Nebraska Senators Hold 'Working Families' Rally

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LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nebraska lawmakers said Tuesday they were able to make progress for working families this session, despite some setbacks.

Supporters gathered at the Capitol on Tuesday for a rally with Sens. Jeremy Nordquist, Tanya Cook and Heath Mello of Omaha, and Sen. Danielle Conrad of Lincoln. The senators touted several bills this year designed to benefit working families.

Nordquist said he, along with with other lawmakers and special interest groups, are considering a petition to put a minimum wage increase on the November ballot. A wage increase bill failed in this session.

But, in order to get it on the ballot, they'll need 80,000 verified signatures. In reality, they'll need anywhere from 120,000-to-150,000, just to make sure at least 80,000 are verified.

"It's resource intensive," Nordquist said.

"It's going to take a significant amount of money, it's also a volunteer effort, and then a paid collection effort."

Nordquist said they've seen successful ballot initiatives in the past on gambling and limiting state spending. So, he believes it can be accomplished.

But, he said it will be a couple of weeks before they decide if they're going to put out a petition.

Dozens of supporters also gathered on the capitol steps to make their voices heard on a variety of issues from wage increases to more accessible healthcare.

Barbara Mullenax, of Bennet, said lawmakers need to stop preventing bills that can help every day Nebraskans.

"I don't feel that we're in the minority," Mullenax said.

"I feel that the elite are in the minority. And, yet, that they should make this determination for everybody? It's just not right, it's just not right."