After backlash from organizations supportive of low income Nebraskans, discussions with kids groups and legislation to force the issue, Gov. Jim Pillen has reversed course on applying for summer EBT benefit funding.
Pillen was joined by the CEO of the Department of Health and Human Services, State Education Commissioner and more than a dozen state lawmakers as he announced the state will send a letter to the USDA, announcing the intention of Nebraska to apply for the program funding.
During the news conference, Pillen explained the change in his stance after well over a month saying the pandemic-era aid was no longer needed. “What was really, really important to me is that we didn’t want to go backwards with our kids, that kids are out, and be able to be in community, number one,” said Pillen. “Number two, when I listened to the kids in the chambers last week, our summer program that we’ve been utilizing, we have to do better. We have to do better.”
If approved for the program, Nebraska would receive about $18 million in federal funding, which would add about $120 per eligible child to a parent or guardian’s EBT during the summer months, at an administrative cost of $300,000 to the state.