Today First Five Nebraska offered testimony to the Legislature’s Urban Affairs Committee in support of two new bills linking early childhood to economic development strategy on the community level. LB768, introduced by Senator Dan Quick (District 35), allows communities to use local economic development funds to invest in early care and learning programs. LB880, introduced by Senator Matt Hansen (District 26), requires Nebraska cities to account for high-quality early care and learning programs in their plans for economic growth.
Policy Associate Elizabeth Lopez Everett presented committee members with First Five Nebraska’s newest at-risk maps showing the distribution of young children at risk throughout the state. The information was intended to demonstrate which of our state’s youngest residents would benefit the most from investments in local early childhood infrastructure. Her comments reinforced the testimony of Dividends Nebraska Director Drew Theophilus, who supported the bills for demonstrating fiscal accountability, a commitment to local control and attention to the needs of employers and working families.