Senators are working together to rid the foster care system of what they say are conflicts of interest.
Omaha Sen. Bob Krist pitched a bill to a legislative panel Friday to do away with Nebraska Foster Care Review Board entirely. His plan then gives the Legislature oversight of the office.
Amanda McGill 's bill disqualifies those whose employers receive funds from DHHS from serving on the board.
The Foster Care Review Board was created as a watchdog for the department, but some of those who testified for the proposed measures said the board includes members affiliated with agencies receiving funding from the department.
Although many proponents showed up to the hearing to voice their support, no one spoke out against it. Krist says he still thinks some people were absent from Friday's hearing.
Senator Krist said " There were people out there that wanted to come testify today and they were told not to for fear that they would lose their job. I want to put everybody on notice right now that any member in this organization or this agency that gets a pink slip in my mind needs to have a very valid reason to walk."
Foster Care Review Board member and chair Georgie Scurfield responded to Krist's allegations. " It was very shocking and surprising to us. They have not questioned us, we have not tried to keep the staff from testifying and they can certainly contact their senators."
Krist says of the measure " My plan eliminates the 11 member foster care review board. There is no more perception of not filtering information or filtering information, there is only the information being delivered to us."
Scurfield said she doesn't necessarily oppose the plan as long as it is what best benefits the children involved "As the chair of the board, I'm not concerned about how the work is done but I am concerned the work continues to be done." Scurfield added "We want the work to continue because the most important thing is that the children have the advocacy that they need."