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(Neb)-Line-Item Veto Overrides Fail  Listen

By: John Axtell Posted at: 05/17/2017 02:19 PM
LINCOLN, Neb. - (AP) - Governor Pete Ricketts has won his budget battle with the legislature as the two line-item veto overrides recommended by the Appropriations Committee both fell short this morning.

       The override of cutting $300,000 from the probation system fell 5 votes short of the required 30 while restoring more than $32-million in cuts to providers of services in the areas of behavioral health, developmental disabilities, and Medicaid - largely for nursing homes - got only 27.

      The Panhandle's 3 senators voted the same on both override tries with John Stinner of Gering, whose district covers Scotts Bluff County, supporting them.

      Tom Brewer of Gordon and Steve Erdman of Bayard voting no. Brewer's 43rd District includes Dawes, Sheridan, and eastern Box Butte counties while Erdman's District 47 covers the rest of the Panhandle while extending east to Ogallala.

       Nearly all the more than 2-1/2 hours of debate on the vetoes came from supporters of the overrides.

      Omaha Senator Ernie Chambers called the probation veto "penny wise and pound foolish" while Senator Burke Haar, also of Omaha, pointed out that Chief Justice Mike Heavican felt the money was important.

       On the cut in provider reimbursement rates, Stinner said the 3% reduction could be the difference between some nursing homes staying opening or closing.

Alan Zavodny, the executive director of NorthStar Services, says the vote will probably force his nonprofit group out of business. NorthStar Services serves 200 residents and provides 500 jobs in northeast Nebraska.


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