Lawmakers have passed a controversial budget bill that
could deny federal funding to Nebraska’s Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.
The measure passed 38-6 Tuesday and will need to be signed into law by Gov. Pete Ricketts, who introduced the family-planning measure into the budget.
The bill would prevent health clinics from receiving Title X federal funding if they perform, counsel in favor of or refer patients to abortion services. Clinics would need to show physical, financial and legal separation from abortion services.
Ricketts told KNEB News today pro-life language is already in the budget regarding bio-medical research so the new language is not setting a precedent. He says it also assures the state will not lose federal funding if Title X money was used for abortion referrals or services.
Senator john Stinner of Gering, Chair of the Appropriations Committee, says the Title X funding was contentious in his committee, so he was not surprised the same thing happened on the floor. But Stinner was thrilled the budget has been passed. And while there may be some line item vetoes, he “doesn’t believe the differences will be “material”.
Ricketts refused to comment on any specific vetoes he might be considering during our interview.