Request to expedite cultural preservation fund transfers considered

The Appropriations Committee heard testimony March 4 on a bill that would modify the schedule of general fund transfers to the state’s cultural preservation fund.

Current law authorizes a transfer of $500,000 from the general fund to the Nebraska Cultural Preservation Endowment Fund on Dec. 31 of each year through 2018. The transfers are contingent upon documentation of dollar-for-dollar matching funds from private sources.

Under LB193, introduced by Omaha Sen. John Nelson, the transfers would be modified as follows:
• $1 million in 2013;
• $500,000 in 2014; and
• $750,000 in 2015 and 2016.

The bill would eliminate transfers for the years 2017 and 2018.

The John W. Carson Foundation recently expressed an interest in donating to the endowment, Nelson said, but the current transfer schedule does not allow the donation to be matched this year.

“LB193 would allow the state to fully match the $1 million private contribution in 2013,” he said.

Pamela Hilton Snow, executive director of the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, testified in support of the bill, saying it would facilitate cultural and artistic programs across the state.

No opposition testimony was given and the committee took no immediate action on the bill.

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