Nebraska lawmakers have given initial approval to a bill that could let child care subsidies for low income families slip as costs rise.
Senators advanced the bill by a 30-10 vote. Under the bill, the subsidy could slide to as low as 50% of what all providers charge. Right now the state must pay between 60 and 75%.
Several senators say the bill will place too much of a financial burden on low-income families who rely on the subsidy. They say changing it may force parents to quit their jobs because they would no longer be able to afford child care.
Supporters of the bill say lawmakers have to make tough decisions to solve an expected $895 million budget gap over the next two years.