Bill to help predict Nebraska state revenue downturns passes

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A bill that could help Nebraska lawmakers anticipate downturns in state revenue has won final approval.

Senators gave the bill final approval on Thursday with a 44-0 vote. The measure would require the Legislature’s fiscal office would submit annual reports to lawmakers predicting possible changes in state revenue and federal funding.

Sen. Heath Mello of Omaha, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, has said the information could help lawmakers set future state budgets.

Lawmakers balanced the budget during the 2009 crisis with a combination of spending cuts and federal money, and at several points considered a tax increase. Supporters of the bill say the federal government is unlikely to provide emergency money to states in the future.

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