Archived Legislative Bills

Archived Legislative Bills

2016 Legislative Bills

2016 Legislative Bills
2016 Legislative Bills

The 104th Session of the Nebraska Legislature reconvened for short session on January 6, 2016. Bills were introduced through January 20, 2016. The session will end on April 20, 2016.

A big thank you to Sarah Helvey, Nebraska Appleseed, and Juliet Summers, Voices for Children, for their assistance in following these bills and providing bill summaries.  


Child Welfare

LB 673 (Krist): County-based GAL Division

    • Permits counties to create a GAL division
    • Requires the county board to set reasonable fees


LB 684 (Bolz): Adoption Home Study Exemption

    • Exempts biological grandparents, and step-grandparents married at the time of the adoption if both are adopting, from the home study requirement

LB 697 (Howard): Provide for a Medicaid State Plan Amendment for Function Family Therapy

    • Directs HHS to file a SPA on or before May 1, 2017 to provide for utilization of money for payments for FFT for children under Medicaid


LB 707 (Coash): Increase the Number of Judges in the Separate Juvenile Court

    • Increases judges in Douglas County to six (from five)

LB 744 (Watermeier): Communication and Contact Agreements in Private and Agency Adoption

    • Permits adopting and birth parents to enter into a written agreement to allow communication and contact
    • States that failure to comply is not ground to set aside adoption, revoke a relinquishment or consent to adoption, or challenging the adoption
    • States that an agreement may not be enforced by a civil action and requires such language to appear on the agreement in bold type


LB 746 (Campbell): Nebraska Strengthening Families Act

    • Implements federal Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act and stakeholder recommendations regarding normalcy/reasonable prudent parent standard, list of rights, participation in case planning and pre-discharge documents for youth, and eliminating the use of APPLA for youth under age 16

LB 975 (Kolterman): Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs of Child Placing Agencies

    • Prohibits the state from taking adverse action against a child placing agency because the agency declines to provide, facilitate or provide a direct referral for a CW service that conflicts witht he agency's sincerely held religious belief
    • Establishes a cause of action for an agency aggrieved by a violation with attorney's fees

Juvenile Justice 

LB 675 (Krist): Use of Detention

    • Eliminates "risk of harm to self" and "risk of harm to property of others as permissible rationales for secure confinement of juveniles"
    • Lists certain impermissible uses of detention

LB 709 (Howard): Alternatives to Detention

    • Defines the term "alternatives to detention" in the juvenile code
    • Requires a timely hearing when a juvenile is placed on an alternative to detention that infringes upon his/her liberty

LB 845 (Pansing Brooks): Reporting Room Confinement

    • Defines "room confinement" as involuntary restriction of a juvenile to a cell, room, or other area, alone, exvept during regular sleeping hours
    • Requires any residential facility housing minors to track and report use of extended room confinement

LB 866 (Bolz): Transition to Adult Living Success Program 

    • Directs DHHS to initiate a program for youth aging out of the juvenile justice system in out-of-home placement
    • Appropriates money for DHHS to contract with transitions and independent living service providers, with critical needs fund that youth may draw on (up to $1,000 per participant per year)

LB 893 (Pansing Brooks): Minimum Age for Juvenile Charging

    • Sets a minimum age of 11 for delinquency and status charging
    • Permits filing under 43-247 (3)(a) for children age 10 and younger committing offenses which would otherwise give rise to delinquency or status charging

LB 894 (Pansing Brooks): Right to Counsel

    • Requires children in custody be informed of their right to counsel in developmentally appropriate language
    • Requires appointment of counsel at the time of petition filing on delinquency and status charges
    • Sets restrictions on juvenile waiver of the right to counsel, including requirement that the child consult with counsel prior to waiver

LB 954 (Krist): Inspector General Oversight

    • Enacts a compromise reached between the Legislature and the Courts
    • Boilerplate language included in judicial orders will permit the legislative Office of the Inspector General to access reports and probation files in the case of death, serious injury, or complain in a juvenile justice case

2015 Legislative Bills

2015 Legislative Bills
2015 Legislative Bills

LB 15 (Krist)-Guardians Ad Litem

    • Supreme Court will adopt a Rule for Guardian ad Litems in juvenile proceedings by July 1, 2015 GALs shall meet with juvenile in placement within 2 weeks of appointment, unless court approves another option. GAL will submit written reports for every hearing which meets statutory requirements. A checklist may substitute for the written report. A copy will be sent to the FOster Care Review Board. GAL's will be compensated per case, and will submit billing hours and expenses to the court.
    • Effective 4/30/2015 

LB 87 (Campbell)-Add Children's Commission Member

    • Adds Commissioner of Education to Children's commission. Requires written report to governor, electronic to legislature. 
    • Effective 8/30/2015

LB 243 (Bolz)-Family Finding Pilot Project

    • Establish a pilot program through 2019 to locate and empower family of juveniles.
    • Effective 8/30/2015

LB 265 (Campbell)-Guardians Ad Litem and FCRO Powers

    • Misdemeanor or infraction by juvenile may be filed in county court until 1-1-17. May be transferred to juvenile court. Foster Care Review may review and receive notice of juvenile justie cases. Bill authorizes access to sealed records for judges making decisions for transfer of a case to or from juvenile court. Creates the Out of Home Data Pilot Project to gather information about placement.
    • Effective 8/30/2015

LB 292 (Coash)-Central Registry Notice and Expungement

    • Cases of child abuse are expunged from central registry if adult is found not at fault. Case where child is found without support is not included on registry if adult is found not at fault. Also removes requirement for e-mail, chatroom, etc. to be included on Sex Offender Registry forms.
    • Effective 8/30/2015

LB 296 (Kolterman)-Notice to Parents of Siblings

    • Includes in notice requirements of placement all parents who have legal custody of a sibling of a child, includes as sibling even if termination of parental rights severed the parental relationship.
    • Effective 8/30/2015

LB 347 (Krist)-Expand Jurisdiction of Inspector General

    • Court may order individuals/agencies access to confidential information, including Inspector General of Nebraska Child Welfare Office. Order effective until child leaves custody of state or supervision of court.
      • Adds provision to Office of Inspector General of Nebraska Child Welfare Office.
      • Inspector General investigates violations of statute or misconduct of employees of Juvenile Services, contractors or detention facility staff.
      • Office may request info from juvenile services on dealth or injury of a child and OPA will respond within 5 days  after approval by Supreme Court.
      • Office may access records through subpoena.
      • Office is allowed direct computer access to juvenile services.
      • Reports on any invesitcation of Juvenile Services will be provided to probation administration within 15 dats and is confidential unless released by Inspector General.
    • Effective 5/28/2015

