A bill containing several technical changes to education law advanced to the final round of debate May 18 after lawmakers amended it to extend the current allocations of lottery funds to education-related programs.
Fremont Sen. Lynne Walz, sponsor of LB528, introduced an amendment on select file that would extend the current allocations, which fund need-based college scholarships for Nebraska students, among several other programs, through fiscal year 2023-24. The allocations currently are set to expire at the end of this fiscal year.
Walz said she introduced the amendment after LB529, which would have set new allocations for the next five years, stalled on select file after a failed cloture motion. She said the amendment would be lawmakers’ last chance this session to ensure that lottery funds are available for scholarships and programs for the upcoming school year.
The amendment, adopted 43-0, also would require any department or agency receiving a transfer of lottery funds — or administering a fund that receives a transfer — to submit a report each year to the state Auditor of Public Accounts with information on how the money is used. The auditor would compile annual summaries of those reports and submit them to the Legislature.
After adopting a technical amendment, senators advanced LB528 to final reading by voice vote.