More money is available to the legislature this year than in the past few years and that creates problems of its own.
Legislative leaders hope to trim $10 million from bills being considered by the Unicameral as April 12th adjournment approaches.
Speaker of the Legislature, Sen. Mike Flood of Norfolk, says Thursday will be a crucial day as legislators consider all the bills that come with a price tag. So far, those bills exceed projected state revenue, minus a three percent budget reserve, by $10 million. Flood says he hopes to persuade lawmakers to drop bills, trim them or postpone them until next year.
The legislature could ignore the budget reserve, but Flood says that would be unwise.
“The legislature would have to make a conscious decision if they wanted to do that, but I think we have been well served by respecting that three-percent minimum reserve,” Flood told reporters.
Flood and Appropriations Committee Chairman, Sen. Lavon Heidemann of Elk Creek will meet with senators this morning to seek ways to pare down requests.
“We’re just starting the talks right now,” Heidemann told Nebraska Radio Network Monday afternoon. “Hopefully, there’s a willingness to do that.”
Heidemann said it’s important that the legislature trim the budget, and not allow the governor to do so.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]