Republican Governor's Association issued the following announcement on Feb. 20.
GOP Governor Pete Ricketts continues to move Nebraska forward to unprecedented new heights. In a new profile published by The Ripon Society, Governor Ricketts describes how reforming government, promoting job growth, and improving the state’s business climate has Nebraska on the right track.
The Ripon Society reports:
“The main focus of my administration has been to change the culture of government to provide better service to our people. Governments should have a mindset of effectiveness, efficiency, and customer-focus. This requires us to find innovative solutions to perennial problems. For instance, Nebraska recently created a first-in-the-nation reemployment system that replaced our unemployment system. This new reemployment system requires participants to sit down with a job coach first as a condition of receiving unemployment benefits. Job-seekers get tips on searching for their next job and direction on how to find resources and training. Participants also post searchable resumes in the state’s job database. We’ve seen great results from this program. Nebraska sees fewer individuals exhaust their unemployment benefits as they get back to work faster. The savings have allowed us to decrease our insurance tax rate for businesses by 25 percent, saving them just under $20 million in 2017. Employers are projected to save another $7.4 million in 2018 from this change.
We’ve also been streamlining processes at our Department of Environmental Quality. Environmental permits that are necessary for construction are now available in one day or less. The same permits can take months to acquire in other states. At our Department of Health and Human Services, we’ve drastically reduced how much time it takes for our nurses to become licensed. In November 2015, it took us 96 days to license our nurses. That same process took just 30 days in December 2017. This connects medical professionals with jobs more quickly. These are a just a few examples of the many improvements we have made in our state agencies. Improving our culture to become effective, efficient, and customer-focused has allowed us to do more with less. Not only are we improving services, we’re also reducing the headcount at our state agencies. As positions open through attrition or retirement, we’re often able to close the position permanently. This has allowed us to reduce the state workforce by 500, about four percent, and eliminate over 1,500 vacant positions. Increased efficiency has stabilized costs in our state agencies, allowing us to drastically cut government growth. I’m proud to say that we managed to cut the growth of government by over 90 percent in my first three years in office, from 6.5 percent to just 0.6 percent.
The virtues that we have cultivated have led to great outcomes for Nebraska. Our business-friendly environment helped us win the Site Selection Magazine Governor’s Cup in 2016 for having the most qualifying economic development projects per capita in the Union. We had more projects than Kansas, South Dakota, and North Dakota combined! We built on that success in 2017, one of Nebraska’s biggest years of investment ever. Investments from new and established businesses totaled nearly $1.3B in 2017 and brought in over 2,400 jobs to Nebraska. That’s great news for the people of our state. Companies like Facebook and Costco brought major operations to Nebraska for the first time. Our communities are thriving and our citizens have great jobs. Nebraska’s future is in good hands…”
Original source can be found here.