As expected, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has vetoed a bill requiring him to apply for a second round of funding from the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
Ricketts strongly fought the bill in the Legislature, saying it wasn’t needed because the COVID emergency is over, and he repeated his arguments in his veto letter – calling the program “big government socialism.”
RIcketts wrote that “taking three more years of federal funding to make rental payments will create a government subsidy that will make people more reliant on the government for years to come.”
He also pointed out again that Nebraska still has nearly $30-million dollars left from the first round of the program’s funding – about 40% of what it received – leaving “more than enough to meet the legitimate needs for assistance through the end of the year.”
Omaha Senator Justin Wayne almost immediately filed a motion to override the veto. 33 votes would be needed, 7 more than the bill received on final approval.
An override could be moot anyway. The bill passed without an emergency clause, so it would not become effective for 3 more months and the application deadline for the federal money is Thursday – although it’s possible Nebraska could get a waiver.