Last Thursday was the final day for individual senators to choose their priority legislation designation for the 2015 session. Each senator may select one bill as his priority, each legislative committee may select two bills, and the Speaker can select up to 25 bills.
For an entire list of 2015 priority bills, you can go to the legislature’s website. Below is the list of bills we are monitoring at Voices for Children that received priority designations.
LB 81 – Introduced by Senator Cook, prioritized by Senator Cook. This bill would address the “cliff effect” in child care by allowing families up to two years of transitional child care assistance at up to 185% of the federal poverty level. Voices for Children supports this legislation.
LB 240 – Introduced by Senator Hansen, prioritized by Speaker Hadley. LB 240 extends a pilot project integrating primary care and behavioral health services. Voices for Children supports this legislation.
LB 265 – Introduced by Senator Campbell, prioritized by the Judiciary Committee. LB 265 changes provisions relating to juveniles and child welfare and creates the Out-of-Home Data Pilot Project. Voices for Children supports this legislation.
LB 294 – Introduced by Senator Scheer, prioritized by Senator Scheer. LB 294 adopts the Human Trafficking Victims Civil Remedy act, which strengthens penalties for involved in human trafficking. Voices for Children supports much of the legislation, but testified in a neutral capacity out of concerns about language which allows for the prosecution of the victims of sex crimes.
LB347 – Introduced by Senator Krist, prioritized by Speaker Hadley. LB347 expands the jurisdiction of the Office of the Inspector General for Child Welfare to juvenile justice cases, for enhanced external oversight. Voices for Children supports this legislation.
LB 357 – Introduced by Senator Smith, prioritized by Senator Smith. LB 357 would cut state income taxes in an uneven manner, mainly benefiting higher income residents (link) and transfer funds from our state’s cash reserve. Voices for Children opposes this legislation.
LB 472 – Introduced by Senator Campbell, prioritized by the Health and Human Services Committee. LB 472, the Medicaid Redesign Act, would expand the state’s Medicaid program under the guidelines of the Affordable Care Act to include uninsured residents with incomes between 60% and 133% of the Federal Poverty Level. Voices for Children Supports this legislation.
LB 482 – Introduced by Senator Krist, prioritized by the Judiciary Committee. LB 482 changes the way that the juvenile justice system deals with “status offenses” (link), as well as limiting the indiscriminate shackling of juvenile justice offenders in the court room. Voices for Children Supports this legislation.
LB 500 – Introduced by Senator Howard, prioritized by Speaker Hadley. LB 500 would provide for a state Medicaid plan amendment to cover two types of evidence-based, highly effective therapy for eligible children. Voices for Children supports this legislation.
LB 547 – Introduced by Senator Campbell, prioritized by Speaker Hadley. LB 547 would reallocate new federally required quality dollars in the child care subsidy program. Voices for Children testified in the neutral capacity on this legislation.
LB 566 – Introduced by Senator Coash, prioritized by the State-Tribal Relations Committee. LB 566 changes provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act in Nebraska. Voices for Children supports this legislation.
LB 598 – Introduced by Senator Schumacher, prioritized by the Legislative Performance Audit Committee. LB 598 changes requirements regarding treatment and segregation of mentally ill inmates. Voices for Children supports this legislation.
LB 627 – Introduced by Senator Mello, prioritized by the Business and Labor Committee. LB 627 strengthens protections for pregnant workers under the Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act. LB627 has advanced to the enrollment and review state. Voices for Children supports this legislation.