Ricketts Eases Unemployment Rules For Those Impacted By COVID-19 Posted by John Axtell Date: March 18, 2020 4 Views LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has issued an executive order loosening the eligibility requirements for unemployment insurance benefits from this coming Sunday through May 2nd. Ricketts says it’s aimed at those who can’t work because of the coronavirus pandemic either because they’re self-quarantined or their business is closed as a result of the disease. PLAY SOUNDBITE The charge-offs deal with the fact that unemployment benefits are typically paid with contributions by employers, but those charges are being waived for cases tied to COVID-19 issues with the payments coming instead from the state’s health unemployment trust fund. Governor Ricketts is urging those filing for unemployment to go online at NEworks.nebraska.gov as part of the social-distancing effort to slow the spread of the virus. The NEworks mobile app is available to download free for those who don’t have computer access. Over the weekend, Ricketts issued an executive order allowing state and local governmental boards, commissions, and other public bodies to meet by videoconference, teleconference, or other electronic means through May 31st without violating the state’s open meetings law. The order stipulates that all such virtual meetings must be available to the public, including media, to give citizens the opportunity to participate. It does not waive the advanced publicized notice and the agenda requirements for public meetings. The Western Nebraska Community College Board of Governors is one of the first entities in the Panhandle to take advantage of the change, holding its regular March meeting today at 1:00 primarily by video conference. Only 10 people, including board members, will attend in person but with the public encouraged to follow the action virtually online at wncc.zoom.us/j/328302902. Anyone encountering problems connecting to the virtual meeting should call 308-635-6080.