Some tough talk from State Senator Heath Mello of Omaha who is concerned about comments from the Governor last week. Governor Dave Heineman said he was specifically looking at cuts to the Education budgets, Medicaid, and the Beatrice State Developmental Center.
“Really interested in hearing more about the Governor’s plan to cut the Beatrice State Development Center and to be perfectly honest I’m also quite surprised to hear the Governor’s interest in cutting Beatrice in light of the report today (Friday) that showed that there’s substandard care residents are continuing to see even after we’ve seen all this national attention directed towards this crisis.” – Senator Heath Mello.
The medically fragile were removed from the center earlier this year. Mello says it appears right now developmental disabilities are not a priority of our Governor. He says there are other ways to cut the budget.
The Governor says he’s looking at the savings that occurred because BSDC wasn’t decertified until the end of September, The budget provided funding through the end of June. The Governor says he is looking at the three months of savings so far.
“Senator Mello oughta explain to us why he isn’t proposing to eliminate a quarter of a million dollar earmark that he put in the budget for an Omaha Golf Tournament. Is an Omaha golf course more important than the Beatrice State Developmental Center?”
Heineman says Senator Mello is not telling the full story. Mello says its news to him that the governor flip flopped his support for the tourism program that he supported during the budget process.
Mello goes on to say “It’s unfortunate that the Governor is trying to use it to distract from the fact that he was going to cut support for BSDC and aid to public schools.”
Senator Mello says, “The Governor has the power to eliminate tourism funding when he releases his reccomendations for the budget”