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Ricketts: Spending controls still needed despite smaller budget shortfall projection

Ricketts: Spending controls still needed despite smaller budget shortfall projection

Despite an improved projection for Nebraska’s state budget shortfall, Governor Pete Ricketts says lawmakers will still need to hold the line on spending.

New estimates show that lawmakers will have to fix a projected $95.1 million shortfall in their upcoming two-year budget. Earlier estimates pegged the shortfall at roughly $232.6 million.

Ricketts telling KNEB News during a stop in Bayard that there will be a lot of work to do to balance the budget in the upcoming session. “We’ve got to make sure that we’re fitting everything into that budget, and that includes Medicaid expansion, which is going to cost us tens of millions of dollars, and I’m not going to be in favor of raising taxes on anybody,” says Ricketts, “which means everything else, whether we’re talking about K-12 education, higher education, property tax relief, all these things are going to get less money because we’ve got to make Medicaid expansion fit within the budget.”

Ricketts says he still wants any income from internet sales taxes to be earmarked to help property owners, but beyond that any additional property tax relief will depend on the actions of lawmakers next year.

The governor made the comments Friday after highlighting new high-speed internet service installed at the Bayard public library.

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