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Tim Brusnahan, Gov. Ricketts

Program chair Tim Brusnahan (left) stands alongside Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts at the June 24 Executive Club luncheon.

In his second term as governor of Nebraska, Pete Ricketts relishes the opportunity to make a positive impact on the communities inside the state. He paid witness to a Nebraska-like community reaction and shared the generous act with those who attended the Lincoln Executive Club weekly luncheon June 24 at the Nebraska Club.

The governor told the audience about how the Lincoln community filled the Roper & Sons South Chapel with hundreds of people to honor Korean War veteran Dale Wayne Quick, who had died the previous Thursday. The 91-year-old veteran had lost contact with his family members years ago, so there were no known survivors who could be notified. Ricketts said when the community discovered this, they reacted by filling the chapel for the funeral. Ricketts and U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse were among the hundreds who attended.

“This demonstrates the great community experience we have in Lincoln,” Ricketts said. “When something like this happens, the community just shows up. And this happens with all of the veterans in Nebraska.”

This sense of pride in the community was just part of the fourth “pillar” of Ricketts’ message to his audience. He said he wants Nebraskans to invest in our state and show pride in what we accomplish.

“We need to be going out and promoting ourselves,” said Ricketts, who was elected governor in 2014 and re-elected this past year. “Because of trade deficits, we need to be seeking other solutions. Mexico is one of our great trading partners. We’ve had a 127% increase in beef trade with them.”

Other trading partner countries for Nebraska that Ricketts listed, to which he’ll be traveling in upcoming months, were Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia.

“Indonesia is the world’s fourth-largest country, and that’s why we’re looking into them,” Ricketts said before pivoting back to the north. “With Japan, we had a 27% increase in beef trade over the past year.”

Ricketts also said he’ll be traveling to Europe later in the year, specifically Germany.

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“In November, I’ll be traveling to Germany for the Agritechnica Conference,” Ricketts said about the world’s leading trade fair for agricultural technology. “We want to show these trading partners that it’s easy to do business with us (Nebraska).”

The other three pillars of Ricketts’ governing principles include creating better-paying jobs for Nebraskans and connecting with young people to keep them working in the state, continuing more business efficiency and effectiveness to control spending, and finally, being good stewards to taxpayers’ dollars in Nebraska.

The pillars dovetail into a commonly known goal of Gov. Ricketts – the need to create property tax relief for Nebraskans and improve the government process. Part of that entails when and how he believes Nebraska will be embracing Medicaid for insurance purposes in the future.

Ricketts said he does not want to make the same mistakes made by the states of California and Virginia, which he said jumped into the Medicaid situation before they were ready for it or understood how to apply it.

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L Magazine editor

Mark Schwaninger is L magazine and Neighborhood Extra editor.

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