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As the year progresses new legislation will be introduced in both the Iowa and Nebraska legislatures and the U.S. Congress, that Forward Equality will be interested in supporting and opposing. Forward Equality will aid other movement and organizations in addressing our nation’s problems. For instance, Forward Equality is committed to combating income inequality, health care coverage for the over 50,000 uninsured Nebraskans, and strengthening and protecting Nebraska families and children by the passage of LB380.
Some of the bills of interest include NE bills: LB380, LB887, LB943, LB402, LB662 Federal bills: H.R. 1010, H.R. 137, H.R. 766, H.R. 676, H.R. 1755.
Forward Equality is opposed to LB662, the Voter ID (Suppression) Bill. This bill would negatively affect Nebraska’s elderly voters, low-income voters, and minority voters. Forward Equality strongly believes that this voter ID bill’s intent is to disenfranchise minority voters and women, which there was a high turnout of minority voters in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections.
- According to the AARP as many as 1 in 5 seniors do not have current government-issued photo IDs.
- In 2006 alone, about 8 million people over the age of 65 didn’t have an ID, and the older people became the less likely they are to have a valid driver’s license.
- Voter ID laws can create problems for many women who change their names after a marriage or divorce.
- Voter ID laws often are applied unevenly across racial groups and significantly discriminates against Black and Latino youth.
- According to the Black Youth Project 17.3% of Black youth and 8.1% of Latino, youth report they lack required identification to vote under voter ID laws, while just 4.7% of white youth lack required identification to vote under voter ID laws.
Take Action: Forward Equality asks you to contact your State Senator tell them you oppose LB662 and ask them to oppose LB662.Contact your Senator: Here You can also contact the Government, Military And Veterans Affairs committee and tell them to vote NO on LB662.
Here is the contact information for the Gov., Military & Vet. Affairs committee:
- Sen. Bill Avery (Chair) Phone: (402) 471-2633 Email: email@example.com
- Sen. John Murante Phone: (402) 471-2725 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. Garrett Phone: (402) 471-2627 Email: email@example.com
- Sen. Dave Bloomfield Phone: (402) 471-2716 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. Russ Karpisek Phone: (402) 471-2711 Email: email@example.com
- Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh Phone: (402) 471-2618 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. Jim Scheer Phone: (402) 471-2929 Email: email@example.com
- Sen. Norm Wallman Phone: (402) 471-2620 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Forward Equality supports LB887, the Wellness in Nebraska Act or WIN Act. This bill would expand Medicaid with federal dollars in Nebraska to cover the over 50,000 uninsured Nebraskans.
Take Action: Forward Equality asks you to contact your State Senator to tell them that you support LB887 and ask them to support LB887. Contact your Senator: Here
Forward Equality continues to support LB380, the Second Parent Adoption Bill. This bill would make adoption available in Nebraska for qualified couples regardless of marital status.
- The bill is important because the State of Nebraska currently prohibits all unmarried couples from adopting regardless of how qualified the couple is to raise a child and the State of Nebraska prohibits second parent adoption via Nebraska State Supreme Court ruling.
- The bill would benefit children waiting for a loving stable home by allowing all qualified couples to jointly adopt regardless of marital status.
- The bill would also benefit couples who are already raising a child but only one parent has parental rights to use second parent adoption to secure the co-parent’s rights.
- Over 1,700 citizens support LB380.
Take Action: Forward Equality asks you to contact your State Senator to tell them that you support LB380 and ask them to support LB380. You can also contact the Judiciary committee and ask them to vote YES on LB380. Please add your name to our petition for LB380: Here Contact your Senator: Here
Here is the contact information for the Judiciary committee:
- Sen. Ashford Committee Chair (co-sponsor) – Phone: (402) 471-2622 Email: email@example.com
- Sen. Chambers – Phone: (402) 471-2612 Email: N/A
- Sen. Christensen – Phone: (402) 471-2805 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. Coash – Phone: (402) 471-2632 Email: email@example.com
- Sen. Davis – Phone: (402) 471-2628 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. Lathrop – Phone: (402) 471-2623 Email: email@example.com
- Sen. McGill (co-sponsor) – Phone: (402) 471-2610 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. Seiler – Phone: (402) 471-2712 Email: email@example.com
Forward Equality supports LB402, the Wind Energy Tax Credit. The bill would provide sales tax incentive for new renewable energy facilities organized as Community Based Energy Development projects. This bill was advanced out of committee last year.
- Nebraska is fourth in wind energy resources in the nation according to the American Wind Energy Association this bill would encourage energy businesses to use Nebraska’s wind resources.
- Wind is clean.
- About two-thirds of Nebraska’s power comes from coal and most of the rest through nuclear, which are neither clean nor safe for Nebraska families and children.
- Nebraska has installed the capacity of 294 megawatts, which is just enough to power about 80,000 homes LB402 could encourage more growth in this section cutting energy costs.
