Nebraska have failed at their attempts to divert money from the
Highway Trust Fund to balance the state's budget. Four of the
five proposed bills are dead after being "indefinitely postponed"
by their committees.
by Sen. D. Paul Hartnett, would have diverted to the general fund
half of the proceeds from the sales and uses taxes on vehicles,
trailers and semi-trailers and would have increased the authorization
of the Highway Commission to issue bonds for construction and
maintenance of the highway system. The Transportation and Telecommunications
Committee struck down the bill after a committee hearing Aug.
5. Hartnett says he will re-introduce his bill next session.
P. Thompson had three bills to tap into the Highway Trust Fund,
all shot down in committee. LB15 would have increased the amount
provided to the Nebraska public transportation assistance program
from the Highway Trust Fund from $1 million to $1,621,000. LB16
would have taken Highway Trust Fund money from the state and allocate
it to the Nebraska State Patrol Cash Fund. LB38 would have directed
proceeds from the additional half-cent sales tax on motor vehicles,
trailers and semi-trailers to the General Fund. Thompson says
she will re-introduce her bills next session.
LB19 is the
only one of the five still kicking. The bill, introduced by Sen.
Chris Beutler, could transfer the portion of the motor vehicle
sales tax allocated to the Department of Roads from the Highway
Cash Fund to the General Fund. The Appropriations Committee tacked
the bill's proposal onto another appropriation bill, LB1. For
bill status, call (402) 371-2709.
-- Rene Tankersley