LINCOLN — The University of Nebraska Board of Regents voted Friday to support a $450 million plan to build health-related facilities on the three NU campuses.
The proposal includes a $370 million comprehensive cancer center for the University of Nebraska Medical Center, new nursing instruction facilities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and University of Nebraska at Kearney and a new veterinary diagnostic laboratory at UNL.
The building proposals have been bundled together as the Building a Healthier Nebraska Initiative, and the Legislature has been asked to provide $91 million from its cash reserve fund to help support the project.
The regents voted 8-0 to approve a resolution urging the Legislature to pass four bills in support of the initiative.
Legislative Speaker Mike Flood warned the regents Friday that it will be March before the Legislature begins to sort out how and whether it will provide funding for the cancer center at UNMC or the other NU construction proposals.
He said the projects have plenty of competition this year including the governors tax plan and a wide array of economic development proposals.
For the first time in four years, we have more projected revenues than we have projected expenses, he said. Thats quite a change.
With money seemingly available, the Legislature has had more sales tax and economic development incentives proposed this year than in any of the eight years Ive been in the Legislature, he said.
But, Flood said, the reality is lawmakers wont make any decisions until after a revenue forecasting board updates its projections for tax receipts in late February, giving lawmakers a better sense of the states bottom line.
Thats going to set the boundaries, he said, adding that at the end of the day every legislator wants to leave Lincoln (at the end of the session) feeling that we took a step forward and that Nebraska will be a better place in 20 years because of what we did this year.
* * * * *
Take an interactive look at the UNMC proposal.