Nebraska lawmakers failed Tuesday to override Gov. Pete Ricketts’ veto of a bill forcing him to apply for $120 million dollars in federal pandemic rental assistance.
Supporters fell one vote short of the 30 they needed to overcome the governor’s refusal to apply, leaving Nebraska as the only state to flat-out reject the second round of funding.
Lawmakers who pushed for Nebraska to seek the extra aid say it makes no sense to turn away the money because there’s a growing need for rental aid and because the state would keep any accrued interest if the money wasn’t spent.
. Ricketts and other critics argued the emergency that led to the program is over and that Nebraska still has $30 million dollars in unspent money from an earlier round of funding.
Critics say a major reason so much money was unclaimed is that the state application system was so bad that many people who tried to start the process gave up out of frustration.