Gov. Pete Ricketts rejects suggestions he interfered with the legislative process and regrets the legislature failed to approve property tax relief this session.
Ricketts defends his insistence that the state budget include language restricting the distribution of Title X funds. Ricketts successfully pushed to insert language in LB 944 which prohibited federal family planning money from going to clinics which perform abortions. He denies he advocated so strongly for the language, because he wanted to keep it from going to Planned Parenthood.
“The language we put on title X was not targeted at any particular organization,” Ricketts tells Nebraska Radio Network. “What it was was about making sure that our tax dollars do not go to fund or subsidize abortions and that’s something that taxpayers broadly agree on.”
Still, the language prohibits the federal funds from going to the three clinics operated by Planned Parenthood in Nebraska.
Opponents of the language complained loudly that the Ricketts Administration was interfering with the budgetary process, interjecting too much control over how the legislature crafted the budget. Ricketts dismisses such complaints, stating simply that the executive and legislative branches work together all the time and this session was no different.
Ricketts and legislators haven’t been able to see eye-to-eye on property tax relief.
At least, not enough legislators have seen eye-to-eye with the governor on the issue.
A majority, but not a super majority, backed LB 947, the governor’s tax relief package.
At least, that’s the assumption.
LB 947 made it to the floor for debate, but never came up for a cloture vote which would have ended all doubt about whether it could attract the 33 votes to overcome a filibuster and move forward this session.
Was Ricketts disappointed it failed to receive a cloture vote?
“What I’m disappointed in is that the legislature for the second year in a row has failed to pass property tax relief. That is simply unacceptable.”
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:40]