Gov. Ricketts: Loosening DHM's statewide will rely on hospital data

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Gov. Ricketts said he's happy with the current hospital capacity availability statewide, but won't rush to loosen directed health measures. As of Monday, statewide numbers show 45 percent of hospital beds, 40 percent of ICU beds and 77 percent of ventilators are available.

Source: (KOLN)

"We want to make sure we preserve that hospital capacity in the hospital system," Gov. Ricketts said. "As we take steps, were going to see what happens with regard to that capacity and then well make more steps."

Gov. Ricketts stated that the state just loosened restriction on May 4 and it usually takes about two weeks to see its impact statewide. He said hospital data over the next few weeks will determine what the state does in June.

The governor also spoke about the Nebraska Legislature reconvening July 20. He said he wants lawmakers to focus on passing the property tax bill, but this will rely on what the state's budget looks like.

This fiscal year is expected to be impacted, according to Gov. Ricketts, because the state moved the tax return deadline from April 15 to July 15. The fiscal year is set to begin on July 1. Gov. Ricketts said he won't know specific numbers for the budget until the state has all of the income tax receipts.

"Until we get those, we are going to have an incomplete picture," Gov. Ricketts said. "At this point, we are going to have to tighten our belts, but we don't know what that will entail."

Tax returns filed after the July 1 deadline will go to the 2021-2022 budget. Gov. Ricketts said he'll know more about the state's budget in the next few weeks.