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Gov. Pillen signs budget into law, vetos millions in funding and spending

Jim Pillen
Posted at 9:28 PM, May 24, 2023

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen signed the 2023-2025 state budget into law, as well as issued line-item vetos on Wednesday.

In a press release, the governor said that even with inflation concerns the budget only grew by less than two percent. He also cited goals of preventing government growth and tax relief.

"The budget passed by the Legislature and signed into law by me is one of the most fiscally conservative budgets in our state's history," said Pillen.

The line-item veto included the following:

  • Adjustment of Medicaid reimbursement rates to provide for a 3% increase in FY 2023-24, while holding rates flat in FY 2024-2025. 
  • Veto of child welfare rate increase of $6 million in General Funds in FY 2024-25.
  • Veto of $7 million General Fund appropriation in FY 2023-24 for a rural drinking water project in Cedar/Knox County.
  • Veto $10 million cash fund appropriation in FY 2023-24 and FY 2024-25 for Rural Workforce Housing and $10 million cash fund appropriation in 2023-24 and FY 2024-25 for Middle Income Housing.
  • Reduce the additional Shovel Ready Capital Recovery and Investment Act Funds from $90 million to $70 million in FY 2023-24 and eliminating funding of $10 million related to the Site and Building Development funding to Kimball for a ground-based nuclear deterrence project.
  • Veto of the $5 million appropriation from the Nebraska Health Care Cash Fund in FY 2023-24 and FY 2024-25 and the related intended transfers in the following three years from the Cash Reserve Fund for the pilot program related to gun violence.

“The Governor's veto will increase costs for everyday Nebraskans and will hurt our communities by closing essential rural health care services. This puts our entire state health system at risk," said Jeremy Nordquist, President of the Nebraska Hospital Association in a statement.
The statement further stated that the organization is willing to work with Pillen to "address the systemic workforce shortages he highlighted in his veto message.”

“On the eve of the Legislature voting on tax cuts that will primarily benefit the wealthy and out-of-state corporations, Gov. Jim Pillen targeted kids and vulnerable Nebraskans with line-item budget vetoes of Medicaid and child welfare reimbursement rate increases and funding for court-appointed special advocates who are a voice for children, as well as investments in affordable housing.

“Provider rates are investments in a healthy Nebraska that save the state money in the long run, while affordable housing is crucial to solving Nebraska workforce challenges. A balanced budget should advance opportunities for all Nebraskans.”

A statement from OpenSky Policy Institute stated that these vetos "Targeted kids and vulnerable Nebraskans" and also said that "A balanced budget should advance opportunities for all Nebraskans.”

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