LB 422 (Howard)-Provide for Fees and Costs 

    • Fees for attorney, GAL, physician or visitor for a minor in a case filed under the Public Guardianship Act can be paid from the minor's estate, or by the county if no estate. Attorney fees can be collected from the petitioner if the case is found to be frivolous.
    • Effective 4/30/2015

LB 482 (Krist)-Change Provisions Relating to Juveniles

    • Facility for juvenile detention must comply with 83-4125, ingress and egress restricted through staff supervision only. Juvenile will not be placed in detention unless all community resources are exhaused and juvenile in the home is a risk. Restraints shall not be used in courtroom unless juvenile posts a risk of harm, flight or disruption to proceedings. Fingerprints will not be taken of juveniles. County attorney must make efforts to find community resources before filing a petition in juvenile court. Failure to note efforts in the petition may constitute a defense. 
    • Effective 8/30/2015

LB 500 (Krist)-Medicaid State Plan for Multi-Systemic Therapy

    • MST will benefit juveniles under Probation. A bill redues juvenile budge in FY16-17.
    • Effective 8/30/2015

LB 566 (Coash)-Indian Child Welfare Act

    • Court shall inquire whether Indian child is involved in juvenile case prior to rights advisement.
      • HHS and OPA must make active efforts to maintain family and cultural conditions, etc. 
      • Tribe can intervene in a juvenile cases without an attorney.
      • Tribes attorney does not require a pro hac vice fee if not licensed in Nebraska.
      • Bill outlines process for determining child's primary tribe.
      • Notice to parents and tribe of any case involving placement or termination of parental rights.
      • Court must determine active efforts to provide services and programs must be made prior to removal of child. 
      • Bill outlines notice requirements under Indian Child Welfare Act.
      • Agencies must enable child to have extended family time, including time with trieb and cultural events. 
      • Bill outlines possible reasons for good cause to vary from standard placement preferences. 
      • OJS will develop rules for reviewng cases subject to Nebraska Child Welfare Act. 
    • Effective 8/30/2015

2014 Legislative Bills

2014 Legislative Bills
2014 Legislative Bills

April 17, 2014 marked the last day of the Second Session of the One Hundred Third Nebraska Legislature. See below for full summaries of LB464, LB660, LB853 and LB908, and LB974 which were signed into law by Governor Heineman. The bills go into effect on July 18, 2014, unless a specific effective date is noted in the bill itself. Bills that were not passed into law this session automatically die and must be reintroduced the next legislative session. Bills we were following, which did not pass this session include LB730, LB928, LB1021, and LB1028. The next legislative session begins January 5, 2015.

