Nebraska Legislature to Reconvene Monday for Emergency COVID-19 Funding

March 20, 2020, 8:25 p.m. ·

A picture of the Nebraska legislative chamber. (Photo by Fred Knapp)

Speaker of the Legislature Jim Scheer says the Nebraska Unicameral will reconvene Monday to authorize emergency funding to help address spread of COVID-19 in the state.

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The Nebraska legislature suspended their 2020 session on March 16th following concerns over the coronavirus. The Unicameral reconvenes Monday, March 23rd for a three-day emergency funding session. Sen. Jim Scheer said the time is now for legislators to act.

“I realize the severity of the public health crisis we are facing,” Scheer said. “I am only bringing the Legislature back into session because it is necessary for us to authorize this critical funding so that Nebraska can respond sufficiently to the current crisis.”

On Friday, Gov. Pete Ricketts held a press conference announcing he’ll ask the Legislature for nearly $60 million to fight the coronavirus.

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About $38 million would be for personal protective equipment and support to local health departments. Another $17 million would be for extra staffing for veterans homes and care facilities run by the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as additional staff for the department in areas including epidemiology and interpreters.

There is no date set for when the 2020 legislative session will officially resume. The three-day session is temporary and will be focused on coronavirus funding. However, Scheer has said the session will continue once the COVID-19 situation has stabilized.