Nebraska lawmakers return to Lincoln today for the start of the 2010 legislative session. Senator Cap Dierks, of Ewing, says while budget issues may dominate debate, he doesn’t expect much — if any — new spending to be approved.
“When you don’t have any money to spend, that kinda’ takes away a lot of the other legislation that people bring in,” Dierks says, adding, anything that’s going to cost more money will be “doomed before it starts.” He says there’s the possibility new measures will be introduced that would generate more tax revenue for the state, but not much else.
While there may be some discussion about adding or expanding some state taxes, Dierks doubts there will be a consensus for that. “For the most part, this is a fairly conservative group in that legislature and I think they’re pretty careful about that stuff,” he says. “There’s a few guys that like to pull some of the Obama stuff, but it isn’t going to happen. They just don’t have the support for it.”
Dierks says while there may be a lot of talk about the budget, they won’t get updated numbers until late in the 60-day session. He guesses the April numbers from the Economic Forecasting Board won’t be released soon enough for lawmakers to respond to them, so Dierks says it could result in another special legislative session to deal with the budget. He adds, the governor may also end up asking state agencies to “take a percent cut” in order to balance the books.
Thanks to Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton