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Nebraska lawmakers seek money for small-town development

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska lawmakers are hunting for new revenue sources to pay for a small-town revitalization program that restores historic buildings, recruits new business and promotes communities, but recent state budget cuts could pose a major challenge.

The Nebraska Main Street Network relied for years on regular state funding to help spruce up small and midsized towns, but a tax revenue shortfall cost the nonprofit its share of that money in 2016.

Group leaders say without a consistent flow of state aid, they're forced to rely more on membership dues from cities that can afford to pay them. Elizabeth Chase, the group's executive director, says most states similar to Nebraska operate "Main Street" programs with multimillion-dollar budgets, and some are run by the state.

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