Gov. Ricketts Signs Spending Reductions, Pro-Life Budget Language
Taylor Gage, 402-471-1970
Luke Robson, 402-471-1967
Governor Pete Ricketts signing the pro-life budget language in LB 944 into law.
LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts signed into law budget bills containing key spending reductions as well as new pro-life budget language.
“The budget adjustments I have signed help to further control state spending. Together, the Legislature and I successfully reduced the rate of spending growth by over 90 percent in the last three years. Additionally, these bills contain important new budget language, which ensures that Title X taxpayer dollars do not fund abortion services, including abortion referrals, at any clinic in Nebraska. Thank you to Speaker Scheer and Chairman Stinner for their leadership in guiding these adjustments through the legislative process.”
The budget bills signed today include LB 944e, 945e, and 946e.
UNDERSTANDING THE BUDGET ADJUSTMENTS SIGNED INTO LAW
- Reduces State Spending: With these adjustments, state spending over the current two-year biennium will grow at 0.5 percent, an over 90 percent reduction from the rate of state spending before Governor Ricketts took office.
- New Pro-Life Provision: The mainline budget bill contains important new budget language which ensures that taxpayer dollars do not fund abortion services, including abortions, abortion counseling, or abortion referrals. The budget maintains the existing level of Title X funding, which provides reproductive healthcare for thousands of Nebraska women and men.
- Property Tax Relief: Over the course of the biennium, the budget agreed upon by the Governor and Legislature provides direct property tax relief to all property owners for a total of $448 million over two years.
- Child Welfare: The Legislature adopted the Governor’s recommendation for additional appropriations to child welfare for this year and next. Nebraska has seen a significant increase in the number of children coming into our state’s child welfare system. Annually, the state is up about 9 percent, or about 485 kids.
- Corrections: The Legislature adopted the Governor’s recommendation to fund an additional 100 beds at the Nebraska State Penitentiary. This builds on three other capital construction projects the Governor and Legislature have agreed upon in the last two years.
- Developmental Disabilities: This budget contains an additional $2.7 million in funding for Nebraskans with developmental disabilities. In 2017, the Division of Developmental Disabilities made more service offers than the last five years combined. This funding will allow the state to provide an even higher level of service to one of our most vulnerable populations.
- K-12 Education: The budget contains additional general funds for state aid to K-12 education to offset lower than expected revenues from the insurance premium tax. The current budget grows state aid to schools four times faster than overall state spending.
- Homestead Exemption: The budget adds $3.1 million in general funds for the homestead exemption program to reimburse local governments. The state’s homestead exemption program provides property tax relief for low-income, elderly Nebraskans and low-income veterans with disabilities among others.