Omaha Public Radio News
3:14 am
Fri March 14, 2008

Legislature to begin debating final budget legislation

Omaha, NE – The Nebraska Legislature is preparing to debate budget bills next week. On Monday, lawmakers will deal with four budget bills. The legislature's Appropriations Committee forwarded final budget recommendations to the full Unicameral earlier this week.

Appropriations Committee Chairman Senator Lavon Heidemann says the budget recommendations include a reduction in the amount of state aid schools will receive. It also warns against using money from the state's nearly $500 million cash reserve to balance the budget.

Senator Heidemann says the Education Committee has its own alternative to the state aid re-certification, and that will be debated Monday as well. However, he says that legislation would leave the state budget out of balance, which means lawmakers would have to find common ground. Other options for balancing the budget include taking money from the cash reserve, cutting state agencies' budgets or raising taxes.