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Ricketts talks Heartland Expressway, death penalty, and trade

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts says local and state support of a federal program to fund major highway projects helped the heartland Expressway receive a recent grant.

The state of Nebraska received an $18.3 million “Infrastructure For Rebuilding America” grant to convert a more than fourteen mile segment of US 385 from the existing two-lane highway into a four-lane divided highway.

Ricketts says support for continuing to construct the Expressway was vital in receiving the grant. Ricketts told KNEB News his office, the Congressional delegation and communities in the panhandle wrote letters of support that showed the federal government the “broad support they were looking for and helped to win this grant.”

The 14 mile segment is from Alliance to Angora.

On other issues Ricketts told KNEB News his administration’s request for an execution date of July 10th for death penalty inmate Carey Dean Moore is in the hands of the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Attorney General Doug Peterson made the request to the court in May. Ricketts told KNEB News they are hoping the court responds in a timely manner because use of one of the drugs involved in  the execution expires August 31st.

Moore is on death row for shooting and killing two Omaha cab drivers.

Ricketts also said  even with President Trump’s tough talk on trade following the G7 summit in Quebec this past weekend, he’s still hopeful an agreement will be worked out to protect Nebraska two biggest trading partners.

Ricketts said, ” We’re encouraging him there are opportunities to improve  NAFTA.  For example, our dairy products are shut out of Canada, but we also want to make sure we don’t disrupt that important trade relationship. Canada is our number one trade destination and Mexico is number two .”

Ricketts says the President is being a “tough negotiator” as he tries to work on improving America’s trade agreements with its allies.

Ricketts will travel to Mexico in August in an effort to bolster Nebraska trade position with that country.


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