Government Spending

What you haven’t heard about the federal HEALS Act

What you haven’t heard about the federal HEALS Act

When Senate Republicans released their next relief package, called the HEALS Act or CARES 2, on July 27, a flurry of news stories were published about the contents. The new proposal is a $1 trillion package as a follow up to the CARES Act and a response to the House Democrats’ $3 trillion HEROES Act. Most...

By Sarah Curry

Forecasting board proposes confident outlook for Nebraska

Forecasting board proposes confident outlook for Nebraska

Normally the Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board would not meet in July, but because of the pandemic, the Legislature needed an update to know how to proceed with bills that would impact the budget amid the uncertain times. The last time the forecasting board met was in February and the revenue picture was very positive. This...

By Sarah Curry

Nebraska is in a relatively good revenue position compared with other states

Nebraska is in a relatively good revenue position compared with other states

Today is the new tax filing deadline in Nebraska. Today is also when the Department of Revenue released the state’s tax revenue figures for the month of June and for the last fiscal year (FY2019-2020). It is important to note that Nebraska’s phase 3 of directed health measures went into effect on June 22. So,...

By Sarah Curry

Linehan discusses property tax reform on Platte Institute webinar

Linehan discusses property tax reform on Platte Institute webinar

Nebraska Legislature Revenue Committee Chair Sen. Lou Ann Linehan joined Platte Institute CEO Jim Vokal on unresolved tax policy issues facing the Unicameral in its scheduled return later this month. On a webinar last week, Speaker Jim Scheer emphasized that property tax reform would be a key focus area before the legislative calendar came to an...

By Jaliya Nagahawatte

Nebraska PPP loan data show CARES Act tax policies are essential

Nebraska PPP loan data show CARES Act tax policies are essential

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is one of the largest parts of the federal government’s CARES Act relief legislation. The PPP provides loans intended to help small businesses—those with 500 or fewer employees—maintain their payroll, hire back any employees who were laid off, and cover applicable overhead expenses such as rent and utilities. Detailed data...

By Sarah Curry, Jaliya Nagahawatte

Scheer: Legislature hasn’t reached consensus on major tax issues

Scheer: Legislature hasn’t reached consensus on major tax issues

Nebraska Legislature Speaker Jim Scheer and Executive Board Chair Sen. Mike Hilgers were guests on today’s Platte Institute Webinar. The focus of the webinar was the upcoming return of the Legislature on July 20, and what can be expected in the remaining 17 days of the legislative calendar. The Legislature’s session was suspended in March...

By Jaliya Nagahawatte

Platte Institute discusses transparency for federal funds on KGFW’s Talk of the Town

Platte Institute discusses transparency for federal funds on KGFW’s Talk of the Town

Platte Institute CEO Jim Vokal joined Ryan Boyd with KFGW Kearney’s “Talk of the Town” to discuss the Platte Institute’s call for creating an inventory of the $10.8 billion in federal funds allocated to Nebraska for COVID-19 relief and the road to recovery in the current recession.

Letter to governor calls for a federal funds inventory

Letter to governor calls for a federal funds inventory

Dear Governor Ricketts, We write this letter on behalf of the Platte Institute to ask your administration to set an important precedent for financial transparency in state and local government, by creating a publicly-accessible inventory of federal funds being spent in Nebraska. As you have noted, COVID-19 emergency federal relief funds allocated to Nebraska total...

By Jim Vokal, Nicole Fox

The Economic Impact of COVID-19 on the Nebraska Economy: Third Cut

The Economic Impact of COVID-19 on the Nebraska Economy: Third Cut

Dear Nebraskans, Our state and nation have been actively fighting COVID-19 since mid-March. We are getting a handle on the public health aspect of the crisis, yet the economic impact is still being realized as businesses begin to reopen. As more data becomes available, we can start to measure the impact this crisis is having...

By Ernie Goss, Scott Strain

Legislature Expected to Return to Session July 20

Legislature Expected to Return to Session July 20

The Nebraska Legislature is currently scheduled for a summertime return to its 2020 session, which was suspended due to the COVID-19 emergency. Nebraska Legislature Speaker Jim Scheer says the plan is for senators to return for the final 17 days of legislative business between July 20 and August 13. Prior to the crisis, lawmakers had completed hearings...

By Adam Weinberg

Utah Group Supports Rep. Don Bacon’s FLEX Act

Utah Group Supports Rep. Don Bacon’s FLEX Act

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 Act. This press release partners...

By Sarah Curry