Legislative Bill 611 passed its first floor vote in the Nebraska Legislature Monday, with state senators from every political point of view voting in support. Over 50 percent of the Legislature voted for the measure, with Democrats, Republicans, and the Unicameral’s Libertarian and Independent members supporting the bill as well.
This legislation requires state agencies to provide an inventory of the federal funds coming into the state. Federal bureaucrats in Washington have a spending addiction that dramatically impacts how Nebraska’s government can function. Nebraska, along with most other states rely on the federal government for nearly a third of their general budget, leaving states vulnerable to shifting political climates.
With the recent passage of federal tax reform, and the current administration’s focus on welfare reform, states can expect to see an impact to their federal grants. In Nebraska, 34 agencies receive a portion of their budget from federal funds or 30 percent of the state’s overall general budget.
The federal funds inventory would help Nebraskans see the federal money coming into our budget, measure the effectiveness of programs that are funded with those dollars, and help our senators act in the best interests of their constituents when federal funding inevitably changes for programs here in Nebraska.
Senator John Stinner, the bill sponsor, is also the Appropriations Committee Chair. His committee prioritized this bill because he knows the impact federal funds have on the state’s budget. In debate on the floor of the Legislature, he stated that he wants to see this legislation pass so that his successors on the budget-writing committee, and other state leaders, will have a valuable tool when crafting future budgets.
To learn more about LB611, visit PlatteInstitute.org/611.