Governor Ricketts vetos bill set to expand SNAP benefits

Senator John McCollister introduced the bill that was aimed at helping Nebraskans after a tough year.
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) —After being passed in the legislature and making it to the Governors desk, a legislative bill set to expand snap benefits, was vetoed by Governor Pete Ricketts.

“LB 108 and LB 306 are liberal expansions of welfare benefits that will discourage people from working and ultimately lead to hurting the population they aim to protect,” Gov. Ricketts said.

Senator John McCollister introduced the bill that was aimed at helping Nebraskans after a tough year.

“By raising [the federal poverty] rate, to 165%, it brings in about 3,945 working families. It’s important, it’s important to recognize that these are the working poor, these are the folks making $12, $13, $14 an hour at McDonald’s, or some other retail store,” Sen. McCollister said.

McCollister said the need for food pantries doubled and tripled during the pandemic.

For people who have needed SNAP benefits in the past, it was frustrating to see Governor Ricketts deny families assistance.

“People that need that help, want to work. It’s not instructing us or encouraging us not to work. It’s that little bit of assistance to help out,” Mark Detty said.

He said there was a time when both he and his wife were working but still struggled to make ends meet.

“It was literally, you know, do we pay the gas bill this month? We pay the electric bill? Do we pay rent? Do we put food on the table?” Detty questioned.

He said it was hard to ask for assistance in the beginning but ultimately, it’s what helped his family.

Those on SNAP benefits must have a job with the exception of the elderly, the handicapped or if you are pregnant.

Governor Ricketts said in a veto letter, the bill discourages Nebraskans from returning to work and we should remove any incentives that would slow re–employment.

The Legislature will get to vote if they want to override the veto. They will vote on Wednesday.

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