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Economic Stability

On Poverty, Telling the Whole Story is Critical

This week, the Norfolk Daily News is doing a series on poverty in their community.  We are pleased to see  the paper looking at an issue that has a such a significant impact on children and are encouraged by the recognition that poverty is not  just an urban issue, but…...

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The Family Leave Gap

As I write this, my 8-month-old is sitting on the floor of my office.  His daycare is closed today, and I am lucky enough to work in a place where my boss and coworkers don’t mind occasional office visits from a baby (or if they do mind, they are putting…...

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A Balanced Approach to Tax Reform

  This week, the Tax Modernization Committee held a working session and started to dig in to the challenge of  taking a comprehensive look at our state’s tax code and making recommendations on ways to improve it. The committee heard from speakers about income, corporate, and property taxes and how Nebraska…...

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SNAP Hangs in the Balance as Congress Readies for Vacation

Each year  both the House and the Senate generally take what’s known as the “August recess” — a chance to spend some time on vacation or back in their home state or district.  Unfortunately, this year Congress will be leaving Washington with an important piece of unfinished business. The Supplemental…...

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Getting a Head Start on School

Last month, Voices for Children and First Focus co-authored an editorial published in the Omaha World Herald on the need for federal investments in pre-Kindergarten programs.  The Editorial has sparked some responses related to the Head Start Program and the program’s perceived “failure.”  In light of this, it seemed like…...

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LB 625: Change income eligibility provisions relating to federal child care assistance

As introduced: LB 625 changes provisions relating to child care subsidies and requires the Department of Health and Human Services to provide child care assistance to families with incomes up to 185% of the federal poverty level. Introducing Senator(s): Conrad (priority); Nordquist Committee: Health and Human Services Committee Hearing Date:…...

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LB 507: Adopt the Step Up to Quality Child Care Act (QRIS)

As introduced: LB 507 adopts the Step Up to Quality Act, putting in place a quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) with a scale of steps from one to five. The system is available to all child care and early childhood education programs voluntarily, but participation is required for programs…...

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LB 236: Appropriate funds to establish an Individual Development Account pilot project (IDA)

As introduced: LB 236 requires the Department of Labor, in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services, to establish a pilot project relating to individual development accounts. The project is intended to expand the use of individual development accounts, which assist working individuals and families in achieving long-term…...

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LB 309: Adopt the Department of Health and Human Services Delivery Improvement and Efficiency Act (Streamlining)

As introduced: LB309 directs the Department of Health and Human Services to coordinate and streamline eligibility paperwork, expand information sharing across programs and governmental agencies, provide reasonable efforts to prevent case closures. Introducing Senator(s): Bolz Committee: Health and Human Services Committee Hearing Date: March 14, 2013...

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LB 330: Increase the gross income limit in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

As introduced: The intent of LB 330 is to make changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in order to allow working families to increase their wages without losing the vital support of SNAP. The bill would keep the current net income limits in SNAP, but increase the gross…...

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