Senators advance employment pilot bill

2013-05-22T19:00:00Z 2013-05-28T12:50:07Z Senators advance employment pilot billBy JoANNE YOUNG / Lincoln Journal Star

A pilot of a job subsidy program for low-income Nebraskans will move forward in the Legislature after a 35-1 vote Wednesday.

The bill (LB368) was offered by Sen. Sue Crawford of Bellevue. It creates new job opportunities for low-income Nebraskans and allows small businesses to grow, while minimizing risks involved in hiring new employees, Crawford said.

Meaningful workplace experience can significantly contribute to long-term employability, Crawford said.

The program would last four years, beginning July 1, 2014, and would subsidize employees at 100 percent the first two months, 75 percent in month three, 50 percent in months four and five and 25 percent in month six.

The subsidy would end after the six months, with the hope that the employer would keep the recipient on the job after that, Crawford said. But even if the business doesn't do that, the recipient would have six valuable months of job experience to use to find another job, she said.

The program would be paid for with $4 million from the Temporary Aid to Needy Families "rainy day fund," which has reached at least $50 million.

The program meets TANF goals of preventing dependency and encouraging strong two-parent families, Crawford said.

Sen. Dave Bloomfield of Hoskens was the lone "no" vote after the bill's first round of debate.

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