By J.L. Schmidt
Statehouse Correspondent Nebraska Press Association 

Lawmakers pass budget that includes a costly ditch and a new prison


Amid nasty debate about social issues, filibustering and theater playing out in the legislative chamber, lawmakers did manage to meet their constitutional obligation and pass a balanced budget on day 80 of the 90-day session.

The two-year budget calls for about $5.3 billion a year in spending, with an average increase of 2.2%. It sets aside a generous amount for cuts in state income taxes and increases in tax credits for property taxes, as well as allocating the final funds for a $366 million state prison and reserving $574 million for the Perkins County Canal.

Also included is a $1 billion...

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