- Associated Press - Friday, April 5, 2019

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Two Nebraska state agencies that oversee environmental and energy issues are set to merge under a new law approved by Gov. Pete Ricketts.

Ricketts signed the measure last month to combine the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and the Nebraska State Energy Office.

The governor’s office said Friday that Jim Macy will oversee the combined agency in place of his current role as head of the environmental quality department. Former energy office director David Bracht stepped down last year.

The new agency will be renamed the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy.

Ricketts proposed the merger as a way to increase state government efficiency. State officials say the merger could save roughly $207,000 in annual personnel expenses. That money will be used instead for operating costs and state aid programs.

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