Governor Ricketts addresses Nebraska’s future plans

Local4 News at 6
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 7:34 AM CDT
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - The future plans of Nebraska was discussed as Governor Pete Ricketts attended this year’s Nebraska Ag and Economic Development Summit.

The event was held in Kearney at the Younes Conference Center and is known as the pinnacle forum for discussing issues relevant to Nebraska’s agricultural and economic development. Governor Ricketts spoke on Nebraska’s plan to enhance the Real Workforce Housing Program.

“We added $10 million to that in 2020, so we continue to invest in that and in this last ARPA bill we added $128 million into that program to help develop that real workforce housing and middle income housing. The state is making investments into the housing that communities will be able to tap into to help build some of that workforce,” said Gov. Pete Ricketts.

A number of topics were discussed, with the objective of making Nebraska better for years to come; but governor Ricketts didn’t hesitate to address the federal government’s Inflation Reduction Act.

“I think in general what you see in this so called Inflation Reduction Act its actually going to increase inflation. You can tie exactly when inflation took off in this country; when the Democrats in Congress passed their stimulus package along party lines there was a strictly partisan vote. You can tie inflation taking off to that moment in March of last year when that started happening,” said Gov. Ricketts.

The country’s inflation has impacted Nebraska farmers with to worry about making a profit from all their hard work.

“Input cost. What we’ve seen is for example fertilizer cost has tripled over the course of the last year or more. We saw diesel get above five dollars a gallon and so the estimate that I’ve seen seen from organizations like USDA is that even though commodity prices are very right now, with input prices going up even more farm income is likely to go down this year.”

Farmers had to put more of their funds into petroleum products, cutting into their profit. Another issue Ricketts addressed was building a canal from Colorado to help flow the Platte River.

“We’re proceeding forward. We’re going to be looking to issue an RFP to do the design work. We’re going to be looking at our options on land and so the legislature gave us $53.5 million dollars that will get us through the next couple of years as we go through these preliminary processes and preliminary steps.”

Governor Ricketts stated Tom Riley from the department of Natural Resources and Nebraska’s Attorney General have been spearheading conversations on the project.

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