Budget bills approved
Lawmakers gave final approval May 21 to the state’s $9.3 billion, two-year budget package.
Among the measures passed was LB294, the mainline budget bill, which funds state government for the next two fiscal years. The bill was introduced by Speaker Jim Scheer of Norfolk at the request of the governor and includes:
LB174, sponsored by Lincoln Sen. Kate Bolz, which increases general funds to the state Office of Violence Prevention by $300,000 per year in the next two fiscal years;
LB327, also sponsored by Bolz, which increases behavioral health provider rates by $1.5 million in FY2019-20 and $3.6 million in FY2020-21; and
LB403, sponsored by Gering Sen. John Stinner, which changes the Medicaid rate calculation for nursing facilities.
Bayard Sen. Steve Erdman offered a motion to return LB294 to select file to consider an amendment that would reduce the appropriation to the University of Nebraska by $7.3 million. The motion failed 13-34. Twenty-five votes were needed.
After an hour of discussion, Appropriations Committee chairperson Stinner offered a motion to invoke cloture or cease debate and vote on the bill. The motion was adopted 39-8 and LB294 passed on a vote of 35-12.
Additional budget measures approved were:
LB293, which adjusts appropriations for the current fiscal year, passed 45-2;
LB295, which provides for the $12,000 annual salaries of Nebraska’s 49 state senators, passed 43-4;
LB296, which funds salaries and benefits for judges and constitutional officers, passed 47-0;
LB297, which appropriates funds for reaffirmed and new capital construction projects, passed 38-9;
LB298, which repeals and creates funds and makes certain fund transfers, passed 46-2;
LB299, which makes a $54.7 million transfer to cover costs for two additional high security housing units for the Department of Correctional Services, passed 43-4; and
LB464, which provides for payment of claims against the state, passed 46-1.
The governor has five calendar days—excluding Sunday—to sign, veto in total or line-item veto appropriations within the budget bills.
If budget bills are returned to the Legislature with line-item vetoes, the Appropriations Committee must report on the fiscal impact of the vetoes within one day and may offer a motion to override any or all of them. Thirty votes are required to override a gubernatorial veto.