Nebraska Lawmakers Plan to Wait and Listen Before Deciding on University of Nebraska Budget

This story was originally published in the Nebraska Examiner.

LINCOLN. A preliminary budget report released Wednesday by a legislative committee leaves open the appropriation for the University of Nebraska system, an appropriation that has been criticized for not keeping up with inflation.

The university system requested a 3% annual increase in its budget, but new governor Jim Pillen’s budget recommendation fell short of that amount.

Pillen, a former member of the State University of New York Board of Trustees, penciled in a 2 percent increase for each of the next two fiscal years in his proposed budget.

State Senator Robert Clements of Elmwood (Courtesy of the Unicameral Information Office)

State Senator Robert Clements of Elmwood, who chairs the Legislative Assembly’s budget appropriations committee, said the committee wanted to hear from university officials before making final budget recommendations.

Hearings on the university budget with the committee are scheduled for March 3.

Clements said the committee’s decision is likely to fall between 2% and 3%.

‘Preliminary report’

The “preliminary report” of the Appropriations Committee on Wednesday was the first hint of where the state budget could land.

Overall, he followed the governor’s suggestions, not to mention leaving open later adjustments for the university system, state corrections, and health and human services.

While the governor proposes the budget, state legislators get the final say after receiving testimony from state agency officials and the public, and after discussing budget bills for three rounds of consideration.

Pillan has proposed increasing spending by 1.3% over the next two fiscal years and instead focusing its appropriations on a $1 billion fund to fund increased public aid for K-12 schools, income tax cuts, and the construction of a new prison and Perkins. County Channel.

Keep up with inflation

Some groups, including the OpenSky Policy Institute, are wondering if NU’s 2% spending increase will allow its campuses to keep up with inflation.

The state has an unprecedented amount of excess tax revenue, as well as a cash reserve of $1.8 million, which has prompted many proposals to cut taxes, increase tax credits, or invest these funds in labor or economic development programs.

Clements said he wants to keep the cash reserve at about $1.3 billion, more than the $900 million recommended for two months of government spending.

The senator, a banker who survived the agricultural crisis of the 1980s, said he wants to protect the country from a possible economic downturn.

“I became more conservative after that,” Clements said.

Content Source

Related Articles

Back to top button