State budget debate begins Monday

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ Nebraska lawmakers are set to begin debate on a series of state budget bills.

Seven budget bills are up for discussion when lawmakers reconvene Tuesday at the Capitol. Lawmakers and the governor are required to set a new two-year budget that will take effect on July 1.

The Legislature's Appropriations Committee advanced the $7.8 billion proposal on Monday.

The budget includes higher-than-average spending increases for higher education, state equalization aid for schools, funding for the developmentally disabled and for state employee retirement plans. It also allocates money to comply with requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

The budget was released after the state board that projects tax revenue predicted a roughly $51 million increase in the upcoming budget years.

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