This week the Nebraska Legislature, by a vote of 37-11, overrode Gov. Heineman’s line item vetoes that sought to cut $61 million in additional state spending. AFP-Nebraska had urged state senators to uphold the Governor’s vetoes and hold the line on spending, but the temptation to spend other peoples’ money was apparently too great.
The state budget will now grow by a whopping 6.7% this fiscal year. And next year, when the Legislature meets to set the biennial budget, the Appropriations Committee, chaired by Sen. Heath Mello, has already projected spending to grow by 9.7% to a total of $8.6 billion.
9.7% – that’s over six times greater than 2013’s rate of inflation!
Nebraskan’s incomes simply cannot keep up with the whopping growth of our state government and it’s time to take a stand.
In 2014, the Legislature adopted millions for new fountains in the state capitol courtyards, millions more to host a birthday party for the state’s sesquicentennial. Tens of millions more to expand social services. State senators also approved an additional $10 million for job training programs the Department of Economic Development never requested.
The Legislature adopted millions in additional spending outside the formal biennial budgeting process; much of it was not requested by the particular agencies benefiting from the extra funds, much of it extravagant and all of it irresponsible.
It seems that every special interest group in the state received something from the Legislature’s bloated budget – except for the typical Nebraska taxpayer.
You should know the 11 state senators who did stand up against irresponsible spending and voted with Gov. Heineman:
- Sen. Dave Bloomfield
- Sen. Lydia Brasch
- Sen. Mark Christensen
- Sen. Tommy Garrett
- Sen. Tom Hansen
- Sen. Charlie Janssen
- Sen. Bill Kintner
- Sen. Beau McCoy
- Sen. John Murante
- Sen. Pete Pirsch
- Sen. Jim Smith