Lawmakers have moved to clamp down on the oversight problems that led to ballooning costs and instability in Nebraska's child welfare privatization effort.
Lawmakers voted 35-0 Monday to advance a measure that requires
greater scrutiny of state contracts larger than $15 million.
The bill by Lincoln Sen. Bill Avery would require state agencies
to explain why they are contracting instead of using state
employees. Agencies would also have to review the long-term cost
savings of privatization, and outline how they plan to enforce each
Scottsbluff Sen. John Harms says the bill would address a critical error in Nebraska's privatization effort, which began in 2009. Four of the five child welfare providers that signed with the state have since withdrawn, citing shortfalls in state funding.