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(Neb)-Ricketts Vetoes $11-M From Capital Projects Bill

By: John Axtell Posted at: 05/13/2017 08:44 PM
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -  Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has issued his first line-item veto of the new 2-year state budget passed earlier in the week, cutting $11 million for a project to replace the Capitol's heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems.
      Ricketts said in his veto message that the project remains a priority but that the state's current fiscal situation doesn't justify committing the money now because there's already enough funding to keep it on schedule.

        Prep work for phase one, including land acquisition and installation of a geothermal well field, is estimated at $17.5 million.

       The HVAC money was in the capital construction bill and the governor allowed the remainder of the bill to remain, including $14.5-million in transfers from the state's rainy day fund.

       He has until midnight Monday to issue line-item vetoes on the mainline budget bill and 2 smaller budget bills, and could return to cuts he'd proposed last month.

      Those include $16.8-million from Health and Human Services provider rates and $32-million from higher education - most of that from the University of Nebraska.
        Appropriations Chairman John Stinner told the Lincoln Journal-Star the committee will meet next week to discuss which, if any, line-item vetoes to try to override. As for the HVAC veto, Stinner said he doesn't have a big problem with it personally, but that it's hard to know what the committee will do.


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