(WOWT.COM Lincoln April 23, 2022) Touting Nebraska’s strides in economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Pete Ricketts sent a response to the U.S. Treasury Department on Friday detailing why the state was declining the second round of emergency rental assistance.
“Nebraska’s economy is doing well,” Ricketts said in the letter, noting cash reserves, low unemployment, Politico’s recent accolade for the state’s COVID-19 response, as well as a similar nod from the National Bureau for Economic Research. “…our men and women have jobs, and our children are taken care of… This is, in part, due to responsible (state) government spending.”
Ricketts vetoed the Unicameral’s request for Nebraska’s application for the ERAP funds twice. The governor said he didn’t feel compelled to request the second round because he hadn’t been provided with any data from “housing advocates” indicating the assistance was needed.
“For months, I have invited these groups to provide me with any data showing there remains a pandemic-related need for these funds,” he says in the letter.
Ricketts also took the opportunity to criticize the Biden administration’s stimulus plan, highlighting current inflation levels, and said it was all the more reason for Nebraska not to accept the funds.
“Flooding the economy with nearly two trillion dollars of stimulus money and incentivizing people to rely on the government not only exacerbates the issues we face as a nation. It would be irresponsible of me as governor to take federal dollars that we do not need and add to this growing problem,” he said in the letter.