Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wed. update/Action Alert- "The rails are greased and the train's heading down the track"

(photo: Canadian National Archives)


Please see these two action alerts on what can still be done about the Nebraska dump law, there is still time to demand nothing short of a full repeal/age it down to Zero!


This morning’s Nebraska special session was quick, slightly over an hour long.

This article from the Omaha World-Herald contains a pretty good summary of the day’s discussion:

Before today’s vote to advance the bill, some lawmakers emphasized that help is available in Nebraska for parents and guardians struggling with troubled older children. Others vowed to improve mental-health and other services for children.

State Sen. Steve Lathrop of Omaha, for example, pointed to existing law that requires law enforcement to take children into custody if they are endangered or mentally ill and dangerous.

“Most of the (safe haven cases) fit within the parameters of this law,” Lathrop said. “We do not leave these families in crisis out in the cold.”

Sen. John Synowiecki of Omaha said although Nebraska has done much in recent years to improve mental health services for adults, it has done too little in the area of mental health services for children. He said that is why some families turned to the safe haven law to get help for their older children.

“Unfortunately, we focused almost entirely on the adult system of care — and I think we’re seeing the results of that,” he said, adding that Heineman is proposing to allocate $18 million to build new mental health facilities for children in coming years.

Sen. Tom White of Omaha, however, said lawmakers should not be too complacent about people being able to turn troubled children over to police. He said police don’t have any place to take mentally ill people once they get them.

“It is a failing of us and this administration to provide necessary acute beds,” he said. “That is what we leave when we close the door on this special session. That is the situation our police officers and our mentally ill citizens continue to face.”

LB 1 (now the 30 day limit bill) was advanced through the second round by a vote of 41-6 (link opens a PDF- the NE Legislative Journal for Day 5 of the special session.)

The final vote may occur Friday.

As Senator Tom Carlson pointed out today, Nebraska Legislators are treating the 30 day limit as pretty much a done deal at this point. (see 30-day age limit for Neb. safe-haven law advances)

“The rails are greased and the train’s heading down the track,” said state Sen. Tom Carlson.

Mind you, it's a runaway train about the jump the rails, but then understanding that would involve foresight... .

While Legislators may be relaxing and looking forward to getting Friday’s vote over and done with, Nebraska’s kids are just being given a second helping of failure.

After the child welfare catastrophe the Unicam and Governor created last time out, leaving a minimum of 48 kids in LB 157’s (Nebraska’s legalized child abandonment law) wake, now they want to come back for yet still more.

LB 1, if passed will simply ensure a whole new class of younger kids will join their older predecessors in the tragic common bond of state enabled and encouraged abandonment.

Nebraska has barely begun to deal with its first batch of “dumplings,” now legislators appear to want to make yet still more.

State enabling and encouragement of child abandonment guts 100 years of child welfare social policy, of which one of the key goals was to convince guardians NOT to abandon their children.

When the state shifts its role from that of protecting the long term interests of kids to that of encouraging the abandonment of some of it’s smallest citizens least able to fend for themselves, something has gone horribly awry. Enabling child abandonment is not “saving” children, it is instead the very definition of harm, a harm the kids will have to endure for a lifetime.

There is still a tiny pocket of time left to avert impending disaster for the next set of Nebraska’s soon to be “dumplings.”

There is still time to contact Nebraska legislators and tell them in no uncertain terms that abandonment is never good for kids, and that when the state abandons the stance of trying to stop abandonments, all abandonments, it abandons those who need it to stand firm the most: kids.

Please, contact the legislators before it’s too late. Don’t agonize over the wording, short and simple is often best.

Permanently Repeal the legalized child abandonment law, age it down to Zero.

Protect Nebraska’s children from suffering the lifelong consequences of being abandoned.

Here is the Nebraska Legislators main list (each entry has contact information & phone)


E-mail address for those that have them:

Adams, Greg -
Aguilar, Ray -
Ashford, Brad -
Avery, Bill -
Burling, Carroll -
Carlson, Tom -
Christensen, Mark -
Cornett, Abbie -
Dierks, Cap -
Dubas, Annette -
Engel L. Patrick -
Erdman, Philip -
Fischer, Deb -
Flood, Mike -
Friend, Mike -
Fulton, Tony -
Gay, Tim -
Hansen, Thomas -
Harms, John -
Heidemann, Lavon -
Howard, Gwen -
Hudkins, Carol -
Janssen, Ray -
Johnson, Joel -
Karpisek, Russ -
Kopplin, Gail -
Kruse, Lowen -
Langemeier, Chris -
Lathrop, Steve -
Lautenbaugh, Scott -
Louden, LeRoy -
McDonald, Vickie -
McGill, Amanda -
Nantkes, Danielle -
Nelson, John -
Pahls, Rich -
Pankonin, Dave -
Pedersen, Dwite -
Pirsch, Pete -
Preister, Don -
Raikes, Ron -
Rogert, Kent -
Schimek, DiAnna -
Stuthman, Arnie -
Synowiecki,John -
Wallman,Norman -
White, Tom -
Wightman, John -

-Lauren Sabina Kneisly

(Author of Baby Love Child
and co-author of Children of the Corn.)

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