Rotunda blog: Proposed spending exceeds money available

2013-03-25T16:30:00Z 2013-03-25T16:46:04Z Rotunda blog: Proposed spending exceeds money availableBy JoANNE YOUNG / Lincoln Journal Star

During a debate Monday on a bill (LB634) on wildfire control, Omaha Sen. Steve Lathrop called a time out.

He wanted to talk for a moment about the spending being proposed in bill after bill that committees were advancing and senators were debating.

The Appropriations Committee, which is charged with putting a final state budget proposal together, has told senators there will be $16 million to $19 million available for senators' bills.

"You know how much we have in bills that have been prioritized that are chasing after that $16 (million) to $19 million?" he said.

"It's $150 million."

When senators look at those bills, one at a time, they all look like great ideas, he said.

But now is the time to be discriminating, to look at priorities, to get engaged, he said.

"Ask the difficult questions," Lathrop said.

If senators keep kicking these bills down the road, he said, there will be a day in May when those decisions will have to be made regarding scarce resources.

The bill advanced on a 36-0 vote.

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