LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraskans who need housing, tools or other assistance to recover from this month's flooding can now post a request on a new state website .
Trump approves federal disaster declaration for Nebraska
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — President Donald Trump has approved Nebraska's request for federal disaster assistance in response to historic flooding throughout the state.
The Latest: Minnesota to help Nebraska flood fight
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on Midwest flooding (all times local):
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has signed an emergency executive order to provide aerial assistance to...
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Tim Walz has sent Minnesota Army National Guard troops to Nebraska to help with the flood disaster.
Walz signed an executive order Thursday in response to...
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — State officials say the flooding that swept Nebraska has caused nearly $1.4 billion in estimated losses and damage.
Gov. Pete Ricketts said Wednesday that roads, levies...
Nebraska files expedited request for disaster assistance
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has submitted an expedited request to the federal government for disaster assistance in the wake of historic flooding in the state.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on flooding in the Midwest (all times local):
Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Nebraska to survey damage from flooding in the...
Nebraska lawmakers pass bill to merge 2 state agencies
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska lawmakers have passed a bill to merge the state Department of Environmental Quality and the Nebraska State Energy Office.
Nebraska Republican Party names new executive director
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Republican Party has named a new executive director.
The party announced Wednesday that Ryan Hamilton has taken the job. Hamilton is a veteran of local and...
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Gov. Pete Ricketts has issued an emergency declaration in preparation for an impending winter storm in western Nebraska and anticipated flooding in other parts of the...
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A former Nebraska Republican Party intern who later worked as a paid campaign staffer for Gov. Pete Ricketts apologized Monday after being exposed as the person behind a...
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Gov. Pete Ricketts has signed a bill to prevent Nebraska cities from banning short-term home rentals such as Airbnb, Home Away and VBRO.
Farmers back Ricketts property tax plan; others opposed
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Farmers who have seen their property taxes surge rallied Wednesday behind Gov. Pete Ricketts' property tax plan, but local governments voiced opposition to parts of the plan...
Ricketts meets with government, business leaders in Mexico
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Gov. Pete Ricketts is once again promoting Nebraska to Mexican business and government leaders.
Ricketts visited the country last week for the second time in two years...
Ricketts, brewers join forces against proposed beer tax
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Gov. Pete Ricketts is joining forces with Nebraska's craft brewers to fight proposals that would raise taxes on craft beer in an effort to reduce property taxes.
Ricketts announced simultaneous events dubbed "Raise Glasses, Not Taxes" on March 1 in Omaha, Lincoln and Grand Island.
The events are designed to draw the public's attention to LB314 and LB497, both of which would raise taxes on craft beer, spirits, wine and other goods.
Ricketts unveils plan to finish Lincoln South Beltway early
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A state highway bypass around Lincoln could get finished ahead years ahead of schedule thanks to a new construction timeline.
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts announced the accelerated timeline for the Lincoln South Beltway on Monday with state senators, transportation officials and Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler.
Ricketts pitches military retirement tax plan to lawmakers
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Gov. Pete Ricketts told lawmakers Thursday that his proposed tax break for military retirees was necessary to keep skilled, highly motivated workers in Nebraska.
Ricketts presented the proposal to the Legislature's Revenue Committee along with dozens of veterans, including some he hired during his time as a TD Ameritrade executive.
- Columbus TelegramDon Walton: Tax reform, flood response could shape futureMarch 25, 2019
- Columbus TelegramTrump approves Nebraska for federal disaster aidMarch 22, 2019
- Columbus TelegramPlatte County as of Thursday not on federal disaster aid listMarch 22, 2019
- Columbus TelegramLegislative committee edges toward sales tax increase; tentative plan likely to earn vetoMarch 22, 2019
- Star-HeraldRicketts, other officials express confidence that Nebraska will qualify for federal aidMarch 21, 2019
Ricketts appoints new Nebraska Crime Commission director
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Gov. Pete Ricketts has appointed a state employee as the next executive director of the Nebraska Crime Commission.
Don Arp Jr. will fill the role vacated by Darrell Fisher, who retired as the commission's director after 33 years with the state. Ricketts announced the appointment Wednesday in a news release.
Medical marijuana backers file formal papers for campaign
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Backers of an effort to legalize medical marijuana in Nebraska have filed formal paperwork for a statewide ballot campaign.
Nebraskans for Sensible Marijuana Laws submitted their proposed constitutional amendment Tuesday to the Nebraska Secretary of State's office.
State Sens. Anna Wishart and Adam Morfeld, of Lincoln, are co-chairing the effort to place the issue on the 2020 ballot.
Cubs family patriarch apologizes for racist emails
CHICAGO (AP) — The patriarch of the family behind the Chicago Cubs has apologized after an online media outlet published emails in which he took part in racist comments and conspiracy theories.
Some of the emails Splinter News published Monday featured Joe Ricketts making Islamophobic comments, such as "Islam is a cult and not a religion." Others included conspiracies about former President Barack Obama's birthplace and education.
Ricketts, who founded TD Ameritrade, apologized for the emails.
