For the first time a Nebraska governor is including multiple cities in inaugural galas across the state.
Governor Dave Heinemen attended events in Gering and Grand Island Friday.
Heineman says it's an idea that started after a conversation with the first lady.
"How can we get more young people involved and how can we get more citizens involved?" he recalled.
Mission accomplished - Grand Island senior Andres Gamboa says it's an opportunity he won't forget.
"One of those stories you tell the grandkids," he said.
An immigrant from Columbia, Gamboa is interested to see what the governor will do about any Arizona-like immigration legislation.
"He's very understanding," said Gamboa. "He's very good at what he does and so I think that when it comes down to deciding which way to go when it hits Nebraska I think he'll make the right choice."
"We do not want to engage in racial profiling or anything like that. That's not the Nebraska way. That's not the American way," said Heineman. "What we are talking about, and what I'll monitor very closely in legislation, is if you're stopped for some other offense they're going to ask you to show your drivers license like they do normally."
The governor says his inaugural tour is already getting good feedback.
"We're approachable and we've continued to focus on jobs and education," he said.
Heineman says it's no coincidence more events are moving out west. He says he's making a calculated effort to make that happen.
"I'm trying to do all I can to involve the entire state," said Heineman.
That includes talking to state senators - both rural and urban - about considering legislation for the entire state, not just their district.
A gala was also held in the capital city Friday night and one will take place in Omaha Saturday.
“The highlight is just to be here with Nebraskans, and to share with them how important this is,” said Governor Heineman.
But the governor says it's back to work on Monday. Next week he says he'll submit a balanced budget to the unicameral.
“They'll be programs that normally we'd like to fund but the most important thing is to balance the budget without raising taxes,” said Governor Heineman. “That's what Nebraskans want.”
Filling a billion dollar budget deficit isn't easy, but the governor says he'll do it by investing in key priorities for the state.
“Within the financial challenges that we face education will be the number one priority,” said Governor Heineman. “They probably won’t get as much as I would like to give them or they would like to receive, but they are going to be the priority, along with job creation.”
Even though the inaugural celebrations expanded this year, Governor Heineman made sure it didn't cost more.
“All the celebrations are being funded by private donations and then everyone who attends pays a ticket price,” said Governor Heineman. “We've tried to keep it very low cost this year given the circumstances, and I think we’ll just break even this year.”