Nebraska lawmakers reject push for meatpacking restrictions

Nebraska News

Nebraska state Sen. Tony Vargas of Omaha speaks during debate in Lincoln, Neb., Wednesday, July 29, 2020. Sen Vargas fell two votes short of the 30 he needed to introduce a meatpacking safety bill in the waning days of the 2020 session. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska’s meatpacking plants won’t have to worry about any new state-mandated safety restrictions this year, despite outbreaks of the coronavirus among their workers.

A Nebraska lawmaker who wanted to add more protections on Wednesday failed to secure sufficient support for the idea.

Sen. Tony Vargas, of Omaha, fell two votes short of the 30 he needed to introduce a bill this session. Bills can only be introduced during the first 10 days of each session, unless a super-majority of lawmakers agrees to suspend the rule.

Nebraska’s meatpacking plants were among the nation’s biggest coronavirus hot spots earlier this year. Many had to temporarily shutter their operations.

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