Health and Human Services

Aid to dependent children increase approved

A bill intended to increase payments in the state’s Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) program passed May 21.

The bill, originally introduced as LB89 by Lincoln Sen. Kathy Campbell, was passed by the Legislature April 23 and subsequently was vetoed by Gov. Pete Ricketts.

Campbell and the governor reached a compromise after the veto and senators gutted LB607, replacing it with the altered provisions from her bill.

LB607 increases the maximum monthly ADC payment to 55 percent of the standard of need.

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

The task force includes 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.

LB607 passed 45-0.

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