May Day Mayday—the distress of COVID-19 continues to build, even as the government readies plans to restore growth in Nebraska’s economy. The Nebraska legislative community was all saddened by the news that the father of Senator Tony Vargas lost his courageous fight against the coronavirus and passed away on Wednesday in New York. The Nebraska Department of Labor reported another 8,200 claims last week for unemployment; in the last six weeks, the number of Nebraskans filing for employment has topped 103,000. Virus case numbers continue to climb, especially around meat packing plants.
Meanwhile, Governor Ricketts announced the formation of a “Get Nebraska Growing” task force to focus on safely resuming business operations. A number of directed health measures are being relaxed, allowing worship services, salon services, and in-restaurant dining to resume in certain areas with some restrictions. As we previously reported, elective surgeries (including elective veterinary cases) are allowed to resume May 4, if certain conditions including sufficient PPE supplies are met.
When asked at a press conference about potential property tax relief (allowing for late payments to counties), Governor Ricketts said he longed for the days of debating property tax relief, a reminder of how distant the legislative priorities of the earlier part of the year now seem. We still expect the Legislature to meet to finish the business of the 105th Legislature; there are divergent views amongst members about when and how that should occur.
The Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association is the recognized voice of veterinary medicine in Nebraska. We organize local and statewide events for professional development, networking, and communications.