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Ricketts Won’t Apply For More Federal Money For Utilities And Rent Assistance

      Nebraska Gov Pete Ricketts continues to say “no” to the state applying for another $120-million dollars to help individuals pay for utilities and rent. Nebraska and Arkansas are the only states that haven’t applied for the emergency aid.

      The Legislature’s Appropriations Committee unanimously signed a letter urging the governor to apply by the program’s March 31st deadline, citing a 23% increase in calls from outside Lincoln and Omaha to a statewide rent and utility helpline.

    They said the extra federal money would help landlords, who actually get the aid payments, and bring the state another $7-million dollars in interest – leading the senators to call it “simply sound fiscal and social policy” for the state to apply.

     Ricketts, though, told a Monday news conference he sees no “justification” for the state to apply given signs the COVID-triggered emergency has passed and the state’s record-low unemployment. 

      Ricketts said Nebraska received $200-million dollars in the first round of federal rental assistance funding and 42% of that money still hasn’t been used. $158-million was for rural areas only with the other $42-million for the Lincoln-Omaha area. 

1 thought on “Ricketts Won’t Apply For More Federal Money For Utilities And Rent Assistance”

  1. Governor Ricketts is misunderstanding the absolute struggle that rural renters can face. Inflation is eating what little money they have and many renters in rural areas are continuing to struggle to make rent. We are landlords and are seeing this first hand. We have single-income families who have been working through the pandemic, fully employed and still struggling to make the bills and we have single-income families who are continuing to get then lose jobs (employers can’t pay them) and are struggling to pay bills. To not apply for money that could help them until things smooth out is ridiculous. I called his office and got no better explanation than what is listed above, and I think that is incredibly short sighted.


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