LB464 - The "LB561 Clean-Up Bill" (Ashford, Judiciary Committee) - Change court jurisdiction over juveniles and indictment procedures
    • Passed on final reading 4/9 & Signed by the Governor 4/15.
    • As originally written, Senator Ashford's LB 464 required all criminal charges, excluding traffic offenses, against youth under 18 years of age to be originally filed in juvenile court. Through a series of amendments, filed by Senators Krist, Ashford and Brasch, the final version addressed not only the juvenile court's original jurisdiction, but also: new reporting requirements for the Administrative Office of the Courts; sections to "clean-up" provisions found in last year's LB 561; changes affecting referral of and defense of truancy cases; and expansion of the use of facilitated group conferencing in child welfare and juvenile justice cases. 
    • Original jurisdiction- (Sections 1, 2, 4, 8, 9, 16, & 17)
    • Juveniles under the age of 14- All cases involving juveniles under the age of 14, excluding traffic offenses, must be filed and heard in juvenile court.
    • Misdemeanors- The juvenile court continues to have exclusive original jurisdiction over misdemeanors and infractions, other than traffic offenses, committed by juveniles under the age of 16. This is now expanded to include exclusive original jurisdiction over 16 year olds beginning January 1, 2015, and to include 17 year olds beginning January 1, 2017.
    • However, misdemeanors or infractions involving 16 and 17 year olds, which originate in juvenile court may be transferred to adult court at the request of the prosecutor, if the prosecutor sustains his or her their burden at the hearing on their motion to transfer.
    • Felonies- All cases where a juvenile is charged with a Class IV or IIIA felony must be originally filed in juvenile court, with the option to transfer to adult court. This begins January 1, 2015 and there is no phase-in as with misdemeanors. The prosecutor retains discretion on whether to file in juvenile or adult court in all other cases.
    • These sections also lay out the procedure for a transfer of a juvenile's case to or from juvenile court. The criteria for the prosecutor's initial determination of where to file and court's determination on whether to transfer the case are also amended in this bill. Added to the criteria were: the best interests of the juvenile; public safety; and the juvenile's ability to appreciate the nature and seriousness of his or her conduct. Deleted from the criteria were: the sophistication and maturity of the juvenile as determined by the home, school and extracurricular activities, and emotional attitude; the availability of juvenile facilities and rehabilitation; and prior commitments to the YRTCs. All youth must be represented by counsel at hearings considering transfer to or from the adult court.
    • Administrative Office of the Courts (Section 3)
      • The state court administrator is required to submit an annual report to the Legislature and Governor that includes geographic and demographic information regarding youth involved in the adult and juvenile court systems.
    • LB 561 Clean-Up (Sections 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, & 36)
    • IV- E- The bill adds language that allows for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS) to contract with the Office of Probation Administration (OPA) to draw down federal Title IV-E funds in juvenile justice cases. OPA is also given ‘change of placement' authority for lateral or less restrictive placements in juvenile justice cases. The language is similar to ‘change of placement' authority which OJS previously held prior to LB 561.
    • Payment- The bill consolidates all the sections regarding payment sources for juvenile justice cases to Section 21, which provides:
      • The county is responsible for pre-adjudication detention, detention alternatives, treatment, voluntary services and transportation, except for juveniles who are already on juvenile probation under another docket. Further, OPA continues to arrange and pay for pre-adjudication evaluations and pre-adjudication placements that are not detention;
      •  OPA is responsible for pre-adjudication costs for juveniles who are already on probation and for post adjudication costs of detention, services, detention alternatives, voluntary services and transportation; and
      • OJS/NDHHS is responsible for costs from the time a juvenile is committed to a state Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center (YRTC) until such time as the juvenile is discharged by OJS. This includes detention costs prior to placement and transportation to and from the YRTCs.
    • OPA is also required to give copies of evaluations and pre-disposition reports to all legal parties. 43-281 is amended to allow for post-adjudication evaluations to be returned within 30 days, instead of 21 days, unless the juvenile is detained.
    • YRTC- The bill clarifies the process that is due prior to a court order committing a juvenile to the state YRTC's, and provides that the prosecutor's burden of proof is a preponderance of the evidence. LB 561 stated what needed to be found prior to a commitment, but did not outline the necessary process.
    • The Community and Family Reentry Process from a YRTC is modified to make clear that that OJS is required to notify all parties of pending discharge of a juvenile from a YRTC 60 days prior to discharge and again in every case not less than thirty days prior to discharge. Further, the youth's guardian ad litem is part of the reentry process. Upon notice of the pending discharge the court shall set a continued disposition hearing in anticipation of reentry. OJS shall provide a copy of the reentry plan to the court and all parties. If the parties stipulate to the reentry plan, a continued disposition hearing is not necessary.
    • Further, OJS is required to utilize evidence-based practices and report on their use of evidence-based practices by January 15, 2016. The section provides the minimum requirements of the report.
    • The Community-based Juvenile Services Aid Program- The bill clarifies which programs can be funded, and gives the counties greater flexibility to use the grant funds. Counties may now use the funds for preexisting programs that are aligned with evidence- based practices and payment of transportation costs to and from placements. Priority for funding is given to services which divert juveniles from the juvenile justice system, reduce the population of juveniles in detention, and programs that assist in reentry from out-of-home placement. Funding cannot be used for facility construction, lease or acquisition. The bill appropriates $5 million dollars to the Community-based Juvenile Services Aid Program.
    • Truancy Provisions (Sections 34 & 35)
      • School districts are no longer required to refer cases to the county attorney after a youth misses 20 days of school. Schools may still refer cases to the county attorney after 20 absences, but only after efforts are made to address the barriers to attendance. Failure by the schools to document collaborative interventions made to address absenteeism is a defense to prosecution under Neb. Rev. Stat. 79-201 and a defense in both educational neglect and truancy cases under the Juvenile Code.
      • The bill also creates the Council on Student Attendance. The members of the Council, appointed by the State Board of Education, are tasked with reviewing school district absenteeism policies and develop recommendations to reduce incidents of absenteeism.
    • Facilitated Group Conferencing (Sections 10 & 11)
      • Senator Brasch's bill, LB 1093, was amended into LB 464. It provides that in any juvenile case, the court may provide the parties with the opportunity for facilitated conferencing or mediation. This includes, but is not limited to: prehearing conferences; family group conferences; expedited family group conferences; child welfare mediation; permanency prehearing conferences; termination of parental rights prehearing conferences; and juvenile victim-offender dialogue. Funding and management for such services will be part of the office of the State Court. The bill transfers $450,000 from General Funds from Health and Human Services budget to the office of the State Court Administration to organize and pay for facilitated conferencing.
LB 660 - Extension of the Pilot Project (Krist, HHS Committee) Provide for extension of a pilot project and a contract relating to case management
    • Passed on final reading 3/27 and signed by Governor 4/2.
    • Senator Krist's bill seeks to extend the time frame on the pilot project for continued privatized case management in the Eastern Service Area was approved by the Governor on April 2, 2014.  An HHS Committee hearing was held on February 4, 2014.  Prior to the hearing, an amendment was filed that changed language in the bill from "the department shall extend the contract for the pilot project" to "the department may extend the contract for the pilot project" (emphases added) due to concerns that statutes cannot create preferential treatment for particular businesses or organizations.
    • This bill has been placed on general file and is designated a Speaker priority bill.  Health and Human Services Committee Amendment 1985 clarifies terms of the evaluation, to be directed by the Legislature.  This bill was passed with an emergency clause, and therefore, became effective once it was signed by the Governor on April 2, 2014.
LB 853 - The "LB216 Clean-Up Bill" (McGill, HHS Committee) Change and rename the Young Adult Voluntary Services and Support Act
    • Passed on Final Reading 3/27 & Signed by the Governor 4/2.
    • This bill is the "clean-up" bill for last year's LB 216, which extends supports and services to age 21. 
    • The bill changes all terminology from "Young Adult Voluntary Services and Supports" to "Young Adult Bridge to Independence", and specifically provides jurisdiction to juvenile courts for "proceedings under the Young Adult Bridge to Independence Act" under 43-247. It clarifies that guardianship payments do not terminate if the young person is eligible under the program. Caseworkers under the program are called "Independence Coordinators." The bill also removes the possibility of a written report as being the initial filing in opening a juvenile case and instead provides only for a petition. It limits requests for hearings by the young person to "not more times than is reasonable practicable" and requires courts to hold hearings in an expedited manner. The bill also provides certain authority for the court as follows:
