Gov. Pete Ricketts is back on the road, holding a series of town hall meetings throughout Nebraska.
The governor recently traveled to northeast Nebraska for town halls in Wayne and Laurel. Tomorrow (Friday), the governor will host meetings in Nebraska City and Falls City in southeast Nebraska.
During his stop in Laurel, Ricketts said he wants to help spread economic opportunity across Nebraska.
“There’s absolutely a lot we can do. That’s why I was talking about we have to focus on manufacturing, for instance, our second biggest industry, because it has the opportunity to create jobs all across the state. That’s why I have been talking about the Renewable Fuel Standard, because our ethanol plants do a wonderful job in our rural communities of creating those great-paying jobs,” Ricketts tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate WNAX. “So, yes, we absolutely have more work we can do to be able to stem that tide of people leaving our small towns and rural communities.”
Ricketts said he’s committed to helping address the needs of rural Nebraska to stem the flow of people out of rural counties.
Ricketts said he heard from the public on a number of issues already; covering school funding, workforce development, cutting the growth in state government, and the death penalty.
Roads is a major topic as well.
Ricketts said he knows transportation is important to rural Nebraska and vital to its economy.
“Making sure we have a good road system is absolutely part of that as well,” Ricketts responded when asked about transportation in outstate Nebraska.
Ricketts said specific transportation plans for rural Nebraska have yet to be formed.
“I haven’t gotten specific ones I can talk to you about right now,” Ricketts said.
The governor pointed out new Nebraska Department of Roads Director Kyle Schneweis has not been on the job long. Ricketts said he expects to talk with Schneweis soon about what plans he has for Nebraska roads.
The town hall meeting on Friday in Nebraska City begins at 9:30am at the Nebraska City Town Hall, Lied Lodge & Conference Center, 2700 Sylvan Road. In Falls City, the governor will meet with the public at noon at the Falls City Town Hall, Grand Weaver Hotel, 1800 Stone Street.
Jerry Oster, WNAX, contributed to this report.