State could face nearly $200 million dollar budget shortfall next two years

Posted by:  Channel 8 Eyewitness News

 LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ Nebraska lawmakers and Gov. Pete Ricketts will continue to face budget problems in next year’s session, based on new estimates of state tax collections.     The Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board revised its forecast downward on Friday by $217.2 million, essentially lowering the amount of money available for the 2018 legislative session.

 Under the new estimates, lawmakers will face a projected shortfall of roughly $195 million in the current two-year budget cycle.  State officials caution that the numbers could change dramatically, especially if President Donald Trump and Congress pass a major tax overhaul. Nebraska’s tax system is closely linked to the federal system, so changes at the federal level can influence state revenue.  Sen. John Stinner of Gering, the Appropriations Committee chairman, says lawmakers will once again have to set priorities.