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Unicameral Reconvening For $58.6-M Emergency Coronavirus Funding

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – After a week’s recess because of the coronavirus guidelines, the Nebraska Legislature is reconvening this afternoon at 1:30 CT to take up Gov. Pete Ricketts’ request for $58.6 million dollars in emergency state funding to help respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaker of the Legislature Jim Scheer said Friday that he conferred with a number of legislative leaders to make sure enough senators would support the emergency funding before calling them back. Lawmakers will need to stay through Wednesday to be able to complete action on the funding.

Ricketts says the $58.6-million figure was reached in consultation with multiple agencies and is limited to directly fighting the coronavirus through such things as medical and cleaning supplies, tests, employee overtime, and additional staff in some key areas.

The biggest share of the request, $38-million dollars, will support local response efforts such as personal protective equipment, supplies, personnel, and IT needs. Another $13-million is for extra staff at the state veterans homes and Dept of Health and Human Services care facilities.