Policy Priorities

Early childhood issues will be a central theme of the 2024 session of the Nebraska Legislature. Visit this page often to stay up-to-date on legislative developments and First Five Nebraska’s current policy priorities.

Nebraska early childhood legislation

Informed citizens and advocates play an important role in Nebraska’s political process. First Five Nebraska monitors and reports on legislation in the Unicameral related to the care and education of young children. This includes policy developments affecting child care, the early childhood workforce, economic development, maternal and child health, prenatal-to-age-3, K-3 education and a wide range of related issues.

Policy priorities

The second session of the 108th Nebraska Legislature convened January 3, 2024. First Five Nebraska’s policy priorities this session focus on expanding options for setting child care subsidy reimbursement rates, making the subsidy more accessible to child care providers with their own children in care, offering additional services through Medicaid to expectant mothers at risk of adverse birth outcomes and more.

LB64 | (Carry-Over Bill) Require the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to provide notice in certain cases of child abuse and neglect

 

Introducer Sen. Jen Day (Dist. 49)
Co-Introducers Sen. Danielle Conrad (Dist. 46); Sen. Brian Hardin (Dist. 48)
Summary LB64 requires the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to notify parents of children at a licensed child care facility when an instance of child abuse or neglect is substantiated.
Committee Health and Human Services
Hearing 1/26/24
Status (Carry-over bill from 2023)
1. Introduced 6. Engrossment
2. In Committee 7. Final Reading
3. General File 8. Passed
4. Enrollment & Review 9. Signed into Law
5. Select File  
Resources
LB65 | (Carry-Over Bill) Change provisions relating to the complaint tracking system and disciplinary action under the Child Care Licensing Act

 

Introducer Sen. Jen Day (Dist. 49)
Co-Introducers Sen. Brian Hardin (Dist. 48)
Summary LB65 requires Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS) to identify whether child care licensing violations are self-reported or the result of a complaint. Also requires NDHHS to notify parents of disciplinary actions against a child care license holder.
Committee Health and Human Services
Hearing  
Status (Carried over from 2023)
1. Introduced 6. Engrossment
2. In Committee 7. Final Reading
3. General File 8. Passed
4. Enrollment & Review 9. Signed into Law
5. Select File  
Resources
LB856 | Change eligibility requirements for the federal child care subsidy program [Sen. Fredrickson Priority Bill]
Introducer Sen. John Fredrickson (Dist. 20) | PRIORITY BILL
Co-Introducers Sen. Mike Jacobson (Dist. 42); Sen. Jane Raybould (Dist. 28); Sen. Teresa Ibach (Dist. 44); Sen. Jana Hughes; (Dist. 24); Sen. Danielle Conrad (Dist. 46)
Summary LB856 excludes all earned and unearned income for child care subsidy applications if the applicant or household member is self-employed at a licensed child care program or is employed at a licensed child care program, Head Start or Early Head Start for a minimum of 20 hours a week. As a result, qualified child care providers will be income eligible for the child care subsidy program. An accompanying bill amendment will reduce regulatory obstacles that prevent certain providers (including family child care home providers and employees in smaller programs) from accessing the subsidy for their own child care needs. As amended, LB856 is capped at $10M per year and sunsets October 1, 2026.
Committee Health and Human Services
Hearing 1/26/24
Amendment(s) AM2544, AM2510
Status
1. Introduced 6. Engrossment
2. In Committee 7. Final Reading
3. General File 8. Passed
4. Enrollment & Review 9. Signed into Law
5. Select File  
Resources

 

LB857 | Create the Nebraska Prenatal Plus Program [Sen. Dungan Priority Bill]
Introducer Sen. George Dungan (Dist. 26)
Co-Introducers Sen. Danielle Conrad (Dist. 46); Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh (Dist. 6)
Summary LB857 offers additional services to mothers receiving Medicaid coverage who are at risk of an adverse birth outcome. Among other components, the bill identifies which mothers are eligible for Prenatal Plus services, offers additional services including targeted case management and allows NDHHS to offer an enhanced payment structure to providers. As amended, LB857 sunsets June 30, 2028.
Committee Health and Human Services
Hearing 2/7/24
Amendment(s) AM2409
Status
1. Introduced 6. Engrossment
2. In Committee 7. Final Reading
3. General File 8. Passed
4. Enrollment & Review 9. Signed into Law
5. Select File  
Resources
LB874 | Change requirements relating to child care licensing and child care facilities
Introducer Sen. Eliot Bostar (Dist. 29)
Co-Introducers  
Summary LB874 streamlines state licensing requirements under the Child Care Licensing Act and standardizes local regulations governing child care. The bill clarifies a number of state licensing requirements to allow for a more seamless operation of child care and requires a report to the Legislature on licensing regulations promulgated by state agencies. It also standardizes a number of local regulations regarding the oversight of child care and provides for consistency in the permissive exemption of property taxes for educational purposes.
Committee Health and Human Services
Hearing 2/15/24
Status
1. Introduced 6. Engrossment
2. In Committee 7. Final Reading
3. General File 8. Passed
4. Enrollment & Review 9. Signed into Law
5. Select File  
Resources
LB898 | Adopt the National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact
Introducer Sen. Teresa Ibach (Dist. 44)
Co-Introducers  
Summary LB898 enters Nebraska into the National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact, which facilitates background check information sharing among states and the federal government. This would include federally mandated background checks in child care.
Committee Judiciary
Hearing 2/7/24
Status
1. Introduced 6. Engrossment
2. In Committee 7. Final Reading
3. General File 8. Passed
4. Enrollment & Review 9. Signed into Law
5. Select File  
Resources  

