NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

The official site of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

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

July 7, 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT:

Blair Hess, Director of Communications, CSG

bhess@csg.org

Cassy Ross, Communications Director, Sen. Hunt

cross@leg.ne.gov

 

Senator Megan Hunt Selected for Prestigious CSG Henry Toll Fellowship

Forty-eight state leaders were chosen for the annual leadership development program

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The Council of State Governments has announced that Senator Megan Hunt has been selected to participate in the 2022 CSG Henry Toll Fellowship. Bringing together 48 individuals representing 32 states from several sectors of state government, the Henry Toll Fellowship is the nation’s premier leadership development program for state government officials.

“It’s an honor to be recognized as a Toll Fellow among so many visionary changemakers across the country,” Nebraska State Senator Megan Hunt said. “We need fighters in all levels of government and policymaking who are hearing and really responding to the needs and concerns of everyday people. I ran for office because I know that we can do more collectively rather than individually. I believe that when we work together, we can build a stronger future for all of us. I am proud to play a role in finding solutions to build a better, more equitable world.”

Each year, the CSG Henry Toll Fellowship brings up to 48 leaders from all three branches of state government to the CSG national headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky, for an intensive, five-day leadership boot camp. The program’s sessions are designed to stimulate personal assessment and growth while providing priceless networking and relationship-building opportunities.

“While the CSG Henry Toll Fellows come from every region of our nation, from both political parties and all three branches of state government, they share one thing in common— they are all people of purpose with a passion for public service,” said CSG Executive Director/CEO David Adkins, a former Kansas state senator and 1993 Toll Fellowship alumnus. “Toll Fellows are selected based on their demonstrated commitment to solve problems, to work collaboratively to get things done, and their belief that state government can and must be a force for good.”

The CSG Henry Toll Fellowship encourages participants to evaluate and adapt the way they interact with each other and the world around them, providing an opportunity unlike any other in the nation. Providing a variety of exercises and sessions, the content of the program is different each year.

There are more than 1,300 graduates of the Toll Fellowship, which began in 1986. Distinguished alumni include five state/territorial house speakers, three sitting state supreme court justices, ten sitting members of Congress, five sitting governors and 200 Toll alumni currently serving as state/territorial legislators.

“Congratulations to the 2022 Toll Fellows for being selected to participate in the premier state government training program in the country,” said Washington state Sen. Sam Hunt, who serves as CSG National Chair for 2022. “As part of a very selective group chosen from state governments across the country, they are in for a rewarding experience. As a former Toll myself, I know they will sharpen their skills in making government more effective.”

For more information on the CSG Henry Toll Fellowship, visit: csg.org/leadership or email leadershipdevelopment@csg.org.

 

About The Council of State Governments

The Council of State Governments is our nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships.

For more information about The Council of State Governments, visit csg.org.

###

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.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:     March 28, 2022
Kate Heltzel; Nebraska Legislature, Unicameral Information Office

(402) 471-2788        nio@leg.ne.gov

Senator Megan Hunt Invites Students to the Youth Legislature

High school students are invited to take on the role of state senators at the Unicameral Youth Legislature on June 12-15. At the State Capitol, student senators will sponsor bills, conduct committee hearings, debate legislation and discover the unique process of the nation’s only Unicameral.

The Unicameral Youth Legislature gives behind-the-scenes access to students who have an interest in public office, government, politics, law, public policy, debate, and public speaking. Students will learn about the inner workings of the Legislature directly from senators and staff. Registrants are encouraged to apply for a Greg Adams Civic Scholarship award, which covers the full cost of admission. Applicants must submit a short essay. Other $100 scholarships are also available. 

“Civic engagement means a lot of things,” Senator Hunt said. “From volunteering at a phone bank and canvassing neighbors on important issues to census counts and running for office, the range of opportunities to participate in our community is immense. I have no doubt that during students’ time in the Unicameral Youth Legislature, students will learn how to expand their influence and effect on the systems of government that are ultimately here to serve them.”

The Office of the Clerk of the Nebraska Legislature coordinates the Unicameral Youth Legislature. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Extension 4-H Youth Development Office coordinates housing and recreational activities as part of the Big Red Summer Camps program.

To learn more about the program, go to www.NebraskaLegislature.gov/uyl or call (402) 471-2788. The deadline for registration is May 20.

