We're more than halfway through this year's legislative session, and some of the most important issues, including property taxes and the business development/tax incentive program known as the ImagiNE Nebraska Act, have yet to be resolved. Committee h
earings have concluded and full-day floor debate will begin March 3. Speaker Jim Scheer, senators and committees have identified their priority bills, and because it's a short session, it's likely senators will debate only priority bills through the rest of the session.
Here's an update on some of the early childhood bills we're monitoring:
LB266 Change the School Readiness Tax Credit
: FFN's top priority this session, LB266 fixes eligibility for the school readiness tax credit so self-employed child care professionals and S-Corps can access the tax credit as intended in the original legislation. LB266 passed General File on a 33-0-12 vote and Select File with a voice vote. It's now on Final Reading,
and we expect it to pass this session
. We are grateful for Senator Brett Lindstrom's leadership on LB266.
Read FFN's testimony in support of LB266
LB329 Change eligibility for transitional child care assistance under the federal child care subsidy program
: With an amendment from the Health and Human Services Committee, the bill allows a family whose income exceeds 130% of the federal poverty level to receive transitional child care assistance for 24 months or until
income exceeds 200% of federal poverty level (the original cap was 185% FPL).
We support LB329 and the amendment.
LB1061 Change provisions relating to alternative response to reports of child abuse or neglect
: This is Senator Sue Crawford's priority bill and is on Select File, the second round of floor debate. It provides guidance on the types of child welfare cases that can utilize alternative response,
which will help policymakers plan for the needs of affected children
Read FFN's letter of support for LB1061
LB1160 Adopt the Nebraska Workforce and Education Reporting System
: One of the Business and Labor Committee's priority bills, LB1160 is still in committee. It would require the Nebraska Dept. of Labor to develop a plan to establish a lifelong learning and workforce longitudinal data system which, among other things, would identify the long-term return on investment for early education programs.
Read FFN's letter of support for LB1160
LB1185 Change provisions relating to criminal history record information checks for child care staff members
: This bill would require license-exempt providers seeking to accept the child care subsidy to meet federal background check standards. This is a Speaker priority bill and is still in the Health and Human Services Committee.
Read FFN's testimony in support of LB1185
First Five Nebraska monitors bills affecting early childhood and provides updates on our website’s
We continue to support policies that provide quality early learning environments for all children in our state.