This afternoon, Voices for Children Economic Stability and Health Coordinator Aubrey Mancuso testified in favor of LB 335, which would create an inter-generational poverty task force.
For over two decades, Voices for Children in Nebraska has sought to use data to help identify pressing issues facing Nebraska kids. With almost 1 in 5 Nebraska kids currently living below the official poverty line, poverty is clearly established issue facing our next generation.
When we talk about poverty, it often seems like an overwhelming and intractable challenge. While it is complex and multi-faceted, there are lessons to be learned from successful attempts to address poverty both in the United States and elsewhere. One example in the U.S. is the significant reduction in elderly poverty rates over the past several decades. It was through public policy interventions – namely Social Security and Medicare – that we were able to reverse this trend.
Nebraska is a state with an abundance of resources. We have a generally low overall unemployment rate, a strong philanthropic community, and strong business and agricultural industries. We have many of the resources we need to address poverty, but we need to take a more international and collective approach. LB 335 would be an important first step in formulating a more comprehensive plan to address poverty and we urge the committee to advance the bill.