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Sarah Curry
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its state unemployment data for the month of April. Nebraska had an unemployment rate of only 4% in the month of March, yet with the full effects of the pandemic in motion during April we saw a 4.3% increase in unemployment for a monthly... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2020 at The Full Platter
If you follow the Platte Institute you know we publish papers on public policy issues in Nebraska. But what you probably didn’t know is that sometimes this data is used in academic research and trade publications. In 2018, Nicole Fox and I published a report that reviewed the proposed reforms... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2020 at The Full Platter
The Platte Institute along with almost 30 other free market think tanks are asking Congress to modify the CARES Act to allow for more flexibility in already distributed funds instead of spending more money. Now, Platte’s partner organization in Utah has called on their delegation to support Representative Bacon’s FLEX... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2020 at The Full Platter
A delayed tax filing deadline and closed businesses in Nebraska has resulted in April state tax revenues that are $292 million below previous monthly projections. While this is a very noticeable impact from the pandemic, the data released by the Nebraska Department of Revenue this morning tells us a bit... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2020 at The Full Platter
The Platte Institute and NC-based John Locke Foundation are leading a coalition of states to encourage Congress to amend the CARES Act. This would provide states and local governments more flexibility with the federal relief dollars. Kokai offered these comments during an April 25, 2020, appearance on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.” Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2020 at The Full Platter
The CARES Act has received criticism since its enactment in late March, however, there is a growing consensus of lawmakers seeing that a change is needed to the original legislation. As written, the CARES Act only allows the $150 billion in aid to states and local governments to be used... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2020 at The Full Platter
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Employment Situation Summary today, and the results are what we expected (for the month of April). Number of unemployed persons rose by 15.9 million to 23.1 million in April Unemployment rate rose to 14.7% (that’s a jump of 10.3 percentage points) Largest over-the-month... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2020 at The Full Platter
Last week Nebraska’s Representative Don Bacon (R) filed legislation aimed at helping local governments utilize the funding already allocated to states under the previously enacted CARES Acts. His bill, properly named the FLEX Act, gives states the flexibility they need (and many have asked for) to combat this crisis without... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2020 at The Full Platter
It is a question many have been asking since Congress passed the historic CARES Act at the end of March. Since then there have been two other relief packages for a total cost of more than $2 trillion. But just exactly how much is being sent to Nebraska? Well, that... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2020 at The Full Platter
Why did the Governor waive the late fees on personal property taxes? No, personal property is not the same as the property tax you pay on your house. Real property is stationary and includes land, buildings, improvements, fixtures, mobile homes, minerals, and wells. Nebraska also taxes another type of property,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2020 at The Full Platter
Use federal funds more effectively before spending more. Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2020 at The Full Platter
In March when Congress approved the CARES Act there was a provision making changes to the unemployment insurance program. Most of us have heard about the ‘pandemic add on’ of $600 per week you can collect ON TOP OF the state’s unemployment benefits. Well, now there is a little more... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2020 at The Full Platter
Did you know the CARES Act has a special provision and spending directly related to education? The Education Stabilization Fund makes up $30.75 billion of the relief package passed by Congress on March 27th . Nebraska will receive $16,357,685 for elementary and secondary education through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2020 at The Full Platter
Did you know the CARES Act only allows state and local governments to spend the money on NEW programs? Did you also know that Douglas County is the only local government in the entire state that is eligible to receive federal assistance related to the COVID-19 crisis? This is a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2020 at The Full Platter
Pennsylvania's version of the CBO released estimates last week. If businesses remain closed through April 30th (6 weeks), they are looking at a $2.7 billion drop in revenues. If the shutdown goes 10 weeks Pennsylvania is looking at a $3.9 billion drop. Nevada has one of the least diversified... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2020 at The Full Platter
Meanwhile, government grew faster than key industries like manufacturing. Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2020 at The Full Platter
To see the version published in the Lincoln Journal Star, click here. The pandemic that is affecting every state in our nation did not discriminate and has hit us here at home in Nebraska. From March 14th to March 21st, initial unemployment claims rose 1,871% from the previous week. However,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2020 at The Full Platter
UPDATE: Govenor Ricketts issued Executive Order "to provide relief to restaurants and bars" In a time of emergency many regulations are lifted to help business continue and keep people employed. Many states and large cities have lifted regulations allowing for the curbside or delivery sale of alcoholic beverages to keep... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2020 at The Full Platter
On March 18th the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau waived some of the regulations associated with distilled spirits to allow them to make hand sanitizer in an effort to curb the national shortage. In addition, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) passed on March... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2020 at The Full Platter
In just a few months’ time we went from having a budget surplus and debating tax cuts to complete uncertainty. All the pressures on Nebraska’s budget are unknown at this time and it would be wise for lawmakers to be prudent of the states’ savings to ensure a state crisis... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2020 at The Full Platter
To see the study - click here. To see the details on Nebraska - click here. The Mercatus Center has pre-released its Healthcare Openness and Access Project (HOAP). This index measures the extent to which states leave patients, providers, and businesses free to seek or provide healthcare as they deem... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2020 at The Full Platter
In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis we have seen local governments go to great lengths to maintain good government transparency. Gov. Pete Ricketts issued an executive order allowing local boards to meet by video conference, teleconference or other electronic means through May 31st to prevent the spread of the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2020 at The Full Platter
The Speaker suspended the legislative session on March 16th in response to the COVID-19 situation, but reconvened on Monday, March 23rd to vote on an amendment that would provide emergency funding to aid Nebraska public health workers in combating the virus. The amendment will spend around $83.6 million. Here is... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2020 at The Full Platter
Nurses and doctors are at the forefront of the COVID-19 crisis. At a time when our country is trying to avoid an overrun of our healthcare system, technicalities and license requirements need to be relaxed. We can look to Iowa for a perfect example of this. Governor Kim Reynolds issued... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2020 at The Full Platter