Gov. Pete Ricketts has announced he has signed the budget bills sent to him by the legislature, without any line-item vetoes.
That doesn’t mean he’s completely happy with the mid-term budget adjustments.
“I do have a number of concerns with these bills,” Ricketts tells reporters during a Capitol news conference. “This is a mid-biennium update and therefore should be used to address issues that couldn’t be managed within the budget. So, if we have deficits and so forth. And there’s examples where we’re not doing that.”
Ricketts objects to the million dollar appropriation to community colleges, replacing lost federal dollars with state funds, and inserting intent language for the cultural endowment.
His objections, though, didn’t rise to the level of issuing any vetoes of the appropriations.
“Now, having said all that, I also recognize the Appropriations Committee and the legislature have worked very hard on this budget as well. And I want to thank them for working together with me to address the $124 million shortfall that we had in the budget and that we have come to a budget here that is going to remain at the target of 3 ½ percent growth and that’s critical.”
Ricketts says he’s satisfied with the overall results of the budget process this year.
“This budget still hits the target of 3 ½ percent, and that while it’s not exactly the way I would have spent all the money, this is a process that is a give-and-take between the legislative branch and the executive branch and since we’re hitting that target, let’s call it good and move on to the other important work we have to do in this 104th Legislature, for example, delivering property tax relief.”