Ricketts signs bill providing $83 million to fight coronavirus in Nebraska

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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) -- Gov. Pete Ricketts on Wednesday signed a bill for $83 million in emergency funding to aid in the state's efforts to fight COVID-19.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts signs LB-1198 into law on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, providing emergency funds for the state's fight against coronavirus. (Photo from the office of Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts)

“I am grateful to state senators for coming together to approve the emergency funding,” Ricketts said in a news release.

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The Unicameral sent the bill to the governor's office hours earlier.

In a quick, unanimous vote Wednesday afternoon, Nebraska lawmakers passed an $83 million emergency spending bill to help with the state's effort to combat coronavirus.

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Much like Monday's vote, the final 45-0 vote to tap into the state's rainy day fund took only a few minutes. The bill passed about 20 minutes before Gov. Pete Ricketts appeared for his daily news conference to give an update on the state's progress in fighting coronavirus.

“Nebraskans across the state have united in the battle against this virus. From Local Health Departments to frontline healthcare workers to volunteer organizations, winning the war will require a team effort from everyone," Ricketts said in the release. "I also urge each and every Nebraskan to take direct action to support their neighbors and local businesses as we confront this public health emergency together.”

Ricketts has also announced that the Small Business Administration has issued a statewide economic injury declaration for Nebraska. The declaration qualifies Nebraska small businesses to apply for SBA disaster loans.

The emergency bill was then sent to the governor's desk, who was expected to sign the bill quickly.