OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska lawmakers have rejected state-mandated coronavirus protections for meatpacking workers.
Opponents argued that slaughterhouses have already taken precautions and that the pandemic is nearly over.
Supporters say it was necessary to ensure that all plants are keeping their employees safe.
Nebraskans should be able to go to work safely and provide for their families. That should not be a debate.— Senator Tony Vargas😷 (@TonyVargas) May 18, 2021
I will continue to stand with workers and their families. This fight is not over.https://t.co/FLQyKWlAGq
Lawmakers voted, 25-18, on Tuesday to sideline the measure for the rest of the year.
The bill faced an uphill battle because of concerns raised by Gov. Pete Ricketts. Lawmakers would have needed at least 30 supportive votes to override a veto.
An estimated 7,382 Nebraska meatpacking workers have tested positive since the pandemic began, 256 have been hospitalized and 28 have died.