Legislature gives final approval to state budget, including University of Nebraska funding

LINCOLN – The Nebraska Legislature on Thursday gave its final approval to the state’s 2023-25 budget, including funding for the University of Nebraska.

The budget package now moves to Gov. Jim Pillen’s desk for consideration. The governor has until the end of the day on Wednesday to sign, veto or line-item veto the budget.

The budget includes 2.5% funding increases for the university each year of the biennium. In addition, the budget provides $2 million in additional funding for the Nebraska Career Scholarships, which support Nebraska college students in high-demand fields; and $14.5 million in operating funds for the UNK-UNMC Rural Health Education Building.

Ted Carter
Ted Carter

NU’s budget request as approved by the Board of Regents had sought annual funding increases of 3%. The governor’s initial budget recommendation included 2% annual increases, then the Appropriations Committee voted to raise the increases to 2.5%, a decision the governor’s office has signaled support for.

In a statement, NU System President Ted Carter thanked lawmakers for their work.

“We thank the Legislature for supporting the good work of the Appropriations Committee and Governor Pillen in providing funding that will help us keep tuition affordable and provide quality education,” Carter said. “The investments in the UNK-UNMC rural health facility and the Nebraska Career Scholarships in particular will have a major impact on our state’s workforce. We are grateful to elected leaders for their partnership on these important efforts.

“The University of Nebraska is not immune to the headwinds facing all of higher education. We have hard budget work ahead. Our priority is to use the resources Nebraskans entrust to us to create the greatest possible impact for students and the state.”

Carter said university leaders are continuing their budget planning “in earnest.” He is set to bring a proposed 2023-24 operating budget, including recommendations on tuition, salaries and other items, to the Board of Regents at its June 22 meeting.