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Minimum Wage Increase, Access to Juvenile Justice Services Among Top Legislative Priorities

With the hearings season wrapping up in the Nebraska Legislature, a number of important pieces of legislation are set for full floor debate.  Voices for Children submitted written testimony on more than 30 pieces of legislation this session.

Among them is LB 943 to increase the minimum wage to $9 an hour and LB 947 to raise the minimum wage for tipped workers. This legislation has reached General File and will be debated on the floor of the Legislature in the coming weeks. An increase in the minimum wage is important for working families because data shows that Nebraska families can’t survive on the current minimum wage.

We recently unveiled the Family Bottom Line report showing data on what Nebraska families need to earn to meet basic needs based on county of residence, family size, and the ages of children.   The report shows that in every region of Nebraska, a family with one or two working adults and children would not be able to meet all of their basic expenses working full-time on $7.25/hour.

Also among our priorities, and set for floor debate soon, is LB 464, which would keep more youth in our juvenile court system. In 2012, over 1,600 Nebraska youth went directly into the adult criminal justice system. For the vast majority, a misdemeanor was their most serious offense.

To see the full list of our legislative priorities and to see the status of these bills, please visit our 2014 legislative priority page.

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