January 9th, 2013
Phone: (402) 471-2623
Address: Room 2000, State Capitol, Lincoln NE 68509
The Developmental Disabilities Special Investigative Committee was created by LR283, which was passed during the second session of the 100th Legislature. The committee is responsible for studying the following subject areas:
- quality of care and related staffing issues at the Beatrice State Developmental Center
- placement and quality of care statewide for the developmentally disabled in Nebraska, including the determination of whether adequate funding and capacity exists for persons to be served in the community, options for service provisions for current residents of the Beatrice State Developmental Center at other twenty-four-hour care facilities in the state
- staffing practices at twenty-four-hour care facilities and the relationship of those practices to the quality of care provided to the developmentally disabled.
- Department of Health and Human Services with respect to twenty-four-hour care facilities, including how and why services to the developmentally disabled were permitted to decline to the current level as documented by a report released March 7, 2008, by the United States Department of Justice
January 4th, 2010
On December 15, 2008, the Committee issued a report with their findings and recommendations. One of their recommendations was to continue the work of the Committee. As a result, Legislative Resolution 11 was passed in February 2009 and reappointed the Committee so that it could continue its’ work over the next two years.
The Senators currently on the Committee include: Senator Steve Lathrop (Chair), Senator John Harms (Vice-Chair), and Senators Colby Coash, Abbie Cornett, Russ Karpisek, Arnie Stuthman, and Norm Wallman.
During the legislative session, the Committee met several times and took testimony on many different subjects. They have also been receiving information on various issues and have staff looking into several of these issues. On July 20th, the Committee met with Jodi Fenner, the Acting Director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities, and received an update on activities taking place within the Division.
Over the next 18 months, the Committee plans to continue to monitor the activities taking place at the Beatrice State Developmental Center. It will also be monitoring activities associated with community-based programs, including oversight, the expansion of programs, and action on the waiting list.