Nebraska lawmakers to begin session with budget challenges

Jan 3, 2018

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska lawmakers will begin their 2018 session with a looming state revenue shortfall that could make it harder to pass new spending measures or tax cuts.

Senators will spend some of the 60-day session debating familiar issues, including proposals to lower income and property taxes. But lawmakers and Gov. Pete Ricketts have said balancing the budget is their top priority during the session that begins at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

State budget officials have said Nebraska faces a projected $173.3 million shortfall in the current two-year budget cycle. The revenue shortfall could force lawmakers to cut services, take from cash funds outside of the general fund, or withdraw money from the state's emergency cash reserve. Raising taxes is likely off the table because it would face strong opposition.

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