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3.18.2024

How Our Kids Fared in the Legislative Session

A young African American girl with braided hair and beads stands looking at the camera smiling with her arms crossed with adults and tables behind her.

In Nevada, our legislators meet once every two years for 120 days to make critical decisions on funding, programs, and other policies that impact children and families throughout the state. The Children’s Advocacy Alliance serves as an independent voice for Nevada’s children and families, advocating for positive changes that will support children and families. In 2023, the Children’s Advocacy Alliance monitored 214 bills and worked closely with lawmakers to pass proactive legislative priorities. We also opposed legislation that would put Nevada’s children and families on the wrong track. 

So how did our children and families fare through this past legislative session? Below are a few highlights from our 2023 Legislative Report on key pieces of legislation, some that passed and others that failed, impacting Nevada’s early childhood population.

Maternal and Child Health

Nevada’s majority-women legislature continued to make strides for new parents and babies this legislative session. In a state where nearly 60% of all births in Nevada are Medicaid covered, it is crucial to fund programs that support new parents and babies.

Disability, Mental, and Behavioral Health

In October of 2022, the Department of Justice issued their legal findings regarding the inadequacy of Nevada’s community-based behavioral health supports for children. In response, the State invested $43 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds to support these services. Unfortunately, those funds were not sustained at the same levels in the State budget approved by the Legislature. 

Nutrition

Approximately 281,000 Nevada families with children are experiencing food insecurity. Food insecurity can lead to poor health and quality of life outcomes including chronic diseases and mental health challenges. Hunger in Nevada was made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.

School Readiness and Early Childhood Systems

School readiness begins during the prenatal period. Aligning Nevada’s early childhood systems, improving access to quality child care and education programs, encouraging the use of family supports and home visiting programs, investing in healthcare, and providing economic support for families will ensure that children are prepared to learn and will avoid behavioral and learning issues in the future. Lawmakers considered several bills aimed at creating a strong start for Nevada’s children

 

These are only a few of the bills that were heard in the 2023 Legislative Session impacting children and families. The full 2023 Legislative Report from the Children’s Advocacy Alliance and a video recording of our 2023 CAA Legislative Debrief Webinar is available on our website at caanv.org or by clicking here.

Although the next legislative session will not begin until February 2025, the Children’s Advocacy Alliance is actively working to identify policy solutions that work for our children and families. 

To learn more or get involved, please contact us at [email protected] or call 702-228-1869.


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