- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 15, 2017

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has approved more than $137 million in cuts from the state budget in the fiscal year that runs through June 30.

Ricketts signed the budget bill into law on Wednesday surrounded by members of the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee. The governor says it’s an important step toward addressing the projected $895 million state revenue shortfall.

Lawmakers still have to pass a two-year budget to cover expenses through June 2019. Ricketts says officials should consider the interests of taxpayers before “special interests” and balance the budget without raising taxes.

Sen. John Stinner of Gering, the Appropriations Committee chairman, says senators have already begun work on the upcoming budget and expect a vigorous debate in the Legislature.

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