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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts Signs Unemployment Benefits Reform

Media Contacts:  

Taylor Gage, 402-471-1970

Eric Maher, 402-471-1974



LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts signed LB203 introduced by Senator John Kuehn of Heartwell reforming Nebraska’s unemployment benefits system and bringing it more in line with national standards.



“Thank you to Senators Kuehn, Albrecht, and Halloran for working to modernize Nebraska’s unemployment benefits program and align it with national standards,” said Governor Ricketts.  “Unemployment benefits should be targeted at people who lose their jobs, and these reforms will better focus the Nebraska’s unemployment benefits program on serving Nebraskans who truly need the safety net the program provides.”


This unemployment benefits reform package includes pieces of three bills:


  • LB203 introduced by Senator John Kuehn of Heartwell requires individuals who quit their most recent employment without good cause to requalify for benefits through subsequent employment before they are eligible to receive payments. 
  • LB 273 introduced by Senator Steve Halloran of Hastings allows the minimum base period earning required for unemployment insurance benefits eligibility to be rounded down to the nearest whole dollar amount.
  • LB301 introduced by Senator Joni Albrecht of Thurston allows the Department of Labor to provide electronic notice of determinations of an unemployment claim.  Upon filing, a claimant may elect to receive notice electronically or by mail. 


"Government can and should provide a safety net for individuals who experience hard times or struggle during economic downturns,” said Senator Kuehn.  “The sustainability and effectiveness of those programs should be carefully preserved. Nebraska is one of only three states that do not require a requalification for benefits after a person voluntarily leaves a job without good cause.  LB203 fixes this, and makes Nebraska’s unemployment system more sustainable and fair."


These reforms complement work the Department of Labor has done to help put Nebraskans back to work more quickly.  In 2015, Nebraska rolled out a first-in-the-nation reemployment system, which is helping put Nebraskans back to work faster.  The reemployment program is available to all Nebraskans seeking new opportunities regardless of whether they qualify for unemployment.  For more information, visit

Gov. Ricketts Signs Unemployment Benefits Reform