Health and Human Services

Aid to dependent children changes approved

A bill intended to remove the “cliff effect” in the state’s Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) program passed April 23.

LB89, introduced by Lincoln Sen. Kathy Campbell, increases the maximum ADC benefit each year through 2019, after which it will be set at 70 percent of the standard need. The bill also changes the amount of gross earned income that is disregarded for ADC applicants, increasing it to 50 percent once eligibility is established.

The bill also includes provisions of LB335, originally introduced by Omaha Sen. Heath Mello, establishing a task force to study intergenerational poverty in Nebraska.

The task force will include the chairpersons of the Health and Human Services and Appropriations committees as well as three at-large members appointed by the Executive Board of the Legislative Council.

Nonvoting members will include representatives from the state departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education as well as a variety of community stakeholders and policy experts.

The task force will analyze the ADC, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, child care assistance and Employment First programs with a focus on helping children escape the cycle of poverty. A preliminary report will be presented to the Legislature and the governor by Dec. 15, 2015, and a final report—including a long-range strategic plan—by Dec. 15, 2016.

The bill passed on a 30-15 vote.

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