Omaha, NE – The Nebraska Legislature is preparing to debate budget bills next week. On Monday, lawmakers will deal with four budget bills. The legislature's Appropriations Committee forwarded final budget recommendations to the full Unicameral earlier this week.
Appropriations Committee Chairman Senator Lavon Heidemann says the budget recommendations include a reduction in the amount of state aid schools will receive. It also warns against using money from the state's nearly $500 million cash reserve to balance the budget.
Omaha, NE – Construction on the second phase of the Joslyn Art Museum sculpture garden is underway. On Monday, workers began laying the foundation for water sculptures.
The sculpture garden will feature granite pathways, two flowing water features, outdoor art galleries, and a variety of sculptures from the 19th and 20th Centuries. Joslyn Art Museum Director J. Brooks Joyner says the garden will also be pedestrian friendly, with green space.
Omaha, NE – Nebraska lawmakers narrowly approved legislation Wednesday that makes changes to state gun laws. The bill is sponsored by Senator Brad Ashford of Omaha. A key component of the legislation repeals a 1991 law that requires gun buyers to secure a permit before purchasing a firearm. Instead, instant background checks would be done at the time of the purchase. Ashford says he supported the 1991 law but promised to push for its repeal if technology allowed for background checks to be done when a buyer goes to make a firearm purchase.
Omaha, NE – The Consul General of Japan in Chicago visited Omaha Wednesday, and he says the alliance between his home country and the United States has reached a new pinnacle.
Kenji Shinoda spoke to business and international students at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He says it's important that the friendship between the U.S. and Japan shouldn't be taken for granted because that partnership is important to handling issues such as terrorism, economic development in Asia and climate change.
Omaha, NE – A new state law allows the Department of Health and Human Services to disclose additional information about child abuse or neglect cases in certain situations. LB 782 was sponsored by Senator Gwen Howard, who says she's pleased with the law.
Omaha, NE – The Salvation Army's Winter Night Watch program served more than 16,000 meals this season to Omaha's homeless and near homeless. The Winter Night Watch program ended February 29th. Volunteers spend five nights a week in downtown Omaha, providing meals, assistance, blankets and winter clothes.
Omaha, NE – Creighton University has a new entrepreneurship program focusing on the biosciences. The three-year program began this spring and 16 students from the business, law, and medical fields are enrolled.
Omaha, NE – A wide variety of questions, comments and concerns greeted Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey and the Stadium Oversight Committee during the first public meeting Thursday night regarding the downtown stadium recommendation. At that meeting, the committee made a 40-minute presentation about the decision to build a new ballpark, the cost estimates, and sources of funding.
The crowd of about 300 gathered for the first public meeting asked questions on a wide variety of topics, including: