One Step Forward After Five Steps Back

April 12, 2012 at 1:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

After signing five child welfare bills into law, Governor Heineman had to come up with something to say. The Unicameral has absolutely destroyed him and his Department of Health and Human Services this session. He couldn’t let them have the last word. So he went with:

These bills represent an important step forward as we continue to reform child welfare to better serve the citizens of Nebraska.

You’re right, Dave. These bills are an important step forward. Unfortunately, it comes on the heels of the Heineman Administration’s insistence that we first take several gigantic steps backwards; and it happened only because the Unicameral held a gun to the back of Heineman’s head. But yes, Nebraska has taken a step forward.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that we’re well on our way to having the system fixed. Not even close. The system was broken before Heineman got his hands on it, and it’s significantly more broken now. These bills represent minor, temporary repairs, nothing more. There remains a tremendous amount of work to be done—many years’ worth. True solutions will not happen under this administration without substantial, relentless pressure from the Unicameral, the courts, from advocacy organizations, and from the public. Even then I doubt we will have a system we can be proud of until after this Governor is out of office. He is on the record declaring that child welfare is not a priority. He hasn’t made any voluntary changes despite overwhelming evidence of massive systematic failures. He is not the leader we’re looking for.

Thank you to the lawmakers and advocates who pushed these issues over the past few months. Please don’t stop. Your efforts are needed just as much now as ever before.

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The Comments

MattF April 12, 2012 at 5:21pm

Let’s see what he does with 599 - LB 599 is intended to allow Nebraska to continue to offer prenatal services to unborn children of low-income women.  The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) notified Nebraska in 2009 that it must stop providing prenatal services to some of these children through Medicaid.  CMS has also notified Nebraska that prenatal care may be provided to unborn children through the Children

seth April 19, 2012 at 6:29am

So is there a primer out there on this whole issue for those of us who kinda neglected it at the start and are now having trouble understanding what’s going on.

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