9 additional Nebraska libraries to host makerspaces
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — An initiative that turns rural Nebraska libraries into makerspaces for creative and entrepreneurial projects has been expanded to nine additional communities.
Gov. Pete Ricketts and the Nebraska Library Commission announced Tuesday that the libraries have been selected to host "Nebraska's Library Innovation Studios: Transforming Rural Communities."
The newly selected libraries are in Kimball, Beatrice, Hastings, Chadron, Blue Hill, Grant, Plainview, Verdigre and Laurel.
Nebraska employers to pay less in unemployment taxes in 2019
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska businesses will pay less unemployment insurance taxes this year than they did in 2018.
Gov. Pete Ricketts announced Monday that the average tax rate for the year is 0.7 percent in 2019, which is a decrease of 0.06 percentage points from the previous year. That translates to an estimated $4.3 million less in taxes.
Nebraska lawmakers reviewing options for online sales taxes
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Now that states are free to collect sales taxes from out-of-state online retailers, Nebraska lawmakers are trying to decide who should pay them and what to do with any extra revenue.
Members of the Revenue Committee heard a variety of suggestions Thursday at a legislative hearing on three bills.
Some lawmakers want to use the revenue to reduce property taxes, although it's not clear how much they'll have at their disposal.
Omaha man chosen as Nebraska’s next State Poet
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — An Omaha man has been chosen as Nebraska's next State Poet.
Matt Mason was chosen through a selection process led by the Nebraska Arts Council, Humanities Nebraska and the Nebraska Library Commission. Those agencies presented finalists for the honor to Gov. Pete Ricketts, who announced the new state poet Wednesday.
Nebraska ag event to discuss trends in farming, agribusiness
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Farming, ranching and business leaders throughout Nebraska are set to discuss new trends in agriculture at an annual conference hosted by Gov. Pete Ricketts.
The 2019 Governor's Ag Conference is scheduled for March 4-5 in Kearney. The event was created as a networking and educational opportunity for farmers, ranchers, entrepreneurs and government officials. Producers also get the chance to learn about the latest U.S. Farm Bill and trade policies.
Medical marijuana bill draws passionate support, opposition
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A bill to legalize medical marijuana in Nebraska is drawing passionate support from people who want the drug to treat chronic conditions, but opposition from top state officials, law enforcement and former Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne.
Both sides made their case Friday to lawmakers and the public.
Nebraska Supreme Court dismisses suit from death-row inmates
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit Friday filed by eight death-row inmates who argued that their sentences were invalidated by the Legislature's repeal of capital punishment in 2015, before voters overturned the ban.
Ricketts proclaims ‘School Choice Week’ in Nebraska
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has signed a proclamation celebrating School Choice Week, an annual effort to promote private alternatives to public schools.
The event on Thursday came one day after the annual "I Love Public Schools Day," an effort to tout the importance of K-12 public schools.
Ricketts leads Nebraska Capitol walk to promote wellness
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Gov. Pete Ricketts is promoting health and wellness with a walk through the halls of the Nebraska Capitol with state officials and health advocates.
Ricketts was joined Thursday by University of Nebraska Baseball Head Coach Darin Erstad, Nebraska Sports Council Executive Director Dave Mlnarik, and Maggi Thorne, a regular on the show American Ninja Warrior.
The Nebraska Sports Council hosts the annual walk as part of its mission to promote health and active lifestyle choices.
New Nebraska Sec. of State backs push for voting equipment
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska's new Secretary of State is looking to replace outdated voting equipment with new machines in all 93 counties.
Secretary of State Bob Evnen said Wednesday that the current vote-counting machines are still accurate and secure, but replacement parts to fix them have become scarce and better equipment is now available.
Virginia official to lead Nebraska Health and Human Services
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A social services director from Virginia has been chosen to serve as the next leader of Nebraska's Department of Health and Human Services.
Gov. Pete Ricketts announced Tuesday he has selected Dannette R. Smith to serve as the agency's new chief executive officer.
Influx of federal money eases Nebraska state budget woes
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska lawmakers getting to work on a new budget won't face as much pressure to cut as they previously thought, thanks to an influx of federal dollars, but some still worry the state's financial challenges aren't over.
Nebraska is on pace to get an extra $92.1 million from the Federal Medical Assistance Program over the next two fiscal years, according to documents released last week in Gov. Pete Ricketts' proposed budget.
Nebraska Republican Party re-elects Welch as chairman
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Republican Party has re-elected its chairman to another two-year term.
The party announced Friday that Omaha attorney and former city council member Dan Welch was chosen at its State Central Committee meeting on Saturday.
Welch was first elected as chairman in March 2015, at the urging of Gov. Pete Ricketts.
Veterans greeted with handshakes and applause at new home
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) — Veterans moving into their new Kearney home have been greeted with handshakes and applause.
Gov. Pete Ricketts, Kearney Mayor Stan Clouse and other officials were on hand Wednesday as the veterans arrived at the new Central Nebraska Veterans Home in Kearney. They moved 34 miles west (55 kilometers) from the old facility in Grand Island.
Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings and North Platte had all competed for the project to replace the outdated, 225-bed Grand Island facility.
Ricketts unveils property tax package, prison funding plan
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Gov. Pete Ricketts called on lawmakers Tuesday to approve a new property tax package and boost funding for Nebraska's prison system in the face of a looming state deadline to reduce overcrowding.
Ricketts unveiled the plans in his annual State of the State address that focused heavily on taxes while highlighting his new college scholarship initiative and a proposed tax exemption for military retirees.
Veterans set to move into new Kearney facility this week
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska veterans are looking forward to moving into the new Central Nebraska Veterans Home in Kearney this week.
Vans of veterans will begin arriving at the new facility in Kearney on Wednesday morning, and Gov. Pete Ricketts will be on hand to greet them.
The veterans are moving 34 miles west (55 kilometers) from the old facility in Grand Island to Kearney.
Nebraska Gov. Ricketts pledges to collaborate with lawmakers
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Gov. Pete Ricketts promised Thursday to work collaboratively with lawmakers on major priorities in the upcoming legislative session, including a new push to reduce property taxes and attract jobs to Nebraska.
The Republican governor's remarks came after he took the oath office to serve a second and final four-year term.
The Latest: Chambers seeks to end Nebraska’s death penalty
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The Latest on the Nebraska Legislature's second day (all times local):
Nebraska state Sen. Ernie Chambers is renewing his push to abolish the death penalty after his last successful attempt was overturned by voters in 2016.
The longtime Omaha senator introduced a repeal bill Thursday on the Nebraska legislative session's second day.
The Latest: New Revenue chair plans to act on property taxes
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The Latest on the first day of Nebraska's 2019 legislative session (all times local):
The new chairwoman of the Nebraska Legislature's Revenue Committee says she plans to start work right away on a property tax package to ease the burden on farmers, ranchers and homeowners.
Sen. Lou Ann Linehan, of Omaha, was elected Wednesday to lead the panel that oversees legislative tax policy.
Ricketts to pitch Nebraska scholarship program to lawmakers
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has unveiled a plan to provide scholarships for college students in a variety of high-demand fields.
Ricketts announced Monday he will propose a Nebraska Talent Scholarships program to lawmakers. It will provide $4,000-per-year scholarships for four-year students and two-year students.
Ricketts snubs Nebraska author chosen for recognition
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Gov. Pete Ricketts has snubbed a Nebraska author whose book was chosen for statewide recognition.
The Republican governor acknowledged Monday he refused to sign a proclamation honoring Ted Genoways, whose book, "This Blessed Earth" was chosen for the "2019 One Book, One Nebraska" honor. The program encourages Nebraskans to read and discuss one book with ties to Nebraska.
Ricketts plans to maintain focus on jobs, taxes in 2nd term
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Gov. Pete Ricketts is preparing to start his second and final term in office next week with a focus on jobs, lowering taxes and promoting Nebraska domestically and abroad.
In an Associated Press interview, the Republican governor said he hopes to concentrate on the same economic issues he championed during his first four years at the Capitol.
Ricketts backs tax exemption for Nebraska military retirees
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts is proposing a tax exemption on military retirement pay in an effort to keep retirees from leaving the state.
Ricketts announced Friday that he will propose a bill to exempt half of the benefits paid to all military retirees. The measure would apply to an estimated 14,000 retirees in Nebraska and cost the state an estimated $15 million in lost revenue.
Ceremony planned as Guard soldiers deploy to Middle East
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) — A send-off ceremony is planned for about 50 Nebraska Army National Guard soldiers who will travel to the Middle East.
The Lincoln Journal Star reports Gov. Pete Ricketts will attend the ceremony Saturday in Grand Island marking the departure of soldiers assigned to two aviation units.
Fate of Grand Island Veterans Home undecided
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) — Officials haven't decided what will happen to the buildings on the Grand Island Veterans Home campus after residents are transferred to their new home in Kearney in January.
Nebraska state senator resigns early from Legislature
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska state lawmaker slated to leave office next month because of term limits has stepped down early.
Former Sen. Tyson Larson, of O'Neill, announced his resignation in a letter Wednesday to Gov. Pete Ricketts.
Larson has represented the mostly rural 40th legislative district in northeastern Nebraska since 2011. He will be replaced by Tim Gragert, of Creighton, who is set to take office when a new legislative session begins next month.
Ricketts appoints campaign aide to fill legislative seat
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Gov. Pete Ricketts has appointed his campaign press secretary to fill a southeast Nebraska legislative seat.
Ricketts on Wednesday announced he had appointed Julie Slama to fill an upcoming vacancy in District 1.
The appointment will be effective Jan. 9, when Sen. Dan Watermeier leaves the position to join the Public Service Commission.
Nebraska state agencies told to brace for federal shutdown
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts' administration is warning state agencies to brace for the impact of the partial federal government shutdown.
The Department of Administrative Services sent a memo to state agencies before the shutdown went into effect, urging them to stay in communication with federal agencies that have awarded them grants.