Tag Archives: Nebraska

Under Pressure From Angry Students, GOP Gov Reverses on Federal Summer Meals Funding

“It only took literally everyone in the entire state telling him that he was being a monster,” said one political scientist, “for him to do the absolute easiest thing and feed hungry kids.”

By Julia Conley. Published 2-13-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: USDA/Public domain

As the deadline rapidly approached for state governments to accept federal funds for summer food assistance for children, Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen announced Monday that conversations with students from around the state had convinced him to take the funding—leaving just 14 Republican-led states still refusing the aid.

At a news conference, the GOP governor—who previously said he didn’t “believe in welfare” and would be forgoing $18 million for the Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (Summer EBT) program—said he had changed his mind after “an evolution of information” about how young people across Nebraska would be affected by his decision.

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Florida Abortion Rights Defenders Surpass Target for Ballot Measure

Supporters of the Florida measure—similar to other initiatives across the country—say they are “confident that voters will approve our amendment.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 1-5-2024 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: CBS News

As of Friday, Florida residents and groups fighting for a state constitutional amendment to limit government interference with abortion care have collected enough signatures to get the measure on the ballot this November.

The proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution states that “no law shall prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortion before viability or when necessary to protect the patient’s health, as determined by the patient’s healthcare provider.”

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Nebraska Women Gets Two Years in Prison After Giving Abortion Pills to Teen Daughter

“In this particular case, here’s the audacity: Self-managed abortion is not even a crime in fucking Nebraska,” said one rights advocate.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 9-22-2023 by Common Dreams

Mifepristone The pill is one of two used in medication abortions. Photo: Robin Marty/flickr/CC

Amid a wave of right-wing efforts to quash abortion rights across the United States, a Nebraska judge on Friday sentenced Jessica Burgess to two years in prison after helping her teenage daughter end her pregnancy and bury the remains in early 2022.

Police have said that over two years ago, then-17-year-old Celeste Burgess took abortion pills—provided by her mother—at approximately 29 weeks pregnant and gave birth to a stillborn fetus, which the pair burned and buried in Norfolk, Nebraska.

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Nebraska Teen Sentenced to 90 Days in Jail After Self-Managed Abortion

The case of Celeste Burgess illustrates “the real, human cost of mass surveillance of everyone’s private digital communications,” said one digital rights advocate.

By Julia Conley. Published 7-21-2023 by Common Dreams

Protestors in front of the Supreme Court on June 24, the day of Roe v. Wade’s overturn.. Photo: Ted Eytan/CC

Advocates for digital privacy rights and reproductive rights alike were outraged Thursday over the jail sentence of a 19-year-old in Nebraska who self-managed her abortion last year—a case which one campaigner said highlights how prosecutors will “stretch laws far beyond their intended scope” to penalize people who end or attempt to end their pregnancies in the post-Roe v. Wade legal landscape.

Self-managed abortion is only banned in two states—Nevada and South Carolina—but prosecutors charged Celeste Burgess with one felony and two misdemeanors last year, several months after she had a stillbirth at 29 weeks of pregnancy. Burgess, who was 17 at the time, had procured pills for a medication abortion shortly before the stillbirth, and had discussed the outcome of the pregnancy on Facebook Messenger with her mother, Jessica Burgess.

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‘I Will Burn the Session to the Ground’ Over Anti-Trans Bill, Says Nebraska Democrat

“If you want to inflict pain upon our children, I am going to inflict pain upon this body,” said state Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh, who has filibustered for three weeks to block a proposed ban on gender-affirming care for youth.

By Julia Conley  Published 3-15-2023 by Common Dreams

Nebraska state Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh (D-6) speaks at the secretary of state’s office on August 25, 2020. (Photo: Senator Machaela Cavanaugh/Facebook)

The Nebraska state Senate’s 90-day legislative session reached its halfway point on Wednesday, but not a single bill has been passed yet thanks to a filibuster that was begun three weeks ago by state Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh in a bid to stop Republicans from “legislating hate” against transgender children across the state.

