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On Thursday, my husband David and father-in-law Bill visited me in the Capitol.
On Tuesday, the Legislature advanced LB 507, the Step Up to Quality Child Care Act, to Select File. LB 507, introduced by Senator Kathy Campbell, provides quality measures, quality improvement programs, as well as tools to help parents select high quality day care centers. It was not that long ago that my husband and I faced the challenge of finding day care for our boys. The bill moves us towards payment for performance and improves transparency for parents, both important good government principles. This bill fits with a strong emphasis we have had this session on investing in our youngest Nebraskans to strengthen our state.
LB 368 Update
On Wednesday morning, the Speaker placed LB 368 on the day’s agenda. LB 368, a Speaker priority bill, creates a subsidized employment pilot program that provides time-limited wage subsidies for low-income Nebraskans. This pilot program creates new job opportunities for low-income Nebraskans and allows small businesses to expand and grow their businesses while minimizing risks involved in hiring new employees. Unfortunately, the body did not get to the bill prior to adjournment on Thursday afternoon. We continue to work with stakeholders, including Goodwill and the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, on the bill and are hopeful that LB 368 will be debated on the floor soon.
Last week I discussed legislative resolutions–particularly those which are congratulatory or celebratory in nature. This week I’d like to focus on another type of legislative resolution: an interim study.
Interim studies are in-depth policy analyses conducted by Senators and legislative staff between sessions. The format of these studies can vary but typically they involve meetings with interested parties and can include a Legislative committee hearing in the fall. Often, the results of these studies become bills that are introduced the following session. For example, two of the bills I introduced this session, LB 429 and LB 368, were the result of interim studies conducted by Senator Heath Mello in previous years.
Senators can introduce interim study resolutions until Day 80 during long sessions like this year and Day 50 during short sessions (next year). Like other types of legislation, resolutions are referred to committees once introduced. Once the deadline for introducing interim study resolutions has passed, committees prioritize these resolutions and determine which resolutions will receive a public hearing during the interim.
This week I introduced LR 170, an interim study to research the impact of the requirement that child care providers carry liability insurance. The study will focus on small in-home day care centers that care for four to eight children in the child care provider’s own home. Our research will include an examination of the costs associated with obtaining and maintaining liability insurance for these smaller centers and discussions with in-home child care providers. If you provide daycare in your home, or know someone who might be interested in discussing their experiences with us, please contact me via email or phone.
I have also begun work on an interim study that focuses on issues surrounding military bases and military families. More information about this study (and results) will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead.