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Thank you for visiting my website. It is an honor to represent the people of the 49th legislative district in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature.
You’ll find my contact information on the right side of this page, as well as a list of the bills I’ve introduced this session and the committees on which I serve. Please feel free to contact me and my staff about proposed legislation or any other issues you would like to address.
Sen. Jen Day
The First Session of the 108th Legislature began on Wednesday, January 4th! So far I have introduced 15 bills, been appointed to the General Affairs and Urban Affairs Committees (I will still serve on the Health and Human Services Committee), and have been elected Chair of the State-Tribal Relations Special Committee. I will post brief summaries of my bills here as they are introduced and, eventually, I will update this page to include the fact sheets my office creates as well. This session will last 90 days and take us into early-June. My priorities over these next few months are protecting Nebraskans’ access to health care, engaging in the Rules debate that will begin on January 17th and familiarizing myself with the responsibilities of the Special Committee chairperson role. More frequent updates on what we’re up to can be found on my Facebook and Twitter pages.
LB 64 and LB 65 (Fact Sheet) – LB 64 will require that parents whose child or children attended a childcare facility at the time allegations of child abuse be notified of those allegations. LB 65, like LB 64, came out of discussions with Rosewood Academy parents and grew from our interim study, LR 266. This bill would change the Department of Health and Human Services’ licensure reporting system to differentiate between self-reported violations, and complaint-related licensing violations in its database, and all public reporting created by the complaint tracking system.
LB 126 (Fact Sheet) – I am excited to be bringing back this bill on homestead exemptions for disabled veterans. This bill is similar to what I brought last year, but we are using a flat rate instead of the calculations we used last session to determine the amount of the exemption. This bill will be heard in the Revenue Committee.
LB 127 (Fact Sheet) -This bill will put an end to youth life without parole sentences for children in Nebraska. Currently, Nebraska is alone in the Midwest in imposing this sentence on minors. North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Kansas have all banned the practice. LB 127 would not require parole be given, but provide minors with a parole hearing.
LB 391 (Fact Sheet) – This bill will ensure that Nebraska women are not prosecuted for pregnancy outcomes. The legislation seeks to clarify that patients themselves will not be investigated after miscarriages and other medical emergencies that affect a pregnancy outcome.
These bills reflect a lot of what my energy will be going toward over the next few months, but I will also be crafting legislative resolutions, discussing possibilities for interim studies and working with my colleagues on legislation as well. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have thoughts, concerns or questions on legislation or our work here at the Capitol. I am excited to get to work for you!
Senator Jen Day
High school students are invited to take on the role of state senators at the Unicameral Youth Legislature from June 12-15. At the State Capitol, students senators will sponsor bills, conduct committee hearings, debate legislation and discover the unique process of the nation’s only unicameral. The Unicameral Youth Legislature gives behind-the-scenes access to students who have an interest in public office, government, politics, law, public policy, debate or public speaking. Students will learn about the inner workings of the Legislature directly from senators and staff.
The Office of the Clerk of the Nebraska Legislature coordinates the Unicameral Youth Legislature. The University of Nebraska – Lincoln’s Extension 4-H Youth Development Office coordinates housing and recreation activities as part of the Big Red Summer Camps program. To learn more about the program, go to www.nebraskalegislature.gov/uyl or call 402-471-2788. The registration deadline is May 20th.
CONTACT: Lillian Butler-Hale, Communications Director
Office: (402) 471-2725
Senator Jen Day Designates Disabled Veterans Homestead Exemption Bill as Personal Priority
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
[LINCOLN, NE] February 23, 2022 – On Thursday, Senator Jen Day of District 49 designated LB 853 as her personal priority bill for the 2022 legislative session. LB 853 provides for an expansion of the Homestead Exemption to veterans who are at least 50% disabled to 100% disabled due to a service-related disability.
The Nebraska homestead exemption program is a property tax relief program for six categories of homeowners: persons over age 65, veterans totally disabled by a non-service connected accident or illness, qualified disabled individuals, qualified totally disabled veterans and their widows, veterans whose home was substantially contributed to by the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) and their widows, and individuals who have a developmental disability. If passed, LB853 would expand the fourth definition to include qualified partially disabled veterans of 50% or higher. Currently, Alaska, Illinois, Kansas and Vermont include this definition in their homestead exemptions.
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to introduce LB853 this session and am grateful to Chairwoman Linehan and members of the Revenue Committee for advancing it. I believe we must always be striving to do better for our veterans and am proud of this bill for being a part of that effort,” said Senator Day.
When this legislation comes up for debate on General File, it will be debated by the full body for the first time in a long while.
