The first day of the 106th Nebraska Legislative session

On Wednesday it was the first day of the 106th session for the Nebraska Legislature.

While there are a lot of issues this year, Medicaid expansion was at the forefront of many lawmaker’s minds, after the initiative was passed the last election.

Governor Ricketts says with the expansion being passed, it will be difficult to include everything equally in the state budget.

“Well, when the people of Nebraska voted on 427 to expand Medicaid here in our state. What that means is we’re going to have to fit that in our budget which means all the other priorities that we have in the budget will have less money so whether it’s K through 12 education high education or property tax relief we’ll have to prioritize our spending to make sure that we accommodate expansion in with those other priorities,” Gov. Pete Ricketts said.

So for lawmakers, they aren’t moving too quickly on the expansion of Medicaid as there is still a lot of different topics to be looked at inside the state’s budget.

“We have a forecast coming out in February and we are going to have to see what the forecast is there’s a lot of moving parts this session not only on Medicaid expansion but if we’re looking at property tax relief and fairness in school funding there are big factors in the budget also,” Sen. Tom Brandt of Crete said.

Governor Ricketts will unveil his whole Nebraska state budget next Tuesday during his state of the state address with more details on how he plans on fitting Medicaid into the budget.

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