Gov. Pete Ricketts unveiled his revised budget plan and new property and income tax proposals during his State of the State address Wednesday. Some groups and individuals were quick to respond:
“Gov. Ricketts fails to address how we will fix the $200 million budget shortfall as he throws the predictable political football of abortion.
"Nebraskans want our government to be focused on the major issues at hand — funding our public schools, providing public safety, creating new revenue streams to help lower property taxes and actually putting forward a collective vision for our state.
"Instead, Ricketts gave us more status quo talking points as he spends millions interfering with elections at the local level to keep one-party control of our state.
"Over 60 Democrats are running for office across our state to offer an alternative to the status quo and to end one-party rule. We need all voices at the table, not just the ones Ricketts’ hand-selects with his personal wealth.”
— Nebraska Democratic Party Chair Jane Kleeb
"We are encouraged by Gov. Ricketts' interest in placing greater emphasis on property taxes as part of his tax relief package and to see the property tax issue receive the attention it deserves. The governor’s ongoing efforts to bring interests to the table to find a solution are appreciated and we look forward to working with him and others to provide the tax relief being sought by Nebraskans ...
"It’s our hope that common ground to deliver that relief can be found during the 2018 legislative session. We couldn’t agree more with Gov. Ricketts that we need tax relief done this year. However, until such time, we will keep all options on the table for our members, including a ballot measure that would give Nebraskans the opportunity to vote and demonstrate their desire for property tax relief.”
— Steve Nelson, president of Nebraska Farm Bureau
"The governor in his State of the State address just claimed that students leave the state because of income taxes. I represent 20,000 of them and not one has told me that as they move to higher tax states out east and west. We need LGBT protections, lower tuition, high-paying jobs and forward thinking policies and investments.”
— Sen. Adam Morfeld, Lincoln
“At the end of the day, the tax cut proposal is a guaranteed income tax cut for top earners and corporations, and the triggers put Nebraska on the dangerous path that led to serious budget issues in Kansas and Oklahoma and caused lawmakers in those states to repeal tax cut triggers.
"Given the fiscal uncertainty in the economy, demographic trends and federal tax cuts, the timing of this proposal is particularly irresponsible.”
— Open Sky Policy Institute Executive Director Renee Fry
“We are pleased the governor acknowledged the drastic need to improve children’s safety by proposing additional investments in Nebraska’s under-resourced child welfare system.
"However, proposing further revenue cuts shows a failure to learn the harsh lessons of the past. Making further cuts will only exacerbate our current budget shortfall and worsen our ability to invest in the foundation of a strong economy so that all Nebraskans can share in the prosperity the governor outlined in his speech.
"We encourage the Legislature to create a responsible budget that doesn’t just give more to those that already have the most, but invests in healthy communities, world-class public schools, and work-support programs that allow Nebraska’s hard-working families the opportunity to get ahead.”
— Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould
"Today, Gov. Ricketts failed to address the issues that Nebraska families are dealing with in their day-to-day lives. He made clear he cares more about corporate tax cuts than ensuring the future of public education, safety net programs, and public safety in Nebraska.
"If the governor truly wants to grow Nebraska, he should turn his attention to the middle class, the hard-working Nebraskans who are the heart of our state's economy."
— Hadley Richters, acting CEO of Holland Children's Movement