“The DAV is extremely grateful to Senator Day for introducing LB853 and for selecting it as a priority bill. LB853 would grant a partial homestead exemption on a sliding scale for veterans with a disability rating of 50 to 90 percent for approximately 15,500 of Nebraska’s 46,000 disabled veterans,” said Jim Shuey, Benefits Protection Team Leader of the Disabled American Veterans of Nebraska and a long-time advocate for this legislation. “Its passage will no doubt help in the retention of veterans residing in Nebraska and will further its reputation as a veteran-friendly state. This has been a DAV priority for several years now and we look forward to seeing its passage.”
The bill was heard on January 21st before the Revenue Committee and advanced unanimously. Updates on the bill will be posted on the Nebraska Legislature website.
Senator Jen Day of District 49 represents north-central Sarpy County, including the areas of Chalco, western Papillion and La Vista.
On Wednesday, January 5th the 107th Legislature 2nd Session began. Committee hearings are in now in full swing and we are working away on the 17 bills I introduced this session. Those bill numbers and a short summary of what they will do if passed is included below.
This session is what we call a “short session” which means that it lasts 60 legislative days instead of 90 days. Even-numbered years are always short sessions and odd-numbered years are long sessions. There is a great deal of work to be done over the next few months before we are projected to finish up in late April.
Just like last year, I sit on the Education Committee and Health and Human Services Committee. My focus in the Education Committee is on mental/behavioral health of students and pandemic support for educators. In the Health and Human Services Committee, I hope to see legislation advanced on the topics of disability rights, mental health and health care expansion and accessibility.
I am proud of the work that we did as an office over the interim, communicating with constituents about concerns and brainstorming bill ideas and language. One bill that I’m particularly passionate about this year is LB 854 which requires the director of the Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health be notified of alleged out-of-home child abuse or neglect by a childcare provider or staff member. The idea for this bill arose last spring after conversations with a handful of parents whose children attended Rosewood Academy. Our LB854 Fact Sheet that my legislative aide put together can be found here and even more info is linked here.
Below are the rest of the bills I introduced this session. As my office creates fact sheets and the bills progress I will update this page. More frequent updates can be found on my Twitter and Facebook.
LB 770 (LB770 Fact Sheet) changes membership on the Board of Dentistry to include one licensed dental assistant and one public member.
LB 888 (LB888 Fact Sheet) redefines multicultural education for school districts to include the Holocaust and other acts of genocide. Former Senator Sara Howard brought this bill in 2019 but it did not make it out of the Education Committee despite bipartisan support.
LB 1108 extends authority to Sanitary and Improvement Districts (SIDs) to enact ordinances that could regulate fireworks.
Have an idea for a bill, a concern or a question about legislation? I’d love to hear from you! You can give us a call at 402-471-2725 or reach out by email at email@example.com.
CONTACT: Lillian Butler-Hale, Communications Director
Office: (402) 471-2725 firstname.lastname@example.org
New Report Highlights Challenges in Providing Mental and Behavioral Health Care in Nebraska Schools
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
[LINCOLN, NE] January 3, 2022 – Nebraska faces a shortage of mental and behavioral health services in schools, while student demand for these services has steadily increased, according to a new report published by the Nebraska School Psychologists Association. These shortages are exacerbated by a lack of access to school-based mental health professionals. Currently, only 61.6% of students needing treatment received necessary levels of care (pg 21).
“Mental and behavioral health impacts every aspect of a child’s life inside and outside of school. School based services provide access to effective interventions for students and collaborative partnerships with the adults in the lives of children that support healthy growth and learning,” said Katie Bevins of the Nebraska School Psychologists Association. “School psychologists have unique training to provide these comprehensive services; however, there are simply not enough of us to meet the growing needs of our students. As a practicing school psychologist, I see the impact every day in my work.”
The report was published as part of LR213, an interim study introduced by Senator Jen Day to examine the mental and behavioral health needs of Nebraska students.
In the upcoming session, Senator Day will be introducing legislation to address the shortage of mental health professionals in schools, “We’re currently experiencing a youth mental health crisis and that combined with the already existing shortage of providers in Nebraska underscores the importance of acting now to get kids the care they need,” said Senator Day. “Making sure our schools are adequately staffed with behavioral health professionals who understand the unique circumstances facing students these days is the first step.”
Findings in the LR213 report include:
Challenges related to a shortage of mental health professionals
During the 2019-20 school year, Nebraska had a ratio of 987 students to 1 school psychologist (987:1), nearly double the recommended ratio for 500 students to 1 school psychologist (pg 27).
