State senators are returning to Lincoln today for the start of the special legislative session. Governor Dave Heineman has called them back to cut about 335-million dollars from the two-year budget. Senator Deb Fischer of Valentine says she’s coming prepared with budget-trimming suggestions.
“Everybody has some ideas,” Fischer says. “I read the budget every year. I’ve gone through it again now. I’ll wait and see what the governor’s proposal is. I’ll wait and see how the committee hearings go, especially the Appropriations Committee, and we’ll take it from there.”
Fischer says no budget cut will be easy. “Hopefully, we can look at places to cut where it won’t be devastating for people because every time we make a cut, somebody’s going to feel it,” Fischer says. “That’s going to be a tremendous challenge that we face.”
She says a recent public meeting she held in Holt County shows the difficult decisions senators will have to make. “I was asking them, ‘What do you want me to cut?’ and nobody gave me any ideas,” Fischer says. She also asked the residents if they were willing to see a tax increase, which they opposed, and thus she says, “We’re in a tough spot right now.”
Thanks to Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton