Governor Pete Ricketts confirms he will veto the bill repealing the death penalty, and he is calling on Nebraskans to let their senators know how they feel. Ricketts says he has been talking with state senators since they voted for repeal. Ricketts says public opinion can be persuasive on the issue. Ricketts says law enforcement needs the tool for heinous crimes. The Unicameral voted 32-to-15 to end capital punishment in Nebraska. Ricketts would have the sway three senators to change their vote to uphold his veto.
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad says he will travel Tuesday to Omaha to attend the funeral of Officer Kerrie Orozco. The 29-year-old died Wednesday after she was shot by a man who was being served a felony arrest warrant. She and another officer had responded to a call for backup from officers who had come under fire from the suspect, who was also killed. Orozco was a seven-year veteran of the department who lived in Council Bluffs and was a native of nearby Walnut, Iowa. She was also a new mother with a premature baby in the hospital. Branstad has ordered all flags in Iowa be flown at half-staff Tuesday.
Nebraska senators are pushing the Environmental Protection Agency to hold its support for renewable fuels when drafting rules that could limit amounts of ethanol blended with gasoline for fuel. Forty-two of Nebraska’s 49 senators signed a letter sent to E-P-A administrator Gina McCarthy Thursday, urging her to consider the impact of modifying the market for the ethanol industry that contributes five billion dollars annually to the state’s economy. Supporters worry oil companies are lobbying to decrease the amounts of ethanol required in fuel under the Renewable Fuel Standard. The letter says the Nebraska ethanol industry employs more than 13-hundred people and supports 33-hundred other jobs. The E-P-A is expected to release oil industry draft rules for 2016 on June 1st.
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