I knew Nebraska's budget situation wasn't looking good. I guess I didn't realize just how ugly it had gotten.
Thanks to an anticipated $679 million shortfall (gulp!) Governor Dave Heineman has frozen the pay of non-union state employees. That'll save all of $4.4 million, leaving a mere $674.6 million to go. Yikes.
Not surprisingly, commenters went right after the (ahem) true cause of the shortfall: the arena! But believe it or not that was just on KOLN's website. The commenters on the LJS website are being surprisingly sane about this so far. Whodathunkit?
Gov. Heineman also wants union employees to accept a pay freeze, but sticking points remain before that will happen. Cue the war of words in the media. I'm sure one of the issues will be whether or not Heineman will promise to avoid layoffs of union personnel. With such a large budget gap there's surely no way the governor could guarantee such a thing. Somebody -- several somebodies, actually -- is getting the axe.
So, who can find a spare $675 million in the state's budget?