Nebraska Legislature: How the Voted for the Early Advantage of Children in the 106th Legislature, 1st Session

The Holland Children’s Movement has assembled a list of legislative votes from the 106th Legislative First Session. These votes are on bills that pertain to the Holland Children’s Movement priorities range from tax reform to paid family leave. Included is a percentage of each senator’s support on priorities based on their votes on specific legislative measures throughout the 2019 Legislative Session. Considering the many different committees and their compositions votes taken within committee are not included in our scorecard tally.

We are pleased to report that almost two-thirds of all senators voted in support of the Holland Children’s Movement eighty percent or more of the time. This includes 23 senators who received a perfect score of 100% for their efforts in the 2019 session. The Holland Children’s Movement would like to extend our sincere appreciation to all the senators for their dedication to public service. We recognize the amount of time and commitment required to serve and we thank you Senators.

One of the most pressing issues of this session (LB 289), a tax reform bill, that prioritized raising taxes on those who can least afford them only to give tax breaks to those with property was defeated. In addition LB 66 was introduced by Senator Hansen. This bill would have required cities to include an early childhood education piece in their city planning but failed to advance to the next round of debate. LB 160 introduced by Senator Quick, was an element of a bill vetoed by the Governor last year. Senator Quick reintroduced the bill this year which allows for the use of economic development funds for early childhood education, and we are proud to say this bill was passed and signed by the Governor.

Moving forward, the Holland Children’s Movement looks to support more proposals advancing the vision to make Nebraska the national beacon in economic security and opportunity for all children and working families.

See the full 2019 Legislative Voting Record for all State Senators here

The bills that pertain to the Holland Children’s Movement from the 2019 Legislative Session

LB 15

Introduced by Senator Blood

HCM Position: Support

Intent: LB 15 creates the Children of Nebraska Hearing Aid Act. This act would allow any child under the age of 19 that needs a hearing aid to have it paid for through their insurance plan as long as the benefits paid for the hearing aid during the previous 48-months has not exceeded three thousand dollars. In addition to the hearing aid, a child’s insurance plan will be required to pay for the device, evaluation for the hearing aid, fitting, programming, microphone measurements, repairs, ear mold impressions, and auditory rehabilitation and training. An insurance company will be exempt from the act if the company can show the cost of coverage will exceed one percent of premiums collected. Small business group health plans, as defined under 44-5260 will be exempt from this act as well. OUTCOME: Passed

LB 66

Introduced by Senator Hansen

HCM Position: Support

Intent: LB 66 requires cities to include an early childhood element in comprehensive plans before January 1, 2022, either when they create a new plan or when they update an existing plan. The early childhood element would have three requirements: 1) an assessment of the supply of quality licensed early childhood education programs for children under six, 2) an evaluation of the availability and utilization of licensed child care capacity and quality for children under six, and 3) promotion of early childhood health and education measures that benefit the community. Cities are required to develop and release comprehensive plans under current law in order to adopt zoning regulations. LB 66 would add early childhood education to the list of already required elements which include the issues of land use, transportation, community facilities, energy, and annexation. OUTCOME: Failed to advance to select file from general file 19-23-7

LB 160

Introduced by Senator Quick

HCM Position: Support

Intent: The purpose of LB160 is to amend the Local Option Municipal Economic Development Act by redefining economic development program to include early childhood infrastructure development for cities of the first and second class and villages. Early childhood infrastructure development pertains to early childhood education programs of recognized quality, as determined by the quality rating criteria provided under the Step Up to Quality Child Care Act. OUTCOME: Passed 36-7-6 and signed by the Governor

LB 169

Introduced by Senator Hunt

HCM Position: Support

Intent: To allow individuals with three or more felony convictions for the possession or sale of a controlled substance to access Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits and to change a requirement regarding participation in a substance abuse program for individuals with one or two felony convictions for possession or sale of a controlled substance to three or more convictions. OUTCOME: Failed to invoke cloture 28-16-5

LB 294

Introduced by Speaker Scheer at the request of the Governor

HCM Position: Support

Intent: LB 294, introduced by the Speaker at the request of the Governor, is part of the Governor’s biennial budget recommendations. This bill is the mainline appropriations bill for the biennium that begins July 1, 2019 and ends on June 30, 2021. the measure includes the budget recommendations for all State operations and aid programs. The bill includes the appropriate transfers from cash funds to the General Fund as well as between specified cash funds. Finally, it provides the necessary definitions for the proper administration of appropriations and personal service limitations. This bill contains the emergency clause and becomes operative on July 1, 2019. Detailed information regarding funding for all State operations and aid programs is included within the agency recommendations found in the State of Nebraska, Executive Budget – 2019-2021 Biennium, which may be viewed on the Department of Administrative Services State Budget Division’s website. OUTCOME: Passed 35-12-2 and signed by the Governor.

LB 361

Introduced by Senator Hansen

HCM Position: Support

Intent: LB 361 prohibits retaliation or discrimination by an employer against an employee or applicant for employment because they filed a complaint or participated in another action concerning a violation of the Wage and Hour Act or the Wage Payment and Collection Act. The Wage and Hour Act sets and enforces a minimum wage for workers. The Wage Payment and Collection Act sets rules for paying wages to employees, including providing regular paydays, preventing the withholding of pay, and paying wages and earned vacation time owed after separation. OUTCOME: Did not come up for a vote, will return next year

LB 433

Introduced by Senator Hansen

HCM Position: Support

Intent: LB 433 requires that a landlord return the balance of a tenant’s security deposit and a written itemization within fourteen days after the date of termination of the tenancy. Currently, a tenant must first request the balance be returned to them. The bill also provides that a tenant does not have to pay for damages that result from their removal from the unit by order of a governmental entity because it was not fit for habitation due to negligence or neglect of the landlord. This bill adds liquidated damages of one month’s rent and court costs to what the landlord already owes the tenant for violating this section, which is the security deposit balance and reasonable attorney’s fees. OUTCOME: Passed 39-1-9 and signed by the Governor

LB 468

Introduced by Senator Walz

HCM Position: Support

Intent: LB 468 would require that no additional populations or services be added to the at-risk capitated managed care program before either January 1, 2020 or the completion of a critical evaluation proving the success of such program. As with the amendment filed, AM46, LB468 would apply only to long-term care services. As of January 1, 2017, all Medicaid eligible persons had been included in the at-risk capitated managed care program referred to as Heritage Health. OUTCOME: Passed 43-1-5 and signed by the Governor

LB 590

Introduced by Senator Briese

HCM Position: Support

Intent: LB 590 seeks to streamline the process by which Department of Health and Human Services staff verify the training and credentials of licensed child care providers by utilizing an existing Department of Education database called the Nebraska Early Childhood Professional Record System. OUTCOME: Passed 48-0-1 and signed by the Governor

 

LB 726

Introduced by Senator Walz

HCM Position: Support

Intent: LB 726 adds language to require the Division of Medicaid and Long-Term Care of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Correctional Services to establish a protocol to assist individuals who are eligible for medical parole to apply for benefits under the Medical Assistance Act. OUTCOME: Passed 39-0-10 and signed by the Governor