###

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Cassy Ross, Communications Director

Phone: (402) 471-2722

Email: cross@leg.ne.gov

 

Senator Megan Hunt Introduces Legislative Resolution 269CA to Establish an Independent Redistricting Commission

 

Lincoln, NE— 1.6.22 State Senator Megan Hunt introduced LR 269CA today to amend the Nebraska Constitution to establish an independent redistricting commission, to be appointed by the Legislature. If passed, the proposal will be added to the November 2022 ballot for the voters of Nebraska to affirm. Recent redistricting efforts were overshadowed by partisan games and the process largely obscured from public view. Nebraskans deserve for this process to be placed in the hands of people who can take on this responsibility in a transparent and impartial manner.

This proposal would establish a politically balanced nine-member independent citizens commission to set district lines.  It would prohibit anyone who has been a lobbyist, elected official, party leader,  or candidate in the past five years and their family members from serving on the commission.  Members of the Legislature would screen Commission members.  The Commission would recommend a plan for district boundaries to the Legislature for approval.  This way, the Legislature still plays an oversight role in the process, but there is a citizen arm of checks and balances to make the process fairer.  The proposal is modeled after the 2020 Ballot Initiative Petition that was filed, but which did not obtain the necessary signatures to get on the ballot due to the COVID19 pandemic.  

“It’s time to infuse more democracy into Nebraska’s redistricting process – and we need to do it while those of us with recent knowledge of the process are still in the body,” Hunt said. “When Nebraskans cast their ballots, they need to know their vote counts and their voice matters. I am committed to ensuring voters can pick their leaders, not the other way around.”

 

###

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Cassy Ross, Communications Director

Phone: (402) 471-2722

Email: cross@leg.ne.gov

 

Senator Megan Hunt Introduces Legislative Bill 835 to Allow 529 NEST College Saving Plans to Pay Student Loans

 

Lincoln, NE— 1.6.22 Today, Senator Megan Hunt introduced LB 835 to provide an option that could help relieve student debtors’ loan balances:  the 529 NEST college saving plan. Currently, 529 plans allow families to contribute money to an account, which grows on a tax deferred basis and can be withdrawn tax-free if it’s used to pay for qualified education expenses, like tuition or textbooks.  In 2019, the federal SECURE Act created new flexibilities for 529 college savings plans, including one that allows these plans to be used to make student loan payments. However, the state’s existing statute prohibits Nebraskans from utilizing the newly granted 529 options. LB 835 will permit 529 planholders to use account assets to pay up to $10,000 in student loans per beneficiary to help. 

Data from the Department of Education show nearly a quarter-million Nebraskans have student loan debt, owing $7.7 billion to the federal government as of September 2020. Harmonizing state statute to match federal statute is not only good governance, but provides a small way to help address the rising national student debt crisis.  This is good news for parents and grandparents who work and save to set money aside for their child or grandchild’s education.  If 529 assets can be used to pay tuition, it makes sense that they can be used to pay student loans for past tuition as well.  

“Student debt holds entrepreneurs back from starting businesses, holds families back from buying homes, holds workers back from saving for retirement and holds our economy back,” Hunt said. “It’s time to start looking at realistic ways to address the crushing debt students live most of their lives with. Our economy isn’t money. It’s people. That should be our focus.” 

###

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Cassy Ross, Communications Director

Phone: (402) 471-2722

Email: cross@leg.ne.gov

 

Senator Megan Hunt Introduces Legislative Bill 834 to Eliminate the Disability Subminimum Wage

 

Lincoln, NE— 1.6.22 Today, Senator Megan Hunt introduced LB 834, which would eliminate the outdated statute that allows employers to pay disabled employees well below minimum wage. Under an 80-year-old federal provision, states can legally pay people with disabilities less than minimum wage based on their perceived productivity. While this law was initially well-intended to encourage differently-abled individuals to find work, today it keeps workers earning poverty wages and segregated from their communities. Dialogue around disability rights has changed since Nebraska passed the law allowing this, and we now know that “sheltered workshops” do not help move people with disabilities toward greater personal and financial independence. 