Challenges related to state Medicaid regulations
Nebraska is one of only 15 states where school psychologists are not a Medicaid approved provider, which prevents schools from being able to be reimbursed for school psychological services provided for Medicaid eligible students (pg 15). The lack of Medicaid reimbursement for eligible services provided by school psychologists has created challenges in financing for mental health services in Nebraska schools.
Among the solutions offered in the report include changing the Nebraska Medicaid State Plan to add school psychologists on the approved provider list (pg 17), a comprehensive internship or loan forgiveness program to increase Nebraska’s school psychology workforce (pg 19), and allowing school psychologists to apply for provisional licensed mental health provider (PLMHP) credential (pg 16).
The report will be hosted on Senator Day’s legislative page, which can be accessed at: http://news.legislature.ne.gov/dist49/files/2022/01/LR213-Data-Report.pdf
Senator Jen Day of District 49 represents north-central Sarpy county, including the areas of Chalco, western Papillion and La Vista.
My 2021 agenda is aimed at helping Nebraskans have happier, healthier, more prosperous lives. Constituent input has played an important role throughout this process. Bills like LB534 and my priority bill, LB639, were brought to me by constituents, and moving forward, I want to continue this process of making sure western Sarpy County has a direct link to the Legislature.
Below are a series of 1 page fact sheets for the legislation I’ve introduced this year. If you have any questions about these bills, feel free to reach out at email@example.com! You can view the floor status of these bills by clicking here.
LB67 Fact Sheet Allow School Based Health Centers to offer additional services offered in typical health-based settings
LB68 Fact Sheet Make permanent the temporary change in the Child Care Subsidy Program, from one based on the attendance of the child, to one based on the enrollment of the child in the program
LB69 Fact Sheet Create a tax credit for employers that offer a student loan repayment benefit
LB372 Fact Sheet Make the existing Crime Victim’s Reparations program more accessible to victims of sexual assault, domestic abuse, and sex trafficking
LB486 Fact Sheet Require train crews of at least two individuals
LB533 Fact Sheet Extends a limited income disregard that allows for the continued participation of Nebraska families in a multi-million dollar national study of income levels on a child’s developing brain
LB534 Fact Sheet Create the process of an extension of a driver’s license for those serving abroad in the US Foreign Service
LB639 Fact Sheet Seizure Safe Schools Act
LB640 Fact Sheet Increase the state reimbursement for schools offering early childhood education programs
LB641 Fact Sheet Ensure educational support staff receive their salary during a pandemic school closure
LB642 Fact Sheet Create a school resource fund for Educational Service Units to help meet students’ mental health needs
Additionally, here is a list of bills I’ve given my support to as a cosponsor:
LB4, Senator Briese’s bill which increases the tuition credit for members of the Armed Forces reserves.
LB7, Senator Blood’s bill that provides immunity from arrest and prosecution for witnesses and victims of violent crimes that report such crimes to law enforcement.
LB40, Senator Groene’s bill which adopts the Nebraska Rural Projects Act.
LB64, Senator Lindstrom’s bill which would phase-out the income tax on social security income over the next five years.
LB87, Senator Morfeld’s bill that would provide mental health first aid training for school districts.
LB108, Senator McCollister’s bill which would raise SNAP family eligibility from 130% of the federal poverty guideline to 185% of the federal poverty level.
LB313, Senator Sanders’ bill which adds extension to homestead exemption application deadlines in the cases of a serious medical condition or death of a spouse.
LB396, Senator Brandt’s bill which adopts the Nebraska Farm-to-School Program Act.
Have any questions or input? Get in touch with me and let’s start a conversation! You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or, if I’m not your senator and you would like to let your senator know about your support for these bills, you can find your state senator by entering your address here. Have a good idea for legislation next year? Let me know too!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Katherine Esters
402-471-2725 or 402-326-8183, email@example.com
Senator Jen Day and advocates for school epilepsy safety to hold press conference
When: Wednesday, March 24 at 8:30AM
Who: Senator Jen Day, representatives from the Epilepsy Foundation of Nebraska, and students with epilepsy
What: Press conference highlighting the need for LB639, the Seizure Safe Schools Act
Where: Nebraska State Capitol Rotunda
Why: This week, LB639, the Seizure Safe Schools Act, will be heard on General File Debate. Ahead of debate, advocates will provide personal stories of the challenges that students with epilepsy face, and the ways that LB639 will provide solutions to these issues.
Following the hearing, Senator Day will be available for media comment. Advocates and students will be available upon request.
Senator Jen Day of District 49 represents northwestern Sarpy county, including the areas of Gretna, Millard, and western Papillion and La Vista in the Nebraska State Legislature