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Support LB 827: Adopt the Entertainment Industry Child Performer Protection Act

Monday, January 22, 2024

Members of the Business and Labor Committee:

My name is Garret Swanson, G-A-R-R-E-T S-W-A-N-S-O-N and I am here on behalf of the Holland Children’s Movement, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that strives to fulfill its vision for Nebraska to become a beacon in economic security and opportunity for all children and families, in support of LB827. 

LB827 provides critical statutory framework for the Nebraska Department of Labor to protect children in the entertainment industry. When regulated properly, the entertainment industry can open opportunities for children and their families both economically and socially. Yet all too often stories of exploitation and abuse are rife within the industry. Due to their lack of experience, professional representation, familial support, and other reasons, children are particularly susceptible to coercion and exploitation. We believe LB827 combats exploitation through several requirements outlined in the bill such as pre-authorization, education requirements, and guarantee of financial compensation.

If LB827 is passed into law it will require an employer to submit an application to the Nebraska Department of Labor to receive pre-authorization to employ a minor. This pre-authorization includes several criteria that are listed on pages 2 and 3 of the bill under Section 3. Not only does this help the State by providing an enforcement mechanism, but it also gives employers clear expectations when hiring. Next, LB827 requires that minors receive adequate time for education during the school year. Not every minor in the industry will go on to have a career in the industry as an adult. That is why it is critical that minors receive an education while working.  

Finally, as listed under Section 11 on pages 7 and 8, LB827 requires the creation of a Trust for the performing minor. As outlined in Section 11, fifteen percent of the minor’s gross earnings will be placed into the Trust and the Trust will be made available to the minor when they turn 18 or are legally emancipated. This rule provides critical protection for the child performer, as I stated above not every child in the industry will continue to work in the industry when reaching adulthood. Having a percentage of their earnings placed in a trust will empower them to get a good start on life and return agency to the rightful earner.

We thank Senator Blood for introducing this bill and strongly urge it to be voted out of committee.

Garret Swanson

Garret Swanson

Director of Strategic Engagement
Holland Children's Movement