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April 12, 2024


From the Policy Desk...

This Week at the Legislature

LB 233 Passing Paves the Way for the Most Impoverished Families

Thank you to Senator John Cavanaugh and the 46 senators who voted to pass LB 233 through final reading today! Now it is on to Governor Pillen's desk for signature.

Upon passage of LB 233, Nebraska will join a growing majority of states that pass through a portion of child support payments for families on the Aid to Dependent Children program, rather than keeping them to offset administrative costs.

We recommend you take a moment to read this great article from the Flatwater Free Press featuring our policy coordinator, Katie Nungesser, and all the hard work put in by advocates and policymakers alike to move this legislation forward.

Then reach out to your senator to thank them for voting to keep child support for children!

LB 1029 Legitimizes Mental Health Absences from School

Senator Danielle Conrad’s LB 1029 also passed and awaits the governor's signature. Voices for Children is in support of this bill as it makes a significant and overdue change by recognizing mental health absences as equivalent to physical illness absences within the school system.

The importance of mental health in the well-being and educational success of Nebraska’s children cannot be overstated. Mental health directly influences a child’s ability to learn, think, feel, and act -- impacting crucial aspects such as stress management, peer relationships, and decision-making skills.

More broadly, emphasizing this portion of our state Student Discipline Act will hopefully prevent unwarranted referrals from schools to the juvenile justice system. Too frequently, young people have been caught up in the maze of the justice system due to chronic absenteeism due in part to illness. 

Supporting Child Care Workers and Identifying Local Drivers of Poverty

LB 856 

Introduced and prioritized by Senator John Fredrickson, LB 856 as amended allows child care workers to access the federal child care subsidy program while providing in-home care for their own children. Voices for Children supports this legislation, because of its potential for recruitment and retention of child care workers, especially in rural communities. Currently, 91% of counties in Nebraska cannot meet the local childcare demand.

LB 840  

Senator Terrell McKinney's bill, LB 840, creates the Poverty Elimination Action Plan Act which will require larger cities in Nebraska to create and adopt a poverty elimination action plan.This plan will need to be reevaluated every few years. Voices for Children supports the aim of the bill to identify and address the drivers of poverty at a local level, and hope that this planning will pave the way to a brighter future for Nebraska’s children.

Looking Ahead...

We are grateful to all the senators who worked so hard for Nebraska kids this year, and to all the advocates who reached out, got involved, and contacted their elected officials. None of us can do this work alone.

The very last day of this year's legislative session is next Thursday.  These bills, and others, await Governor Pillen's signature or veto.  If a bill is vetoed, lawmakers may use the time on April 18th to take up an override motion.

You can expect our full session recap and a preview of some interim studies soon thereafter! 


Young People Make a Difference in our Youth Leadership Council

Do you consider yourself a LEADER? Would you like to learn more about how the legislative process affects YOU and those around you? Would you like to learn how to have a future VOICE in those decisions?

If so, we'd LOVE to see You and Your Friends at our next Youth Leadership Council meeting Saturday, April 20!

The fun starts at 11:30 a.m. for middle school-aged youth, followed by high school-aged youth at 2:30 p.m. at our downtown office.

If you know of a young person interested in making friends, developing leadership skills and becoming a voice for their generation, please let them know about this AMAZING opportunity!

In addition, involvement in the youth council includes the opportunity to earn compensation up to $500 over the course of the year. 

Please contact Nia Williams with any questions.


Get Your 2023 Kids Count in Nebraska Reports!

The Kids Count in Nebraska Report, produced annually, provides pertinent information on the well-being of children in areas of health, education, economic stability, child welfare and juvenile justice.

If you haven't gotten yours yet or would like to schedule a Kids Count in Nebraska presentation for your group, please contact Josh! You can also access a pdf of the report on the front page of our website. A fully updated Kids Count NEteractive page is under construction and coming soon! 


Check out this week's Voices for Children in Nebraska news stories:

Whose money?: Nebraskans, not state, will keep more child support under bill nearing passage


April is #childabusepreventionmonth. Stand with us as we build hopeful futures, together, by advocating for all families to receive the resources and support they need, and for every child to grow up safe, healthy, and loved.


  Thank You for Making a Difference in the Lives of Nebraska's Kids!

The work we do every day on behalf of families and children COULD NOT HAPPEN without the support and participation we receive from YOU. Your generosity allows us to remain an independent voice for Nebraska's kids. 

Get in Touch: voices@voicesforchildren.com | (402) 597-3100

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