May  2004      Vol. 13, No. 5  REAP HOME PAGE  A publication of the Center for Rural Affairs    
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Nebraska Legislative Session Ends
State budget balanced; microenterprise development funds share in 1 percent cut.

The regular session of the Nebraska Legislature began on January 7, 2004 and concluded on April 15, 2004. Budget items were the session’s main topic.

The Economic Forecasting Advisory Board met February 27 and declared the state budget deficit would increase by $104 million, raising the projected budget shortfall to $315 million. The Appropriations Committee’s budget recommendation released on March 16 formed the basis for the debate that dominated the remainder of the session.

The committee recommendation resulted in a balanced state budget. This was accomplished through small cuts to state agencies and state aid programs, transfers from the state cash reserve fund, and increased federal Medicaid payments. The Nebraska Microenterprise Development Act funds were in a group of 1 percent across-the-board cuts to state aid line items.

Microenterprise development is effective funding
Nebraska Microenterprise Development Act funds have been significantly reduced in recent sessions. This critical funding has been cut in half and is budgeted at $250,000 for the FY 2004 appropriation. The funds will see a 1 percent cut for the FY 2005 appropriation.

Microenterprise Development programs in Nebraska are having a huge impact with startup and existing micro businesses (businesses with five or fewer employees). The Nebraska Microenterprise Development Act is helping to make this happen. Microenterprise Development programs serve low and moderate-income entrepreneurs who otherwise would not have access to core business development services, including access to loans, technical assistance, training, and networking opportunities.

Please see http://crd.neded.org/econ_dev/microenterprise/ann_rep.htm for additional data and statistics on the significant impacts of this funding as documented in the Nebraska Microenterprise Development Act Report to the Legislature.


Contact: Jeff Reynolds, REAP Program Director, at 402.656.3091 or jeffr@alltel.net 
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