- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 7, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A bill to continue a behavioral health screening program for children has won first-round approval from Nebraska lawmakers.

Lawmakers advanced the measure Tuesday even as some questioned the pilot program’s effectiveness. The program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center is scheduled to end in September.

Sen. Matt Hansen of Lincoln says 1,941 children have been screened for conditions including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression and other behavioral health problems.

The program is already receiving $450,000 a year, an amount included in the university’s base budget.

Some senators criticized Nebraska’s use of pilot programs which are often made permanent later at the state’s expense. Sen. Bill Kintner of Papillion says every program has a constituency that will defend it.

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The bill is LB240

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