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Our Nebraska Legislature is nearing the finish line of the 60-day session. Important bills related to workforce and economic development have had their days of deliberation on the floor of the Unicameral. Because the session is not quite over and our legislators continue to find consensus, the adoption of some of these bills are still pending and their statuses constantly updating. However, two bills that have been passed by the Unicameral and are awaiting Governor Ricketts’ signature are:

  • LB 1011, a budget adjustment bill that includes language to authorize funds for an Agricultural Research Service National Center, rural and urban workforce housing initiatives, and expands the state’s career scholarship program.

  • LB 1013, a cash reserve transfer bill that allocates $513 million for a variety of projects and initiatives. Some key items include $50 million to the Nebraska Rural Projects Fund, $30 million to Rural Workforce Housing Investment Fund, and $20 million to Middle Income Workforce Housing Investment Fund amongst other items. Read more about project and initiative funding here.

Key bills still making their way through the legislative process include:

  • LB 598 would appropriate $20 million in grants to be distributed by the state Department of Economic Development to offer financial assistance to small businesses in the event of a natural disaster, pandemic, or other emergency declared by the Governor. This would benefit businesses making less than $1 million.

  • LB 873 would, alongside adjusting various tax credits and property taxes on community colleges, lower corporate and individual income taxes. More specifically, the bill seeks to lower Nebraska’s top individual income tax rate in five steps from 6.84% to 5.84% by tax year 2027 and lower corporate income tax rate from 7.5% to 5.84% by tax year 2027.

  • LB 1014 deals with the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for the state of Nebraska. The bill would appropriate $1.04 billion in ARPA dollars to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and will be debated separately from the budget package. Federal law specifies that expenses must either support COVID-19 mitigation, respond to negative economic impacts, replace lost revenue, provide pay for essential workers, or fund water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure projects.

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