them each year, those selected as priority have the best chance of passage.

All the best,
Meg

Legislative Update
As the committee hearings are drawing to a close, below is an update on bills Senator Hunt has introduced. You can get more information on each bill by clicking on the bill number.
  • LB 121 – Lift SNAP ban for people with drug convictions
    • Advanced to General File on March 9th.
    • Requested a Speaker priority
  • LB 250 – Adopt the Interior Design Voluntary Registration Act
    • Advanced to General File on February 17th.
    • Requested a Speaker priority
  • LB 260 – Unemployment for caregivers under the Employment Security Law
    • Advanced to General File on March 12th.
    • Designated as my personal priority 
  • LB 277 – Change Mobile Home Landlord and Tenant Act
    • Added to Judiciary Housing Package via LB 320 (Cavanaugh, J.)
    • Expected floor debate on Thursday, March 18th
  • LB 357 – Youth in Care Bill of Rights
    • Advanced to General File on March 12th.
    • Requested a Speaker priority on this bill.
Bills Yet to be Voted Out of Committee
To help move these bills out of committee – I need your help! I urge anybody passionate about these bills to reach out to the committee members and advocate for their progression to floor debate. Your voice can make a difference in our community!
  • LB 120 – LGBTQ+ Employment Nondiscrimination (Judiciary Committee)
  • LB 122 – Eliminate Tipped Minimum Wage (Business and Labor Committee)
  • LB 183 – Sexual Assault Emergency Care Act (Health and Human Services Committee)
  • LB 205 –  Place Cap on Rental Late Fees (Judiciary Committee)
  • LB 230 – LGBTQ+ Public Accommodation Nondiscrimination (Judiciary Committee)
  • LB 231 – Prohibit Conversion Therapy for Minors (Judiciary Committee)
  • LB 276 – Telemedicine Medical Abortions (Judiciary Committee)
  • LB 517 – Gender Neutral ID (Judiciary Committee)
March in Review
On March 2nd, I had the opportunity to attend Nebraska’s 2021 Day of Empathy Virtual Lobby event – “No New Prisons: Building Empathy & Alternatives.” I was able to discuss the legislative impact on the criminal justice system and how I am addressing prison overcrowding in Nebraska through my work.
Planned Parenthood facilitated a conversation and training with supporters about abortion rights nationally and in Nebraska. I had the opportunity to speak about my work in creating safe, equitable care for women in Nebraska through my legislation with telemedicine abortions and access to emergency contraception.
The current pandemic has provided new challenges for us all – and the legislature has been no exception. There have been many changes across our legislature as a whole to ensure the safety of everyone, but there is one thing that has not changed – your support. During this session, we received hundreds of passionate in-person and written testimony from across the country. The pictures above are with testifiers who traveled from all over to advocate for the passage of these critical bills. We couldn’t do this without you, your support is vital in passing these bills and bettering our community! Thank you to all who have testified this year.
Civic Nebraska – Virtual Capitol Experience

I had the opportunity to collaborate with Civic Nebraska and my fellow senators to aid in their Virtual Capitol Experience. Here, you can explore the history of our unicameral Legislature, learn more about our state government, explore facts and features of the art and architecture of our Nebraska State Capitol, and hear personal insights from myself and other government officials.

Civic Nebraska
COVID-19 Updates
Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) is providing vaccinations to those 65 and over at the following times and locations:

TUE/WED – Christ Community Church, located at 404 S. 108th St., vaccinations will be given from 9 A.M. – 5 P.M.

WED/FRI – CHI Immanuel Medical Center, located at 72nd Street and Sorensen Parkway, vaccinations will be given from 9 A.M. – 5 P.M.

THU/SUN – Nebraska Medicine Testing & Vaccination Clinic, located at 144th Street and Millard Avenue, vaccinations will be given from 9 A.M. – 5 P.M on Thursdays and 9 A.M. – 3 P.M. on Sundays

SAT – Creighton University Rasmussen Center, located at 702 N. 17th Street, vaccinations will be given from 9 A.M. – 9 P.M.

Contact the COVID-19 Information Line at (402) 444-3400

Schedule an Appointment
Vaccine FAQ
Housing, Utility, and Financial Stability Resources

DHHS LIHEAP Program
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides heating assistance, cooling assistance, year-round crisis assistance, emergency furnace repair, and replacement, fan program, and weatherization services for eligible Nebraska citizens/households.

Heartland Family Service
The Homeless Prevention program provides assistance to prevent individuals from losing their housing and becoming homeless. This can include helping them preserve their current housing situation or identifying alternate appropriate housing option. Additionally, they provide rapid rehousing services to provide temporary housing relocation and stabilization services and financial assistance for 1-12 months.

Together Omaha
Together provides short-term financial assistance for rent, utilities, and deposits to individuals and families that are currently enrolled in the Horizon Programs to avoid or end homelessness.

Legal Assistance
Legal Aid of Nebraska provides a comprehensive tenants overview page with links to legal documents you might need if you are facing evictions.

The Nebraska Bar Association has a website to provide a virtual legal advice clinic for qualifying users to post civil legal questions at no cost.

The Civil Clinic, through the University of Nebraska Law School, provides representation for low-income clients. You can contact them at (402) 472-3271.

The Creighton Law School Clinic also provides representation for low-income clients. Their phone number is (402) 280-3068.

Nebraska Appleseed
You can access their basic questions and answers about utility shut-offs and weatherization assistance here.

Pennies for Power
This is an energy assistance program established to help disadvantaged families pay energy-related expenses. To apply, Call 2-1-1 (or 402-444-6666) and ask about NPPD’s Pennies for Power Program.

Douglas County COVID Relief Fund
You can access Douglas County CARES assistance programs for rent and utilities here.

Our Office in the News

KVNO News – Nebraska Lawmaker Pushes Big

News Now Omaha – Winner-take-all & Voter ID Bills Pushed in NE Unicameral

Lincoln Journal Star – Omaha Senator Renews Effort to Prohibit Employment Discrimination for LGBT Individuals

KETV Omaha – Nebraska Lawmakers Consider Banning Conversion Therapy Statewide

The Daily Nebraskan – Lincoln Passes Conversion Therapy Ban

NTV ABC – Bill Would Allow Virtual Doctor Visits for Non-Surgical Abortions

The Neighbor – Bill Targets Nebraska’s Ban on Using Telemedicine for Medication Abortions

Effective tomorrow, the Legislature has updated its testifying guidelines for those with a disability who wish to testify. The updated policy is below:
  1. An individual with a disability, as defined by the federal Americans with Disability Act of 1990, may have their written testimony submitted in person by another individual between 8:30 and 9:30 on the day of the hearing in the respective hearing room.
  2. The individual delivering the testimony will be authorized to sign the written testimony record on behalf of the individual with a disability, after signing a statement that to the best of their knowledge, the individual whose testimony he/she is delivering has a disability as defined by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
  3. This exception is allowed because COVID-19 often presents greater risks to individuals with a disability.
  4. In order to be included on the committee statement as submitting written testimony, all remaining requirements must be met. You can view the requirements here, along with the updated policy.

Sen. Megan Hunt

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