The first session of Nebraska's 105th Legislature, which adjourned Sine Die on May 23, was unlike almost any before it. Throughout four-and-a-half months of debate, state senators tackled many important issues and introduced nearly 700 bills, but the session was dominated by efforts to achieve a balanced budget despite significant revenue shortfalls.
First Five Nebraska approached the 2017 legislative session with the objective of protecting existing state investments in early care and learning opportunities. Despite significant cuts to state agencies and programs, the Legislature upheld its commitment to high-quality early childhood initiatives, which saw a modest increase over the previous two fiscal years.
Nebraska policymakers continue to recognize early childhood as common ground for bipartisan agreement. Nevertheless, we are acutely aware that Nebraska will continue to face serious fiscal challenges in the years ahead. First Five Nebraska is prepared to work closely with policymakers to develop legislation that promotes successful academic and lifelong outcomes for young Nebraskans while upholding our commitment to fiscal responsibility and good stewardship.
There is clearly still much to be done to improve the developmental outcomes of tomorrow's students, workers and citizens. I hope you will continue to be a part of our efforts to change public policy by changing the public conversation for Nebraska's youngest children.
First Five Nebraska