State lawmakers have approved a resolution opposing the United States Post Office plan to close 90 rural Nebraska post offices.
Sen. LeRoy Louden of Ellsworth sponsored the resolution (LR8). He told colleagues during floor debate that post offices are vital to rural Nebraska.
“Very few farms and ranches that I’m familiar with pay bills online. Paying bills online cannot guarantee any account security,” according to Louden. “Mail delivery and access to postal services are very important to operating a business in rural Nebraska.”
Louden claimed that the Post Office has wasted too much money on benefits and that its accounting structure has caused it to overpay $50 billion into its retirement fund.
Several rural legislators echoed Louden’s comments.
Sen. John Harms of Scottsbluff tells colleagues the Post Office has taken the easy way out in addressing its billions of dollars in red ink.
“I think this is just another issue that comes about,” Harms stated. “And, if it’s a typical federal issue, I was wondering about how much they really do study the issues. This seems to be the quickest, easiest way to address the issue. I oppose that.”
Sen. Lydia Brasch of Bancroft told colleagues that closing the post office in the Village of Craig would devastate a small town barely hanging on.
“They are trying everything they can do to repopulate the rural community,” Brasch said during floor debate. “They have consolidated schools. Their main street now stands at one and 1 ½ part-time business open. Their post office was their last sense of community aside from their local churches.”
Supporters suggested the Post Office could save billions by addressing wasteful spending.
AUDIO: Unicameral floor debate on post office resolution [22 min mp3]