NewsLocal News


Gov. Ricketts reiterates opposition of mask mandates

Pete Ricketts
Posted at 10:02 AM, Aug 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-05 14:25:26-04

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — On Wednesday, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts once again said he doesn’t believe a mask mandate should be instituted statewide or in Omaha.

Ricketts said he doesn’t want to see Nebraskans made criminals for not wearing masks, that Nebraska does not have the police necessary to uphold such a law and that police don’t want to enforce a mask mandate.

When questions came regarding other places that predominantly have mask mandates, Ricketts said Nebraska does things differently and would continue to do so by educating and communicating to people that wearing a mask is the right thing to do. He believes people are more likely to follow a civic-minded call to action and rebel against a mandate.

On Tuesday, the Governor said he didn’t put pressure on Douglas Co. Health Director Dr. Adi Pour to back down from a mandate, but let her know the Attorney General’s Office felt that they would be breaking the law.

When concerns of schools reopening and in the fall were brought up, Ricketts said the state is preparing by increasing its test capacity and the number of contract tracers to monitor case numbers more closely.

For Nebraskans wishing to aid the fight against the virus, Ricketts called on people with antibodies to donate plasma to benefit those who are currently battling COVID-19. He also said those who wish to be part of a vaccine study can do so by visiting

Ricketts also took the time to talk about a legislative bill that is designed to provide property tax relief and provide businesses with incentives for coming to Nebraska. Ricketts said states, as in the business world, are always competing against each other to bring jobs to their states and that bill would be a great way to get big businesses to consider the Cornhusker state.

Ricketts said he was happy to see the bill make it out of committee and to the Unicameral floor and that he hopes to see it on his desk soon so he can sign it into law.