NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

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Sen. Megan Hunt

Sen. Megan Hunt

District 8

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

Barring any public health emergency, high school students are invited to take on the role of state senators at the Unicameral Youth Legislature June 7-10. 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 or public speaking. Students will learn about the inner workings of the Legislature directly from senators and staff.

“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 student’s 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.”

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.

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 15.

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For more information, please contact Kate Heltzel at (402) 471-2788 or kheltzel@leg.ne.gov

Lincoln, NE— 2.25.20 — Today, Senator Megan Hunt’s Nebraska Fair Pay to Play Act advanced from General File at the Nebraska Legislature. Legislative Bill 962 provides for all student-athletes enrolled in public and private four-year colleges in Nebraska to earn money from endorsements, sponsorships, and any other activities related to their athletic skills. Thirty-six Senators voted to advance the bill, with only four voting in opposition. This bill will allow college athletes to receive compensation for the use of their name, image, and likeness rights or athletic reputation.

LB 962 would ensure that college athletes are not being taken advantage of and provide them more opportunities outside of the field. The bill would not require colleges and universities to pay the athletes, but would provide for college athletes to seek endorsement deals such as posting an Instagram post or teaching lessons to aspiring athletes. If passed, Nebraska could be the second state in the nation to enact name, image, likeliness rights legislation.

“The vast majority of college athletes, even with scholarships, struggle to make ends meet. LB 962 is our chance to align these athletes with the rest of the student population and restore their right to earn a wage for their talent and skills,” Hunt said. “Students understand the market opportunities available to them through social media. They understand the modern economy. It doesn’t matter if they’re the biggest star athlete in Nebraska or if they’re a tennis player at a D3 school who just wants to give private lessons in the off-season: Currently, neither of them can earn a dime. That’s not right.”

Lincoln, NE— 2.21.20 — Today, Senator Megan Hunt introduced LB 872 which seeks to repeal the language in state statute that requires both physicians and the state to provide unsafe and inaccurate information to patients regarding “abortion reversal.” New evidence presented by University of California-Davis researchers has raised serious safety concerns about the dangers of not completing a medical abortion combination regimen. The study investigated claims that the hormone progesterone can stop a medication abortion.

The study was stopped for safety concerns after three patients required transport to an emergency room for hemorrhaging. All women in the study except one experienced bleeding. The first pill in medication abortion — mifepristone — is not intended to be used without the follow-up misoprostol treatment within 24-48 hours. The study shows that there are serious medical concerns about encouraging patients to seek out a treatment that is not grounded in science or medicine.

“The UC-Davis study raises serious safety concerns about not completing the evidence-based medical abortion combination regimen,” Senator Hunt said. “Mifepristone is not intended to be used without follow-up misoprostol treatment. It is even more concerning that states are passing laws to encourage women to participate in what amounts to an unmonitored experiment. When a study is monitored, as this one was, we have the ability to stop if safety concerns arise.”

“The legislation that we passed last year was irresponsible, and new evidence shows that the “abortion reversal” procedure recommended by DHHS threatens the health and safety of patients,” Senator Hunt said. “We should not be passing laws that encourage women to participate in an unmonitored experiment. That’s what the enactment of LB 209 has done to abortion patients in Nebraska. The State of Nebraska should embrace evidence-based practices, not promote and encourage bad medicine.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sen. Megan Hunt

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