State senators poised to override governor’s veto on rent subsidy law

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) — The Nebraska Unicameral and Gov. Ricketts are back and forth over whether the state should seek millions of dollars in additional federal rent assistance.

Gov. Ricketts this week vetoed a bill that would force the state to seek more federal funding from the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Now the Nebraska Legislature is considering overriding the veto.

State Senator Matt Hansen supports LB 1073, which would seek more rent subsidies from the federal government. He said the state is still helping people in Nebraska catch up on rent payments after struggling during the pandemic.

“We see that the need is still high, certainly with inflation, rising prices, supply chain bottlenecks and people struggling to get everyday things,” Senator Hansen said.

Lawmakers will vote next week to override the governor’s veto. They would need 30 votes and Senator Hansen believes they have enough.

“It’s going to be a close vote, so it’s really important that everyone call their senator and let them know they support and want these funds,” Senator Hansen said.

The state missed the March 31 deadline to receive $120 million in rental subsidies, but the senator said there was still a chance of receiving $50 million. This would secure aid for the next three years.

Governor Ricketts said in his veto letter:

“The ERAP is no longer about addressing the impact of the coronavirus. If instead three more years of federal funds are used to pay rent, a government subsidy will be created that will make people more dependent on the government for years to come.”

The senator disagrees.

“You know this is designed to be a temporary program,” Senator Hansen said. “It has an end date and is not designed for that.”

Senator Hansen said Lincoln and Lancaster County have their own rental subsidy funds. He said this funding would impact other counties and areas across the state.

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