Increased spending flexibility for county hospitals approved

County hospitals will have more authority to make large purchases under a bill passed by the Legislature March 30.

LB995, introduced by Elk Creek Sen. Lavon Heidemann, allows county hospitals to obtain lines of credit without a public vote.

The bill allows a county hospital to:
• encumber hospital property;
• obtain a line of credit or borrow money;
• make improvements and additions to facilities with county board approval;
• participate in group purchasing organizations for large items; and
• open clinics in communities outside its jurisdiction.

Use of general bonds to fund new projects still will require a public vote.

County board approval will be required for any issuance of revenue bonds for which the revenue of the facility has been pledged. The hospital’s board of trustees will be required to file bylaws, rules and regulations with the county board.

Senators passed the bill on a 45-0 vote.

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