(Neb)-Stinner Warns Unicam Against Expecting Spending Increase Listen
State Senator John Stinner of Gering, chairman of the Nebraska Legislature's budget-writing Appropriations Committee, issued a warning to his fellow lawmakers Friday morning: the state's budget picture is nowhere near as rosy as it appeared a couple months ago.
Positive numbers last summer and early fall led the state Economic Forecasting Advisory Board to up its estimate of revenue.
That in turn led Governor Pete Ricketts to put a handful of new spending projects in his budget proposal, including a major prison expansion and increased tax exemptions for military pensions, and to recommend putting $69-million dollars back into the cash reserve.
Stinner said revenue numbers have dropped since then and he doesn't think the state will have the money to proceed with the governor's proposed 3.1% increase in spending over the next 2 years or with new spending ideas from individual senators.
Stinner apologized for being such a downer and held out hope that the picture would be brighter with new estimates from the forecasting board over the next 3 months
Speaker Jim Scheer followed up Stinner's comments by saying no bills requiring spending would move final consideration until after the forecasting board's April numbers are out.
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