LINCOLN – Earlier this month, a statewide coalition brought chambers and economic developers together to recognize legislative leaders for advancing key budget recommendations out of committee.
According to a release from the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry, these are key to attracting and retaining talent, building supply chain resilience and creating new opportunities for all Nebraskans.
Nebraska Chamber President Bryan Slone stated ‘while these budget proposals are not final, this package could make a real impact on workforce and economic growth over the coming decade. They reflect a growing public policy focus on ensuring Nebraska’s competitiveness.
Specifically, the mainline budget adjustment bill (LB1011), funds transfer bill (LB1012) and cash reserve transfer bill (LB1013) contain provisions prioritized by the statewide “Good Life Game Changer” coalition in legislative priorities this year.
Broken down, $50 million would be in support of new, industrial rail park infrastructure, paving the way for supply chain resilience in Nebraska’s core manufacturing, transportation and logistics sectors; $30 million for Rural Workforce Housing grants to help attract and retain talent, and build quality of life in more rural areas; $20 million for Middle Income Workforce Housing grants to help attract and retain talent and build quality of life in urban communities; $20 million to scale up and increase both employer and student participation in Intern Nebraska and $25 million for an Agricultural Research Service National Center to jumpstart innovation and aid technology transformation.
The budget adjustment package also allocates more than $200 million to enhance outdoor recreation across the state, adjusts the Nebraska’s Business Innovation Act to spur additional investment and expands the state’s high-skill, high-demand, high-wage (H3) career scholarship program.
Walker Zulkoski, president, Nebraska Economic Developers Association added, “from infrastructure to workforce housing to job training – this proposed budget adjustment hits on many items facing communities of all sizes in their efforts to improve the economy and quality of life here in Nebraska.
As of March 25, the mainline budget adjustment bill (LB1011); the funds transfer bill (LB1012) and the cash reserve transfer bill (LB1013) were all placed on final reading. The Nebraska Legislature is hosting Day 49 – Day 52 from Monday, March 28 through Thursday, March 31 this week for the 107th Second Session.
In January, the “Good Life Game Changer” coalition, comprised of the Nebraska Economic Developers Association, the NE Chamber, the NE Chambers Association, the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, unveiled policy priorities to take advantage of once-in-a-lifetime economic opportunities and federal recovery funds to help Nebraskans, their communities and their employers compete better globally over the coming decades. Learn more at nechamber.com.
Additional statements by coalition members
Jason Ball, president, Lincoln Chamber of Commerce: “Workforce development remains one of our most important issues statewide. These bills would provide opportunities for funding of internship programs with the goal of creating more H3 opportunities across the state, keeping talented Nebraskans here and helping to grow our communities.”
Derek Rusher, president, NE Chambers Association; president / CEO Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce: “These proposals would be game-changing for Nebraska communities all across the state.”