Gov. Ricketts to tout K-12 schools, corrections in budget

Gov. Ricketts to tout K-12 schools, corrections in budget

Gov. Pete Ricketts says the state of the state of Nebraska is strong and growing, but that it also faces challenges ahead. The first was the budget, which has a $173 million projected shortfall. Cuts agency spending by 2 percent in last half of this fiscal year, 4 percent in the fiscal year starting July 1.

"We have to find a path to unite their interests and make Nebraska more attractive for business to want to expand in the state".

The governor's proposal would reduce state spending for the two-year budget period to $8.81 billion, down from the $8.86 billion figure approved last year.

"However, proposing further revenue cuts shows a failure to learn the harsh lessons of the past".

The Ricketts plan would protect state priorities such as K-12 education, developmental disability services, corrections and child welfare, which calls for a funding increase of $55 million.

"If the governor truly wants to grow Nebraska, he should turn his attention to the middle class, the hard-working Nebraskans who are the heart of our state's economy".

"We are pleased the governor acknowledged the drastic need to improve children's safety by proposing additional investments in Nebraska's under-resourced child welfare system".

"It's true that we're losing a lot of young people", Morfeld said, "but the governor didn't mention that many of them choose to leave because of things like a lack of transportation options and civil rights issues". Kate Bolz agreed that is a serious problem. He said a "big one" is to child welfare and public assistance.

"We're going to have some nips and tucks along the way", Smith said, "but it will be recognizable at the end".

But tax relief continues to be one of the most hard issues for senators to come to agreement upon. "It's an urgent need".

While the U.S. Department of Agriculture projected farm income to stabilize in 2017, this follows three years of steep declines, leaving Nebraska's ag producers struggling to pay high tax bills. Renters and commercial property owners would see no direct benefit from the credit.

Currently, 14% of property tax credits on agricultural land are received by non-Nebraska residents. It would exclude people who live in other states but own property in Nebraska. On Wednesday, Ricketts said Sen.

"At the end of the day, the tax cut proposal is a guaranteed income tax cut for top earners and corporations, and the triggers put Nebraska on the unsafe path that led to serious budget issues in Kansas and Oklahoma and caused lawmakers in those states to repeal tax cut triggers". Jim Smith of Papillion, will include a restructuring of existing property tax credits into a new tax credit for Nebraskans Ricketts said will provide $4 billion in property tax relief over the next decade.

Today, January 10th, 2018 the governor unveiled his Nebraska Tax Cut and Opportunities Act which proposes an additional $10 million over two years for workforce development.

"I think the tax plan is introductory", he said. "This year, I am recommending that the Legislature revise the state's distribution of federal Title X health care funds to ensure that no funds are used to subsidize abortion", he continued. Those funds are used to provide birth control largely to low income women by organizations including Planned Parenthood, which would be denied funding under the proposal. If enacted, it would potentially cut funding from Planned Parenthood clinics in Lincoln and Omaha which provide abortions and any other independent clinics that provide abortion services.

Ricketts said during a briefing for the media Tuesday that NU had been treated "fairly well" in recent budget negotiations, saying the Nebraska State College System had taken a larger cut relative to its size a year ago.

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