- Associated Press - Monday, March 7, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The Nebraska Legislature will begin debate next week on a proposed two-year, $8.7 billion budget.

The Appropriations Committee advanced the package Monday with new spending for prison reforms, roads and flood protections around Offutt Air Force Base.

Sen. Heath Mello of Omaha, the committee chairman, says the budget relies heavily on the state’s cash reserve but makes long-term investments that will benefit the state.

Papillion Sen. Bill Kintner says he will not “go to war” over the budget, but worries the state spends too much.

The committee also advanced a bill to put money into a transportation infrastructure bank that will jump-start work on road projects. The bank will receive additional funding from the gas tax increase approved last year.

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The bills are LB 956, 957 and 960.

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