State lawmakers discuss budget cuts

Nebraska lawmakers say they want to cut their way out of what could be a $679 million budget hole, and there's no appetite for tax increases.

A key lawmaker said Tuesday, however, that her committee is running numbers to prepare for a possible tax hike. The projected deficit for the two-year budget cycle that begins in July 2011 could be the biggest shortfall in state history.

Sen. Abbie Cornett of Bellevue is chairwoman of the Legislature's Revenue Committee. She said there's no interest in raising taxes but the committee has been modeling tax-increase numbers just in case. Key lawmakers met Tuesday to discuss a new budget process they're using that could lead to the elimination of some state programs.