      The court shall determine whether the bridge to independence program is providing the appropriate services and support as provided in the voluntary services and support agreement to carry out the case plan. The court has the authority to determine whether the young adult is receiving the services and support he or she is entitled to receive under the Young Adult Bridge to Independence Act and the department's policies or state or federal law to help the young adult move toward permanency and self-sufficiency. If the court believes that the young adult requires additional services and support to achieve the goals documented in the case plan or under the Young Adult Bridge to Independence Act and the department's policies or state or federal law, the court may make appropriate findings or order the department to take action to ensure that the young adult receives the identified services and support.
    • LB 853 also includes provisions on the implementation of Alternative Response pilot sites. Alternative Response, or AR, is a pathway that will be utilized by DHHS to divert families away from the traditional child welfare system but allow for voluntary services. The bill allows for five pilots sites across the state to implement AR and requires an evaluation by an independent entity. It also provides for five additional sites after January 1, 2016. Under the bill, an internal DHHS team will determine the criteria and decide which track a case will be assigned to. This was originally LB 503, but was amended into LB 853.
    • LB 790 was also amended into LB 853. Senator Howard's bill provides that all caseworkers, state and private agency, must complete the same initial training program. It also requires a formal system for evaluation and a formal assessment process for caseworkers after training to demonstrate competency.
    • This bill was placed on general file and the Health and Human Services Committee designated it as one of their priority bills.  The Health and Human Services Committee filed Amendment 1937, which states that guardians and adoptive parents must ensure that the funds are used for the benefit of the young person. The bill was passed by the legislature on 3/27 and approved by the Governor 4/2.
LB 908 - The guardianship bill (Coash, Judiciary Committee) Change child guardianship ward and adoption for out of wedlock provisions.
    • Passed on final reading 4/3 and signed by the Governor 4/9.
    • This bill was introduced by Sen. Coash, passed by the Legislature on April 3, 2014, and approved by the Governor on April 9, 2014. LB 908 changes the terminology of "guardianship" of a child by DHHS to "legal care and custody." Primarily, however, it amends the terms of guardianship and provides that a juvenile court can place a child in a guardianship in a relative home, kinship home or another home under 43- 285 if the following exist:
      • The case is based on a 3a filing;
      • The child has been in the placement at least 6 months;
      • The child, if age 10 or older, consents to the guardianship; and
      • The guardian is suitable, able to provide a safe and permanent home, has made a commitment to the child until the age of majority or beyond, and has made a commitment to prepare the child for adulthood.
    • In the court order, the court:
      • Shall grant the guardian such powers, rights, and duties with respect to the care and maintenance of the child as the biological parent would have had;
      • May specify frequency and nature of family time with the parents and/or siblings; and
      • Shall require that the guardian not return the child to the prior custodian without prior approval by the court.
    • The court will maintain jurisdiction over the child for purposes of modification or termination of the guardianship; however, review hearings shall not be held and DHHS shall be relieved from the case. The bill also clarifies that a guardianship does not affect inheritance rights, the responsibility of the parents to provide financial and other support, or the right of the parents to consent to adoption.
    • Abandonment is also defined in LB 908 using the caselaw language of "a parent's intentionally withholding from a child, without just cause or excuse, the parent's presence, care, love, protection, and maintenance and the opportunity for the display of parental affection for the child."
    • This bill was placed on General File with Judiciary Committee Amendment 1911.  The amendment adds that the guardian shall ensure that any funds are for the benefit of the young adult.  The bill was designated a Speaker priority bill on February 21, 2014.
LB 974 - Provide duties for certain divisions of NDHHS relating to budgeting and strategic planning (Mello, Appropriations Committee) Provide duties for certain divisions of the Department of Health and Human Services relating to budgeting and strategic planning.
    • Passed on final reading 3/27 and signed by the Governor on 4/2.
    • Sen. Mello introduced this bill to create a duty on the part of NDHHS to include strategic plans for their: Division of Behavioral Health; Division of Development Disabilities; and Division of Medicaid and Long-term Care as part of the appropriations process for each of the next two budget years.  It also extends an existing requirement that NDHHS include a strategic plan for the Division of Children and Family Services as part of the appropriations process.  A hearing on the bill was held in front of the Appropriations committee on January 30, 2014.
    • This bill designated as one of the Appropriation Committee priority bills, and was placed on General File with Appropriations Committee Amendment 2025 on February 21, 2014.  AM2025, which addresses funds appropriated for special education programs and support services, was adopted on March 6, 2014.  The bill advanced from General File and is currently in Initial Enrollment and Review. Portions of LBs 745, 837, 969 & 1023 were amended into LB 974. The bill was passed with an emergency clause, and therefore, went into effect on April 2, 2014 when it was signed by the Governor.
LB503 (Coash, Judiciary Committee) - Rename the Child Protection Act and provide for alternative response to a report of child abuse or neglect
    • This bill seeks to create an alternative response system in the child welfare process.  On February 4, 2014, an amendment was filed and the amendment is set for hearing before the Judiciary Committee on February 12, 2014.  The amendment further defines parts of alternative response (which includes defining alternative response as an alternative to traditional response that does not include a formal determination as to whether abuse or neglect has occurred and precludes entry of the results into central registry), establishes an internal DHHS team that would determine which "track" to assign the case to, permits a limited number of entities to have access to case-specific data, and continues to ask for approval to begin using alternative response in five pilot sites. 
    • This  bill was placed on General File on February 25, 2014 with Judiciary Amendment 1967.  AM 1967 clarifies what the evaluation of alternative response will address.  Amended into LB 853.
LB 790 (Howard, HHS Committee) Require training for case managers as prescribed
    • This bill requires all caseworkers – state and private agency – to complete the same initial training program.  It also requires a formal system for evaluation and a formal assessment process for caseworkers after training to demonstrate competency. 
    • On January 22, 2014, the bill came on for hearing with the HHS Committee.  An amendment was filed on February 4, 2014, which provides stipends paid through IV-E funds for social work students who commit to working in child welfare.  The amendment also allows for DHHS to contract with more than one entity for the training. Amended into LB 853.
LB 1093 (Brasch, Judiciary Committee) Change provisions relating to facilitated conferencing and funding
    • This bill moves funding into the judicial branch for pre-hearing conferencing and family group conferencing in juvenile cases.  Over the past several years, DHHS has contracted with the Administration Office of the Courts (AOC) to provide such services, and this bill would move that funding directly to the AOC.  The hearing is set before the Judiciary Committee on February 13, 2014.
    • Senator Brasch filed Amendment 2145 on March 4, 2014.  AM2145 modifies the definition of facilitated conferences and clarifies that the funds are to be transferred by October 15, 2014. Amended into LB 464.
LB 730 (Kowlowski, Judiciary Committee) Change reporting provisions under the Child Protection Act
    • Sen. Kowlowski introduced this bill to amend the Child Protection Act to protect persons making reports of possible neglect or abuse to proper school officials.  There was a hearing in front of the Judiciary Committee on January 22, 2014.  There was concern during the hearing from the Judiciary Committee that they agree with the intent of the bill, but that there are drafting issues that need to be addressed, so that the intent is reflected in the actual language. 
LB 928 (State-Tribal Relations, Judiciary Committee) Change provisions of the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act
    • This bill makes changes to the Nebraska ICWA statutes by defining key areas of ICWA and strengthening provisions further than the federal ICWA statutes.  Among other things, the bill defines active efforts, limits who can be a qualified expert witness, extends notification to voluntary cases, further defines "good cause" to deny transfer, and requires additional information in the petition.  DHHS has estimated a financial impact of $78,368, which includes hiring an additional ICWA program specialist.  A hearing was held in front of the Judiciary Committee on January 29, 2014.
LB 1021 (Seiler, Judiciary Committee) Change provisions relating to sealing of records of a juvenile. 
    • This bill amends Sections 43-2,108.03 & 43-2,108.04, changing the language from "may" to "shall" in regards to the sealing of a juvenile record.  Also, it modifies the procedure if no one files an objection to the sealing of a juvenile record.  A hearing was held in front of the Judiciary Committee on February 13, 2014.
LB 1028 (Coash, Judiciary Committee) Change the number of judges of the separate juvenile court as prescribed
    • This bill allows for six, instead of five, juvenile court judges in counties with a population over 400,000.  In practice, adds another juvenile judge in the separate juvenile court in Douglas County, and is set for hearing on February 13, 2014.
    • Designated as one of the Judiciary Committee's priority bills and placed on General File. 

2013 Legislative Bills

2013 Legislative Bills
2013 Legislative Bills

LB8 (Krist) - Provide for coverage of children's day services under medicaid and social services

LB86 (McGill) - Authorize inspection and regulation of staff secure juvenile facilities

LB124 (Lautenbaugh) - Change provisions relating to grandparent visitation

LB126 (McGill) - Provide for grants from the Court Appointed Special Advocate Fund

LB216 (McGill) - Adopt the Young Adult Voluntary Services and Support Act

      • HHS Committee Priority Bill
      • Placed on E&R on 4/6 and Select File on 4/9
      • Passed May 29 & approved by Governor 6/4

LB 216, the Extending Services to 21 Act led by Sen. McGill, extends voluntary services and support to the age of 21 for youth aging out of foster care. The program will provide medical, housing and case management assistance for youth electing to enroll. When a youth enrolls in the program, the court shall open an extended services and support file to determine whether the program is in the youth’s best interests and to conduct yearly permanency hearings. The best interests decision shall be made by the court within 180 days after the youth and DHHS enter into the agreement. The court shall conduct a permanency review hearing at least once per year and as requested by a party “to ensure that the young adult is getting the needed services and support to help the young adult move toward permanency and self-sufficiency” and shall “determine whether the department is providing the appropriate services and support as provided in the voluntary services and support agreement to carry out the case plan.” The court can appoint a hearing officer to conduct the permanency hearings, and must consult with the young adult regarding the proposed transition or permanency plan. The court has the authority under the law to order DHHS to “take action to ensure that the young adult receives the identified services and support.” The youth is also entitled to a court-appointed, client-directed attorney if requested by the youth, and the court also has the discretion to appoint a CASA. This program subsumes the Former Ward program but it is unclear how the structure will look.

LB220 (Avery) - Change children's eligibility provisions relating to the Medical Assistance Act

LB247 (Larson) - Change Nebraska Juvenile Code provisions relating to reimbursement by parents for costs of care and treatment

LB255 (McGill) - Change provisions relating to hearsay, child abuse, and offenses relating to morals

      • Speaker Priority Bill
      • Placed on General File on 4/24
      • Passed 6/5 & approved by Governor 6/5

LB265 (Coash) - Change foster care licensure and kinship home and relative home provisions

      • Speaker Priority Bill
      • Placed on E&R on 4/6, Select File on 5/10, and scheduled for Final Reading 5/14
      • Passed 5/25 and approved by Governor 5/25

        The bill addresses limitations on foster homes that were implemented in the 2012 Legislative session by exempting kinship and relative homes from licensure and by broadly defining kinship to include any individual with a “preexisting, significant relationship with the child.” DHHS must still approve the home, which shall include a home visit and background checks, but the home is not required to seek licensure. If a relative is pursuing licensure, DHHS can waive non-safety standards like square footage requirements and the federal reimbursement under Fostering Connections will still apply. The bill was signed with an emergency clause and therefore takes effect immediately.

LB268 (Campbell) - State intent to appropriate funds for upgrade of an electronic data collection system related to child welfare and other economic   assistance programs

LB269 (Campbell) - Change provisions relating to children and families

      • HHS Committee Priority Bill and placed on the General File on 3/27.
      • Placed on E&R on 4/9, Select File on 4/17, and scheduled for Final Reading 4/30
      • Passed 5/29 & approved by the Governor 6/4

LB 269 led by Sen. Campbell and the HHS Committee is a follow-up bill to 2012 child welfare legislation. The bill directs DHHS to make additional efforts in ensuring appropriate health insurance for state wards, and allows the Affordable Care Act provisions to be applied to youth aging out of the system until they reach the age of 26. It also requires DHHS to apply for IV-E reimbursement for costs associated with the probation project. LB 269 makes changes to the Children’s Commission, including: (1) adding the FCRO Director and a tribal representative as voting members and making the DHHS personnel non-voting members, (2) moving the offices of the staff of the Commission from DHHS to the FCRO, (3) creating a Policy Analyst position, and (4) requiring the Commission to gather information about progress and outcomes of the probation project. The bill also contains language guiding DHHS’ conduct in entering into contracts, and requires DHHS to implement a formal grievance process for families involved in the system. The bill was signed with an emergency clause and therefore takes effect immediately.

LB270 (Campbell) - Provide for a medicaid state plan amendment relating to services for children with serious emotional disturbance

LB320 (McGill) - Change temporary custody without a warrant provisions of the Nebraska Juvenile Code

LB342(Coash) - Change right to counsel provisions under the Nebraska Juvenile Code

      • Judiciary Committee Priority Bill and placed on the General File on 3/28.

LB355 (Larson) - Change the age of majority and certain age requirements

LB385 (Nordquist) - Prohibit certain bases for discrimination relating to child placement

LB389 (Bolz) - Provide an income tax credit for adoption and guardianship costs

LB425 (Campbell) - State intent to appropriate funds for intervention services for at-risk children and youth

LB443 (Cook) - Adopt the Children's Residential Facilities and Placing Licensure Act

      • Placed on the General File on 3/19.

LB463 (Ashford) - Change the number of separate juvenile court judges

LB464(Ashford) - Change court jurisdiction over juveniles and indictment procedures

      • Senator Ashford Priority Bill and placed on the General File on 3/13. Placed on Select File on 3/25.

LB471 (Coash) - Change provisions relating to juvenile commitment evaluations

LB503 (Coash) - Rename the Child Protection Act and provide for alternative response to a report of child abuse or neglect

LB530 (Dubas) - Add, change, and eliminate provisions relating to foster care reimbursements

      • Senator Dubas Priority Bill and placed on the General File on 3/4. Placed on Select File on 3/19.
      • Scheduled for Final Reading 4/9
      • Passed 5/29 & approved by the Governor 6/4

LB 530 is the culmination of efforts led by Sen. Dubas in addressing the reimbursement rates for foster parents. It requires DHHS to implement the reimbursement rate recommendations of the Foster Care Reimbursement Rate Committee, which is appointed by the Children’s Commission, on or before July 1, 2014. Committee members must make recommendations regarding foster care reimbursement rates, a statewide standardized level of care assessment, and adoption assistance payments. The bill contains detailed language about what factors and information the committee should consider. DHHS must also initiate a pilot project by July 1, 2013 which implements the standardized assessment tools for determining rates. Reports with recommendations will be provided to the Legislature. The bill was signed with an emergency clause and therefore takes effect immediately.

