Budget Moves Forward Without $2.2 Million Appropriation For The Purchase
The Nebraska legislature has been batting around a $2.2 million budget line item that would have allowed the state government to purchase a Beechcraft Super King Air B200 from the University of Nebraska Foundation. But when the last of the bills that make up the state budget was presented last Friday, the money was not included.
Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman had lobbied for the outright purchase of the aircraft, which has been leased to the state by the foundation for several years. Gov. Heineman said it was a valuable tool that allows him and other state officials to quickly and efficiently travel to areas of the state far from the Capital.
But the Nebraska News Service reports that an amendment offered by state senator Annette Dubas stripped the money for the plane out of the budget. Instead, the bill, which passed 26-14, requires a study by the state Department of Aeronautics to look at alternatives such as renting an airplane or time-sharing an aircraft with a private owner. "I do believe we have some options here," she said, adding that she would work with the fiscal office on another amendment outlining the parameters of the study before the budget comes up for another round of debate.