The 105th Nebraska Legislature, Second Session, adjourned sine die April 18. To balance the state budget, Governor Ricketts introduced across-the-board cuts resulting in early childhood programs receiving a 2% cut for FY2018-2019 and a 4% cut the following year. Here's our session-end report detailing specific bills impacting early childhood this session.
Earlier this week, Nebraska Senators and Committees named priority bills; priority designation makes it more likely that a bill will be considered by the full Legislature this session. Thank you to Senator Harr for designating LB1108, which would adjust the School Readiness Tax Credit Act, as his priority bill.
We support removing the sunset provision in the School Readiness Tax Credit Act in LB1108, as well as increasing the tax credit rates for one main reason: the tax credits are specifically tied to levels of quality that close the achievement gap. The single most important factor in early childhood programs that successfully close that gap is the quality of the staff in those programs—and that’s exactly what the increased rates in the School Readiness Tax Credits Act will purchase.