Nebraska lawmakers study budget seeking cuts amid shortfall

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Nebraska lawmakers will start to sift through Gov. Pete Ricketts' budget plan this week with an eye on the state's projected revenue shortfall and a litany of requests from lobbyists, state agencies and senators.

The governor's plan relies on spending cuts and a withdrawal from the state's cash reserve. He also is asking lawmakers to tap into cash accounts held by state agencies and take back money that was appropriated but not yet spent.

The package is certain to generate opposition, particularly a proposal that would end state funding to any health clinic that offers abortions. Ricketts also proposed a $35.1 million funding increase for child welfare services and a $5.8 million plan to create a 100-bed corrections dormitory to ease prison crowding.

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