It will be a challenging legislative session for Nebraska lawmakers when the re-convene in early January, as tight budgets and new expenses will stand front and center.
That’s according to Gering Senator John Stinner, who was the keynote speaker for this morning’s Pre-Legislative Breakfast, hosted by the Scottsbluff/ Gering United Chamber of Commerce.
Earlier this month, Nebraska voters approved a ballot measure to expand Medicaid here in the Cornhusker State and now lawmakers will be responsible for finding the necessary funding.
Stinner, who also serves as Chair for the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee, says that nearly every other state who passed Medicaid Expansion low-balled their projected number of people who enrolled by about 50%.
Current projections are that it will cost Nebraska approximately $45 to $50 million, but Stinner says that figure could easily turn out to be in the $80 to $120 million range. He adds that with all the steps needed to get expanded Medicaid coverage in Nebraska, the new services would not be ready until at least the early part of 2020.
Stinner says it’s unlikely that the Legislature will tackle any bills that would increase taxes to offset budget shortfalls, and property tax relief will still be an initiative that lawmakers try to achieve in 2019.