Gov. Pete Ricketts stands firm on his insistence that the budget bill now stuck in limbo contain the controversial Title X language.
Budget debate has ground to a halt as the legislature cannot come to agreement on Title X language proposed by Governor Ricketts.
“The Title X language we have proposed is to assure that our tax dollars don’t go to fund or subsidize abortions and so any language that accomplishes that would absolutely be something I would support,” Ricketts tells reporters during a news conference on another subject.
Adjustments to the budget, needed to cope with declining state revenue, have hung up on the language; unable to overcome a filibuster.
Legislators have been meeting in an attempt to fashion a compromise to overcome the filibuster but have been unable to come to an agreement.
It appeared the main budget bill, containing cuts to align the budget with declining revenue, was on its way to passage last Friday. That didn’t occur. An attempt to overcome the filibuster fell two votes short, throwing the budget process into uncertainty.
Legislative rules called for the budget bills to pass by the 50th day, which came and went on Tuesday.
Ricketts says his language would call for agencies to separate family planning clinics from abortion clinics to receive the federal funds.
“At the end of the day, this is a pro-life issue,” Ricketts says. “Nebraska is a pro-life state. Our taxpayers don’t want our dollars going to abortion clinics and that’s what this bill, the language, is meant to accomplish.”
Critics contend the governor is attempting to keep the federal money from Planned Parenthood. Others say the language could create problems for other clinics in the state.
Title X funds primarily provide family planning services, most for the poor. They also pay for cancer screenings and other health related issues.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]