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Planting season is in full swing thanks to favorable weather in District 30. Agriculture is one of the primary economic drivers in this part of the state, so remember to keep an eye out for large equipment moving more slowly than regular traffic on our roadways.
I want to commend everyone in our area for an excellent response to two items – the 2020 Census, and mail-in ballots for the primary election. Both of these are important civic duties that affect our future. Thank you for your efforts to participate during these unusual times.
We continue to have a number of virus related issues to keep an eye on at this time. While we would certainly prefer these were unnecessary, some actions taken by federal, state and local governments can be helpful, if you know where to look. Again this week I would like to highlight a few programs that might provide needed information, aid or relief.
The Nebraska Department of Labor (NDOL) announced that the agency is issuing payments for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). PUA is a federal CARES Act program for people who are unable to work as a result of COVID-19 and not eligible for regular state unemployment benefits, such as self-employed workers and independent contractors.
For people who have been laid off or had their hours reduced due to COVID-19, the online benefits system will determine eligibility for state unemployment or PUA through a single application. Workers who have not already applied can do so by filing an unemployment claim at https://neworks.nebraska.gov/
UNL Swine Animal Science Extension team has developed an information page on their website. This is focused on “Emergency Depopulation of Livestock Facilities” during COVID-19.Here is the link: https://animalscience.unl.edu/swine
Right now is a difficult time for families that need to find child care, both for kids out of school and for those whose child care has closed or reduced numbers. This is especially important for essential workers that have child care needs. At the same time there are lots of child care providers with open slots because many parents are keeping their kids home. Here’s a resource for more information: https://nechildcarereferral.org
The state Department of Health and Human Services announced the granting of some waivers through Medicaid and Long-Term Care, and the Division of Developmental Disabilities. Frequently Asked Questions FAQ and a fact sheet are available for additional information. COVID-19 Appendix K Fact Sheet,
Hand sanitizer remains an important tool. Renewable Fuels Nebraska is working in collaboration with the Nebraska Ethanol Board, Nebraska Innovation Campus’ Food Processing Center, the State of Nebraska, and many ethanol industry partners to produce more than 40,000 gallons of hand sanitizer and distributing it at no cost to essential businesses and organizations across the state.
If you are hearing from organizations who need hand sanitizer, have them fill out a request here: https://handsanitizer.unl.edu/request. This project will continue as long as resources allow. Alternatively, if you know of others who might consider supporting this project, financial contributions can be made here: https://fundraise.nufoundation.org/NEHandSanitizer.
The Department of Justice is remaining vigilant in detecting, investigating, and prosecuting wrongdoing related to the crisis. Find out how you can protect yourself and helpful resources on DOJ’s Coronavirus Fraud Prevention website. The Federal Trade Commission has also established a website with helpful information to help consumers avoid coronavirus-related scams.
In addition to these federal agencies, USA.gov is cataloging all U.S. government activities related to coronavirus. From actions on health and safety to travel, immigration and transportation to education, unemployment, taxes and elections – the list goes on. A good place to start for finding any federal government agency: www.usa.gov
My staff and I continue to welcome your communication about any concerns you might have. Please send an email or leave a voicemail message at any time, day or night. email@example.com 402-471-2620. Stay safe!