Nebraska Budget Outlook Brightening

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Nebraska lawmakers will have a smaller-than-expected budget shortfall to fill when they convene in January, according to new state revenue estimates.

The Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board set new estimates Friday that will shrink the state's projected shortfall for the two-year budget that begins in July 2013.

Lawmakers were expected to face a $624 million shortfall when they returned to the Capitol, but the new projections will shrink that by $231 million.

Board members say Nebraska farms have persisted through this year's extreme drought, and unemployment remains relatively low. But they say businesses are hesitant to invest because of uncertainty over federal tax laws.

State officials caution that the numbers will likely change once adjustments are made to the state's school-aid formula and other parts of the budget.

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