WAYNE – Nebraska State Treasurer, John Murante and Legislative District 1 Senator, Julie Slama visited the Wayne studio Wednesday afternoon traveling across the state providing information about the Financial Literacy Act.
Under LB452 (as amended by LB327), under guidance from the Nebraska Department of Education, Nebraska schools will be required to include fiscal literacy instruction, as appropriate, in the educational program of their elementary and middle schools.
Senator Terrell McKinney (LD 11 – Omaha) first introduced his bill which requires school districts to implement age-appropriate financial literacy and personal finance lessons throughout their K-12 education. Senator Slama’s bill adds financial literacy as a graduation requirement as students who graduate from a Nebraska high school will need to take a semester of personal finance or financial literacy.
Slama said the two bills were combined into one to pass it.
“It was one of the few bills I’ve ever seen pass the legislature unanimously,” said Slama. “So, getting that across the finish line was a big win not just for the unicameral but for students across Nebraska as well to really ensure that every Nebraska student has a great toolbox of financial literacy as they head out into the adult world.”
Senator Slama leads District 1 being southeast Nebraska of Otoe, Nemaha, Johnson, Pawnee and Richardson counties.
State Treasurer Murante leads a couple main functions in their office being Treasury Management, leading Nebraska’s College Savings Program along with unclaimed property.
Prior to becoming the State Treasurer, Murante operated his family’s small business and employed a lot of young people.
“It really concerned me that basic financial skills like balancing a checkbook, developing a personal budget, understanding the difference between good and bad debt,” Murante added. “Especially as kids head off to college and amount more and more student-loan debt which is really crippling our state and our country.”
Senator Slama stated that student-loan debt is the only kind of debt that can’t be forgiven through bankruptcy.
Prior to graduation, students will need to pass one five-hour fiscal literacy course. The coursework can include topics such as credit, budgeting, taxes, debt, saving, insurance, investing and other topics.
Slama also mentioned the legislative session was very productive.
“Nebraska is in a very strong financial position in the aftermath of COVID,” Slama mentioned. “We were fortunate to have a strong foundation in place beforehand and have a strong ‘Rainy Day’ fund. So, that put us in a great position when it came to budgeting everything out this year.”
The session covered subjects such as COVID recovery money, investing more in the ‘Rainy Day’ fund, providing about a billion dollars of property tax relief along with investing in the rural community.
The Nebraska Council on Economic Education out of the University of Nebraska is leading the way in providing financial literacy training across the board for children and adults. Right now, the group is working on a program which will teach teachers to teach financial literacy free of charge.
More information on the Financial Literacy Act and free financial resources can be found at treasurer.nebraska.gov.