Heineman: Omaha Tax Money Wasn't Part of UNMC Deal

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Gov. Dave Heineman wants to know why the University of Nebraska is asking local governments in Omaha to help pay for a $323 million cancer research center.

Heineman told The Associated Press Thursday that he signed a funding bill for the project with the understanding that the university would first raise $60 million in private money.

Meeting that goal would trigger $50 million in state aid this fiscal year.

His remarks came as the Omaha City Council considers a 35-cent-per-pack cigarette tax to help pay for the center.

University officials have also approached Douglas County.

Heineman says he supports the Omaha-based project. But he says the university "owes us an explanation," and that their push for local tax funding will make him more skeptical about future requests for state aid.

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