Grant funds approved for 211 service

Lawmakers approved a bill May 23 that provides grant funding to a statewide health and human services referral program.

LB641, introduced by Omaha Sen. Mike McDonnell, transfers $300,000 annually from the Nebraska Health Care Cash fund for the next two years to the 211 Information and Referral Network.

The grant will be used to create a website to educate users about and connect them with available services. The grant also can be used to provide 24/7 service through telephone and online access.

The Nebraska Public Service Commission will accept applications from potential providers each year and approve a program administrator based on its ability to update the information and referral services annually, geographically index such services by county and meet all accreditation standards set by the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems.

LB641 also expands the reach of 211 services to include disaster and emergency response.

The bill passed on a 41-0 vote.

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