LINCOLN (AP) – Lawmakers who dug into Nebraska’s cash reserve at the height of the recession are now looking to rebuild the state’s rainy-day fund.
Senior members who passed a state budget during the recession say they’re concerned that Nebraska will need the money, should drought conditions persist and weaken the state’s farm economy. Sen. John Harms of Scottsbluff says lawmakers might also need the money for future tax reforms, depending on the outcome of a comprehensive tax study that is expected to begin later this year. The state’s economic forecasting board predicted last week that Nebraska will collect an additional $125 million in the current fiscal year, plus $51 million for the upcoming two-year budget. Gov. Dave Heineman has said lawmakers should focus on tax relief for Nebraska families.