BEATRICE – Nebraska lawmakers had drawn-out debate on a bill Monday morning, aimed at including early childhood education and child care within a city’s comprehensive plan. In the end, the bill failed to advance from first round, on a vote of 19-to-23, with six senators not voting.
LB 66 was introduced by Senator Matt Hansen of Lincoln, to address an issue he says is important to the state’s growth.
:32 “across the state”
Hansen’s bill was intended to include child care and early child education as an element of a city’s plan, the next time a city updates it. Comprehensive plans are required under state law. Debate carried over Monday, from Friday.
Hansen said one survey indicates 28% of Nebraskans live in what’s considered a “child care desert”… defined as three times as many children as licensed child care slots within an area.
:22 “to non-existent”
Two amendments to the bill failed to get enough support, including one which would require cities to comply with the new law, on or before January 1st, 2022. Several senators were present, but not voting on the amendments.