Since 2012, Voices for Children has produced a scorecard at the end of each legislative biennium, tracking every senator’s votes on a broad range of issues related to kids. Nebraska’s 104th Legislature adjourned in April after the second session of its biennium, and over the course of those two years, 15 of Voices for Children’s priority bills made it to a final vote. Today we are happy to present you our legislative scorecard for those bills.
Scorecard bill choices: No senator’s tenure is the sum of just a few votes, but we believe it is important to show where our elected officials stand on a broad range of issues that matter for kids and families. To that end, the bills we selected cover multiple issue areas that we work in: child welfare, juvenile justice, early childhood/education, health, and economic stability.
Scoring methodology: The votes included in the Scorecard are the final votes on the bills. For most of the bills, these were the votes taken on Final Reading. For two of the bills, LB 623 and LB 947 (both bills related to licenses for DACA recipients), we counted the veto override vote instead of Final Reading. All votes consistent with Voices for Children’s position on the bill earn one point, votes against our position and unexcused “Present – Not Voting” votes earn zero points. For example, a “Yes” vote on a bill Voices for Children supported, like workplace protections for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, earns one point. A “No” vote on a bill Voices for Children opposed, like a lower minimum wage for minors, also earns one point.
We did not count excused absences, so senators have different possible totals based on which votes they were present for. Senators Jeremy Nordquist and Nicole Fox each only served one year of the biennium and thus have the fewest total possible votes; Senator Fox was appointed to represent District 7 when Senator Nordquist resigned in 2015.
For a list of the bills counted for the Scorecard and their descriptions, see our full Scorecard information here.
View and download the 2016 Legislative Scorecard.
Results: Overall, the 104th Nebraska Legislature voted largely in favor of policies that benefit kids, with an average score of 86%. We are excited about the many positive steps taken to advance child well-being in our state over the past two years, and look forward to many more wins for kids in the next biennium!