LB561 (Ashford) - State findings and intent for changes to the juvenile justice system and a funding mechanism

      • Senator Dubas Priority Bill and placed on the General File on 3/4. Placed on Select File on 3/19.
      • Scheduled for Final Reading 4/9
      • Passed 5/29 & approved by the Governor 6/4

LB 561, Senator Ashford’s juvenile justice reform bill, seeks to reduce out-of-home placement of youth and utilize community-based services while the youth remains in the home, and transfers case management of a juvenile adjudicated (or pending adjudication) under 1, 2, 3b or 4 of N.R.S. 43-247 from the DHHS Office of Juvenile Services (OJS) to the Office of Probation Administration. Under the bills, with various dates of implementation, courts:

      • Cannot place a child in secured detention or the YRTC unless it is “a matter of immediate and urgent necessity for the protection of such juvenile or the person or property of another or if it appears that such juvenile is likely to flee the jurisdiction of the court”
      • May order that the youth pending adjudication be offered supervision options by the Office of Probation if there is no need for secured detention
      • May order an evaluation of the youth pending adjudication to be paid by private insurance or the Office of Probation with any temporary placement made for this purpose being the least restrictive and consistent with the youth’s best interests and safety of the community. Youth cannot be placed in a detention facility for this purpose unless it is a matter of urgent and immediate necessity
      • May continue the disposition order of youth and place the youth on probation, in his own home or in a suitable placement, and may order any care, custody and maintenance costs not able to be paid by parental or other funds to be paid out of a county fund
      • Between July 1 and October 1, 2013, may commit the youth to OJS for community supervision
      • Maintains jurisdiction over the youth after commitment of the youth to a YRTC and must review the youth’s conditions of probation and transition to the community prior to the youth’s discharged from OJS
      • Must review a case every 14 days after the youth’s commitment to a YRTC if the youth remains in detention awaiting YRTC placement
      • May find an evaluation is not necessary if one has been completed within the past year or if an addendum to a previous evaluation would be more appropriate

Evaluations ordered by the court must be completed and returned to the court within 21 days. The bill also requires courts to make a finding for youth 16 and over “regarding the appropriateness of the programs and services described in the [transition planning] proposal designed to assist the juvenile in acquiring independent living skills”, and gives courts the discretion in all juvenile cases to appoint counsel for non-party participants and can discharge court-appointed counsel of parties who do not maintain contact with their counsel. LR 561 also requires DHHS to convene stakeholders to develop a model for implementing alternative response (also known as differential response) in 3a cases. The bill was signed with an emergency clause and therefore takes effect immediately.

LB562 (Ashford) - Change provisions of the juvenile justice system

2012 Legislative Bills

2012 Legislative Bills
2012 Legislative Bills

During the 2012 Legislative Session, five bills at the core of the LR 37 report of the HHS Committee and the report by the Performance Audit Committee were signed into law. LB 820 provides for the Title IV-E Waiver Committee, a Foster Care Reimbursement Rate Committee, a month stipend for foster parents and clarification on foster care licensing. LB 821 provides for the Nebraska Children's Commission and the Office of Inspector General. LB 949 provides for accountability and benchmarking regarding the child welfare budget. LB 961 places case management as a core function of government; provides for a year-long pilot project of case management through a private agency in the Eastern Service Area; sets caseload limits and defines how cases are counted; requires DHHS to develop case plans for non-court, voluntary cases; realigns service areas with judicial districts and prohibits lead agencies in the southeast, central, western and northern service areas. LB 1160 provides for a web-based automated data system, reports by DHHS and the lead agency pilot project and an evaluation of the Nebraska child welfare system by a national entity.

LB768 (Howard) - Change provisions relating to access to adoption case files

      • February Update: Placed on general file on Feb 28th.
      • March Update: Placed on Final Reading April 2.
      • April Update: Approved by the Governor on April 11th

LB774 (Howard) - Change and add reporting requirements relating to child welfare

LB820 (HHS Committee) - Provide for a foster care demonstration project

      • February Update: Advanced to the floor by Sen. Campbell (priority bill). Amended to LB 821
      • March Update:
        • Passed through second round of debate on March 7th and placed on final reading on March 13th
        • E and R Amendments ER192 filed on March 1st
      • April Update: provides for the Title IV-E Demonstration Project Committee, a Foster Care Reimbursement Rate Committee, a monthly stipend for foster parents for the upcoming year and clarification regarding foster care licensing.


LB821 (HHS Committee) - Create the Nebraska Children's Commission and require legislation to create the Department of Children's Services

      • February Update: Advanced to the floor by HHS Committee (priority bill), and placed on the general file on Feb 28th.
      • March Update:
        • AM2677 filed on March 29th: AM 2677
        • Passed through second round of debate on March 7th and placed on final reading on March 13th
        • E and R Amendments ER196 filed on March 1st
      • April Update:
        • Approved by the Governor on April 11th
        • Provides for the Nebraska Children's Commission and the Office of Inspector General of Nebraska Child Welfare Act.


LB874 (Howard) - Change foster care licensure provisions

LB926 (Dubas) - Provide for a minimum base rate for foster care payments

LB929 (McGill) - Provide a membership requirement for State Foster Care Review Board members

LB935 (Smith) - Change grandparent child visitation provisions to person with a legitimate interest

LB949 (Leg Performance Audit Committee) - Require reports and a strategic plan by the Division of Children and Family Service of DHHS

      • February Update: Advanced to the floor by Legislative Performance Audit Committee (priority bill), and placed on the general file on Feb 28th.
      • March Update:
        • Passed through second round of debate on March 7th and placed on final reading on March 13th
        • E and R Amendments ER191 filed on February 29th
      • April Update:
        • Approved by the Governor on April 9th
        • Introduced by the Performance Audit Committee, provides for accountability and benchmarking regarding the Department
          of Health and Human Services' child welfare budget.

LB957 (HHS Committee) - Adopt the Office of Inspector General for Nebraska Child Welfare Act

      • February Update: Covered by LB 821.

