Senators vote to let more families get child care subsidy

A bill that would allow more families to qualify for a child care subsidy as they transition out of poverty won first-round approval Tuesday from Nebraska lawmakers.

Senators advanced the measure, 25-7, through the first of three required votes in the Legislature.

The proposal by Sen. Kate Bolz, of Lincoln, would allow recipients to claim “transitional child care assistance” if they earn up to 200% of the federal poverty guidelines, or $52,400 for a family of four. The current eligibility level stops at 185% or $47,160 for that same family.

Supporters, including some business groups, have said the measure will minimize the so-called “cliff effect” that encourages low-income people not to seek a raise at their jobs because doing so would cause a sharp drop in their public benefits.

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