April 6, 2006
Governor Issues Budget Vetoes
Late Monday Governor Heineman issued nearly $23 million worth of line-item vetoes to LB 1060, the main budget bill. The Governor’s vetoes included:
Over $5 million for increased utility costs at the University, state colleges, Nebraska Educational Telecommunications and the state capitol building. The Governor stated that it was not clear the appropriated amount would be needed and that it is not clear yet what the actual amount of increased utility costs will be.
Over $2.7 million for the Children’s Health Insurance Program; the Governor’s veto message simply said an analysis showed the total CHIP appropriation in LB 1060 was “not necessary.”
Over $400,000 for the state’s five Qualified Community Health Centers; this amount was appropriated in LB 1060 as additional funding to that approved in the biennial budget during the 2005 session.
Nearly $750,000 in additional funding for community college aid (one-half of the LB 1060 appropriation); this amount was divide between the state aid to community college fund ($564,000) and the community collage property tax relief/equalization fund ($184,000). The LB 1060 appropriation was meant to reduce property tax levies for community colleges by substituting state aid.
A reduction of $1.375 million appropriated in LB 1060 to implement community corrections services.
The $1.2 million increase in funding for the Nebraska Scholarship Program.
A total of $125,000, representing the appropriated funding increase for the Commission for Blind and Visually Impaired. This amount represented state funds to off-set reduced federal funds for the Commission.
Cut the $2 million appropriation for the Cultural Preservation Endowment Fund. The Governor expressed his support of the arts, but “other critical needs facing the State of Nebraska must take priority.”
Earlier today, the Appropriations Committee met to determine which, if any, vetoes to recommend for an override by the Legislature. The Committee recommended (by a 5-3 vote) an override on only one item – half of the amount vetoed by the Governor for support of the Qualified Community Health Centers. The committee recommendation comes to $218,750 of the nearly $23 million vetoed. This recommendation will be considered by the Legislature on April 6; it will take 30 votes to override the veto. Individual Senators may also propose override attempts.