LB961 (HHS Committee) - Change provisions relating to case management of child welfare services

      • February Update: Advanced to the floor by HHS Committee (priority bill), and placed on the general file on Feb 29th.
      • March Update:
        • Appropriation amendment for caseload reduction: AM2449
        • Passed through second round of debate on March 7th and placed on final reading on March 13th
        • E and R Amendments ER194 filed
      • April Update:
        • Approved by the Governor on April 9th
        • Addresses case management as a core function of government; allows for a pilot case management lead agency model project in the eastern service area; sets caseload limits and defines how cases are counted; requires the department to develop case plans for non-court, voluntary cases; requires realignment in the central, northern and western service areas with judicial districts; and prohibits lead agencies in the southeast, central, western, or northern service areas.

LB993 (Ashford) - Change provisions relating to child abuse and neglect teams and child advocacy centers

      • February Update: Advanced to the floor by Sen. Howard (priority bill), and placed on the general file on Feb 16th. It was then placed on the select file on Feb 28th.
      • March Update:
        • E & R Amendment ER 190 adopted
        • Placed on Final Reading March 29
      • April Update: Approved by the Governor on April 8th

LB998 (Krist) - Create the Foster Care Review Office and eliminate the Foster Care Review Board

      • February Update: Advanced to the floor by Sen. Krist (priority bill).
      • March Update:
        • E and R amendments ER208 adopted on March 28th and placed on final reading: ER 208
        • Passed through first round of debate on March 7th and placed on select file on March 13th
      • April Update: Approved by the Governor on April 11th

LB1041 (Cook) - DHHS Delivery Improvement and Efficiency Act

LB1051 (Coash) - Change registry provisions regarding adult protective services and child protection cases

      • March Update:
        • E and R amendments ER208 adopted on March 28th and placed on final reading: ER 254
        • Passed through first round of debate on March 7th and placed on select file on March 13th
      • April Update: Approved by the Governor on April 11th

LB1063 (Cook) - Adopt the Children's Health and Treatment Act

      • February Update: Advanced to the floor by Sen. Cook (priority bill), and placed on the general file on Feb 22nd.
      • March Update:
        • Amendment 2044 adopted
        • Amendment 2540 adopted
        • Placed on Select File on March 21
        • E & R Amendment ER 220 adopted
        • Amendment 2718 adopted
        • Advanced to E & R on April 3 
      • April Update: Approved by the Governor on April 18th

LB1088 (Ashford) - Change notice, summons, and warrant provisions of the Nebraska Juvenile code

LB1099 (Council) - Change expense provisions under the Nebraska Juvenile Code

LB1149 (McGill) - Change provisions relating to child guardianships and child welfare caseloads

LB1150 (McGill) - Adopt the Young Adult Voluntary Foster Care Services Act

LB1153 (Lathrop) - Require timely provision of juvenile court-ordered treatment or services

LB1159 (Krist) - Provide additional requirements and duties relating to state contracts for services valued at twenty-five million dollars or more

LB1160 (HHS Committee) - Require DHHS to develop an information system and provide for reports and an evaluation

      • February Update: Advanced to the floor by Legislative Performance Audit Committee (priority bill), and placed on the general file on Feb 28th.
      • March Update:
        • Passed through second round of debate on March 7th and placed on final reading on March 13th
        • E and R Amendments ER193 filed on March 1st
      • April Update:
        • Approved by the Governor on April 11th
        • Provides for the development of a web-based, statewide automated child welfare information system to integrate child welfare information; reports by the department and lead agency pilot project; evaluation of child welfare system by a national entity; and coordination of all department reports regarding child welfare and juveniles.

LB1172 (Pirsch) - Provide an additional ground for termination of parental rights

2011 Legislative Bills

2011 Legislative Bills
2011 Legislative Bills

LB79 (McGill) - Provide grants for court appointed special advocate programs
Summary: Adds $1.25 in court fees for each case to fund the state Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program

LB80 (McGill) - Change Nebraska Juvenile Code provisions relating to juvenile care plans
Summary: Removes the presumption that the DHHS case plan is in the child's best interests

LB92 (Howard) - Change caseload provisions for public child welfare service caseworkers
Summary: Prohibits DHHS from exceeding the caseload standards of a national organization by more than 2, and includes private contractors in the requirement to provide annual workload reports to the legislature

LB93 (Howard) - State legislative intent with respect to administrators' salaries within the Division of Children and Family Services of the Department of Health and Human Services
Summary: Decreases by 10% the salaries of DHHS Child and Family Services administrators

LB94 (Howard) - Allow petitioners for adoption of state ward to read the child's case file
Summary: Authorizes a person petitioning to adopt a child access to the child's case file maintained by DHHS, and requires DHHS to file with the court prior to adoption a document verifying that the adoptive parents had the opportunity to read the case file

February Update: An amendment to LB 94, which would permit an adoptive parent to read the child's case file, was adopted by the Judiciary Committee which adds "The department shall not include in the case file to be read any information or documents that the department determines cannot be released based upon state statute or federal statute, rule or regulation." 

February Update: LB94 was advanced to Enrollment and Review for Engrossment 

March Update: LB94, which requires adoptive parents to be given the opportunity to read the child's case file, was signed into law by the Governor on March 10, 2011 

LB95 (Howard) - Require accreditation for lead agencies contracting with the Department of Health and Human Services
Summary: Requires lead agencies contracting with DHHS to be accredited by a national accrediting agency in the services it is providing to the state

March Update: An amendment was added by the Health and Human Services Committee to LB 95, which requires lead agencies to get accreditation. AM 704 would impose a moratorium on DHHS from contracting for child welfare and juvenile justice service coordination and case management with any new lead agency in the central, western and northern service areas until June 1, 2012 

March Update: LB95, with AM 704, passed the first round of debate in the Legislature on March 29, 2011 

April Update: LB 95, which includes AM 704 that would impose a moratorium on DHHS from contracting for child welfare and juvenile justice service coordination and case management with any new lead agency in the central, western and northern service areas until June 1, 2012, was bracketed until January 4, 2012

LB112 (Coash) - Provide an exemption from motor carrier regulations for comprehensive services transport
Summary: Exempts child welfare agencies from having to use the Public Service Commission for transportation of children in their care

February Update: An amendment to LB 112, which would loosen the transportation regulations for DHHS and contracted agencies, was filed on February 16th which further defines certain terms and clarifies that the exemption to regulations applies to vehicles engaged in residential care transportation and supported transportation services.

