Weather Updates, Proclamation Signed For School Choice Week During Governor Press Briefing

LINCOLN – Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts began the week by hosting his first of two press conferences discussing Nebraska’s work to support coronavirus vaccinations and help individuals get back to a more normal life.

From the Governor’s Hearing Room inside the Nebraska State Capitol, Monday’s press briefing first began with an update from the weather system moving into Nebraska. Travel Monday afternoon into the evening was described as difficult to impossible. For those who get stranded on the side of the road, should call *511 and stay with your vehicle as troopers and law enforcement officers will stop for stranded vehicles.

All the commercial vehicle scales were closed Monday to allow those troopers with 4WD vehicles to assist with stranded motorists and accidents.

Governor Ricketts then continued to remind Nebraskans that the pandemic is still here.

“Please continue to be good about keeping that six foot of distance between you and other people when you’re out in public, wear a mask when you go to the store and wash your hands often,” said Ricketts. “If you’ve got the symptoms please stay home as it’s very important that if you have those symptoms of the coronavirus or the flu to stay home so you don’t spread that.”

Test Nebraska has delivered over 636,000 test results and, in the state, two million tests have been completed.

Hospitalizations in Nebraska continue to decrease as they recently dropped below the 10% threshold at 292 hospitalizations. If the seven-day average stays there, Nebraska will drop down into the green category which means most of the restrictions are reduced besides quarantining.

Also, 36% of hospital beds are available, 35% of the ICU beds are available and 76% of the ventilators are available.

Governor Ricketts also proclaimed January 24 – 30 as School Choice Week in Nebraska.

Governor Ricketts has a couple proposals into the legislature as part of his administration initiative. He is proposing of putting two million dollars in each of the next two years for a Choice Scholarship Program and to essentially triple the size of the Textbook Loan Program for private schools and home schools.

Governor Ricketts will be testifying in front of the revenue committee on Wednesday for LR22CA.

“This is the constitutional amendment I proposed in conjunction with senator Linehan to limit how much property taxes can go up in a given year for people,” Ricketts added. “So, that’s important to make sure that property tax relief dollars that the state is providing are actually going to people’s pockets.”

Governor Ricketts will also host another press briefing on Friday, January 29 at 10 a.m.