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Congress passes long-term transportation bill

Nebraska is set to receive $1.5 billion over the next five years in federal highway funding.

The House and Senate on Thursday approved a long-term transportation bill, the first in more than a decade. The $305 billion package funds public transportation and critical infrastructure needs.

U.S. Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska says the measure also benefits the agriculture community.

"Through a new freight program, more dollars will go to rural and urban transportation needs in our state. The bill also reduces regulatory burdens on our agricultural producers that transport hazardous materials, and it will allow them to transport a thousand gallons of diesel fuel freely."

Second District Congressman Brad Ashford also voted in favor of the transportation bill. It sets up a pilot program that’ll allow young veterans with commercial drivers’ licenses and professional training to drive tractor-trailers across state lines, with restrictions.

Iowa will receive $2.6 billion in federal highway funding.

Fischer’s comments came Thursday during her weekly conference call with Nebraska media.