LB124 (Avery) - Provide for cultural history information in adoption records
Summary: Adds into the medical histories required in an adoption the race, ethnicity, nationality, Indian tribe or other cultural history of the biological parents if available 

LB177 (Campbell) - Change foster care provisions
Summary: Encodes certain provisions of the federal Fostering Connections Act, including independent-living duties, reasonable efforts to place with siblings and relative notice within 30 days

March Update: LB177, the Fostering Connections bill, was made a priority bill by the HHS Committee on March 10, 2011 

April Update: LB177, which encodes the federal Fostering Connections law into state law, passed on final reading 47-0-2 on April 28, 2011, and and was signed by the Governor on May 4th 

LB221 (Janssen) - Provide for drug screening of public assistance applicants and recipients
Summary: Requires DHHS to drug test any welfare applicant if it is reasonable cause, and shall deny cash assistance for at least one year if the test is positive

LB302 (Ashford) - Provide for a restructuring plan for the court system
Summary: Calls on the Supreme Court to analyze the structure of the entire court system, including county courts and separate juvenile courts, to determine inefficiencies and recommend a restructuring plan

LB324 (Howard) - Requires fetal alcohol determination prior to adoption of a state war
Summary: At the filing of an adoption petition, requires the court to order fetal alcohol testing or receive a doctor's statement that the child does not show indications of such disorders

LB325 (Howard) - Appropriate funds for behavioral health care in Region 6 as prescribed
Summary: Appropriates $250,000 from the General Fund to be allocated to the Family Works program of Heartland Family Service.

LB339 (Ashford) - Change Nebraska Juvenile Code predisposition evaluation procedures
Summary: Amends 43-258 so that in any case pending adjudication under the Nebraska Juvenile Code, the court may place the child with DHHS for evaluation not to exceed 30 days unless extended by the court, and amends who is responsible for costs

LB402 (Howard) - Change penalties relating to third-degree assault on a social worker and provide for social worker safety training
Summary: Requires social workers and lead agency contractor social workers to complete a 6-hour social worker safety awareness training

LB433 (Campbell) - Provide requirements for contracts for child welfare services between private agencies and the Department of Health and Human Services
Summary: Requires that DHHS contracts with providers are based on the reasonable costs of services, prohibits DHHS from entering into contracts for provision of certain activities, requires DHHS to promulgate rules and regulations by 1/1/12 regarding monitoring and oversight of private contractors, requires DHHS to provide an annual financial report and specifies certain content

LB451 (Ashford) - Change court fees, procedures, offices and judgeships
Summary: Establishes judicial hearing officers who could hear juvenile cases that come before the county court, permits parties to object to findings

LB463 (Ashford) - Change juvenile penalty, records, service plan, probation sanctions, and truancy provisions
Summary: Schools shall notify probation, DHHS and private contractors when any child is absent more than 10 days per year

LB598 (Fulton) - Change timing of certain foster care permanency hearings
Summary: Decreases the length of a time to a permanency hearing for children six or under from 12 months after the child enters foster care to 3 months

LB648 (Christensen) - Change provisions relating to notice for foster care reviews and hearings
Summary: Requires DHHS to provide to the courts up-to-date contact information for all child placements. Requires notice of hearings to be sent to parties at least five days prior. Provides standing to foster parents in hearings involving removal of a child from their home

March Update: LB648, which provides certain rights to foster parents, was designated as Sen. Christensen's priority bill 

April Update: LB648 passed on final reading 44-0-5 on April 28, 2011. 

May Update: On May 4, 2011, the Governor signed LB648 into law, which (1) requires courts to inquire with the foster parent or caregiver about the child's well-being, (2) requires DHHS to have up-to-date placement contact information for courts, and (3) removes the presumption that the DHHS case plan is in the child's best interest 

LB649 (Christensen) - Require the Judiciary Committee to develop legislative recommendations for children and youth
Summary: Mandates the Judiciary Committee to review the NACC Evaluation on Guardians ad Litem issued in December 2009, and offer recommendations by October 1, 2011

LB650 (Christensen) - Provide for a statement of rights and responsibilities for foster parents
Summary: Requires DHHS to develop and provide to each caregiver (including agencies) a list of the rights and responsibilities of a foster parent

LB651 (Christensen) - Authorize a program audit and survey of the foster care system
Summary: Authorizes a program audit and survey regarding the privatization reform to be conducted over a five-year period to include:

      • An annual study of a random sample of 800 foster care placements
      • Degree of compliance with rules and regulations, and recommendations for improvements
      • Survey of foster parents, state caseworkers, contract caseworkers, GALs, and CASA

LB37 - (HHS Committee) - Provide the Health and Human Services Committee be designated to review, investigate and assess the effect of the child welfare reform initiative implemented by the Dept. of Health and Human Services
Summary: Recommends that the HHS Committee be designated to oversee and assess the child welfare privatization, which would include consulting with stakeholders, consider existing studies and reports, and hold public hearings.

Issues to be considered are:

      • Coordination, long-term planning and development of outcome measurements
      • Effectiveness of privatization as to permanency
      • System of accountability, funding and financial sustainability
      • Effect of reform on the CFSR outcomes
      • Request of a fiscal audit

February Update: LR37, which would provide the HHS Committee oversight of the DHHS privatization process, was adopted by the Legislature and signed by the Speaker on February 10, 2011 
May Update: The HHS Committee will be focusing on child welfare privatization this summer as part of LR 37. The Legislative Performance Audit Committee will also be conducting an audit of child welfare privatization. Click here for their Scope Statement. 

October Update: The HHS Committee heard testimony from a variety of Child Welfare stakeholders on October 18. Among them was Court Improvement Project Director, Dr. Vicky Weisz. Weisz shared the results of a survey of judges and a survey of Through the Eyes of the Child team members. 

Click here to read the Judge Survey Report.
Click here to read the Team Member Report.

2010 Legislative Bills

2010 Legislative Bills
2010 Legislative Bills

LB800 - Includes a number of provisions regarding juvenile offenders and status offenders. 

Update: LB800 was signed into law by the Governor on April 30, 2010. LB800 covers a variety of issues including early intervention on youth crime, parental involvment, school attendance, alternatives to detention, authority of probation officers in imposing sanctions, and sealing juvenile records. Related to abuse/neglect cases, the bill also eliminates the use of three-judge appeals panels (aka juvenile review panels) and approves  the use of telephonic and video conferencing for all non evidentiary hearings and all evidentiary hearings with the consent of the parties. LB800 was passed by senators 48-0.

LB971 - Includes a number of provisions relating to the care and placement of children in foster care regarding maintaining sibling relationships, providing prompt notification to relatives, and requiring transition plans for older youth. 

LB973 - Changes provisions relating to the central register of child protection cases. 

2009 Legislative Bills

2009 Legislative Bills
2009 Legislative Bills

Click here for the 2009 Legislative Bills.