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Governor argues against pay raise for legislature
To some Nebraska lawmakers Governor Heineman is punishing state senators. Lawmakers overrode his veto of LB 599 voting 30-16.
The bill supports prenatal care for illegal immigrants, a measure Heineman is against.
Now, he says lawmakers shouldn't be getting an increase in pay.
From day one Governor Heineman has been very clear on his opposition of LB 599.
"I support prenatal care for mothers. They need it, but when it's an illegal mother it ought to be done through private organizations, private charity and private churches. That's the way to do it," Heineman said.
Heineman says the bill takes away money from education, jobs and other programs that need the funding.
"Because of what occurred last year on LB 599 we're going to give illegal individuals taxpayer funded benefits," Heineman said.
The governor's stance on that bill isn't what sparked the latest feud inside the Nebraska legislator.
"They passed it. I vetoed it. They overrode me so it's just a matter of financial principle. I said, hey, until they repeal it they shouldn't get a pay raise. That money ought to be going to legal Nebraska kids, legal Nebraska families," said Heineman.
While the Governor is very vocal about his opinion on the state senators' salary increase, it's up to the voters to decide.
He strongly opposes the salary increase. In his eyes he sees linking the two "appropriate."
"I respect that everyone is going to make a determination differently. How do you decide whether they need a pay raise or not, this was so important and so fundamental to the future of our state how we spend money and I've always said the priorities ought to be education and jobs," said Heineman.
LB 599 is sure to be the first controversial topic entering into the January 2013 legislative session.
"I really do hope they'll reconsider, repeal it and use that money for education. That's what we ought to use it for," said Heineman.
The Nebraska Legislative Salary Amendment, also known as Amendment 4 will appear on the November 6th, 2012 ballot. If approved, the measure would raise state legislative annual salaries from $12,000 to $32,000.
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