 

LB904 | Change duties of the Department of Health and Human Services regarding child care reimbursement rates [Legislature's Planning Committee Priority Bill]
Introducer Sen. Wendy DeBoer (Dist. 10) | PLANNING COMMITTEE PRIORITY BILL
Co-Introducers  
Summary LB904 allows the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to determine child care subsidy reimbursements by assessing both market rates and costs of providing care. The bill also establishes the 75th percentile of the market rate as the baseline for subsidy reimbursement.
Committee Health and Human Services
Hearing 2/14/24
Status
1. Introduced 6. Engrossment
2. In Committee 7. Final Reading
3. General File 8. Passed
4. Enrollment & Review 9. Signed into Law
5. Select File  
Resources  

 

LB913 | Require a state plan amendment for postpartum coverage under the Children's Health Insurance Program
Introducer Sen. Megan Hunt (Dist. 8)
Co-Introducers Sen. Danielle Conrad (Dist. 46); Sen. Tony Vargas (Dist. 7)
Summary  LB913 extends coverage of mothers covered by the unborn child option in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The bill requires NDHHS to submit a state plan amendment to provide postpartum coverage for at least 6 months and specifies that coverage would be identical to the postpartum offerings in Medicaid.
Committee Health and Human Services
Hearing 2/2/24
Amendment AM2321
Status
1. Introduced 6. Engrossment
2. In Committee 7. Final Reading
3. General File 8. Passed
4. Enrollment & Review 9. Signed into Law
5. Select File  
Resources
LB946 | Change requirements for payments to Child Care Subsidy program providers
Introducer Sen. Jen Day (Dist. 49)
Co-Introducers  
Summary LB946 amends the State Plan for Services to pay child care providers participating in the child care subsidy based on a child’s enrollment in the provider’s program rather than their attendance.
Committee Health and Human Services
Hearing 2/21/24
Status
1. Introduced 6. Engrossment
2. In Committee 7. Final Reading
3. General File 8. Passed
4. Enrollment & Review 9. Signed into Law
5. Select File  
Resources

 

LB997 | Require the State Department of Education to establish criteria for salary supplements for child care and early education providers
Introducer Sen. Teresa Ibach (Dist. 44)
Co-Introducers  
Summary LB997 creates the Child Care Wages Fund with the intent of making distributions to the Child Care WAGE$ Nebraska program to provide salary supplements to child care and early education providers working with children five years of age or younger in licensed child care.
Committee Education
Hearing 2/5/24
Status
1. Introduced 6. Engrossment
2. In Committee 7. Final Reading
3. General File 8. Passed
4. Enrollment & Review 9. Signed into Law
5. Select File  
Resources

 

LB1003 | Change a requirement relating to child care licensing in cities, villages or counties
Introducer Sen. Ben Hansen (Dist. 16)
Co-Introducers Sen. Dave Murman (Dist. 38)
Summary LB1003 allows municipalities to establish their own staff-to-child ratio requirements in child care. NOTE: FFN is monitoring this bill’s implications as they relate to children’s safety and the quality of child care settings.
Committee Health and Human Services
Hearing 2/2/24
Status
1. Introduced 6. Engrossment
2. In Committee 7. Final Reading
3. General File 8. Passed
4. Enrollment & Review 9. Signed into Law
5. Select File  
Resources

 

LB1054 | Adopt the Child Care Safety and Security Act
Introducer Sen. Lynne Walz (Dist. 15)
Co-Introducers  
Summary LB1054 creates the Child Care Safety and Security Fund with a $300K appropriation. The Fund would help communities establish safety and reunification procedures for child care providers.
Committee Health and Human Services
Hearing 2/8/24
Status
1. Introduced 6. Engrossment
2. In Committee 7. Final Reading
3. General File 8. Passed
4. Enrollment & Review 9. Signed into Law
5. Select File  
Resources

 

LB1055 | Require development of a reading instruction system and programming for adults and children, create a steering committee and provide for a literacy coordinator
Introducer Sen. Lynne Walz (Dist. 15)
Co-Introducers  
Summary LB1055 would appropriate $10M to create a professional learning system to provide sustained professional learning and training in high-quality instruction in reading for teachers and early childhood educators who teach students birth through fifth grade. It also appropriates $2M to support adult literacy programs and creates a Literacy Steering Committee.
Committee Education
Hearing 2/13/24
Status
1. Introduced 6. Engrossment
2. In Committee 7. Final Reading
3. General File 8. Passed
4. Enrollment & Review 9. Signed into Law
5. Select File  
Resources  

