At Voices for Children, our work focuses on bigger picture policy change for kids, but we know there are people on the ground doing amazing things for kids in our communities every day. Their stories are the pieces that make up the whole story of children and youth. The “Shout out” series highlights the groups and individuals and the good work they are doing for Nebraska’s kids.
As the legislative session has officially come to an end this week, my “shout out” must go to the members of the Nebraska State Legislature. They are a passionate group of 49 senators, their staff and legal council, representing 93 counties in Nebraska, working in the only unicameral in the nation with long hours, hard work, very little pay. And although we at Voices for Children may disagree from time to time on policy issues with some senators, we believe in the process, fair debate, engaging dialogue …and the ability to share our voice where children are concerned!
The end of session does not mark the end of the work that continues in our state’s capitol. The senators do much of their committee work in the interim through research and studies on particular issues, much of which serves as the foundation for legislative bills for the upcoming session. Typically about 700-750 bills are introduced each session, so this session was a little less than average at 661. Every bill gets a public hearing, (unlike other states) and that accounts for hours and hours of listening, studying, and formulating what each senator’s vote will be on a particular issue.
A big thank you to the Nebraska State Legislature – your work guides our State. We will continue to partner with you as we work towards great outcomes for all Nebraska’s children!