This edition features:
- A couple of bills of note this coming week
- Housing Lobby Day!
- News stories about the housing bills discussed in committee this past week
Bills of Note: Week of March 13th
LB367 is scheduled for a hearing before the Judiciary Committee on Monday, March 13th. This bill would adopt the Fair Chance Hiring Act.
The Fair Chance Hiring Act would:
- Prohibit employer from asking about an applicant's criminal record until after they've made a conditional offer of employment and then, only if it's required by law (e.g., a teacher)
- If employer decides not to hire the applicant in whole or in part because of a criminal record, the employer has to tell the applicant, who can present evidence of rehabilitation
If the legislature passes this bill, people who have finished their sentence and paid their debt to society will have more and better opportunities to find meaningful employment and successfully reintegrate into the community.
If LB367 is important to you, you can submit a comment to the Judiciary Committee for the record.
Comments must be submitted by noon on Friday, March 10th.
On Wednesday, March 15th, the Health and Human Services Committee will hear testimony about LB88, which would extend SNAP eligibility to those with certain drug felony convictions. Right now, Nebraska completely bars people from obtaining SNAP benefits if they fall into one of two categories:
- People who have three or more felony convictions for possession or use of a controlled substance
- People convicted of a felony involving the sale or distribution of a controlled substance
Passing LB88 would make these individuals eligible to get assistance buying groceries.
If LB88 is important to you, you can submit a comment to the Health and Human Services Committee for the record.
Comments must be submitted by noon on Tuesday, March 14th.
Housing Lobby Day - March 14th
Some of you may be planning to join with the coalition of nonprofit organizations at the Nebraska State Capital to advocate for housing affordability and housing justice on Tuesday.
Our aim is to raise awareness about the need for affordable housing, tenant protections, and homeownership equity across Nebraska and shine a light on a number of housing-related bills currently under consideration in the Legislature.
The Lobby 101 Training sessions are full, but the press conference and rally in the Capitol Rotunda at 11:30 is open to everyone. Among the featured speakers is Together's own, Destiny Fant!
News Stories on Housing Bills in the Legislature
Nebraska Examiner story (including a mention of my testimony on behalf of Together!) about all of the housing bills discussed on March 8th, with a particular focus on LB248, which would bar landlords from refusing to rent to tenants who used housing vouchers, SSDI, or other assistance to pay rent.
Shout out and huge thanks to Tina and Destiny, who made the trip to Lincoln and sat through over 7 hours of Judiciary Committee testimony (yes, SEVEN HOURS) to share their experiences in support of legislation to give tenants an opportunity for eviction clean slate, a tenant's right to an attorney in eviction court, and improving enforcement of Omaha's rental registration program.
Omaha World Herald story about the bills appropriating millions to affordable housing development, discussed on Wednesday as well.
Examiner story about LB531, which deals with the millions of dollars in American Rescue Plan Act funding that the state hasn't yet awarded.