Senators advance bill to accept federal rental assistance

Yesterday, senators voted to advance LB1073, a bill that- with an amendment adopted before the vote to advance- would force Gov. Ricketts to apply for $120 million in a second round of emergency rental assistance available to states through the American Rescue Plan Act. 

Nebraska is one of only two states to not apply for a second round of funding, which means the program will end in the fall of this year. The federal government has extended the deadline to March 30th to give us another opportunity to apply and extend our program to 2025. 

The debate was mostly positive, especially from Sen. Stinner, chair of the Appropriations Committee, who pointed out it is fiscally irresponsible to not access these funds when the committee already has almost $4 billion in requests to spend the state’s existing $1 billion in ARPA funds. 

However, some senators still doubted the need for additional rental assistance, especially in rural areas. Now is the time to reach out to senators who did not vote “yes” and tell them how access to assistance will help your organization and those you serve, especially if you are an organization who works with Nebraskans experiencing housing instability. 

Call or email your senator to thank them for their vote or to urge them to vote yes on the next rounds of debate!

How they voted

Voting yes– Aguilar, Blood, Bostar, Brandt, Brewer, Briese, John Cavanaugh, Machaela Cavanaugh, Day, DeBoer, Dorn, Gragert, Matt Hansen, Hilkemann, Hunt, Kolterman, Lindstrom, McCollister, McDonnell, McKinney, Morfeld, Pahls, Pansing Brooks, Stinner, Vargas, Walz, Wayne, Williams, Wishart

Voting no– Albrecht, Clements, Erdman, Jacobson, Lowe, Murman, Slama

Present not voting– Arch, Bostelman, Friesen, Halloran, Ben Hansen, Hilgers, Hughes, Linehan, Moser, Sanders

Excused not voting (absent)– Flood, Geist, Lathrop

What’s next

There is still a long road ahead to final passage for LB1073. Speaker Hilgers will need to put it on the agenda to advance the bill on Select File, then Final Reading. It needs to pass with 33 yes votes in order to adopt an emergency clause, which makes the bill effective immediately rather than waiting the usual three months before a bill goes into effect. We then anticipate Gov. Ricketts will veto the bill, based on his recent comments, which would require a motion to override with 30 yes votes.

Information on LB1073 and emergency rental assistance