Omaha Public Radio News
Thu December 16, 2010
Report looks at options for cutting ten percent from Nebraska's general fund budget
By Katie Knapp Schubert
Omaha, NE – Nebraska faces a $968 million dollar budget deficit going in to the new biennium.
A report released Thursday by the Legislature recommends options for cutting ten-percent from the general fund budget. The Unicameral's standing committees met with state agencies to examine ways to reduce spending.
The report shows significant cuts are possible in Education and Health and Human Services. Senator Mike Flood, Speaker of the Nebraska Legislature, says those departments weren't singled out. "The Education Committee has agencies that get 49 percent of the total amount of general funds and the HHS committee has about 35 percent of all general funds spent within the agencies under their subject matter jurisdiction," Flood says.
Among the options are to fund some education grant programs with lottery proceeds. Other options suggested by the Education Committee include suspending the Nebraska Opportunity Grant Program and putting that money toward state aid to K-12 schools.
The Unicameral returns to session January fifth.