Neb. gov. puts on the brakes

Heineman says the state will not be able to afford a future highway construction bill

News Omaha World-Herald March 31, 2011
Printer-friendly version

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman has raised objections to a highway construction bill moving through the state legislature, the Omaha World-Herald reported. The governor said the state cannot afford the $140 million-a-year program and should not be considering a bill beyond the current two-year budget cycle.

The plan would not go into effect until 2013, when the sponsors think the economy will have recovered from the recent recession. Heineman doesn’t believe the economic recovery will be strong enough by then to make the necessary withdrawal of general funds from programs such as education and human services to fund highway construction.

“What's the rush?” the governor said. “When the economy is growing, that's when we need to make this decision.”

The Build Nebraska Act, as the highway bill is known, has already overcome a filibuster and received a 32-8 first-round approval. Gov. Heineman said it is too soon to consider a “risky financial strategy” that would not go into effect until after the current legislative sponsors will be forced out of office by term limits.

Overlay Init