- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 25, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts says the budget he proposes to lawmakers next year won’t raise taxes and will slow the growth of state government.

Ricketts says he still plans to look at tax reforms, even though state revenues have fallen short of projections. The governor made the comments in his weekly newspaper column released Tuesday.

Nebraska has collected less tax revenue than expected largely because of a downturn in commodity prices, weakening the state’s agricultural industry.

Ricketts has already ordered state agencies to restrain their spending. Two weeks ago, he imposed a ban on non-essential out-of-state travel and a hiring freeze for non-mission critical positions. Ricketts says the state needs to prioritize investments in some areas, such as the corrections department.

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