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Neb. Lawmakers Cautious as Budget Outlook Improves

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Nebraska lawmakers are treading carefully with the state budget this year, even as revenues continue to trend higher.

Lawmakers reacted with caution to news this week that state revenue is expected surpass earlier estimates. The Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board approved new projections that, if accurate, would leave the state with an $81 million surplus for the upcoming budget.

Sen. Heath Mello of Omaha, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, says the state has weathered the recent recession well. Mello says lawmakers are looking to increase funding for education, but they also want to make sure the new spending is sustainable in future years.

Speaker Greg Adams says the bullish revenue forecast was welcome news for lawmakers, but he and others want to keep tight control over the state's spending growth.

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