Nebraska lawmakers advance emergency funding bill for virus

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts at the podium during a press conference following the release of two women from the National Quarantine Unit on the UNMC campus in Omaha. The two women, Jeri Seratti-Goldman and Joanne Kirkland were among those evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship off the coast of Japan and brought to Nebraska to be monitored for the coronavirus. (Courtesy of UNMC/Nebraska Medicine)
By  | 

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Nebraska lawmakers have advanced an $83.6 million emergency funding package to help fight the new coronavirus as Gov. Pete Ricketts sought to assure the public that the state is “well ahead of the curve” compared to others in its response to the global pandemic.

RELATED: More coverage | Case map | Metro exposure sites

The new funding bill sailed through a key procedural vote in the Legislature with no lawmakers dissenting.

The package includes millions of dollars for personal protective equipment for local governments, lab testing at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and an ultraviolet light box that would disinfect old face masks so health officials could reuse them.