Gov. Ricketts Delivers Budget Adjustments to the Legislature
Taylor Gage, 402-471-1970
Eric Maher, 402-471-1974
Adjustments protect investments in education, public safety.
LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts delivered budget adjustments for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016-2017 to the Legislature. The Governor recommended adjustments totalling $276 million to close the gap between revenue and current appropriations.
“These adjustments protect key priorities in the areas of K12 education, the University of Nebraska, public safety, and Health and Human Services among others,” said Governor Ricketts. “Quick action will help ensure state agencies are able to manage their budgets and absorb these reductions. I urge the Appropriations Committee to make this a priority, and to have the budget adjustments to the full Legislature by the first week of February. I look forward to working with Chairman Stinner, the Appropriations Committee, and the Legislature as they consider these recommendations.”
Over the past several months, tax receipts have been lagging. In the last fiscal year, receipts came in $95 million below forecast. In October, the forecast for the current fiscal year was revised downward by $172 million, leaving a gap of $267 million between forecasted receipts and current appropriations.
In July, Governor Ricketts provided guidance to his cabinet and all state agencies, urging fiscal restraint. In October, Governor Ricketts put a freeze in place for non-mission critical hires and a travel ban on non-essential, out-of-state travel. Additionally, the State Budget Office released allotments at a slower pace in the first three quarters and reduced carryover appropriations.
The Governor’s budget adjustments protect investments in key priorities with the following recommendations:
- Increase TEEOSA, state aid to K12 schools, by $316,161 and maintain special education appropriations to reach a new historic high of $1.2 billion.
- Adopt budget adjustments developed with the collaboration of the University of Nebraska and the Governor’s Office.
- Preserve investments in the Department of Corrections by exempting the agency from across-the-board reductions.
- Protect key programs in the Department of Health and Human Services including child welfare, developmental disabilities aid, and veterans’ homes.
The budget adjustments are contained in Legislative Bills 22, 23, and 24 introduced by Speaker Jim Scheer. A full guide to the Governor’s budget adjustments for FY 2016-2017 can be found online here.
Next week, the Governor will unveil his budget for the upcoming biennium during his State of the State address. The address will be delivered to the Legislature on January 12, 2017.