Yesterday, our state legislature overrode a Gubernatorial veto on LB 599, a bill to restore prenatal care for all low-income Nebraska babies. As many of you know, Voices for Children and others have been fighting to restore this care since it was lost in 2010.
Today, there are many reasons to be proud and to feel grateful. We are grateful for our State Senators for standing strong in the face of incredible pressure and for the leadership of Senators Campbell and Flood. We are grateful for the broad coalition of partners who worked tirelessly on this effort. We are grateful for all who called and emailed their Senators to show that there are so many Nebraskans who believe that all babies deserve the best possible start in life, regardless of the circumstances of their parents. Personally, I am grateful to all of my coworkers who pitched in a variety of ways to help move this issue forward and I am grateful to former Voices for Children staff who started the work on this bill over two years ago.
When we talk about “how a bill becomes a law” we explain the process as though it’s a machine: committee hearings, general file, select file, etc. When we look closer, it’s much more complex. It took the hard work, dedication, passion and courage of so many groups, individuals and policymakers to make this a reality. We often say that “victories for kids don’t happen by accident” and restoring prenatal care is a great example of that. Instead, it required the intentional decision to stand up for babies who cannot stand up for themselves and make their health and well-being a priority.
We are so proud of all the adults that worked to make that happen. It is truly a good day for Nebraska kids.