Governor Ricketts has vetoed approximately $56.5 million in spending to balance the budget and provide for a three percent budget reserve instead of the 2.5% approved by lawmakers. Ricketts also reduced the amount transferred from a highway fund to avoid
increasing the state’s gas tax and $15 million in additional general fund spending.
Ricketts is asking state agencies to take another half a percent reduction in spending across the board, although corrections, -12 funding, public safety, and the state’s property tax relief fund were spared.
Ricketts says his plan has “thoughtful, measured reductions” that address the drop in state revenues to $4.3 billion due to the slumping ag economy. Ricketts called the gas tax increase and the reduction in the budget reserve in the budget presented by lawmakers “budget gimmicks ” used to spend more money while still balancing the budget.