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Property tax relief, state aid to schools included in Nebraska’s budget

Gov. Pete Ricketts signs the state budget into law
Gov. Pete Ricketts signs the state budget into law(Gov. Pete Ricketts)
Published: Apr. 26, 2021 at 9:40 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - On Monday, Gov. Ricketts signed Nebraska’s two-year budget bill into law. This comes after the Legislature unanimously approved it.

With the passing of the budget Tuesday, lawmakers say it’ll take pressure off of homeowners.

Lincoln Sen. Anna Wishart said, “The more state aid that we provide for schools, the less that local communities need to invest so there will be a reduction in property taxes as well.”

The budget provides over a billion dollars to K-12 funding.

Gov. Pete Ricketts said it’s the most education funding the state has ever provided.

“While we continue to ask local governments to control their spending, it’s also important that we continue to make the investment in education,” Gov. Ricketts said.

A priority for Gov. Ricketts this session is providing property tax relief.

He asked the Legislature to allocate $1.36 billion over the biennium in his State of the State address. He signed off on $1.45 billion for property tax relief Tuesday.

Gov. Ricketts said, “It’s something we’ve been working on a long time.”

“They will see a portion of their property taxes credit which is a reduction on what they’ll be paying on their bill,” Sen. Wishart said.

Gov. Ricketts said the final budget is about 95% of what he asked of lawmakers. This includes the next steps toward a new state penitentiary.

“It’s important that we replace that state penitentiary. this budget allows us to move forward on that process by starting to do the design work,” Gov. Ricketts said.

For Sen. Wishart, she’s focusing on research within the prison system.

“We’re doing a lot of work over the summer with some federal coaching from the justice institute to look at how we can do comprehensive prison reform,” Sen. Wishart said.

She adds that next year will be a big year in terms of criminal justice reform and analyzing Nebraska’s overcrowded prisons.

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