- Nebraska is not even close to being ranked in the top 20 when it comes to wind energy production, LB402 could help change that. (NRDC)
Take Action: Forward Equality asks you to contact your State Senator to tell them that you support LB402 and ask them to support LB402. Contact your Senator: Here
Forward Equality supports LB943, the Minimum Wage Increase bill. This bill would increase Nebraska’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.00. This bill is important for Nebraska’s working class and families. It would help pull them out of poverty. While, Forward Equality supports this bill, the organization would rather see the federal minimum wage increased to $10.10.
Take Action: Forward Equality asks you to contact your State Senator to tell them that you support LB943 and ask them to support LB943. Contact your Senator: Here
Image from ThinkProgress
Forward Equality is committed to combating the nation’s income inequality crisis where the nation’s wealth is concentrated to the top 10% of the nation’s population. This is why Forward Equality is a strong proponent for H.R. 1010, the Fair Minimum Wage Act. This bill would increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10.
- The bill would help the working class by pulling them up out of poverty.
- The bill would restore the minimum wage’s historic purchasing power, making up for decades of erosion.
- 30 million workers would receive a raise.
- 88% of those getting a raise would be adults over the age of twenty, 56% would be women, nearly half would be workers of color, and over 43% would have some college education.
- 17 million children would have a parent who would get a raise.
- 71% of tipped workers getting a raise would be women.
Take Action: Forward Equality asks you to contact your U.S. House Rep and U.S. Senator to tell them that you support H.R. 1010 and ask them to support H.R. 1010. Contact your Congressional Reps: Here
Forward Equality supports H.R. 137, the Universal Background checks Act. This bill would require background checks for every gun purchase. Forward Equality agrees with many other progressive organizations that the time to act on gun violence prevention is now. Forward Equality believes that this bill is a first step.
- 6.6 million guns are sold without background checks annually.
- This proposal is supported by 88% of gun owners, including 86% of NRA members (Douglas Schoen 2012 survey).
Take Action: Forward Equality asks you to contact your U.S. House Rep and U.S. Senator to tell them that you support H.R. 137 and ask them to support H.R. 137. Contact your Congressional Reps: Here
Forward Equality supports H.R. 766, the Paying a Fair Share Act. This bill would require millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share of income taxes. Currently, many high-income taxpayers are taxed at much lower rates then middle-income workers.
- H.R. 766 would close the preferential rates on capital gains and dividends by requiring taxpayers with incomes over $1 million to pay at least 30% of their adjusted gross income in federal taxes.
- One millionaire paying their fair share could mean up to $32 million for over 600 veterans in jobs that leverage skills developed in the military or over 3,300 returning veterans receiving medical care. (Forward Equality)
Take Action: Forward Equality asks you to contact your U.S. House Rep and U.S. Senator to tell them that you support H.R. 766 and ask them to support H.R. 766. Contact your Congressional Reps: Here
Forward Equality supports H.R. 676, the Healthcare for All Act. This bill would improve and expand Medicare for All.
“Our elected officials in Washington, D.C., have the privilege of health coverage that is paid for by the tax payers. I am glad they have coverage. However, our elected officials may have become so insular, that they cannot relate to the paralyzing fear their constituents feel, who don’t have health coverage, when their loved ones need it. Secondly, an alarming number of families have no medical insurance and medical bankruptcies have climbed at an alarming rate. Medical bankruptcies now make up about 61% of all bankruptcies. Meanwhile insurance executives have become among the wealthiest persons in the US. This is why I believe we must pass H.R. 676,” Mrs. Dean Forward Equality Board Member stated in support of H.R. 676.
This bill would cover every person for all necessary medical care including prescription drugs, hospital, surgical, outpatient services, primary and preventive care, emergency services, dental, mental health, home health, etc.
- This bill has the support of 598 union organizations including 144 Central Labor Councils/Area Labor Federations and 41 states AFL-CIO’s.
- This bill has the support of 17 medical organizations and associations.
- This bill has the support of 6 faith organizations.
- This bill has the support of 21 civic/community organizations.
- It would end deductibles and co-payments.
- It would save hundreds of billions annually by eliminating the high overhead and the profits of the private health insurance industry and HMOs.
Take Action: Forward Equality asks you to contact your U.S. House Rep and U.S. Senator to tell them that you support H.R. 676 and ask them to support H.R. 676. Contact your Congressional Reps: Here
Forward Equality strongly supports H.R. 1755, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. This bill would ban discrimination in the workplace based on gender identity and sexual orientation. The U.S. Senate already passed this bill by a vote of 64-32. The U.S. House version has 169 co-sponsors with two from Iowa and zero from Nebraska. The bill does not cover religious organizations and does not require construction of additional restroom facilities.
Take Action: Forward Equality asks you to contact your U.S. House Rep and U.S. Senator to tell them that you support H.R. 1755 and ask them to support H.R. 1755. Contact your Congressional Reps: Here