According to data released by the Department of Labor, some workers compensated under this exception to federal minimum wage laws are paid as little as 4 cents an hour. Data from Disability Rights Nebraska 2021 show that there are 12 organizations in Nebraska that pay 178 people a subminimum wage

“We’ve moved far beyond the days of this antiquated law, living in a world where we all know people with disabilities that hold jobs alongside people without disabilities and perform them well.  And yet, some people with disabilities in Nebraska are still being paid cents on the dollar,” Hunt said. “The work of disabled people is valuable and they should be compensated as such.  The shameful current practice of setting disability wages based on a worker’s efficiency and ability is exploitive, discriminatory, and dehumanizing. People with disabilities can be thriving, independent contributors to their communities when we pay them accordingly.”

###

LINCOLN, Neb. 1.4.22 – Today, Nebraska State Senator Megan Hunt and reproductive health advocates announced a new effort to expand access to abortion care in Nebraska. Sen. Hunt said the effort will focus on three bills when the Nebraska Legislature reconvenes, two of which she plans to introduce this year and one that will carry over from last year. Local medical professionals and civil rights advocates from the ACLU of Nebraska, Planned Parenthood North Central States and the Women’s Fund of Omaha attended the press conference in support of the proposed legislation.

Sen. Hunt is proposing a repeal of the state restriction that forces Nebraskans with private insurance to purchase additional optional coverage for abortion care (LB 715). She will also seek changes to allow Certified Nurse-Midwives, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, and physician assistants to provide abortion care (LB 716).

The third effort focuses on passage of state bill LB276, which carries over from the 2021 session. The bill would repeal Nebraska’s ban on telehealth for medication abortion. Nebraska’s telehealth ban requires patients to take pills in the presence of a physician, despite the Food and Drug Administration’s recent decision to permanently allow medication abortion by mail.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, a national reproductive and sexual health research and policy organization, states have passed 1,336 restrictions on abortion since Roe was decided in 1973 and a record 106 abortion restrictions have passed in 2021 alone. Access to abortion in Nebraska is already highly restricted and the Guttmacher Institute categorizes the state as hostile to reproductive rights.

Today’s press conference comes at a point of national uncertainty surrounding the future of reproductive rights. The U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban in a case that directly challenges Roe v. Wade and nearly 50 years of related precedent. Challenges to Texas’ 6-week abortion ban otherwise known as SB8, the most restrictive ban in the nation, are also pending in the courts.

Senator Hunt is welcomed into the distinguished 2022 class of 40 LGBTQ Leaders Under 40 list in the Business Equity Magazine. A search was conducted to identify young LGBTQ+ leaders who unequivocally stand up and out in their truth; who demonstrate exceptional leadership while making significant contributions in government, corporate, academia, non-profit, or small business. Each honoree has taken bold steps towards equitable futures for everyone. 

“Thank you so much to Business Equality Magazine for recognizing me as one of 40 Under 40 LGBTQ+ leaders across North America. It’s an honor to be included among so many visionary changemakers in business, education, government, the arts, and more,” Hunt commented. 

You can view the article here.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Cassy Ross, Communications Director

Phone: (402) 471-2722

Email: cross@leg.ne.gov

Senator Megan Hunt Receives The Council of State Governments 20 Under 40 Leadership Award

Lincoln, NE— 9.15.21 The Council of State Governments is excited to recognize Senator Megan Hunt as a recipient of the 2021 CSG 20 Under 40 Leadership Award. This annual honor highlights the outstanding work of 20 up-and-coming elected and appointed officials from across the country who not only exemplify strong leadership skills but have also demonstrated a true commitment to serving the citizens of their states.

“The state officials named to the 2021 class of The Council of State Governments 20 Under 40 Leadership Award represent a broad cross-section of the exceptional leaders that successfully govern our states,” said David Adkins, CSG executive director/CEO. “Those recognized this year come from diverse backgrounds, different political parties, different branches of state government and from every region of our country, but they share a singular commitment to make a difference for those they serve.” Leaders from across the country including the 50 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. territories were nominated for this year’s leadership award class.

”It has been an honor to represent my constituents these past 3 years,” Hunt said. “But our work is not done yet. I ran for office because I know that we can do more collectively rather than individually. I believe that when we work together, we can build a stronger future for all of us. I am proud to play a role in finding solutions to build a better, more equitable world” 

Founded in 1933, The Council of State Governments is a nonpartisan organization that brings state officials together to learn from each other and to craft solutions to today’s public policy challenges.

