Over the next few weeks we will be telling you about this year’s recipients of our Good Apple Awards, which will be honored at the Good Apple Awards on October 4, 2012 in Omaha.
This year, we are proud to present the Jim Wolf Equal Justice Award for lifetime achievement to Senator Kathy Campbell.
The award honors Nebraskans:
- Whose actions in his or her career enhanced the common good of the community above personal self-interest;
- Has demonstrated concern for equal justice for all;
- Has provided greater opportunities for those less fortunate;
- And, has heeded the call to respond to adversarial and difficult circumstances facing others.
Senator Campbell’s leadership as Chairwoman of the Health and Human Services Committee has resulted in extraordinary work and policies that will have a lasting and significant impact in the lives of thousands of Nebraskans.
When Nebraska’s child welfare system hit rock bottom in its effort to privatize, Senator Campbell introduced LR 37, an interim study to review, investigate and assess the effect of the privatization. Under Senator Campbell’s leadership, LR 37 was much more than a typical interim study. Senator Campbell and the HHS Committee traveled across the state to hear from a range of stakeholders. The Committee pursued research, interviews, surveys, and briefings, and heard from countless individuals from many perspectives.
The result was a 400-page report that included 18 recommendations and charted a positive path forward for reform of the system. As a result of the report, the Legislature passed a package of child welfare bills this session that created much needed accountability, transparency and oversight of the state’s child welfare system. These measures have given stability to the system that is responsible for the permanency, safety and well-being of over 6,000 children.
Senator Campbell was also the courageous sponsor of LB 599 (and previously LB 1110) which restored prenatal care to all low-income babies in Nebraska. She stepped up to restore that coverage as soon as it was terminated in 2010 and worked for two years to gather data and work with stakeholders until the bill was passed this past session. Her bill ensures the next generation of future Nebraskans will have a healthy start in life. (See our Q&A on prenatal coverage.)
For her efforts toward protecting Nebraska children, we are proud to recognize Senator Kathy Campbell with the Jim Wolf Equal Justice Award.
Click here to purchase tickets for the 2012 Good Apple Awards.