 

LB1083 | Change provisions relating to the Nebraska Career Scholarship Act
Introducer Sen. Danielle Conrad (Dist. 46)
Co-Introducers  
Summary LB1083 includes early childhood education programs of study in the Nebraska Career Scholarship Act. Scholarship recipients must obtain an internship, apprenticeship, or employment related to their major.
Committee Education
Hearing 2/5/24
Status
1. Introduced 6. Engrossment
2. In Committee 7. Final Reading
3. General File 8. Passed
4. Enrollment & Review 9. Signed into Law
5. Select File  
Resources

(PDF)

 

LB1124 | State intent to appropriate funds to the Department of Health and Human Services
Introducer Sen. Tony Vargas (Dist. 7)
Co-Introducers Sen. Mike McDonnell (Dist. 5); Sen. Danielle Conrad (Dist. 46)
Summary LB1124 appropriates $900K to the Department of Health and Human Services for evidence-based early intervention home visiting programs.
Committee Appropriations
Hearing 2/12/24
Status
1. Introduced 6. Engrossment
2. In Committee 7. Final Reading
3. General File 8. Passed
4. Enrollment & Review 9. Signed into Law
5. Select File  
Resources:

 

LB1125 | State intent to appropriate funds to the Department of Health and Human Services
Introducer Sen. Anna Wishart (Dist. 27)
Co-Introducers Sen. Teresa Ibach (Dist. 44); Sen. Mike McDonnell (Dist. 5); Sen. Danielle Conrad (Dist. 46)
Summary LB1125 appropriates $500K from the Medicaid Managed Care Excess Profit Fund to the Department of Health and Human Services for evidence-based early intervention nurse home visiting programs.
  Appropriations
Hearing 2/12/24
Status
1. Introduced 6. Engrossment
2. In Committee 7. Final Reading
3. General File 8. Passed
4. Enrollment & Review 9. Signed into Law
5. Select File  
Resources:

 

LB1178 | Create the Intergenerational Care Facility Incentive Grant Program
Introducer Sen. Anna Wishart (Dist. 27)
Co-Introducers Sen. Jana Hughes (Dist. 24); Sen. Brian Hardin (Dist. 48)
Summary LB1178 creates the Intergenerational Care Facility Incentive Grant Program to provide grants for nursing homes and assisted living organizations to modify their structures to co-locate child care facilities on site.
  Health and Human Services
Hearing 2/7/24
Status
1. Introduced 6. Engrossment
2. In Committee 7. Final Reading
3. General File 8. Passed
4. Enrollment & Review 9. Signed into Law
5. Select File  
Resources:

 

LB1252 | Provide for a professional learning system and regional coaches for teaching students to read
Introducer Sen. Lou Ann Linehan (Dist. 39)
Co-Sponsors  
Summary LB1252 would appropriate $10M to create a professional learning system to help provide sustained professional learning and training in reading for teachers that teach students in kindergarten through grade three and early childhood educators.
  Education
Hearing 2/13/24
Status
1. Introduced 6. Engrossment
2. In Committee 7. Final Reading
3. General File 8. Passed
4. Enrollment & Review 9. Signed into Law
5. Select File  
Resources:  

 

LB1254 | Provide for a professional learning system and regional coaches for teaching students to read
Introducer Sen. Lou Ann Linehan (Dist. 39)
Co-Sponsors  
Summary LB1254 would appropriate $10M to create a professional learning system for teachers and early childhood educators.
  Education
Hearing 2/13/24
Status
1. Introduced 6. Engrossment
2. In Committee 7. Final Reading
3. General File 8. Passed
4. Enrollment & Review 9. Signed into Law
5. Select File  
Resources:  

 

LB1410 | Change provisions relating to tax incentives under the ImagiNE Nebraska Act
Introducer Sen. Lou Ann Linehan (Dist. 39) — At the request of the Governor
Co-Sponsors  
Summary LB1410 would allow employers to pay up to fifty percent of child care costs for employees with a tax credit received under the ImagiNE Nebraska Act.
  Revenue
Hearing 2/2/24
Status
1. Introduced 6. Engrossment
2. In Committee 7. Final Reading
3. General File 8. Passed
4. Enrollment & Review 9. Signed into Law
5. Select File  
Resources:  

 

 

LB1416 | Adopt the Child Care Capacity Building and Workforce Act
Introducer Sen. Eliot Bostar (Dist. 29) — At the request of the Governor
Co-Sponsors  
Summary LB1416 creates the Child Care Capacity Building and Workforce Grant Program and the Family Child Care Home Grant Program to support the child care workforce, child care programs and working families. As amended, LB1416 appropriates $5M from the General Fund to the Child Care Capacity Building and Workforce Cash Fund.
Committee Banking, Commerce and Insurance
Hearing 2/6/24
Amendment AM2659
Status
1. Introduced 6. Engrossment
2. In Committee 7. Final Reading
3. General File 8. Passed
4. Enrollment & Review 9. Signed into Law
5. Select File  
Resources: