2023 Legislative Agenda
January 25th, 2023
Dear friends and neighbors,
A lot has happened in the first 15 days of the 2023 legislative session. The first of which is that we have moved offices to the 12th floor. To visit my office, you'll have to schedule a meeting or call (402) 471-2722 to be escorted up since the elevators require an access card to reach our new floor. This is only temporary because of construction in the Capitol. Starting in June, we will be back in a more accessible office on the second floor near the clerk’s office.
Frankly, it’s been a rough start. Before bill introduction even began, this legislative body threw out our norms in favor of partisan goals and blatant power grabs during the election of new committee leadership (view full committee list). The political majority made decisions based on what would benefit them, not the Legislature as an institution, and certainly not the people of Nebraska.
The Legislature then debated internal rule proposals, many of which threatened the nonpartisanship of our institution. Of the 55 proposed changes, three uncontroversial changes were officially adopted along with five technical changes. I will savor this win on the rules debate. It was against all odds, and we beat the most powerful interests in the state. A BIG thank you goes out to everyone who testified, emailed, called, and commented on these changes.
Public hearings on the 812 bills introduced this session have started this week. Keep an eye out for these early hearing dates because several controversial and substantive bills will be heard in the next two weeks. This is the time to be contacting your senator, contacting committee members, and getting your testimony ready! We will hold all-day public hearings from Jan. 30th - Feb. 10th. Beginning on Feb. 13th, things will go back to normal, with floor debate in the morning and public hearings in the afternoon.
A LOT of you have been reaching out, asking how you can help this session, which is amazing. Supporting and following local advocacy organizations is a great way to make sure you don’t miss calls to action or important alerts. Nebraskans for Abortion Access and OutNebraska, for example, will be heavily involved in mobilizing Nebraskans against an abortion ban and against bills that discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community. We will need a lot of help from people willing to testify, attend rallies, or just be physically present at the capitol. There is no wrong way to contact lawmakers -- reach out to members of the committee the bill has been referenced to, submit comments online via the Legislature's website, send an email (and cc me), write a letter, call, and TESTIFY!! There are ways to support bills outside of the Legislature too. You can write a letter to the editor, host mini-advocacy events with your friends or community members, educate your peers on certain bills, and attend advocacy workshops/trainings.
This steady undercutting of the rights of Nebraskans is unacceptable and we will fight it every step of the way. I hold hope for this session because of the advocacy I have seen from countless Nebraskans across the state who are ready to make lawmakers listen to the second house. My office is always here to answer any questions you may have or help you navigate the Legislature. Don't hesitate to reach out and I hope to see you at the Capitol soon!
All the best,
Come Testify in Opposition to the Abortion Ban!
Feb. 1st at 1:30 pm in Room 1510 at the Capitol
The hearing date has been set for LB 626, the extreme abortion ban. Make your voice heard on Wednesday, Feb. 1st in the Health & Human Services Committee.
There will be a rally and press conference in the Capitol rotunda at 1pm. Be sure to arrive early!
My 2023 Legislative Agenda
Below is a brief snapshot of the 13 bills and 2 constitutional amendments I have introduced. My priorities this year are protecting access to safe and legal abortion in Nebraska, protecting the rights of LGBTQ Nebraskans, particularly trans Nebraskans and LGBT students; and protecting Nebraska's secure system of free and fair elections.
You can also view every bill I have introduced and co-sponsored here. This is a great resource to find great bills introduced by my colleagues that I am supportive of!
Bills to Watch
Reproductive & Medical
- LB626 (Albrecht) Extreme abortion ban
- Hearing set for Feb. 1st
- Come TESTIFY or just be at the Capitol - your presence is vital!
- LB422 (Kauth) Exempts doctors from No consequences for providing medical advice that disagrees with the medical consensus
- LB 606 (Albrecht) Creates a tax credit for donors to "crisis pregnancy centers," which routinely shame and deceive patients
- LB810 (Murman) Creates a license to discriminate. Allows health care workers to discriminate and shield them from repercussions (allows insurance companies to refuse payments based on overly broad terminology)
- Several proposals to regulate the recently passed voter ID ballot initiative have been put forth including LB228 (Erdman), LB230 (Erdman), LB535 (Slama), and LB675 (Day) - my personal favorite is Sen. Day's. Both of Sen. Erdman's proposals entirely eliminate mail-in voting for everyday Nebraskans.
- Government Committee hearing set for Feb. 1st (LB535 only)
- LB390 (Clements) Limits the early mail-in voting window
- Government Committee hearing set for Feb. 2nd
- LB457 (Holdcroft) Requires unfeasible and unnecessary video surveillance of all in-person voting
- LB764 (Lippincott) Eliminates our 'blue dot' aka prohibits the splitting of electoral votes
- LB371 (Murman) An unconstitutional censorship attempt to put an age limit on drag shows. I have already filed a motion to indefinitely postpone it, which would kill the bill.
- LB574 (Kauth) Bans families of transgender youth from seeking medically sound, affirming healthcare by punishing doctors who provide care
- LB575 (Kauth) Bans transgender youth from playing school sports and from using restrooms or locker rooms they feel most comfortable in
- LB177 (Erdman) Diverts taxpayer dollars by allowing state funds to be used for students attending private schools
- LB178 (Erdman) Requires all schools to display "In God we Trust"
- LB374 (Murman) Sweeping education bill includes provisions that could chill classroom conversations related to race and racism
- Education Committee hearing set for Jan. 31st
- LB441 (Albrecht) Overly broad censorship impacting public schools and libraries
- LB550 (Ballard) Eliminates the open enrollment option that allows any student to apply to attend any public school in the state, regardless of where they live
- LB753 (Linehan) Creates private school scholarships using public taxpayer dollars
- LB635 (Albrecht) Censors school library and digital materials
- LB647 (McDonnell) Allows the use of public taxpayer dollars to be used for the purchase of private school materials
- LB811 (Murman) Allows for the use of physical force in all classrooms
- LR24 CA (Albrecht) Eliminates the State Board of Education and requires the Governor to appoint an Education Commissioner
- There have been several bills introduced to drastically change the TEEOSA school funding, including LB320 (Brandt), LB386 (Linehan), LB475 (Wayne), LB 589 (Briese), & LB699 (Murman).
- Revenue Committee hearing set for Feb. 1st (LB589 only)
- LR2 CA (Erdman) Eliminate the nonpartisan unicameral, move to a bicameral, partisan body
- Executive Board hearing on March 9th
- LB15 (Briese) Exempts youth from the standard minimum wage, subjecting them to a lower one
- Business & Labor Committee hearing set for Jan. 30th
- LB327 (Raybould) Caps future minimum wage increases to no more than 1.5% a year after it reaches $15/hr in 2026.
- LB343 (Slama) Prohibit state contracts with companies that boycott Israel
- LB620 (McDonnell) Lowers the age for adult prosecutions to 12 years old
District 8 Events
Testimony Office Hours - Hosted by Planned Parenthood (no rsvp required, drop in anytime)
- Thursday, Jan. 26th from 1:00-3:00pm
- Friday, Jan. 27th from 2:00-5:00pm
- Monday, Jan. 30th from 9:00am-6:00pm
- Tuesday, Jan. 31st from 10:00am-4:00pm
Student Opportunities - UNO Women & Gender Studies will host educational opportunities for students to attend public hearings and testify before lawmakers, along with a separate legislative workshop to learn about current policy proposals.
DJ Battle - Hosted by Culxr House and Benson Theatre
- Celebrate hip hop during Black History Month on Feb. 3rd at 6:30pm, located at Culxr House (3014 N. 24th St.)
Benson Neighborhood Association Meeting
- 7:00 pm on Feb. 27th at the Benson Baptist Church
Doula Programs - Hosted by I Be Black Girl
- Doula Access Fund provides up to $2,000 to pregnant people in Douglas County to support doula services
- Doula Passage Program is designed to create more doulas in Nebraska
Our Office in the News
KMTV - NE State Sen. Megan Hunt attends White House roundtable discussion on abortion rights
The White House - Readout of White House Meeting with State Legislative Leaders on Reproductive Rights...
KSNB Local 4 - Nebraska senators adopt rules that will govern the legislature for the next two years
Lincoln Journal Star - Bills banning transgender youth from treatment and participating in sports draw motion to end legislative session
News Service Nebraska - Near-total abortion ban, pregnancy center tax credit could be in Nebraska’s future
Nebraska Examiner - ACLU condemns ‘drag’ show proposal as part of national effort to ‘push LGBTQ+ people out of public life’
Omaha World-Herald - State senators announce new attempt to increase abortion restrictions in Nebraska
Nebraska Examiner - Proposed LGBTQ legislation is workforce recruitment tool, says Nebraska senator
Nebraska Examiner - Nebraska anti-abortion senators proposing ‘heartbeat bill’
Associated Press - Bills seek Nebraska voter ID, would nix most voting by mail
KETV Omaha - Lawmakers avoid early session 'meltdown'
Omaha World-Herald - Nebraska Legislature extends debate on committee lineups amid accusations of 'hyperpartisan politics'