Nebraska lawmakers should have an easier time balancing the budget next year, thanks to growing revenue and shrinking expenses.
A new estimate puts the gap between revenues and expenses at around $200 million for the next two years.
That is below the nearly $1 billion shortfall that loomed over lawmakers two years ago, or the $377 million deficit they faced in 2009. And it's one-third as big as the shortfall they expected to face just months ago.
Mike Calvert, director of the Legislative Fiscal Office, says a state board recently issued projections for state tax revenue that were $295.8 million higher than earlier estimates. He says new calculations also showed the state needs to spend about $202 million less on aid for public schools.