FFN to work with state senators on 5 interim studies

by | Jul 1, 2021

Closeup portrait of mother and baby

When state senators adjourned sine die May 27, they concluded a unique and challenging session. Prior to adjourning, many legislators submitted resolutions for interim studies. Interim study resolutions reveal areas of policy interest for the Legislature, and often signal the possibility of future legislation. They provide the opportunity for a senator or committee to conduct a deep dive into a specific issue and research specific policy solutions to problems Nebraskans face every day. First Five Nebraska is partnering with several senators over the interim on the following legislative studies focused on early childhood. Watch for updates as work on the studies progresses.

LR142 (Senator Machaela Cavanaugh) Maternal Depression
LR142 is a study focused on maternal depression in Nebraska. Maternal depression, also known as postpartum depression, is a depression diagnosis that occurs after a having a baby. Recognizing that mothers are especially vulnerable to depression, and that a mother’s mental health status may impact her baby’s development, makes this an important issue for the Legislature to consider. The study will examine the rates of maternal depression in Nebraska, the impact of the diagnosis on families, the types of screening available and the availability of services for new mothers who are diagnosed with maternal depression. Learn more about LR142

LR162 (Senator John Stinner) School Readiness Tax Credit
LR162 is an interim study introduced by State Senator John Stinner to examine the School Readiness Tax Credit Act. The School Readiness Tax Credit was passed into law in 2016 and was designed as a quality improvement incentive for child care employees and child care providers. This study will examine the number of tax credits claimed during the four years the credit has been available to Nebraskans, whether the tax credit has had the impact originally intended by the Legislature and any barriers that exist which prevent child care employees and providers from utilizing the tax credit. Learn more about LR162

LR221 (Senator Tony Vargas) Maternal and Infant Mortality and Morbidity
LR221 will examine mortality and morbidity for mothers and babies in Nebraska with a goal of identifying areas for improvement in quality of care for this population. The study will consider national best practices relating to maternal and infant health care and mortality and morbidity alongside the known causes of death in the state. The interim study will also focus on racial, economic and geographic disparities that exist in maternal and infant mortality in Nebraska. This study is a follow-up to State Senator Tony Vargas’ carryover bill, LB626, which made modifications to the Child and Maternal Death Review Team to improve monitoring of mortality and morbidity. LB626 was advanced unanimously from the Health and Human Services Committee and is pending on General File. Learn more about LR221

LR181 (Senator Lynne Walz) Home Visiting
LR181 is an interim study introduced by State Senator Lynne Walz to consider home visitation services in Nebraska. Home visitation is a prevention strategy used to support pregnant mothers and new parents that promotes infant and child health, fosters educational development and school readiness and helps prevent abuse and neglect. The study will provide a landscape assessment of home visiting in the state, collecting data on the location and type of home visitation programs available and their impacts on families. It also will consider current funding sources for these important programs, as well as the possibility of other funding opportunities to expand home visitation in Nebraska. Learn more about LR181

LR190 (Senator John McCollister) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program
LR190 will study the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. TANF is a time-limited program that assists families with children in the home by providing financial support and services. The program is designed to prevent removing children from their homes due to poverty and parents who are able are required to meet certain work requirements. LR190 will examine the number of parents and children impacted by TANF, as well as the services they receive. The study will compare Nebraska’s work requirements in the TANF program to those in other states and consider how funding in the TANF program block grant is utilized in Nebraska, including the TANF Rainy Day Fund. Learn more about LR190

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