Gov. Pete Ricketts says state government will have to make deeper budget cuts to cope with a revised revenue forecast.
The Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board has revised downward its projection for future state tax revenue, now predicting it will fall another $55 million over the next three years.
Ricketts says lawmakers will need to sharpen their pencils.
“That means that the Appropriations Committee and the entire legislature is going to have to do more work as far as cutting the budget. We’re going to have to cut expenses more,” Ricketts tells reporters. “We’ll work with the legislature on how we get to that balanced budget, but it is going to require for us to tighten our belts like Nebraska families do when they see their income go down, they tighten their belts.”
Ricketts opposes a suggestion being floated in the Unicameral that would lower the minimum budget reserve required by law from three percent to two. Ricketts says that doesn’t make sense at a time when state revenues are down. He says the state budget needs as much padding as it can get.
The Unicameral faced a nearly $1 billion revenue shortfall over the next two fiscal years when it convened in January.