The chair of the Nebraska Legislature’s Appropriations Committee says between the current state economy, existing budget needs and Medicaid expansion, he doesn’t see much room for new spending, including measures he has been promoting.
State Senator John Stinner of Gering tells KNEB News there are five or six measures he supported in the previous session that he would like to see move forward, but if they have a fiscal note he’s not sure how that will happen. “Panhandle Beginnings, we’ve been working with the Sherwood Foundation, trying to figure out exactly where we can find some additional funding, so that may be held back,” says Stinner. “I’ll do some budget-type legislation, then I’ve got the Business Innovation Act that needs to be renewed, which is different than the Nebraska Advantage Act.”
Stinner says the state has been fortunate to be able to add to the rainy-day fund over the past few years, but that’s only been due to positive errors in the revenue estimates put forward by the Forecasting Advisory Board.
He says the Appropriations Committee usually sends $50 to $60 million in new spending measure to the floor for full consideration, but that didn’t happen the past two years and isn’t likely this year as the panel works on a new biennial budget.
Stinner says he does plan to run again for the chair of the Appropriations Committee when lawmakers start the new session Jan. 9.