State Budget Gets First-Round Approval


      The Nebraska Legislature has given first-round approval to the last of the 3 bills making up the new 2-year state budget.

       The bill dealt with funds from the billion-plus dollars the state is getting through the federal COVID and infrastructure stimulus packages and its own $1.3-billion cash reserve.

       The package includes $53.5 million to lay the groundwork for a canal project to divert water out of Colorado.

      It also has millions of dollars for other projects around the state, including $30 million for a rural workforce housing grant program, $100 million for recreational water projects and $8.3 million to finish a bike trail between Lincoln and Omaha.