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What Paul Ryan Got Wrong — and Right — on Poverty

Last week, U.S. Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin revealed a new plan to address the growing numbers of Americans living in poverty.  In 2012, 15 percent of Americans, or about 46.5 million people, were living poverty and the percentage of children was even higher at about 20 percent.  In Nebraska, there are over 80,000 kids living below [...]

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2014 National Kids Count Series: Economic Well-Being

Last week the Annie E. Casey Foundation released the 2014 Kids Count Data Book highlighting state trends in child well-being and celebrating their 25th edition of the book by going back to 1990 and looking at changes in America’s children since then. Typically, Nebraska fares quite well in the report with rankings near the top every [...]

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Checking in on the American Dream

As we approach the long holiday weekend to celebrate the 4th of July, we thought it might be a good time to reflect on  what is often called the “American Dream.”  There are different definitions for the American Dream, but a key component of any definition has to do with opportunity.  It’s the idea that [...]

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Policies Need to be Updated to Support Working Families

Today, the majority of children in Nebraska and nationwide live in families where both parents work. Several generations ago, this was not the case.  It used to be that most families had one parent in the workforce while the other stayed home to raise the kids.  Times have changed and most married couples with kids [...]

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Raising Future Generations and the Minimum Wage

In two weeks, the Better Wages Nebraska campaign will reach the signature deadline to put a minimum wage increase on the ballot in November, so that voters can have a voice in ensuring that all working families have a chance at the “good life.” The issue has been widely debated in our state and elsewhere [...]

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Saving the Middle Class

A thriving middle class is a key component of a strong economy and there are growing indications that America’s middle class is shrinking.  A recent look at how the median wealth of American families compares with that of other countries shows that we rank 19th on that measure when compared with other developed countries.  Census [...]

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Dads Value Paternity Leave

As Father’s Day approaches, a new report provides some insight into how fathers view paternity leave.   A survey found that a significant majority —  89%  – of fathers believe that it is important for employers to provide paternity leave.  The survey also found that the majority of  fathers — 94% — took some time [...]

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A New Tool to Address Child Hunger

Children do best in school when they arrive for the day ready to learn and one of the most important things a kid can do in the morning to prepare for school is to start the day off with breakfast.   It used to be that most kids had a family breakfast at home in [...]

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A Path Forward on Access Nebraska

It’s summer, and while many of you are hopefully getting out the road map to head off on summer adventures, some of our state Senators are beginning their work on a different kind of road map. Our public benefit programs like Medicaid, child care subsidy, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP — also known as “food [...]

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Efforts to Raise the Minimum Wage Continue

Nebraska is a state that values hard work and the majority of Nebraskans recognize that we all benefit from a strong economy with good jobs.  Last year, a bill to increase the state minimum wage to $9.00 per hour failed to pass the Legislature, but polling shows that policymakers are not in step with the majority of Nebraskans on [...]

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