The state’s budget for the next two years controls spending and delivers property tax relief, among other key priorities, Gov. Pete Ricketts said as he signed it into law Monday.

Ricketts looks forward to working with senators to deliver even more tax relief, he said.

The budget limits the state’s annual budget growth to 1.7% — about one-fourth of the yearly increase before Ricketts took office. 

The budget delivers about $1.45 billion in property tax relief over the two years, including $613 million in direct property tax relief through the state’s Property Tax Credit Relief Fund, and more than $627 million from the recently enacted LB 1107 refundable property tax credit. 

The budget also includes $214 million to provide property tax payments under the current homestead exemption program.

K-12 schools

The budget fully funds the state school aid formula, providing more than $1 billion annually in aid to K-12 public schools.

Educational opportunities

The budget expands career scholarships to include private institutions and also includes additional resources for the state’s textbook loan program for K-12 private schools.

Public safety

The budget kicks off the process of replacing the decaying Nebraska State Penitentiary with a new, modern correctional facility that will increase the capacity of Nebraska’s corrections system to meet forecasted needs, Ricketts said. The budget allocates $100 million in general funds to the Nebraska Capital Construction Fund, to be available for the Legislature to appropriate for a new state prison, should one be deemed necessary in the future.

Also, the budget appropriates:

• $1.5 million in 2021-22 and $3 million in 2022-23 to public health departments.

• $7.5 million in fiscal year 2022-23 to the Museum of Nebraska Art in Kearney.

• $2.5 million in 2021-22 for job training.

• $1 million in each fiscal year of the biennium to the state’s developmental disability wait list.

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