- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 1, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Livestock operations that want to expand will still have to comply with county requirements under a bill that won first-round approval from Nebraska lawmakers.

The legislation would create optional statewide standards for producers that want to build or expand facilities. Lawmakers voted 34-3 Wednesday on the proposal by Sen. Dan Watermeier of Syracuse.

Advocates say the bill encourages growth of animal agriculture by simplifying the permit process for out-of-state producers.

The original bill would have mandated the standards and created a state-level board that could overturn county-level decisions. After three days of fierce debate, senators compromised with a measure that would rely on state, county and university experts to create the standards. Counties would have the option to use them as guidelines.

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The bill is LB106

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