We submitted a letter to the Legislature's Revenue Committee this week of support this week for LB720, Senator Mark Kolterman's priority bill this session. LB720 would create the ImagiNE Nebraska Act, a new business development tax-incentive program that would eventually replace the Nebraska Advantage Act. Communities need a strong infrastructure to attract and retain businesses, and we believe that infrastructure should include high-quality child care to support working parents and employers.
Below is our testimony:
First Five Nebraska applauds Senator Kolterman's work on LB720. Every year, Nebraska loses roughly 2,000 people to surrounding states. To attract and generate high-paying jobs and retain a qualified workforce, Nebraska must have a modernized business development and tax incentive program. We believe that access to high-quality child care should be part of this conversation.
As you know, communities require a strong and diverse infrastructure to thrive economically. Elements such as housing, roads, telecommunications, and job opportunities are needed to sustain and grow a population. High-quality child care is a critical part of a robust social infrastructure that can effectively attract people and support working families.
Nebraska is ranked 1st in the U.S. for percentage of single mothers with children under the age of 6 working outside the home and ranked 2nd in the U.S. for percentage of married couple families with both spouses working outside the home. Due to demand, several communities in Nebraska have started to incorporate early childhood into their own strategies for economic growth. Gothenburg, Columbus, Wood River, Albion, and Pender have developed public/private pattnerships to build or enhance already existing early childhood infrastructure. As communities find innovative ways to address the needs of working parents and employers, we encourage the Legislature to build on their momentum.
Again, we are grateful for Senator Kolterman's leadership and his dedication to ensuring that Nebraska remains a strong competitor in attracting and retaining businesses and a talented workforce. We appreciate the opportunity to share our views and we look forward to continuing to work with the Legislature and the business community to support our working families.