Cavanaugh (D-6) was horrified to see an anti-transgender rights bill advance to the Senate floor in late February and was determined to keep it from passing into law, as at least nine other anti-LGBTQ+ bills have in state legislatures so far this year. Continue reading

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A brief history of Georgia’s runoff voting – and how this year’s contest between two Black men is a sign of progress

Former President Barack Obama raises hands with Stacey Abrams and U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock at a Oct. 28, 2022, campaign event in Georgia.
Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

 

Joshua Holzer, Westminster College

In the U.S., all elections are administered by the states. But not all states use the same rules.

Georgia uses a version of runoff voting, which entails two rounds of voting. Typically, if a candidate wins more than 50% of the votes in the first round, that candidate is declared the winner. If not, the two candidates with the most first-round votes face off in a second round of voting.

There’s historically been concern that such a runoff system disadvantages Black candidates. Former Assistant U.S. Attorney General John R. Dunne once argued that Georgia’s runoff voting system has had “a demonstrably chilling effect on the ability of Blacks to become candidates for public office.” Continue reading

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‘Horrendous’: Labor Dept Accuses Company of Employing Dozens of Children at Slaughterhouses

“Taking advantage of children, exposing them to workplace dangers—and interfering with a federal investigation—demonstrates Packers Sanitation Services Inc.’s flagrant disregard for the law and for the wellbeing of young workers,” said the Labor Department.

By Julia Conley  Published 11-11-2022 by Common Dreams

Photo: USDA/flickr

A federal judge on Thursday granted a nationwide injunction against an industrial cleaning company, ordering the company to end its use of “oppressive child labor” after an investigation found it was employing dozens of children as young as 13—some of whom were injured while working in meatpacking facilities.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) requested the injunction in a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska after completing an investigation of Packers Sanitation Services, Inc. (PSSI) that began in late August. Continue reading

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Nebraska Mother, Daughter Face Abortion Charges After Facebook Shares Chats With Police

“Until Meta gives up surveilling private messages and begins protecting its users with end-to-end encryption, it remains complicit in the surveillance and criminalization of pregnant people,” said one advocate.

By Julia Conley  Published 8-10-2022 by Common Dreams

Photo: iphonedigital/flickr/CC

Digital rights advocates on Tuesday said an abortion case in Nebraska illustrates how powerful tech companies like Facebook could play a major role in prosecutions of people who self-manage abortions as more states ban the procedure, and called on the social media platform to reform its privacy policies to protect users.

The case in Nebraska centers on a 17-year-old girl and her mother, Celeste and Jessica Burgess, who sent messages on Facebook regarding plans to terminate Celeste’s pregnancy prior to Roe v. Wade being overturned in June. Continue reading

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‘Racist, Unconstitutional, and Anti-Democratic’: Florida Senate Passes GOP Anti-Protest Bill

“This bill is a disgrace to our state.”

By Kenny Stancil, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-16-2021

George Floyd protests in Miami, Florida on June 6, 2020. Photo: Mike Shaheen/Wikimedia Commons/CC

After Florida’s Senate Republicans on Thursday passed an undemocratic anti-protest bill—expected to be signed into law by its chief proponent, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, as early as next week—the state’s ACLU chapter condemned GOP lawmakers for “aiming to shut down political speech they disagree with in a direct attack on the First Amendment and at the cost of Black and Brown people.”

House Bill 1 “is racist, unconstitutional, and anti-democratic, plain and simple,” Micah Kubic, executive director of the ACLU of Florida, said in a statement. Continue reading

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Hailed as ‘Heroes’ During Pandemic, Retail Workers Stripped of Hazard Pay While Companies Rake in Massive Profits

“While business booms and the pandemic rages, the rich are getting richer—and workers are getting sicker.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 11-20-2020

Nearly all of the top 15 retailers in the U.S., which provided hazard pay to workers in the beginning of the pandemic, have halted the extra compensation and are spending lavishly on stock buybacks. (Photo: Public Citizen)

Frontline retail workers have been lauded by U.S. corporations as “heroes” this year for keeping operations running during the Covid-19 outbreak, but a new study shows how companies like Dollar General and Walmart—which have made massive profits over recent months—have treated their employees like “sacrificial workers” by stripping hazard pay even as the pandemic soared.

The report, released Thursday by Public Citizen, details how most of the top 15 U.S. retail companies have quietly taken away hazard pay from their frontline workers, even as the coronavirus has continued to spread across the country and is now surging in states including Wisconsin, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Minnesota. Continue reading

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