First Five Nebraska will work with state senators on five interim studies this year. Interim studies, conducted annually after the Legislature adjourns its session sine die, give senators and legislative committees the opportunity to delve deeper into topics of policy interest, and frequently lead to future legislation. In addition to the five interim studies, we’re also tracking several others related to early childhood. Watch for updates in the coming months as work progresses.

First Five Nebraska’s 2022 interim studies are:

LR266 Child abuse and neglect in child care (Senator Jen Day)
LR266 will examine processes relating to investigation of reports of child abuse or neglect in licensed child care facilities. Abuse and neglect in early childhood has profound and lasting impacts on children’s development. It’s important that families are made aware of such allegations and data is gathered to help policymakers understand the scope of the issue.

LR327 Severe maternal morbidity (Senator Tony Vargas)
LR327 will study severe maternal morbidity and make recommendations that will improve the quality of care for mothers and babies. This interim study will look into best practices related to maternal morbidity prevention, known causes of maternal morbidity in Nebraska, the current system of monitoring maternal morbidity, maternal morbidity disparities among demographics in Nebraska, programs that might address the issue and statutory and administrative changes that might improve outcomes.

LR367 Home visitation (Senator Wendy DeBoer)
LR367 will look at the home visitation system for families in Nebraska. This study will collect existing data for home visitation programs, review the number of parents and children impacted, examine existing federal, state and local funding sources, review potential statutory and administrative changes to support home visitation and determine whether additional funding is necessary.

LR378 Determining child care subsidy reimbursement rates (Senator Jen Day)
LR378 will examine the process for determining the rate of reimbursement for the child care subsidy program and whether rates sufficiently cover the cost of providing quality child care. Components of the study will include the market rate survey, analysis of monthly subsidy billing available to providers, a comparison of market rate to the cost of providing quality care, analysis of total expenditures on the child care subsidy program in Nebraska, a comparison of rate-setting processes between states and alternative methodologies that might be implemented to set reimbursement rates.

LR415 Health insurance for early childhood educators (Senator Mike Jacobson)
LR415 will explore the lack of access to quality and affordable health insurance for Nebraska’s early childhood workforce as well as potential solutions. A lack of health insurance benefits leads to increased turnover in the child care workforce, which can reduce capacity and quality for Nebraska’s child care providers. The interim study will include data on the current landscape, efforts being undertaken in other states on the issue and what might be done in Nebraska.

Additional interim studies of interest
LR360 Children’s health insurance program (CHIP) (Senator Jen Day)
Eligibility, enrollment, application, renewal and redetermination practices for the medical assistance program as well as CHIP will be examined in LR360.

LR374 State and local school aid committee (Senator Lynne Walz)
This study will create a select interim committee of the Legislature known as the State and Local School Aid Committee.

LR404 Nebraska child welfare system (Senator Terrell McKinney)
Racial and ethnic disproportionality in Nebraska’s child welfare system will be the focus of this study.

LR407 How Nebraska is using temporary assistance for needy families — TANF (Senator John Arch)
This study will explore how Nebraska is utilizing its Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds.

Read FFN’s 2022 Legislative Highlights report on early childhood bills, including our testimony, policy briefs, press releases and other resources.

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