- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 21, 2017

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska lawmakers have advanced a bill that could save the state $19 million annually by streamlining the process state officials use when working with the federal government on road projects.

Senators gave the measure first-round approval on Tuesday with a 42-0 vote.

The bill by Sen. Mike Hilgers of Lincoln would direct the state to enter into an agreement with the federal government. It also would require the state to waive a small part of its sovereign immunity, giving the public a way to force state officials to conduct environmental reviews if they haven’t.

Hilgers say the agreement would eliminate some of the formal communications between state and federal officials that can add months to a project’s timeline. He says it will also save the federal government money.

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