New estimates set Nebraska revenue shortfall at $298 million

Posted By: Channel 8 Eyewitness News

       LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ A struggling farm economy could mean more budget challenges for Nebraska lawmakers this year, based on new state estimates.
        Members of the Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board offered a gloomy outlook for agriculture over the next few years as they set new revenue projections on Monday.
        The board’s projections will leave lawmakers with a projected $298 million revenue shortfall in the upcoming two-year budget.
        Lawmakers have developed a plan to reduce their original $900 million shortfall to roughly $134 million. Because of the board’s new estimates, however, that projected shortfall will now grow to $298 million.
        Board members say Omaha and Lincoln’s economies are faring well, but low commodity prices continue to hurt agriculture, the state’s largest industry. Board member David Ochsner says he’s concerned the trend may continue.