Budget Debate

By: Tregg White
By: Tregg White

The state's shortfall is a hefty $315 million, and state lawmakers are finding out it's going to be tough balancing the budget.

The plan calls for a reduction in state aid to schools. However, the plan does give schools the option of raising the local property tax levy lid by ten cents.

The current lid is one dollar, making it a dollar ten. Many Senators do not like the proposal. Senator Jeanne Combs of Friend says, "I don't think this needs to be address in the middle of a biennial year."

Lincoln Senator Chris Beutler says allowing property tax increases will hurt farmers and the elderly who live on fixed incomes. The budget debate is not going to lighten up anytime soon. Senator Combs says if they do not come to a compromise, then they'll have to fix it somehow and that could mean "special session."

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