“The hard-working leaders recognized with the CSG 20 Under 40 Leadership Award have demonstrated the ability to productively collaborate to achieve consensus and produce results,” Adkins said. “While they may be young, their public service honors the oldest and best values of our democracy.”

Award recipients will be honored at the 2021 CSG National Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico in December.

To learn more about the 20 Under 40 Leadership Award, visit web.csg.org/20-40/. To learn more about The Council of State Governments, the nation’s only nonpartisan organization serving all three branches of state government, visit csg.org

Congratulations to these 20 leaders:

###

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 11, 2021

Contact: Cassy Ross, Communications Director
cross@leg.ne.gov / (402 471 2722)

Senator Megan Hunt Introduces Legislative Resolution Affirming Nebraska’s Commitment to Preserving Voting Access

Resolution introduced in response to LR 107, a blatantly partisan resolution signed by 31 state senators

Lincoln, Nebraska – State Senator Megan Hunt is concerned but amused by the precedent set by Senator Mike Groene and the thirty other state senators who cosponsored LR 107.  LR 107 is a blatantly partisan and frivolous resolution, which relates to subjects including election laws and voting rights, free exercise of religion, federalism and sharing of powers with the federal government, states’ rights as provided in the 9th and 10th Amendments, First Amendment rights, Second Amendment rights, healthcare and vaccines and the right to assemble and travel, a rejection of “vaccine passports,” and the private use of land and water. In keeping with this precedent set by Senator Groene and the thirty cosponsors of LR 107, Senator Hunt has introduced LR 135 to condemn attempts to erode the right of all Americans to participate equitably in elections.

LR 135 is the fourth in a series of legislative resolutions Senator Hunt is introducing in response to LR 107. “I ask the members of the body who signed onto LR 107 to read it carefully and remove their names, and I call on the members of the Executive Board to exercise integrity and keep this bad resolution from advancing to the floor”, said Hunt.  A hearing on LR 107 was held last Thursday.

“Resolutions are not frivolous, and any resolution passed by the Nebraska Legislature may have consequential legal significance. We do not know how or whether another governmental body will interpret any given resolution we pass, whether that body is another state legislature, a state or federal court, or a governor or attorney general. Resolutions we pass, including the embarrassing and poorly-written LR 107, could be interpreted by courts as binding, or at a minimum, as formal findings of the Legislature on the particular subjects implicated in the resolution. For that reason, the thirty-one senators who sponsored LR 107 should be aware of the precedent they are setting and the door they are opening for blatantly partisan governance that does not reflect the values of Nebraskans,” Hunt said.

Additionally, LR 107 raises concerns about legislative leaders circumventing rules and procedures in the officially nonpartisan Unicameral.  LR 107 was originally correctly referenced to the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs committee according to legislative rules and established history. However, the Executive Board, which has the final word on where bills and resolutions are referenced, moved LR 107 to their committee in an apparent attempt to route the measure away from the Government Committee, where LR 107 would not have garnered the votes necessary to advance. The introduction of LR 135 follows a motion by Hunt to re-reference LR 107 in accordance with good governance, which failed to gather enough votes to pass. Nebraskans should be concerned about this precedent of “committee shopping,” moving bills and resolutions into committees where the political majority is likely to get a favorable outcome.

Sponsors of LR 107 include: Senators Mike Groene (introducer), Ray Aguilar, Joni Albrecht, John Arch, Bruce Bostelman, Tom Brandt, Tom Brewer, Tom Briese, Rob Clements, Myron Dorn, Steve Erdman, Mike Flood, Curt Friesen, Suzanne Geist, Tim Gragert, Steve Halloran, Ben Hansen, Mike Hilgers, Robert Hilkemann, Dan Hughes, Brett Lindstrom, Lou Ann Linehan, John Lowe, Mike McDonnell, Mike Moser, Dave Murman, Rich Pahls, Rita Sanders, Julie Slama, John Stinner, and Matt Williams.

###

A copy of the resolution is attached.

Sen. Megan Hunt

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

You are currently browsing the archives for the Press Releases category.

Committee Assignments
    Business and Labor
    Committee On Committees
    Government
    Military and Veterans Affairs
    Urban Affairs
    State-Tribal Relations
Search Current Bills
Search Laws
Live Video Streaming
View video streamView live streams of floor activity and public hearings

Streaming video provided by Nebraska Public Media

Find Your Senator