Gov. Dave Heineman has signed three budget-adjusting bills into law, including one that pumps $71 million into three proposed University of Nebraska construction projects.
Heineman's office sent confirmation to the Legislature on Monday.
The Republican governor initially questioned the timing and use of cash-reserve money for the projects, but said he supported it because of the improving economy and a private fundraising requirement.
The budget package includes a $50 million from the cash reserve for a University of Nebraska Medical Center cancer research tower, and $15 million for a nursing college in Kearney.
It also invests $6.1 million in general-fund dollars for a Veterinary Diagnostic Center in Lincoln.
Heineman has not yet said whether he will sign a fourth budget-related bill, which includes reimbursement for child welfare claims.
University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken today issued the following statement on the Governor’s signing of the state budget package:
“I want to thank Governor Heineman for his support of a budget package that advances the priorities he has articulated for Nebraska: job creation and education. The Governor’s support gives us the critical momentum we need to raise private dollars and move our Building a Healthier Nebraska initiative forward. When completed, these projects will meet workforce needs, create high-quality jobs, improve health care and expand educational opportunities for young people in our state. I am pleased that we were able to make this case to the Governor and I applaud this far-sighted investment, which will benefit Nebraskans for years to come.
“I want to thank all those who supported Building a Healthier Nebraska throughout the legislative session, including our key sponsors and supporters of the capital projects and Chairman Heidemann and the other members of the Appropriations Committee. Finally, my thanks to all the Nebraskans who have testified, spoken and written in support of this initiative over the past few months. The positive reaction Building a Healthier Nebraska has generated around the state has been gratifying and I could not be more appreciative.”