Disability Policy & Legislation
The MMI UCEDD serves as an informational resource to state and federal policymakers through its collaboration with Nebraska Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (NCCD), the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the state Administration for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) network, and Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD). The center routinely provides expert information to state and federal policymakers on decisions and activities impacting individuals with disabilities and their families. One area of critical activity has been the relationship between the center and the Nebraska Unicameral to provide information and testimony concerning disability issues to the Nebraska Legislature.

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List of current and pending legislation

LB206 Krist-Appropriate funds to the Department of Health and Human Services for Developmental Disability services. Funds are designated to increase provider rates. Update: not passed; funds for developmental disability programs were reduced in the state budget bill LB 327 as well as in subsequent vetoes.

LB 282 Riepe-Removes Medicaid coverage restriction for telehealth services for children, if a child has access to comparable services within 30 miles of his or her place of residence. Enhances telehealth as an option. Update: not passed; currently on general file.

LB303 Crawford-Provides funds for master's level internships to improve access to behavioral health services for Nebraskans in rural and urban underserved areas by recruiting, training, placing and retaining behavioral health professionals to work in primary care medical practices. Directly impacts UNMC and MMI. Update: not passed; held in Appropriations Committee.

LB305 Crawford-Adopts the Paid Family Medical Leave Insurance Act. The act will create a paid family leave insurance program to provide income replacement for eligible workers to care for themselves or a family member following a serious illness or to care for a new family member through birth, foster care or adoption. Benefit to families with children with chronic conditions. Update: not passed; held in Business and Labor Committee.

LB 417 as presented by the Department of Health and Human Services. This bill contains language that gives DHHS significantly increased latitude in determining supports, services and the quality assurance of certain programs, including developmental disabilities. Advocates are asking for more external oversight of NDHHS/DD. Update: signed by Governor May 2, 2017.

LB 438 Howard-Increase taxes on cigarettes and tobacco and provide for distribution of funds; for example, to fund the University of Nebraska Medical  Center Munroe-Meyer Institute Neurobehavioral Clinic program to study and  improve methods for intervening early in the lives of children with behavioral and mental health problems. Update: not passed; held in Revenue Committee.

LB 442 Bolz-Establishes the Medical Assistance Managed Care Organization Oversight Committee. DHHS Medicaid Long-term Services is currently investigating developing Managed Care Organizations for Long-Term Care, including Developmental Disabilities. This bill brings in additional oversight into the process. Update: not passed; held in executive board.

LB 495 amends state law to bring the Department of Health and Human Services into compliance with federal requirements to prioritize funding for services based on health and safety. Current statutes are in conflict with federal requirements for wait list management. This bill in particular will no longer allow Nebraska students leaving special education services at the age of 21 to an entitlement for day services if found eligible for Developmental Disability services. This is a significant concern for families in transition. Update: was amended into LB 333 and passed the Senate May 16, 2017.

LB595 Groene-Allows teachers and administrators to maintain order in the classroom from unruly students by allowing them to set boundaries and use necessary force or physical restraint to subdue the student until such student no longer presents a danger to him or herself, the teacher or administrator, or other students. This bill also allows the teacher or administrator to use physical restraint to protect school property. The student cannot be returned to the original classroom without the teacher’s permission. The bill frees educators from legal recourse on the part of parents and students and lacks safeguard language regarding student’s rights under the IDEA and ESSA. Most instances of restraint and/or seclusion in Nebraska schools involves children with disabilities. Update: not passed; held in general file.

LB 649 Pansing Brooks-Prohibits additional populations or services under the Medicaid managed care program; it requires that no additional long-term care populations or services be added to the at-risk capitated managed care program before either Jan. 1, 2019 or the completion of a critical evaluation proving the success of such program. Allows for more careful assessment of managed care initiatives in the state. Update: not passed; held in Health and Human Services Committee.