Budget Proposal Won't include Water Dollars

4/19/2013 2:16:34 PM

The Legislature's Appropriations Committee has decided not to provide $40 million in assistance to the Natural Resources Districts (NRDs) in the Republican and Platte Basin who developed the N-CORPE project. The decision comes as the Committee makes its final decisions on a budget package to present to the entire Legislature. The package must be presented by day 70 of the 90-day legislative session which is Monday.

Through the N-CORPE project, the NRDs had purchased nearly 15,000 acres of irrigated land in Lincoln County for a water augmentation project to supplement water flows in both the Republican and Platte Basin. Litigation filed by surface water interests in the Republican Basin halted the issuance of bonds to finance the project. LB 185, introduced by Sen. Mark Christensen, would have provided the NRDs $40 million in state funds to move forward on the project until the litigation is completed and the bonds can be issued. The NRDs would then pay back the dollars to the state. Nebraska Farm Bureau offered a letter in support of the financial assistance.

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