State Watch

Nebraska lawmakers vote down state-ordered coronavirus protections for meat workers

Nebraska lawmakers voted down state-ordered coronavirus protections for meatpacking workers on Tuesday, The Associated Press reported.

At least 7,382 Nebraska meat workers tested positive for the virus since the start of the pandemic, leading to 256 hospitalizations and 28 deaths, according to the AP.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) opposed the proposed legislation, saying the state doesn't need it anymore. The state meatpacking companies opposed it as well, saying that the bill imposes "unrealistic mandates" 

State Sen. Julie Slama (R) reportedly said that the measure isn't "workable" for meatpacking employees. 

Lawmakers voted 25-18 to pause the measure for the rest of the year.

However, Sen. Tony Vargas (D), one of the bill's sponsors, told the AP "there is a need for consistency" in state regulations.

"It's not whether or not a plant cares about their employees," Vargas said.

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