Nebraska’s top elected leader says state government could face financial challenges for quite a while. Governor Dave Heineman says the state’s once-strong economy is slowing dramatically.
“We tend to lag going into these economic slowdowns so just as everybody may be coming out, we’ll experience lagging receipts,” Heineman says. “The challenge is, what’s it going to be the next five, six, seven months? If we don’t have much of a downturn, we’ll be in pretty good shape. We believe we can manage this by reducing expenditures.”
One ongoing issue will be finding the money to build and maintain the state’s hundreds of miles of roads. Heineman says Nebraska is not alone in that challenge as he says all states are facing the same difficulty. The governor says people are driving more fuel-efficient cars and more electric cars which has cut the amount of money states are getting in the highway trust funds.
What happens in Congress will also have a big impact on all states. Heineman says health care reform and climate change in particular could have a big impact down the road.
“I don’t want to see us do anything at the federal level that impacts in a negative way on our state’s economy,” Heineman says. “You see some of the same concerns, Cap and Trade, health care reform. Make progress where we need to make progress, lower costs, but be real careful how you’re going to impact our economy. This climate change (legislation)? We need to slow it down a little bit.”
Heineman talked to Nebraska Radio Network affilaiate WNAX while making the rounds at Husker Harvest Days earlier this week in Grand Island.
Thanks to Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton