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

Welcome
January 6th, 2021

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

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

Sincerely,
Sen. Megan Hunt

Dear friends and neighbors,

During my town hall on Saturday, May 22nd at 1 pm, I will provide a summary of the 2022 legislative session so far, share an update on bills being debated in the legislature, and answer any questions you may have.

REGISTER HERE 

Constituents, please register for the actual zoom event so you have access to the Q&A function. If you are not a constituent, please watch the event via the live stream on Facebook. The full town hall video will also be uploaded to Youtube on my page immediately after the event concludes.

There will be a live Q&A following Senator Hunt’s remarks. Constituents can submit questions via Zoom’s Q&A feature during the event. Questions can also be submitted by constituents and the general public by emailing them to cross@leg.ne.gov or calling them in at 402-471-2722 prior to the event.

Best,
Meg

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.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 10, 2021

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

Senator Megan Hunt Introduces Legislative Resolution Addressing Climate Change

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 130 to acknowledge the urgent threat of climate change and affirm the Nebraska Legislature’s commitment to advancing policies designed to mitigate it.

LR 130 is the third 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 130 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.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 6, 2021

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

Senator Megan Hunt Introduces Legislative Resolution Addressing Government Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

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, including attorneys Speaker Mike Hilgers, Senator and former Speaker Mike Flood, Senator Tom Briese, and Senator Matt Williams.  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 121 to condemn the spread of misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic from some government leaders and to commend the work of those elected officials, public health leaders, front line workers and medical personnel who have sacrificed greatly to provide a robust response to the pandemic for the health and safety of the public.

LR 121 is the second 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 will be held today at noon at the Capitol.

“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 121 follows a motion by Hunt last week 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.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 5, 2021

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

Senator Megan Hunt Introduces Legislative Resolution Addressing Insurrection At United States Capitol

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, including attorneys Speaker Mike Hilgers, Senator and former Speaker Mike Flood, Senator Tom Briese, and Senator Matt Williams.  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 118 to denounce the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. and the acts of sedition and and insurrection surrounding it.

“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 118 follows a motion by Hunt last week 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 LR 107 is attached.

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.
New Online Public Input Option
February 16th, 2021
Friends, supporters, detractors, interested parties, I want to encourage you to utilize the Nebraska Legislature’s new online comment feature to make your voice heard and opinions known about our bills. Here are the main points:
  1. Submit an online comment on the bill page for any bill, at any stage of debate, by searching for it on nebraskalegislature.gov. To access this feature, search for the bill you wish to submit a statement on and click the corresponding button near the top of the bill page.
  2. These are super useful – I read the comments as we debate bills, and I think these are an important way to receive feedback from constituents during the pandemic.
  3. Please keep in mind that these comments *won’t* be recorded as part of the record on the bill. If you want your comments on the record, you must submit a letter to the committee by noon on the day before the hearing.
  4. I have two bills being heard in committee tomorrow. LB 121 would allow people with past drug convictions to receive SNAP if they are eligible, and LB 356 would prevent eligible SNAP recipients from being unnecessarily disqualified if they are found ineligible for some other assistance program. Please leave supportive comments on these bills and contact your senator, especially those on the Health and Human Services committee! Your voice matters and your support will help to advance these critical bills.
Community Vaccination Clinics
January 28th, 2021
The Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) and its community partners will host four community clinics beginning in February in an effort to provide Douglas County residents 80 years of age and older with the COVID-19 vaccine. The four sites are being coordinated by the DCHD in partnership with Nebraska Medicine, CHI Health, Creighton University, and Methodist Health System. The clinics will continue to operate until further notice. To register for the COVID-19 vaccine, visit https://vaccinate.ne.gov.

The locations and times for the clinics are:

  • Christ Community Church – 404 South 108th Street, Omaha
    • Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. beginning on February 2nd.
  • CHI Immanuel Medical Center – 72nd Street and Sorensen Parkway, Omaha
    • Wednesdays and Fridays from  9 a.m.-5 p.m. beginning on February 3rd.
  • Nebraska Medicine Testing & Vaccination Clinic – 144th and Millard Avenue
    • Thursdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
    • Sundays from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
    • Begins February 4th
  • Creighton Universit’s Rasmussen Center – 702 North 17th Street
    • Saturdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. beginning on February 6th.

Douglas County residents will have the opportunity to visit the clinic that is closest to them. This is the beginning of Phase 1-B of the vaccination rollout and will provide the first dose of the vaccine for this group.

In addition to the four community clinics, beginning on Monday, February 1st, DCHD will provide vaccines on a limited basis at OneWorld Community Health Center in South Omaha, Charles Drew Health Center, and the Fred LeRoy Health Center. Kohll’s Pharmacy will provide vaccinations to independent living and retirement communities, while the Nebraska Methodist College mobile diabetes unit will be serving vulnerable populations. 

Vaccine Registration

The DCHD Vaccine Registration Line will go live on Friday, January 29th at 9 a.m. DCHD’s Information Line at (402) 444-3400 will be taking reservations beginning Friday at 9 a.m. for those who do not have computer access. There is NO advantage to calling early or trying to register if you are not 80 years old. Vaccinations will be by appointment only.   

Those who have registered with the DCHD vaccine notification system can expect to be contacted about the next step in the process. You can register online for notifications here. Please wait for further information on that next step. These clinics are limited to Douglas County residents who are 80 years of age or older this year. If you were not born in 1941 or earlier, please do not attempt to attend a clinic. You will not receive the vaccine if you show up.

Age-based eligibility will start with over 80 years of age which has the highest mortality rate and then move down through lower age groups. This will be based on the year of birth in order to simplify the process. For example, people who were born in 1941 or before (or will turn 80 at any time during this calendar year) will be the first group to make appointments. Depending on demand and appointment availability, we will add groups in 5-year increments throughout the month of February.

Additional Information

Until much more vaccine is available, healthcare providers and clinics will not be able to order it for their patients. Future clinics will address more tiered groups of residents over 65 years of age, a group that has suffered 82% of the COVID-19 related deaths in Douglas County

If you have any questions regarding the vaccine, the DCHD website has a comprehensive information page. If you would like to volunteer to assist with vaccination efforts, you can register with the Medical Reserve Corps here.

If you missed an opportunity to be vaccinated during phase 1a, you can call the DCHD COVID-19 Information Line at (402) 444-3400 for an appointment.

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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