Governor unveils $336 million budget reduction plan

Lincoln, NE – Governor Dave Heineman hopes budget cuts in four areas will help the state find $336 million in savings.

Heineman unveiled his budget reduction plan Monday afternoon. It includes agency savings, transfers from other accounts, specific reductions and across-the-board cuts. Among the Governor's cost-saving measures are a cancellation of a state aid increase to schools in the 2010-2011 budget year. Heineman says that'll give schools plenty of time to prepare for cuts and adjustments.

The plan also relies on savings from the State Patrol, Medicaid and the Department of Corrections. Additional money from the cash reserve won't be used under the Governor's plan. Heineman says $250 million from the cash reserve is already being used to balance the current fiscal year budget. A shortfall of more than $500 million is possible in the next biennial budget.

Lawmakers begin a special session Wednesday. It's anticipated to last a minimum of two weeks.